A rare, intimate account of a world-renowned Buddhist monk’s near-death experience and the life-changing wisdom he gained from it
“One of the most inspiring books I have ever read.”—Pema Chödrön, author of When Things Fall Apart
“This book has the potential to change the reader’s life forever.”—George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo
At thirty-six years old, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was a rising star within his generation of Tibetan masters and the respected abbot of three monasteries. Then one night, telling no one, he slipped out of his monastery in India with the intention of spending the next four years on a wandering retreat, following the ancient practice of holy mendicants. His goal was to throw off his titles and roles in order to explore the deepest aspects of his being.
He immediately discovered that a lifetime of Buddhist education and practice had not prepared him to deal with dirty fellow travelers or the screeching of a railway car. He found he was too attached to his identity as a monk to remove his robes right away or to sleep on the Varanasi station floor, and instead paid for a bed in a cheap hostel. But when he ran out of money, he began his life as an itinerant beggar in earnest. Soon he became deathly ill from food poisoning—and his journey took a startling turn. His meditation practice had prepared him to face death, and now he had the opportunity to test the strength of his training.
In this powerful and unusually candid account of the inner life of a Buddhist master, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche offers us the invaluable lessons he learned from his near-death experience. By sharing with readers the meditation practices that sustain him, he shows us how we can transform our fear of dying into joyful living.
Praise for In Love with the World
“Vivid, compelling . . . This book is a rarity in spiritual literature: Reading the intimate story of this wise and devoted Buddhist monk directly infuses our own transformational journey with fresh meaning, luminosity, and life.”—Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
“In Love with the World is a magnificent story—moving and inspiring, profound and utterly human. It will certainly be a dharma classic.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“This book makes me think enlightenment is possible.”—Russell Brand
In this intimate and stirring memoir, Mingyur Rinpoche (The Joy of Living), a Tibetan master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma traditions, recounts the painful realizations about his own consciousness that arose from an illness during a spiritual retreat in 2011. The goal of the retreat was to cast off all labels, identities, and expectations in order to make himself unfamiliar even to himself. He becomes a wandering ascetic and nearly dies from food poisoning just days after the start of his retreat. Mingyur Rinpoche meticulously recounts his states of mind and his discomfort, reporting the many subtle ways he expected his mind to function because he was considered an authority in the Buddhist community: "I needed to reexperience the continuity of change, to remember that every moment holds a chance to transcend the fixed mind." Viewing his experience through the Tibetan doctrine of the bardos (intermediate states of life and death), he explores the ways that human beings find themselves always in a state of transition, and the idea that it is the inability to let go of attachments to the self that causes suffering. By showing that even a Tibetan master struggles with everyday suffering and the fear of death, Mingyur Rinpoche's memoir instructs by frank and humbling example.