"All things are impermanent. Death comes without warning. This body too will be a corpse."
For over ten years, Mingyur Rinpoche repeated this mantra to himself as a part of his daily liturgy.
At only age 13, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was accepted on his first 3 year traditional Tibetan retreat. When it ended, he was offered the position of retreat master and was responsible for running the next one.
Since then Rinpoche has:
- Written his three books The Joy of Living, Joyful Wisdom and Turning Confusion into Clarity
- Founded the international meditation community Tergar which aims to spread Tibetan Buddhist teachings across the world
- Served as a participant in neuroscientific studies revealing many of the benefits of long-term sustained meditation
- Produced many videos of meditation instruction on his YouTube channel as well as the Tergar website.
- Successfully been running multiple monasteries throughout the world serving as their abbott. Including Sherab Ling where he sat his first three year retreat.
At age thirty-six he was something resembling a star in the meditation world.
Yet he gave it all up to follow his childhood dream of going on wandering retreat...
The historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama did not stay in a permanent residence like a monastery but went wherever his feet would take him. Desiring to be free, he chose the life of a homeless renunciant, begging for alms and sleeping in the forest.
The legendary Milarepa wandered as a homeless yogi with only caves as shelter. Having grown weary of the worldly life and seen through it's promise of lasting happiness he went forth into freedom.
The conflict between the desires for security and freedom seems to rage inside all of us. When we take shelter in a home, family and career and live in a society it is the expression of our desire for security. When the renunciant gives up the worldly life and embraced the life of a wandering yogi, it is the ultimate expression of their desire for freedom.
Following the footsteps of those that came before him, at age thirty-six – after considerable planning – Mingyur Rinpoche snuck out of his monsatery and went forth into homelessness.
For the next four years, he went wherever his feet would take him with no fixed goals or plans, wandering between the Himalayan mountains and the Indian plains. Living in caves and on the streets.
Based on a series of interviews between Mingyur Rinpoche and Helen Tworkov, this book chronicles the first few months of this journey and the lessons learned along the way. With insights, pith instructions and profound wisdom lining each and every page, this is a highly recommended book for anyone.