In Love with the World
What a Buddhist Monk Can Teach You About Living from Nearly Dying
By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche with Helen Tworkov
A rare, intimate account of a world-renowned Buddhist monk’s near-death experience and the life-changing wisdom he gained from it.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s experience begins the night he has chosen to embark on a four-year wandering retreat, slipping past the monastery gates. Alone for the first time in his life, he sets out into the unknown. His initial motivation is to step away from his life of privilege and to explore the deepest, most hidden aspects of his being, but what he discovers throughout his retreat – about himself and about the world around us – comes to define his meditation practice and teaching.
Just three weeks into his retreat, Rinpoche becomes deathly ill and his journey begins in earnest through this near-death experience. Moving, beautiful and suffused with local colour, In Love with the World is the story of two different kinds of death: that of the body and that of the ego, and how we can bridge these two experiences to live a better and more fulfilling life. Rinpoche’s skilful and intimate account of his search for the self is a demonstration of how we can transform our dread of dying into joyful living.
Books by Mingyur Rinpoche
Living is Dying – How to Prepare for Dying, Death and Beyond
“Shouldn’t we all try to contemplate the inevitability of our own death at least once this lifetime? Particularly as every one of us will die – itself a crucially important piece of information. Doesn’t putting some effort into processing the inescapable fact of our own death make sense?”
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Free book download
Do we see reality as it is? Cognitive psychologist, Donald Hoffman explains how our perceptions have evolved to become like a computer interface and what real-life implications this has today. watch
Donald Hoffman: Donald Hoffman is an American cognitive psychologist at the University of California, Irvine. His forthcoming book, 'The Case Against Reality', argues that perception doesn’t present things as they are but instead acts like a desktop interface enabling us to interact with the world.
It’s a rainy morning in the picturesque Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Karnataka’s Bylakuppe town, about 70km from Mysuru and home to one of the largest Tibetan settlements in India.
Six Russian scientists are closely observing a Tibetan monk in deep meditative state. The scientists from Moscow State University and St Petersburg-based Institute of Human Brain are here to study thukdam, a post-death meditative state practised by highly realized Buddhist masters. more...
The Dalai Lama said that the Tibetan Buddhist system of recognizing reincarnate Buddhist teachers “may have had its day.”
On Friday the Dalai Lama said it may be time for the tradition of recognizing reincarnate lamas to come to an end. The Dalai Lama made the statement in a meeting with students in Northern India.
According to a statement from the Office of the Dalai Lama, the Dalai Lama suggested that “the custom of recognizing reincarnate lamas may have had its day.” The Dalai Lama says that the reincarnation system has never existed in India, and there are no recognized reincarnations of great Indian Buddhist masters like Nagarjuna, or the Buddha himself. more...
These days, the realm of spirituality (and sometimes psychology) can feel fake. Instagram and other social media are jammed with influencer posts about positive vibes, about not allowing negative energy or thoughts to get to you, about surrounding yourself with only supportive, positive people.
Unless you live in a bubble or on Mars, this is not only unrealistic, but also a recipe for never growing or truly learning who you are. If you attempt to transcend or avoid difficult experiences, you can remain emotionally stunted. Spiritually minded psychologists and teachers refer to this as spiritual bypassing. Like it or not, the ugly parts of our humanity are where growth can occur. In the words of Buddhist teacher, author, and nun Pema Chödrön:
Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear… are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They’re like messengers that tell us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. more...
In 1973 I found myself seated before a colorful brocaded throne in a mediation hall in a small Tibetan Buddhist Monastery near Kathmandu, Nepal. I was amongst a large group of young Westerners waiting with some excitement for a Tibetan lama to enter. The atmosphere was electric with anticipation. After a few minutes there was a whisper ‘lama’s here’, we all stood up and most people bowed respectfully as a relatively young man entered the room made prostrations and rose to the throne. When he began to speak, I found myself immediately enthralled by his presence and playful humour. This man was to become an essential focus of my spiritual life from that point onwards. He became my ‘guru’. more...
New research sheds light on the physiology of gratitude, bringing us closer to being able to understand and harness the health benefits of this powerful emotion.
Imagine you are on the run from a Nazi manhunt and are taken under the protection of a stranger. This stranger spends the winter providing you with food and shelter—even traveling to other towns to relay messages to your family members—yet has no hope or expectation of repayment from you. While your loved ones are systematically ensnared by the Nazi machine, this stranger keeps you alive and nourishes your faith in humanity, offering proof that in the midst of widespread horror, many individuals still act with unfettered compassion and dignity.
When you think about this stranger, what they risked, what you received—how would you feel? more...
How Madhyamika Philosophy Explains the Mystery of Quantum Physics
The theory of relativity informs us that our science is a science of our experience, and not a science of a universe that is independent of us as conscious observers (see the explanation in this article: Why Relativity Exists). This nature of our science is also reflected in the formulation of quantum mechanics, since the main formulation of quantum mechanics does not provide direct rules for the behaviour of particles. Instead, it provides rules that concern only the results of measurements by observers. This means that the observer is an intrinsic part of the main formulation of quantum mechanics, and what differentiates the observer from physical particles has to be mind and consciousness. more...
It is sold as a force that can help us cope with the ravages of capitalism, but with its inward focus, mindful meditation may be the enemy of activism.
Mindfulness has gone mainstream, with celebrity endorsement from Oprah Winfrey and Goldie Hawn. Meditation coaches, monks and neuroscientists went to Davos to impart the finer points to CEOs attending the World Economic Forum. The founders of the mindfulness movement have grown evangelical. Prophesying that its hybrid of science and meditative discipline “has the potential to ignite a universal or global renaissance”, the inventor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Jon Kabat-Zinn, has bigger ambitions than conquering stress. Mindfulness, he proclaims, “may actually be the only promise the species and the planet have for making it through the next couple of hundred years”. more...
The Dalai Lama Has Been the Face of Buddhism for 60 Years. China Wants to Change That (Time Magazine)
Morning has broken on the cedar-strewn foothills of the Himalayas. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama sits in meditation in his private chapel in Dharamsala, a ramshackle town perched on the upper reaches of North India’s Kangra Valley. Rousing slowly, he unfolds his legs with remarkable agility for a man of 83, finds the red felt slippers placed neatly beneath his seat and heads outside to where a crowd has already gathered. more...
How the mind can make sense of quantum physics in more ways than one
The counterintuitive predictions of quantum theory have now been experimentally confirmed with unprecedented rigor. Yet, the question of how to interpret the meaning of these predictions remains controversial. A Wikipedia table summarizing different interpretations of quantum mechanics included no less than fourteen entries at the time of this writing. New interpretations regularly appear. more...
Celebrated Psychologists like Carl Jung, William James and many others have understood the value of Buddhist philosophy and its positive impact on mental health. Their research programs have highlighted the importance of Buddhist psychotherapy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, factitious and addiction disorders, medically unexplained symptoms and various other psychological ailments. It is now increasingly used in psychotherapeutic practice in the western world. more...
Neuroscience shows that 50-year-olds can have the brains of 25-year-olds if they sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes a day (Melanie Curtin)
Twenty years ago this Sunday, The Matrix was released. I went to see it in theatres with my dad (I was in third grade), and it instantly became an all-time favorite. A lot of the movie went over my eight-year-old head, but even so the film’s central concept — that all of humanity exists in a simulation called “the Matrix” — blew my mind.
The movie had that effect on a lot of people. Within a few years of its release, a popular theory arose that, statistically, it’s extremely likely that humanity only exists in such a simulation. To this day, philosophers, tech moguls, and journalists openly debate the question, “Do we live in a ‘Matrix’-like illusion?” more...
In a recent study, meditating on emptiness led to a 24 percent decrease in negative emotions.
Emptiness meditation may be more effective at improving wellbeing than mindfulness meditation, according to psychologists at the University of Derby, UK.
Led by psychologist and lecturer William Van Gordon, an international research team conducted the first-ever study to investigate the impact of Buddhist emptiness meditation. A central Buddhist insight, emptiness is the understanding that neither we nor any phenomenon in the universe — sentient or otherwise — has a permanent, separate, and independent core, or soul. more...
Physicists have long suspected that quantum mechanics allows two observers to experience different, conflicting realities. Now they’ve performed the first experiment that proves it.
Back in 1961, the Nobel Prize–winning physicist Eugene Wigner outlined a thought experiment that demonstrated one of the lesser-known paradoxes of quantum mechanics. The experiment shows how the strange nature of the universe allows two observers—say, Wigner and Wigner’s friend—to experience different realities. more...
Doctors had given Anita Moorjani just hours to live when she arrived at the hospital in a coma on the morning of February 2nd, 2006. Unable to move as a result of the cancer that had ravaged her body for almost four years, Anita entered another dimension, where she experienced great clarity and understanding of her life and purpose here on earth. She was given a choice of whether to return to life or not, and chose to return to life when she realized that "heaven" is a state and not a place.
This subsequently resulted in a remarkable and complete recovery of her health. Anita's riveting talk will inspire you to transform your life by living more authentically, discovering your greatest passions, transcending your deepest fears, and living from a place of pure joy. Her true story will radically alter your current beliefs about yourself, your purpose on earth, your health, your relationships, and your life! more...
The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate (Dalai Lama with Rasmus Hougaard)
Over the past nearly 60 years, I have engaged with many leaders of governments, companies, and other organizations, and I have observed how our societies have developed and changed. I am happy to share some of my observations in case others may benefit from what I have learned.
Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on how the world develops. We should remember that we are visitors on this planet. We are here for 90 or 100 years at the most. During this time, we should work to leave the world a better place. more...
The Dalai Lama takes us step by step through the famed logic of Madhyamika, the Middle Way that defeats all extreme views of reality.
To generate the type of love and compassion that motivates you to seek buddhahood, not for yourself but for the sake of others, first you must confront suffering by identifying its types. This is the first noble truth. From the time we are born to the time we die we suffer mental and physical pain, the suffering of change, and pervasive suffering of uncontrolled conditioning. The second and third noble truths lead us to understand the causes of suffering and whether or not those causes can be removed. The fundamental cause of suffering is ignorance—the mistaken apprehension that living beings and objects inherently exist. more...