Embracing Change and Finding Freedom
Publication Date: April 7, 2009
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Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first book, The Joy of Living, was a New York Times bestseller hailed as “compelling, readable, and informed” (Buddhadharma) and praised by Richard Gere, Lou Reed, and Julian Schnabel for its clarity, wit, and unique insight into the relationship between science and Buddhism.
His new book, Joyful Wisdom, addresses the timely and timeless problem of anxiety in our everyday lives. “From the 2,500-year-old perspective of Buddhism,” Yongey Mingyur writes, “every chapter in human history could be described as an ‘age of anxiety.’ The anxiety we feel now has been part of the human condition for centuries.” So what do we do? Escape or succumb? Both routes inevitably lead to more complications and problems in our lives. “Buddhism,” he says, “offers a third option. We can look directly at the disturbing emotions and other problems we experience in our lives as stepping-stones to freedom. Instead of rejecting them or surrendering to them, we can befriend them, working through them to reach an enduring authentic experience of our inherent wisdom, confidence, clarity, and joy.”
Divided into three parts like a traditional Buddhist text, Joyful Wisdom identifies the sources of our unease, describes methods of meditation that enable us to transform our experience into deeper insight, and applies these methods to common emotional, physical, and personal problems. The result is a work at once wise, anecdotal, funny, informed, and graced with the author’s irresistible charm.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, celebrated Tibetan Buddhist master and author of the internationally acclaimed The Joy of Living, is deeply versed in the practical and philosophical disciplines of the ancient tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is perhaps best known for his accessible style, his self-deprecating humor, and his ability to address human weakness with deeply personal understanding and compassion. For more information about Yongey Mingyur, his teachings, and his activities around the world, visit www.mingyur.org.
Eric Swanson is coauthor of The Joy of Living. A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, he is the author of the novels The Greenhouse Effect and The Boy in the Lake. After converting to Buddhism in 1995, he cowrote Karmapa, The Sacred Prophecy and authored What the Lotus Said, both of which focus on Buddhism within Tibet.
“Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, the Tibetan Buddhist master of mind-over-matter and co-author of the best-selling The Joy of Living...recommends Buddhism’s cheerful, non-alarmist, big-picture approach to life’s obstacles as a prescription for contemporary troubles.”
—“Paper Cuts” blog, NewYorkTimes.com
“[Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche] has written an unusually lucid and graceful addition to the modern canon….The exceptionally clear descriptions combined with Mingyur’s compassion and gentle wisdom make this book a valuable guide to Buddhist practice.”
“Talking to Mingyur Rinpoche is like sipping chamomile tea. He has spent a lifetime cultivating calm. But, as a child, he says, he was plagued by nearly debilitating anxiety attacks. He moved beyond them, not by trying to be the master of this problem or by becoming its slave. He made friends with the problem. This is a third approach to adversity and one that Americans rarely consider.”
Praise for The Joy of Living
"Compelling, readable, and informed."
“Rinpoche ’s investigations into the science of happiness are woven into an accessible introduction to Buddhism.”
“I rejoice in this book, the first of its kind, a truly compelling and infinitely practical fusion of Tibetan Buddhism and scientific ideas.”
–Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
“There is real wisdom here. Fresh and clear. Mingyur Rinpoche has offered us what may well be an essential link between the Buddha and contemporary neuroscience and physics. He effortlessly makes connections between seemingly disparate and complex disciplines and makes the journey sparkle.”
“An extraordinarily clear book.”
–Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Coming to Our Senses and vice-chair of the Mind and Life Institute
“[P]ersonal, readable, and wonderfully warm.”
–Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness
“Mingyur Rinpoche ’s unique contribution to this emerging field is an early flowering of the interface of neuroscience and Buddhism. . . . I heartily recommend this to anyone interested in the healing arts, consciousness studies, and genuine contemplative practice
–Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World and founder of the Dzogchen Center in America
“Mingyur Rinpoche is a charismatic teacher with a heart and smile of gold. . . . This is one of those rare books where you meet the author and learn from his radiance.”
“This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the causes and consequences of happiness.”
–Richard J. Davidson, director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin—Madison
“We are lucky and blessed to have the possibility to hear the candid, down-to-earth, and beyond the consciousness of imagination generosity that Mingyur Rinpoche exudes in his teachings.”