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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Joyful Wisdom|
|Release Date: 04-07-2009|
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|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Light in the Tunnel
The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a
light in the darkness of mere being.
-Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections,
translated by Richard Winston and Clara Winston
SEVERAL YEARS AGO I found myself strapped inside an fMRI, a type of brain scanner that, to me, looked like a round, white coffin. I lay on a flat examination table that slid like a tongue inside the hollow cylinder which, I was told, held the scanning equipment. My arms, legs, and head were restrained so that it was nearly impossible to move, and a bite guard was inserted into my mouth to keep my jaws from moving. All the preparation-being strapped onto the table and so forth-was fairly interesting, since the technicians very courteously explained what they were doing and why. Even the sensation of being inserted into the machine was somewhat soothing, though I could see how someone with a very active imagination might feel as though he or she were being swallowed.
Inside the machine, however, it rapidly grew quite warm. Strapped in as I was, I couldn't wipe away any stray beads of sweat that crawled down my face. Scratching an itch was out of the question-and it's pretty amazing how itchy the body can get when there's not the slightest opportunity to scratch. The machine itself made a loud whirring noise like a siren.
Given these conditions, I suspect that spending an hour or so inside an fMRI scanner isn't something many people would choose to do. I'd volunteered, though, along with several other monks. Altogether, fifteen of us had agreed to undergo this uncomfortable experience as part of a neuroscientific study led by Professors A