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.
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