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Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom Paperback – March 2, 2010
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“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.”
About the Author
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
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The book does a good job of explaining Buddhism and, more importantly to me, meditation. Most of the content is well written and easy to comprehend.
Rinpoche has written two books. Joyful Wisdom primarily discusses Buddhist philosophy. His other book, the Joy of Living, goes more into depth of meditation. If you want to learn about Buddhism, choose this book. If you want to learn how to meditate then choose the other book, which is the best book I have read on the topic of meditation.
Getting ahold of JW made me realize (yet again) how often i get it wrong. Reading itself created an inner shift in me, i could see my breathing change, awareness sink into the body...i quickly realized that this book is a gem. Although Rinpoche does not shy from delving into obtuse Pali texts (such as the Nikayas or medieval Tibetan discourses by Gampopa) nor does he skip recent fMRI studies and their implications for phenomenology, this information is delivered in unpretentious prose which never patronizes or simplifies but rather focuses relentlessly on the bigger picture. Both authors appeal to the common denominator we share as beings trying to spiral out of ignorance into something, something more...free. I guess this is because Mingyur's mind is, in fact, clear and free. Some stuff I encountered here for the first time, such as the incisive discussion of the Buddha Nature blockers. Other teachings are put in a way that inspires and encourages. There are many stories from Mingyur's own life, always put in a positive, light-hearted, unpretentious context.
Rinpoche, son of the famous tulku Urgyen Rinpoche is aware of his relative youth. While it is unusual to see young Tibetans take such prominent public profiles - he handles his own with humility, insight, grace and with a remarkable affinity for scholarship. I especially appreciated his talent for collaborative investigations with contemporary neuroscientists into the nature of the mind, something that the Dalai Lama himself has taken great interest in. I'd guess the Rinpoche's relative youth provides him with more insight into the complexity of the Western mind and its (our) convoluted coping strategies than an older master (Namkhai Norbu, say, or Sogyal) might have. The light touch makes the book a delightful - and instructive read. A good book for beginners and for old farts.