The bestselling author and internationally renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher Mingyur Rinpoche has been on a private pilgrimage since early June of this year.
“He took no money, and no possessions,” explained his brother Tsoknyi Rinpoche. “He didn’t take his passport, his mobile phone or even a toothbrush.”
In a June letter, Mingyur wrote, “I have harbored the wish to stay in retreat and practice, wandering from place to place without any fixed location. I also received an ocean of instructions from my glorious and kind root gurus. Though I have attempted to stay in retreat and practice, I have passed the rest of my time in laziness and diversions, letting my life come to nothing more than a distraction.”
Donald Lopez, professor of Buddhist and Tibetan studies at the University of Michigan, says this action has “an interesting parallel with the Buddha. Since the fall of the Tibetan monarchy in 842, incarnate lamas have served as a kind of aristocracy in Tibet, so a high-ranking tulku is not unlike a prince. Mingyur Rinpoche has renounced royal life, just as Prince Siddhartha did. This radical step that he has taken is essentially a return to the lifestyle that the Buddha prescribed for all monks.”
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