Friday, October 1, 2010

Rigpa Youth has a new member... Mingyur Rinpoche!

After several days of receiving some of the most lively and inspiring teachings from Mingyur Rinpoche during the Lerab Ling Dzogchen Retreat, the expectation was high for our interview with one of the most accomplished and engaging young lamas to teach in West. He of course did not disappoint, gleefully declaring after hearing about our project that he also qualified to be part of the youth group. A member we would be honoured to have! In fact it was an honour just to have the opportunity to interview him, particularly as he is about to begin another three year retreat and so will not be teaching directly for years.

Mingyur Rinpoche began his first three year retreat at the age of thirteen, and at seventeen became one of the youngest lamas to ever hold the position of retreat master at Palpung Sherab Ling Monastery in Northern India. As well as becoming a highly accomplished practitioner, teacher, and author, he has worked enthusiastically with the scientific community researching the effects of mediation on the brain and is an adviser to the Mind and Life Institute.

To be in such a small and intimate setting with such a master could very well have been intimidating, but Mingyur Rinpoche had us all at ease instantaneously with his warmth, openness and playful sense of humour. It was hard to believe this was the same person who had suffered from panic attacks as a child. To know that he had overcome them using the teachings and practices he was sharing with us gave his answers even greater authority. Like a caring friend who had been through it all before, here was a being speaking from experience and offering his compassionate advice. Here was an example of what was possible if we truly applied what we were being taught.

One of the particularly inspiring things about the interview, and indeed Mingyur Rinpoche's teachings in general, is the straightforward and clear way he describes various methods and concepts. When asked about dealing with negative thoughts and emotions without suppressing them he outlined four different methods, awareness, compassion, emptiness and nature of mind. For each his description was so clear and pithy that they suddenly seemed so simple and the result so attainable.

Mingyur Rinpoche not only embodies the energy and playfulness of youth, but also the wisdom of the Buddha, and it was an invigorating, inspiring experience to interview him. Luckily for all those who were not able to be there in person he has given us permission to share the interview online, the mp3 is here and we're in the process of editing the video. But the public talk Mingyur Rinpoche gave in the temple, which was also extremely good, is already available below.

I would also like to note that Mingyur Rinpoche strongly encouraged us to support each other and share our experiences and ideas. If anyone feels inspired to contribute to this blog or wants to get more involved in our projects in any way, please get in touch via the contact us section to the right.

The Joy of Living - Calming the Mind

Mingyur Rinpoche - 11 September 2010, Lerab Ling

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