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== '''Biography of the Very Venerable 7th Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche''' ==
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Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was born in 1975 in a small Himalayan village near the border of Nepal and Tibet. Son of the renowned meditation master [[Tulku Urgyen], Mingyur Rinpoche was drawn to a life of contemplation from an early age and would often run away to meditate in the caves that surrounded his village. In these early childhood years, however, he suffered from debilitating panic attacks that crippled his ability to interact with others and enjoy his idyllic surroundings.
  
The basis from which the successive incarnations of Mingyur Rinpoche have emanated is [[Vajrapani]], the [[Lord of Secrets]], the embodiment of the power, strength, and ability of all buddhas in the pure realm of [[Changlochen]]. In a previous lifetime, Mingyur Rinpoche was the noble being [[Niruddha]], who among all the disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni demonstrated the great miraculous powers at the [[Vajra Throne of Bodh Gaya]]. In the snowy ranges of Tibet, he was reborn in the eighth century C.E. as [[Prince Mutri Tsenpo]] (the eldest son of [[King Trisong Deutsen]]), one of the [[twenty-five disciples of Guru Padmasambhava]]. The prince's successive incarnations appeared in Tibet to spread the Buddha teachings as emissaries of Padmasambhava.
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At the age of nine, Rinpoche left to study meditation with his father at Nagi Gonpa, a small hermitage on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. For nearly three years, Tulku Urgyen guided him experientially through the profound Buddhist practices of [[Mahamudra]] and [[Dzogchen]], teachings that are typically considered highly secret and only taught to advanced meditators. Throughout this time, his father would impart pithy instructions to his young son and then send him to meditate until he had achieved a direct experience of the teachings.
  
Among these were five treasure revealers (tertöns) with the title Lingpa, whose natures were those of the five buddha families. The great [[Rigdzin Gökyi Demtruchen]] (1337-1409) was a regent of Padmasambhava who appeared in the central part of Tibet. [[Terchen Dorje Lingpa]] (1346-1405) was associated with the east, [[Pema Lingpa]] (1450-1521) with the west, and [[Shikpo Lingpa]] (1524-1583) with the intermediate directions. Mingyur Rinpoche's previous incarnations also included the great Drigung tertön [[Rinchen Phuntsok]] (1509-1557), [[Rigdzin Jatsön Nyingpo]] (1585-1656), [[Namchö Mingyur Dorje]] (1645-1667), and twenty-one major tertöns with the name Nuden, among whom was the seventeenth-century incarnation [[Yongey Mingyur Dorje]].
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When he was eleven years old, Mingyur Rinpoche was requested to reside at Sherab Ling Monastery in Northern India, the seat of Tai Situ Rinpoche and one of the most important monasteries in the [[Kagyu lineage]]. While there, he studied the teachings that had been brought to Tibet by the great translator [[Marpa]], as well as the rituals of the Karma Kagyu lineage, with the retreat master of the monastery, Lama Tsultrim. He was formally enthroned as the 7th incarnation of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche by [[Tai Situ Rinpoche]] when he was twelve years old.
  
Born in the [[Lhatok]] region of Kham, in his early years Yongey Mingyur Dorje had visions of [[Padmasambhava]], [[Karma Pakshi]], [[Hayagriva]], [[Vajravarahi]], and [[Mahakala]]. He composed a guru sadhana for Karma Pakshi as a "mind treasure" ([[gongter]]) that he received in a pure vision. The [[tenth Karmapa]], C[[höying Dorje]] (1604-1674), gave him the name [[Rigdzin Mingyur Dorje Drakpo Nuden Tsal]]. Yongey Mingyur Dorje also became a learned and highly accomplished master through studying the sutras, tantras, and general sciences.
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===Three Year Retreat===
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When Mingyur Rinpoche turned thirteen, he begged both his father and Tai Situ Rinpoche for special permission to enter the traditional three-year retreat that was set to begin at [[Sherab Ling Monastery]]. It was highly unusual for someone so young to make such a request, but they both consented and soon Mingyur Rinpoche began his retreat under the guidance of [[Saljey Rinpoche]], a learned and experienced meditation master who had spent half of his life in strict retreat.  
  
On one occasion, the Kagyü lineage was threatened by an imminent invasion of Tibet, as well as by other obstacles on several levels-outer, inner, and secret. In accordance with Guru Rinpoche's prophecies, Yongey Mingyur Dorje revealed a complete cycle of teachings focusing on [[Guru Dorje Drollo]]; he then offered these teachings in secret to [[Karmapa Chöying Dorje]]. That great lord himself practiced the stages of approach, accomplishment, and enactment focusing on Dorje Drollo for nine months; by doing so, the Karmapa overcame the unfavorable circumstances and obstacles, and turned back the invading forces. He thus caused the Kagyü teachings to shine like the rising sun.
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During the next three years, Mingyur Rinpoche practiced the preliminaries, which prepare the meditator for advanced contemplative practice; the [[development stage]], which uses visualization and sacred sounds to transform the processes of ordinary perception; the [[completion stage]], which involves working with the subtle energies of the body; and Mahamudra, a form of practice that allows the meditator to directly experience the luminous clarity of the mind’s true nature. The great diligence that Mingyur Rinpoche demonstrated throughout the retreat resulted in his attaining an extraordinary level of mastery over the mind and emotions. At this time, he completely overcame the panic attacks that had troubled him as a child, discovering first-hand how meditation can be used to deal with challenging emotional problems.  
  
In the later part of his life, Yongey Mingyur Dorje followed the yogic lifestyle of a [[mahasiddha]]. He subjugated and brought to the path of liberation many beings who violated samaya or who embodied evil influences and obstructing forces, and who harmed the [[Buddhadharma]] and beings. In particular, he bound under oath the spirits known as the "[[nine demon brothers]]" and their retinues-evil forces that were wreaking disaster on the world. In these ways, Yongey Mingyur Dorje brought immense benefit to the Buddhadharma and beings.
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When Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche completed his three-year retreat, his beloved teacher Saljey Rinpoche passed away, leaving vacant his key position at Sherab Ling monastery. To replace him, Tai Situ Rinpoche appointed Mingyur Rinpoche as the monastery’s next retreat master, making him responsible for guiding senior monks and nuns through the intricacies of Buddhist meditation practice in the next three-year retreat. The seventeen-year old Mingyur Rinpoche was one of the youngest lamas to ever hold this position.
  
Yongey Mingyur Dorje's three main termas were the cycles of Guru Dorje Drollo, [[Shitro Padma Vajra]], and the longevity sadhana [[Tsedrub Tabshe Khajor]]; these cycles include many subsidiary activity practices and other methods. A great number of noble lamas, tulkus, and sangha members of all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism received his terma teachings, either directly from Yongey Mingyur Dorje or indirectly from one of his students. The primary recipients of these teachings - the sublime [[eighth Tai Situ]], [[Kunkhyen Chökyi Jungne]] (1699-1774), and [[Tertön Könchok Dorje]] - were prophesied in Yongey Mingyur Dorje's own termas. To quote from the prophecies found in his termas:
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===Overseeing Sherab Ling Monastery===
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Mingyur Rinpoche continued to receive important transmissions from his father and Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, an important Kagyu lama. When he was nineteen, he enrolled at Dzongsar Monastic College, where, under the tutelage of the renowned Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk, he studied the primary topics of the Buddhist academic tradition, including Middle Way philosophy and Buddhist logic.  
  
In the Uta valley, [[Tai Situ]] will wield the vajra sword of copper in the sky.<br>
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When he was twenty years old, he was appointed by Tai Situ Rinpoche to be the functioning abbot of Sherab Ling. In his new role, he was instrumental in establishing a new monastic college at the monastery, where he worked as an assistant professor while simultaneously carrying out his duties as retreat master for a third three year retreat. Throughout this period, which lasted until he was twenty-five, Rinpoche often stayed in retreat for periods of one to three months while continuing to oversee the activities of Sherab Ling Monastery. When he was twenty-three years old, he received full monastic ordination from Tai Situ Rinpoche.  
In a future time of strife, when the five kinds of degeneration are rampant,<br>
 
first entrust this to your spiritual heir Amita,<br>
 
and then soon after to the one called Parni.<br>
 
Entrust it without keeping it secret, and the dispute over the ruler will subside. <br>
 
<br>
 
The text continues to describes the recipient of the teachings:<br>
 
<br>
 
You are an emanation of [[Lord of Secrets]].<br>
 
I am the buddhas of the three times, as well as Shakyamuni,<br>
 
who protects the beings of the dark age with the light rays of his compassion.<br>
 
Never missing the right time, through the power of true aspirations<br>
 
the Guru will speak to you in lifetime after lifetime.<br>
 
Pray and do not hold back your faith and devotion.<br>
 
Keep this in your heart, my worthy noble son.<br>
 
Strong is your samaya, O princely ruler.<br>
 
You will serve the Buddhadharma greatly.<br>
 
  
In this way, Yongey Mingyur Dorje's activity to benefit beings was truly in accordance with the predictions of the [[master of Uddiyana]].
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===Important Transmissions===
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During this period, Mingyur Rinpoche received an important Dzogchen transmission from the great [[Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche]], a renowned teacher from the Nyingma School (link to page from old Tergar site) of Tibetan Buddhism. For a total of one hundred days, spread over a number of years, this great meditation master transmitted the "oral lineage" of the Heart Essence of the Great Perfection. These teachings on the breakthrough (trekchö) and direct leap (tögal) of the Dzogchen lineage are extremely secret and may only be transmitted to one person at a time. Much like he had studied with his father years before, Mingyur Rinpoche received a pithy meditation instruction and returned for more teachings only once he had directly experienced what was taught. This rare form of teaching is known as "experiential guidance."
  
The [[second Yongey Mingyur Dorje]] incarnation was born into the Batok family in the [[Lhatok]] region of Tibet. He was known as "Three-Eyed Yongey" and was an extraordinary individual who had three eyes and the signs of the five buddha families on his body. It was as if an emanation of Guru Dorje Drollo had appeared in human form. Through his three qualities of being learned, virtuous, and noble-minded, the second Mingyur Dorje benefited the Buddhadharma and beings enormously. The third incarnation was also born into the Batok family and was known as [[Rimö Mingyur Dorje]]. The fourth incarnation was born into the Lhalung family of Derge in eastern Tibet, and was known as [[Tragyen Mingyur Dorje]]. The fifth incarnation was born into the Shakha family of in [[Derge]], and was known as [[Shakha Mingyur Dorje]]. The sixth incarnation was born into the Neyra family of [[Meshö]] in the Derge region, and was known as [[Neyra Mingyur Dorje]]. All these incarnations studied, reflected upon, and practiced the sutras, tantras, and general sciences, so that they discovered pure wisdom for themselves and thus attained the dharmakaya throne of the state beyond meditation. Through the three qualities of wisdom, compassion, and capability, they accomplished enormous benefit for the Buddhadharma and beings.
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In the years that followed, Mingyur Rinpoche continued to study the five traditional subjects of the Buddhist tradition (Madhyamaka, Prajnaparamita, Abhidharma, Pramana, and Vinaya), in addition to other important topics. He also continued to refine his meditative realization through daily practice and periodic solitary retreats.  
  
Mingyur Rinpoche (the present incarnation of Yongey Mingyur Dorje) is the seventh in this line of incarnations and was born in 1976. His father was the eminent master [[Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche]] from the [[divine Tsangsar bloodline]] of Nangchen. His mother was Sönam Chödrön, a descendant of the two Tibetan kings [[Songtsen Gampo]] and [[Trisong Deutsen]].
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To this day, Mingyur Rinpoche continues his own study and meditation. More recently, he received important Dzogchen transmissions from Kyabjé [[Trulshik Rinpoche]], including the Transmitted Teachings of the Nyingma School (Nyingma Kama) and Fourfold Heart Essence (Nyingtik Yabshi). He also participated in transmissions of [[Jamgon Kongtrul]]'s Treasury of Precious Treasures (Rinchen Terdzö) and Treasury of Instructions (Damngak Dzö), which took place at Sherab Ling Monastery.  
  
Before Mingyur Rinpoche was born, his father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche dreamt that a lama of majestic presence, dressed in the white robes of a lay tantric master, appeared to him and said, "I am Yongey Mingyur Dorje. I have come to ask for lodging in your home." One month before Mingyur Rinpoche's birth, the moon was seen to be connected to the front and roof of the house by a white beam of light; this happened so many times that the local people were amazed and commented on it.
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===Buddhism and Science===
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In addition to his extensive background in meditation and Buddhist philosophy, Mingyur Rinpoche has held a lifelong interest in psychology, physics, and neurology. At an early age, he began a series of informal discussions with the famed neuroscientist Francisco Varela, who came to Nepal to learn meditation from his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Many years later, in 2002, Mingyur Rinpoche and a handful of other long-term meditators were invited to the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin at the request of [[His Holiness the Dalai Lama]]. There, Richard Davidson, Antoine Lutz, and other scientists examined the effects of meditation on the brains of advanced meditators. The results of this groundbreaking research were reported in many of the world’s most widely read publications, including National Geographic and Time. Follow-up studies were carried out at Harvard University, MIT, and other important research centers.
  
His father gave Mingyur Rinpoche the name Lhundrup Dorje. The sixteenth Karmapa, [[Rangjung Rigpai Dorje]], identified him as being the authentic incarnation of the previous Yongey Mingyur Dorje and bestowed upon him the name Karma Gyurme Tendzin Chökyi Dorje.
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Rinpoche continues his involvement with this research and contributes actively to the vibrant dialogue between Western science and Buddhism. He is an advisor to the Mind and Life Institute and participates as a research subject in the ongoing studies of the neural and physiological effects of meditation.
  
H.H. [[Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche]] recognized Mingyur Rinpoche as an incarnation of [[Kangyur Rinpoche]]. Kangyur Rinpoche was a terton, scholar and realized yogi. After he fled Tibet he lived in Darjeeling India and taught many western students in the 60's and early 70's.
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Rinpoche’s teaching style has been deeply influenced by his knowledge of science. He is especially well-known for his ability to enrich his presentation of the ancient insights and practices of Tibetan Buddhism with the findings of modern science. It is his hope that the emerging relationship between these seemingly disparate fields will yield key insights to help us realize our full human potential.
  
Mingyur Rinpoche mastered reading and writing at the age of six. At about that time, Kyabje [[Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche]] told Mingyur Rinpoche's grandfather, [[Lama Tashi Dorje]], and his parents that the child was not only the incarnation of Mingyur Dorje (as the Karmapa had said), but also the rebirth of the tertön Kangyur Rinpoche, [[Longchen Yeshe Dorje]]. The previous Mingyur Rinpoche and the former Kangyur Rinpoche were both emanations from the same basis--[[Vajrapani]]--and thus these two lamas had now incarnated in this single form. The children and students of the previous Kangyur Rinpoche trusted this to be true.
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===Present Activities===
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In addition to his responsibilities at Sherab Ling Monastery, Mingyur Rinpoche is the abbot of [[Tergar Osel Ling Monastery]] in Kathmandu, Nepal, and [[Tergar Rigzin Khachö Targyé Ling Monastery]] in Bodhgaya, India. He also teaches regularly throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia, where he leads a growing number of [[Tergar]] Meditation Centers and Meditation Groups.
  
In 1984, at the age of nine (according to the Tibetan way of counting), Mingyur Rinpoche moved to the hermitage of [[Nagi Gompa]] to study with his father, [[Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche]]. There, being guided through personal experience for about two and half years, he studied such Mahamudra teachings as the Four Dharmas of the peerless Gampopa, as well as instructions on the [[trekchö]] and [[tögal]] methods of the Dzogchen approach. Even though a given teaching may have been quite short, Mingyur Rinpoche trained by practicing each point for several days.
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Rinpoche is an internationally-acclaimed author. His first book, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into over twenty languages. His second book, Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom, explores how difficult emotions and challenging life situations can be used as stepping stones to discover joy and freedom. Mingyur Rinpoche’s newest book is an illustrated children’s book, entitled Ziji: The Puppy that Learned to Meditate.
  
At the age of eleven, Mingyur Rinpoche was prompted by [[Tai Situ Rinpoche]] to come to [[Sherab Ling]], the second Palpung and seat of the Tai Situpas in exile. There Mingyur Rinpoche studied with the retreat master, Lama Tsultrim, learning the daily rituals of the [[Karma Kamtsang]] school and the tantras according to the tradition of [[Marpa]]. He also studied drama thoroughly and with great diligence. When he was twelve years old, Mingyur Rinpoche was formally enthroned by H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche at Sherab Ling.
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One of Mingyur Rinpoche’s greatest passions is bringing the practice of meditation to people from all walks of life. He is currently working with professionals from a wide range of disciplines to adapt his Joy of Living retreats for use in different contexts, including hospitals, schools, prisons, and leadership training. As part of this effort, he is developing programs to train facilitators and instructors to teach the practice of meditation in these varied settings.
  
In 1988, the first retreat was about to begin at [[Tendzin Gephel Ling]], the retreat center of Sherab Ling. Although Mingyur Rinpoche was only thirteen at that time, he expressed his desire and determination to enter the retreat, and Tai Situ Rinpoche gladly gave his approval. Mingyur Rinpoche practiced the pith instructions of the [[Ocean of Kagyu Siddhas]], including the preliminary practices; the [[development stage]] for such deities as [[Jinasagara]], [[Chakrasamvara]], and [[Vajravarahi]]; and the [[completion stage]], which involves the [[path of means]] (the [[Six Doctrines of Naropa]]) and the [[path of liberation]] (the profound practice of Mahamudra). He practiced with tremendous perseverance day and night, which resulted in him gaining an extraordinary level of experience and realization.
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Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche possesses a rare ability to present the ancient wisdom of Tibet in a fresh, engaging manner. His profound yet accessible teachings and playful sense of humor have endeared him to students around the world. Most uniquely, Rinpoche’s teachings weave together his own personal experiences with modern scientific research, relating both to the practice of meditation.
 
 
When he was seventeen, Mingyur Rinpoche completed his retreat in the first Tibetan month of that year. He was appointed by H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche to the position of retreat master for the second retreat, which included fifteen monks and thirteen nuns, who entered their respective retreat centres. Mingyur Rinpoche also received the transmissions of the [[Chokling Tersar]] cycles from his father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and those of the [[Dam-ngak Dzö]] collection from [[Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche]].
 
 
 
At the end of his nineteenth year, Mingyur Rinpoche enrolled at [[Dzongsar Monastic College]]. At Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's suggestion and with H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche's blessing, he studied with the venerable [[Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk]], learning such texts as the [[Abhisamayalamkara]] and [[Prajnaparamita]].
 
 
 
In his twentieth year, Mingyur Rinpoche was appointed by H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche to be his representative at the monastic seat of Sherab Ling, and in that year Mingyur Rinpoche became the main person responsible for Sherab Ling. During his tenure, he helped to establish a new monastic college at Sherab Ling, working as the assistant khenpo in the college while simultaneously carrying out his duties as the retreat master for the third retreat of another thirty or so monks and nuns. He performed these duties from the age of twenty-one to twenty-five, and often remained in retreat for one to three months at a time. As H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche was unable to visit India for some time, Mingyur Rinpoche continued supervising all the affairs of the monastic college and retreat center of Sherab Ling, and gave guidance and advice on the ongoing work at the new [[Palpung Monastery]].
 
 
 
In his twenty-third year, Mingyur Rinpoche took his full monastic ordination from H. E. Tai Situ Rinpoche. For a total of one hundred days over the next several years, the late [[Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche]] passed on to Mingyur Rinpoche the "oral lineage" ([[nyengyü]]) of [[trekchö]] and [[tögal]] -- a lineage that bears the seal of secrecy and is passed on to only one person at a time. Each day without break, there was one teaching session, after which Mingyur Rinpoche practiced on the meaning of that teaching. In this way, he fully received the pith instructions known as the "[[great guidance through personal experience]]" ([[nyongtri chenmo]]).
 
 
 
From 1993 to 1998, Mingyur Rinpoche studied with great diligence, mastering the five traditional subjects of the authoritative scriptures -- [[Madhyamaka]], [[Prajnaparamita]], [[Abhidharma]], [[Pramana]], and [[Vinaya]] -- as well as their subsidiary topics. Moreover, although he is now extremely learned, he continues his personal studies and practice and also teaches, writes, and engages in debate to benefit others.
 
 
 
Rinpoche is the youngest of six brothers, who are all tulkus in their own right. The eldest is [[Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche]], a Kagyu master who is the abbot of [[Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery]] in [[Boudhanath]], Nepal. The second brother is [[Chokling Rinpoche]], a Nyingmapa master who lives in Boudhanath, Nepal and is the father of the present incarnation of [[Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche]]. Tenpa, the third brother, is the General Secretary to [[Tenga Rinpoche]]. The fourth brother Orgyen Jigme has chosen not to follow the path of a tulku, although he was formally recognized. The fifth brother is [[Tsoknyi Rinpoche]], who is a [[Drukpa Kagyu]] master and has a monastery in [[Swayambhunath]], Nepal. He teaches throughout the world and is the closest to Mingyur Rinpoche.
 
 
 
Originally translated by [[Erik Pema Kunsang]]
 
 
 
source: [http://www.mingyur.org/biography/mingyur-bio.html Official Website]
 

Revision as of 19:52, 1 July 2009

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was born in 1975 in a small Himalayan village near the border of Nepal and Tibet. Son of the renowned meditation master [[Tulku Urgyen], Mingyur Rinpoche was drawn to a life of contemplation from an early age and would often run away to meditate in the caves that surrounded his village. In these early childhood years, however, he suffered from debilitating panic attacks that crippled his ability to interact with others and enjoy his idyllic surroundings.

At the age of nine, Rinpoche left to study meditation with his father at Nagi Gonpa, a small hermitage on the outskirts of Kathmandu valley. For nearly three years, Tulku Urgyen guided him experientially through the profound Buddhist practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, teachings that are typically considered highly secret and only taught to advanced meditators. Throughout this time, his father would impart pithy instructions to his young son and then send him to meditate until he had achieved a direct experience of the teachings.

When he was eleven years old, Mingyur Rinpoche was requested to reside at Sherab Ling Monastery in Northern India, the seat of Tai Situ Rinpoche and one of the most important monasteries in the Kagyu lineage. While there, he studied the teachings that had been brought to Tibet by the great translator Marpa, as well as the rituals of the Karma Kagyu lineage, with the retreat master of the monastery, Lama Tsultrim. He was formally enthroned as the 7th incarnation of Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche by Tai Situ Rinpoche when he was twelve years old.

Three Year Retreat

When Mingyur Rinpoche turned thirteen, he begged both his father and Tai Situ Rinpoche for special permission to enter the traditional three-year retreat that was set to begin at Sherab Ling Monastery. It was highly unusual for someone so young to make such a request, but they both consented and soon Mingyur Rinpoche began his retreat under the guidance of Saljey Rinpoche, a learned and experienced meditation master who had spent half of his life in strict retreat.

During the next three years, Mingyur Rinpoche practiced the preliminaries, which prepare the meditator for advanced contemplative practice; the development stage, which uses visualization and sacred sounds to transform the processes of ordinary perception; the completion stage, which involves working with the subtle energies of the body; and Mahamudra, a form of practice that allows the meditator to directly experience the luminous clarity of the mind’s true nature. The great diligence that Mingyur Rinpoche demonstrated throughout the retreat resulted in his attaining an extraordinary level of mastery over the mind and emotions. At this time, he completely overcame the panic attacks that had troubled him as a child, discovering first-hand how meditation can be used to deal with challenging emotional problems.

When Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche completed his three-year retreat, his beloved teacher Saljey Rinpoche passed away, leaving vacant his key position at Sherab Ling monastery. To replace him, Tai Situ Rinpoche appointed Mingyur Rinpoche as the monastery’s next retreat master, making him responsible for guiding senior monks and nuns through the intricacies of Buddhist meditation practice in the next three-year retreat. The seventeen-year old Mingyur Rinpoche was one of the youngest lamas to ever hold this position.

Overseeing Sherab Ling Monastery

Mingyur Rinpoche continued to receive important transmissions from his father and Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, an important Kagyu lama. When he was nineteen, he enrolled at Dzongsar Monastic College, where, under the tutelage of the renowned Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk, he studied the primary topics of the Buddhist academic tradition, including Middle Way philosophy and Buddhist logic.

When he was twenty years old, he was appointed by Tai Situ Rinpoche to be the functioning abbot of Sherab Ling. In his new role, he was instrumental in establishing a new monastic college at the monastery, where he worked as an assistant professor while simultaneously carrying out his duties as retreat master for a third three year retreat. Throughout this period, which lasted until he was twenty-five, Rinpoche often stayed in retreat for periods of one to three months while continuing to oversee the activities of Sherab Ling Monastery. When he was twenty-three years old, he received full monastic ordination from Tai Situ Rinpoche.

Important Transmissions

During this period, Mingyur Rinpoche received an important Dzogchen transmission from the great Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, a renowned teacher from the Nyingma School (link to page from old Tergar site) of Tibetan Buddhism. For a total of one hundred days, spread over a number of years, this great meditation master transmitted the "oral lineage" of the Heart Essence of the Great Perfection. These teachings on the breakthrough (trekchö) and direct leap (tögal) of the Dzogchen lineage are extremely secret and may only be transmitted to one person at a time. Much like he had studied with his father years before, Mingyur Rinpoche received a pithy meditation instruction and returned for more teachings only once he had directly experienced what was taught. This rare form of teaching is known as "experiential guidance."

In the years that followed, Mingyur Rinpoche continued to study the five traditional subjects of the Buddhist tradition (Madhyamaka, Prajnaparamita, Abhidharma, Pramana, and Vinaya), in addition to other important topics. He also continued to refine his meditative realization through daily practice and periodic solitary retreats.

To this day, Mingyur Rinpoche continues his own study and meditation. More recently, he received important Dzogchen transmissions from Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche, including the Transmitted Teachings of the Nyingma School (Nyingma Kama) and Fourfold Heart Essence (Nyingtik Yabshi). He also participated in transmissions of Jamgon Kongtrul's Treasury of Precious Treasures (Rinchen Terdzö) and Treasury of Instructions (Damngak Dzö), which took place at Sherab Ling Monastery.

Buddhism and Science

In addition to his extensive background in meditation and Buddhist philosophy, Mingyur Rinpoche has held a lifelong interest in psychology, physics, and neurology. At an early age, he began a series of informal discussions with the famed neuroscientist Francisco Varela, who came to Nepal to learn meditation from his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Many years later, in 2002, Mingyur Rinpoche and a handful of other long-term meditators were invited to the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. There, Richard Davidson, Antoine Lutz, and other scientists examined the effects of meditation on the brains of advanced meditators. The results of this groundbreaking research were reported in many of the world’s most widely read publications, including National Geographic and Time. Follow-up studies were carried out at Harvard University, MIT, and other important research centers.

Rinpoche continues his involvement with this research and contributes actively to the vibrant dialogue between Western science and Buddhism. He is an advisor to the Mind and Life Institute and participates as a research subject in the ongoing studies of the neural and physiological effects of meditation.

Rinpoche’s teaching style has been deeply influenced by his knowledge of science. He is especially well-known for his ability to enrich his presentation of the ancient insights and practices of Tibetan Buddhism with the findings of modern science. It is his hope that the emerging relationship between these seemingly disparate fields will yield key insights to help us realize our full human potential.

Present Activities

In addition to his responsibilities at Sherab Ling Monastery, Mingyur Rinpoche is the abbot of Tergar Osel Ling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Tergar Rigzin Khachö Targyé Ling Monastery in Bodhgaya, India. He also teaches regularly throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia, where he leads a growing number of Tergar Meditation Centers and Meditation Groups.

Rinpoche is an internationally-acclaimed author. His first book, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into over twenty languages. His second book, Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom, explores how difficult emotions and challenging life situations can be used as stepping stones to discover joy and freedom. Mingyur Rinpoche’s newest book is an illustrated children’s book, entitled Ziji: The Puppy that Learned to Meditate.

One of Mingyur Rinpoche’s greatest passions is bringing the practice of meditation to people from all walks of life. He is currently working with professionals from a wide range of disciplines to adapt his Joy of Living retreats for use in different contexts, including hospitals, schools, prisons, and leadership training. As part of this effort, he is developing programs to train facilitators and instructors to teach the practice of meditation in these varied settings.

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche possesses a rare ability to present the ancient wisdom of Tibet in a fresh, engaging manner. His profound yet accessible teachings and playful sense of humor have endeared him to students around the world. Most uniquely, Rinpoche’s teachings weave together his own personal experiences with modern scientific research, relating both to the practice of meditation.