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Lions Roar : March 2016
Free as a Bird in the Sky Son of a famed Buddhist master, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was one of the best-known Tibetan teachers in the West. He had many hundreds of students and two bestselling books to his name. Yet one night in June of 2011, he disappeared from his monastery in Bodhgaya to fulfill a lifelong dream to become an anonymous, wandering yogi. In November, Mingyur Rinpoche reappeared after four years of retreat on the streets of India and in caves of the Himalayas. In this exclusive story for Lion’s Roar, he reveals what happened on his life-changing journey of let- ting go—even of his own life. F OR THE LAST FOUR YEARS, I have been wandering from place to place in India and Nepal, living on the streets, doing retreat, and try- ing not to stay anywhere for too long. I had done a traditional three-year retreat when I was young, but since childhood I have had a very strong longing to do a kind of wan- dering retreat. I like mountains, I like caves, and I have been very inspired by the great meditators of the past and some of my own teachers, such as Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, who have done retreats like this. Even today, there are many masters in Tibet doing wandering retreats like this. I am not the only one. “Don’t Tell Anyone” The reason I kept my plan secret was that if I told people, I knew that it would be difficult for me to go. My father, the Dzogchen master Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, told me that he had wanted to go on a solitary wandering retreat like this. But Mingyur Rinpoche’s exclusive account of his four years as a wandering yogi PHOTO BY PAUL MACGOWAN LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2016 54