I have been reading books on yoga and modern approaches to healthy living and find a recurring theme - living in the moment, being aware of the present, being "mindful" of whatever it is you are doing at each moment. To me that means being reflective and self-aware, enough to be conscious of your own breathing. Of course, this also means that you have to be able to block every noise and distraction or be in a quiet place for most of the time.
Spiritual leader Shyalpa Enzin Rinpoche doesn't advocate living in a monastery or a cave in his new book, however. He teaches about living in the world while observing the Buddhist philosophy of negation of the self or ego, and "living fully" while nurturing positive qualities in yourself such as honesty, sincerity, generosity, simplicity, openness, respect, and confidence. He devotes separate short chapters on having a compassion heart, how to face obstacles, meditation as a way of life, learning from others, and avoiding the duality of seeing a difference between the self and others.
I found that the book is not just for Buddhists, but for anyone open to a different approach in dealing with the stresses of modern life. I did think some of his teachings would be challenging to follow. Perhaps that's why he advocates also having a teacher or guide, someone that is still not always easy to have or find. His words are full of practical wisdom, however, and I found his words very inspiring.
Title: Living Fully: Finding Joy in Every Breath
Author: Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche
Hardcover: 296 pages; New World Library; January 24, 2012
Genre: Buddhist philosophy, self-help
Objective rating: 5/5
About the Author:
Preeminent Buddhist Teacher Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche was born in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains. Trained as a lama from the age of four, Rinpoche received transmissions from all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche is a lineage holder of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) tradition.
His Eminence Shyalpa Rinpoche has conducted countless retreats, seminars, and empowerments at centers throughout the world and has given talks at Harvard, Yale, Wesleyan, and Naropa, among other venues. His current teaching schedule includes North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.
A complimentary review copy of this book was provided to me.
© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission