“Live mindfully as if there is no tomorrow. Even if others think that seizing each moment makes you a little crazy, itʼs all right to be crazy once in a while, as long as you are crazy in a good way.” LIVE AS IF THERE IS NO TOMORROW. Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, a renowned Buddhist spiritual leader from his new book, LIVING FULLY “Why do we seem to be constantly restless, perpetually seeking, never satisfied? It does not have to be this way.” These are the words of renowned Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, His Eminence Shyalpa Renzin Rinpoche. In his new book, LIVING FULLY: Finding Joy in Every Breath (New World Library, February 2012), Rinpoche celebrates Buddhist philosophy and tradition, showing how these centuries-old practices help people
find meaning and satisfaction by living each moment fully – accepting life as it is rather
than continuing to chase things that have failed them in the past. It is a timely prescription when so many are struggling with financial, relationship, and career challenges.
The son of deeply spiritual Buddhists, Rinpoche began joining his father for daily rituals and prayers at the crack of dawn when he was only four years old. He subsequently spent
many years studying with a number of renowned Tibetan masters, and has shared his
wisdom around the world for decades. LIVING FULLY is an inspiring compilation of his
oral teachings, at the center of which is the need to live mindfully as if there is no tomorrow.
“For the most part, we cheapen this moment by habitually reliving the past, conditioning
the present, and anticipating the future,” Rinpoche writes. “The activities of training for a
marathon, preparing for a journey, or studying for an exam are not just means to an end,
they are moments to be lived and experienced fully in themselves.” He guides readers to
live in the moment, developing the self-discipline to discover the true essence of their
being. The inspiring themes that LIVING FULLY presents include:
Intentions. “It is best to begin every activity by examining our motivation,” Rinpoche
writes. The purity of our intention sets the tone for everything that follows. Only when
people act with kindness and with the aim of serving others will their lives be uplifted.
Honesty. “You cannot be completely honest with others unless you are willing to take
an honest look at yourself,” says Rinpoche. Real honesty, he explains, is seeing reality
as it is and not struggling to change it. For example, if one experiences jealousy, it is
necessary to be aware of that sensation, rather than disregarding it or attempting to hide
Wakefulness. “Wakefulness is living unconditionally and utilizing every moment of your
life in a meaningful way,” explains Rinpoche. People should pause throughout the day
to relish the miracle of breath – to celebrate the moment. Living fully in this way will
translate into having no regrets, and each breath – even oneʼs final one – will be
Simplicity. “Chasing every whim and satisfying every desire makes it impossible to live
fully,” says Rinpoche. By figuring out what they truly need, people will discover that they
can be comfortable and content with much less than they imagined.
Karma. Karma refers to actions and their consequences. “Our actions determine our
Karma by planting seeds that ripen now or at some time in the future,” explains
Rinpoche. “When you understand Karma, you will make an effort to walk in your
neighborʼs shoes and not always insist on getting your own way.”
Meditation. Integrating Buddhist teachings into oneʼs life requires meditation.
“Meditation is not just for relaxation; its primary purpose is to develop the capacity to
respond skillfully and gracefully to lifeʼs difficulties as well as its joys,” writes Rinpoche.
He details how to begin practicing meditation – sitting up straight, breathing naturally,
and with eyes open. “You may think you can meditate more effectively with your eyes
closed, but most likely, you are not meditating better, you are sleeping better.”
“We are in a prison of our own making. We rely too heavily on the external world for
happiness and fulfillment”. LIVING FULLY provides readers with the keys to unlock that prison. This invaluable book offers the tools and insights people need in order to abandon the effort to fabricate a “perfect” world, enabling them to experience genuine freedom uncorrupted by endless craving for something better. As Rinpoche urges, “Do not measure yourself by how affluent, successful, or influential you are. Measure yourself by how content you are, by how present you can be in each moment.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
HIS EMINENCE SHYALPA TENZIN RINPOCHE is the spiritual guide of Shyalpa Monastery in Kathmandu, the founder of the Tibetan Refugee Children’s Fund, and the
head of Ranging Yeshe, Inc., a nonprofit that organizes teachings and retreats throughout the United States. Buddhafield, in Millerton, NY, is the future site of the
Center for Enlightenment and Rinpocheʼs seat in the US. He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Wesleyan, and the Naropa Institute. He lives in Nepal and New York.