Book review: The Joy of Living

One of the best coincidences that we experience are the ones where you are dealing with something in your personal life and suddenly (as if by magic) you find a book that guides you during that time. Finding something relatable to read or something pretty engaging feels like a fortunate coincidence.

This book gave me similar vibe. This book is written by world renowned Buddhist monk Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. The foreword of this book is written by the psychologist and best selling author Daniel Goleman. There are many things that I liked about this book but the first thing that grabbed my attention was this quote – “If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism” by Albert Einstein.

This was the time when I was wondering about how chaotic social media and technology can be in general and how we can cope with all these emotions and negative thoughts. Then I did what I always do when I have a question or when I am confused about something and looking for answers. I turned towards books! I was planning to look for a book on positive psychology that might provide an answer to these questions. During the search, I came across this book. And well, here we are.

What I liked the most about this book is that it talks about spirituality but uses science to either support those principles or help us better understand spiritual buddhist concepts. The language is easy to understand (except a few scientific explanations that I couldn’t grasp, so I had to skip through that part). I like how the author talks about neuroscience, quantum physics and Buddhism. As a reader, you get to enjoy a perfect blend of these components.

I like how the author clears the misconceptions about the concept of “emptiness” which usually appears in buddhist teachings. I had previously believed a few myths regarding the concept, but his explanation makes so much more sense. He also talks about ways of applying buddhist teachings in daily life. He talks about the right way of meditation, explains the forms of suffering and their causes in a very simple manner.

I am still reading this book, but I was so excited about it (plus I had some time) so thought of writing a review before completing it. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book –

Most people mistake the habitually formed, neuronally constructed image of themselves for who and what they really are. This image is always expressed in dualistic terms – self and other, pain and pleasure, having and not having, attraction and repulsion. When mind is coloured by this dualistic perspective, every experience – even moments of happiness and joy – is bounded by some sense of limitation.

– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (The Joy of Living)

“Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.”

– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (The Joy of Living)

“We choose ignorance because we can. We choose awareness because we can. Samsara and nirvana are simply different points of view based on the choices we make in how to examine and understand our experience. There’s nothing magical about nirvana and nothing bad or wrong about samsara. If you’re determined to think of yourself as limited, fearful, vulnerable, or scarred by past experience, know only that you have chosen to do so, and that the opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available.”

– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (The Joy of Living)

“The essence of Buddhist practice is not so much an effort at changing your thoughts or your behavior so that you can become a better person, but in realizing that no matter what you might think about the circumstances that define your life, you’re already good, whole, and complete. It’s about recognizing the inherent potential of your mind. In other words, Buddhism is not so much concerned with getting well as with recognizing that you are, right here, right now, as whole, as good, as essentially well as you could ever hope to be.”

– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (The Joy of Living)

If you are looking for a book recommendation to add to your list, here it is.


One response to “Book review: The Joy of Living”

  1. SMiLes Dear Vrunda Most Every Sunday

    Afternoon ‘These Days’ i Read An Entire Book FREE

    (And Overall For Over 9 Years And Over 400 Books)

    Related to Eastern Philosophies in Terms of Finding
    A Middle Way of Balancing Life Regulating Emotions Yes

    Integrating Senses With Compassionate Love For

    All of Existence

    DarK Thru LiGHT
    Hehe Yes ‘This
    Book’ You Review
    HAha Was on my Reading
    List For Free Just Picking it
    Off the Shelf in the Eastern
    Philosophies Section of Barnes

    And Noble Reading The Entire Book
    While Dancing Free A Meditating Flow

    Of Moving in Contemplating Verily Deeper
    Spiritual Ways Within Subconscious Creativity

    Indeed Leaping
    to the Surface

    From Deep Within
    Of All of Who i am
    Existing Now And True

    Ocean Whole Waves Water Way

    Hehe Listening to Meditating Music

    Contemplating Existence Deep Within That Way too Yes

    And Not Only That HAha Entertaining And Teaching The
    Crowd of College Students Studying in the Star Bucks
    Cafe Section of Barnes and Noble Without Any Words
    With my Free



    Dance That is

    Essence Yes New Now of
    Meditating Ocean Whole
    FLoW Dancing As Water ‘ET’ Waves

    On Terrestrial Earth Ascending New
    Transcending in A Plateau God Yes
    iN Peak Human Spiritual Experiences

    As Long As i Continue A Free Dance
    And Song of Soul No Different Than

    i Am Doing Now With Each Word That
    is Only A Move More of Meditating Dance Of
    SonG As my Fingers Become One Soul Hehe with

    A Digital
    SonG And
    Dance of mY SouL SPiRiT HeART God Yes
    For Real into Avatars of Words THiS WaY

    Some Folks May Feel the Flow And Others
    May Only See Empty Shells of Word Salad


    On A Beach
    Never The Less
    What i Experience
    Within While Dancing
    And Singing Leaves Fumes
    of Heavenly Bliss and Bless

    On Page For Real Hehe

    For You Too

    Another Living
    Tree RiSinG Green

    HAha Yes Without
    Even Having to Buy a
    Star Bucks Cup of Coffee..:)


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