One of my spiritual teachers – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche – recently disappeared. On purpose.
He was just entering into a three-year retreat. Then, one day he vanished from his room leaving only a letter behind. He left without money, credit cards, extra clothing, or smartphone. No one knows where he is.
Rather than practicing in closed retreat in one location, as most dedicated retreaters do nowadays, he’s adopted the approach of a wandering yogi. He says:
“As demonstrated by the great yogi Milarepa, there is also a tradition of wandering from place to place, staying in remote caves and sacred sites with no plans or fixed agenda, just an unswerving commitment to the path of awakening. This is the type of retreat that I will be practicing over the coming years.”
Not only is Mingyur Rinpoche an extraordinary spiritual teacher with a dedicated community of followers, he’s a New York Times best-selling author.
And he was one of the long-term meditators invited to the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin in 2002, where Richard Davidson, Antoine Lutz, and other scientists examined the effects of meditation on the brains of advanced meditators.
In other words, he had all the trappings of ordinary success.