The Yogi’s Joy by Sangharakshita

Sangharakshita. The Yogi’s Joy: Songs of Milarepa. Birmingham, U.K.: Windhorse Publications, 2006. Paperback, xv + 233 pp.

This book consists of edited talks given by the author on that most popular of Tibetan yogi-hermits, Milarepa. The editors characterize this work as “not a thoroughly researched study of the text under examination [i.e., Milarepa’s famous songs], but more of a leisurely stroll around it” (x). Being a poet himself, it is natural that Shankarakshita should have felt drawn to Milarepa’s spontaneous outpourings.

While we cannot be sure whether Milarepa composed all the songs attributed to him, they all reflect great yogic wisdom—the kind of wisdom that is truly timeless and speaks to anyone who is eager to scale the Himalayas of his or her own mind.

In the author’s skillful hands, the message in the One Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa assume a lively immediacy, and his retelling of old stories inevitably draws the reader into the rarified spiritual atmosphere that must have been Milarepa’s constant environment.

Like Milarepa in the eleventh century, Sangharakshita has gone his own way. Today he is the spiritual leader of the ecumenical Western Buddhist Order, which he founded in 1968 and which now has some 1400 members in twenty countries. The order is embedded in the larger Friends of the Western Buddhist Order movement, which, among other things, is responsible for publishing Sangharakshita’s work.

Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in any form requires prior permission from Traditional Yoga Studies.

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