In 2011, Mingyur Rinpoche went into isolation at Tergar Monastery, having publicly announced that he was embarking on a three-year retreat. However, in early June that year he decamped from the monastery without warning in the middle of the night, leaving behind a white ceremonial scarf and a letter by way of explanation.
In the letter, written in Tibetan, Mingyur Rinpoche explained that he had wanted to practice in the manner of a wandering yogi from a young age, and had finally made the decision to do so. “Though I do not claim to be like the great masters of times past, I am now embarking on this journey as a mere reflection of these teachers, as a faithful imitation of the example they set. For a number of years, my training will consist of simply leaving behind my connections, so please do not be upset with my decision.” (Lion’s Roar)
“He took no money, and no possessions,” observed his older brother Tsoknyi Rinpoche. “He didn’t take his passport, his mobile phone, or even a toothbrush.” (The Guardian)