Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenmentby Published 15 Jun 1998
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Lama Surya Das, the most highly trained American lama in the Tibetan tradition, presents the first comprehensive book of Western Buddhism for the modern-day spiritual seeker.
Buddhism offers a profound yet practical path to enlightenment. In this loving and generous book, the American-born and Tibetan-trained Lama Surya Das offers at once a definitive and nonsectarian guide to the wisdom found in ancient Tibetan teachings and a tried and true path of spiritual transformation.
The radical and compelling message of Buddhism tells us that each of us has the wisdom, awareness, love, and power of the Buddha within; yet most of us are too often like sleeping Buddhas. Surya Das shows how we can awaken to who we really are and thus walk the liberating, peaceful path of mindful and compassionate living. With lively language, meditations, and spiritual practices, this unique book provides a bridge between East and West, past, present, and future.
"Awakening the Buddha Within" offers a complete yet accessible understanding of the unique Buddhist teachings embodied in the traditional Noble Eight-Fold Path and its Three Enlightenment Trainings, common to all schools of Buddhism:
* Wisdom Training: Developing clear vision, insight, and inner understanding--seeing reality and ourselves as we really are.
* Ethics Training: Cultivating virtue, self-discipline, integrity, and compassion in what we say and do.
* Meditation Training: Practicing mindfulness, concentration, and awareness of the present moment.
This fresh and original work illuminates such key principles as karma (what we do does matter), rebirth (every moment is an opportunity to start afresh), letting go(simplifying our lives by clarifying our hearts and minds), as well as conscious living and dying, and Dzogchen, the ultimate, mystical teaching of Tibet.
In this wonderful marriage of the timeless and the timely, Surya Das has written an invaluable, authoritative text for the novice and the experienced student of Buddhism alike. "Awakening the Buddha Within" reveals how sacred wisdom, contemplative practice, and altruism can be integrated into our outer and inner lives--in our relationships, in the workplace, and at home.
Here is a guidebook to enlightenment--a sourcebook of the sacred for anyone who wants to lead a more serene and beautiful life.
For almost thirty years, Lama Surya Das has studied and lived with the great spiritual masters of Asia. He has twice completed the traditional three-year Vajrayana meditation retreat. A leading spokesperson for the emerging Western Buddhism, he is a Dzogchen lineage holder and the founder of the Dzogchen Foundation. A poet, translator, and full-time spiritual teacher, Surya Das lectures and leads meditation retreats and workshops worldwide, brings Tibetan lamas to the West to teach, and regularly organizes the annual Western Buddhist Teachers Conference with the Dalai Lama in Dharmasala, India and is active in interfaith dialogue. He is the author of "The Snow Lion's Mane: Wisdom Tales from Tibet" and "Natural Great Perfection" (with Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche). Surya Das lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
"Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment" Reviews
This is the book that turned me on to Buddhism. I read it originally in 1999, at my therapist's recommendation and it changed my life. I started meditating twice every day and shifted my focus away from how miserable I felt and toward how I could be a positive force in the world. This shift pulled me out of a major depression, improved my relationships with my family and allowed me to find my soul mate. Since then it has been a sort of Bible for me. Whenever I need help in dealing with a difficult situation or person or just need an attitude adjustment I return to it and it has never failed me.
It is an introduction to Buddhism for Westerners. The Lama grew up in a Jewish family on Long Island; his mom jokingly referred to him as the Deli Lama. He has a way of presenting the ideals of a very Eastern tradition that makes perfect sense to those of us raised in other faiths. One of the things I like best about his approach is that there is very little to believe and very much to practice. If you are curious about Buddhism or just need an attitude adjustment yourself, you should check it out.
This is my favorite spiritual book ever, and in fact, my favorite non-fiction book of all-time. If I can only suggest one introduction to Buddhism from a Western perspective, this would be it. Lama Surya Das simply and effectively presents the principles and outlooks of the East, with a foot firmly planted in our "real world" of the West.
I always highlight all of my books with my favorite passages and quotes to turn back to. This one has beeen re-read so many times it is highlighted, starred, dog-eared, and post-it-ed for four levels of awesomeness. Cannot recommend highly enough. Absolutely my desert island book.
I have already read this book twice on my Kindle, so you know I value the wisdom and light shown on the history of Western Buddhism. If you want to better understand how Buddhism came to the US and its ongoing evolution in our culture, this is a very readable description of how that is coming about. If you want to better understand the tenets of Butddhism, the eightfold path, and the three enlightenment trainings present in all types of Buddhism, this book will painlessly heighten your understanding. If you want some practices to help you settle into meditation, you will find them here. This book Is a bit more structured in its approach than the simpler presentations from the heart of the books of Thich Nhat Hahn but no less valuable.
A friend lent this book to me some six months ago. I held onto to it for most of that time, and only began it about a month ago. This often happens when I put a book on my "to read" list-I have to wait for the time to be right.
There is so much information in this book. It is, in some ways, a primer of Buddhism, and it was helpful for me to really get a window into that tradition for the first time. I've read many things in the past about Buddhism and mindfulness, but this book has been one of the books that has helped things "click" for me. I've commented to several people that I think there is something to the fact that the author is a native English speaker. So much of understanding is nuance, and I have always felt that I am not getting the full, original meaning in a translated work, or even a work written by someone whose native language is not English. Even with an excellent translator, in my mind, it really isn't the same. This may not be true...maybe this book was just better than other things I've read.
This book really progressed me, I think, in terms of examining my own thoughts and motivations. It's been helpful in terms of mindfulness and meditation. It's no coincidence that, in the midst of reading this book, I came across another book that I am reading now, Mindfulness in Plain English, which I believe will be even more helpful.
This is a book that will remain with me throughout my life. I have read it a couple of times and listened to it as well. It is a definite must read for anyone seeking growth and spiritual awakening.