“Awakening the Buddha Within” (an interview with Lama Surya Das)
Science of Mind Magazine
by David Goldberg
February, 2013 (reprinted with permission)
As a seventeen-year-old right out of high school, I had the chance to travel around the world with the international musical group “Up with People.” The finale of our two hour show was “Moon Rider,” a song based on the thoughts of astronaut Eugene Cernan, the commander of Apollo 17and the last man to walk on the moon, as he looked back at the Earth. One of the lines from that song is “I see the world without any borders; without...
Happy New Year Dear Friends,
As we lay to rest a turbulent, challenging 2012 and approach the new beginning of 2013, let us all take a moment to focus on bringing forth a more peaceful and compassionate year.
With that in mind, I'd like to share with you my latest article, An American Lama's Thought on Prayer, in the Huffington Post, and my contribution to Tricycle Magazine's article, Buddhist Teachers Respond to the Newtown Tragedy.
With love, blessings, and best wishes for an enlightening 2013,
Lama Surya Das
Published in Tricycle Magazine Winter 2007
Lama Surya Das explores the common roots of various Buddhist meditative practices.
Clinging to one’s school and condemning others Is the certain way to waste one’s learning. Since all dharma teachings are good, Those who cling to sectarianism Degrade Buddhism and sever Themselves from liberation."
—Milarepa, The One Hundred Thousand Songs
During my initial private meeting with the Venerable Kalu Rinpoche, my first root guru, I asked him about the main points of meditation. He asked what kind of meditation I was doing, and I told him mindfulness...
Published in The Huffington Post 4-12-2010
Last night PBS aired The Buddha, a new TV special about the sage's life, impact, and particular relevance to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. By filmmaker David Grubin, the documentary features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia have depicted the Buddha's life through art rich in beauty and complexity. Moreover, this film points out how we may integrate enlightening wisdom and mindfulness into our daily lives today, which is the main point of Buddhism in practice,...
Published in The Huffington Post 5-25-2010
Last week someone told me that in his eighty-odd years he had never seen such pervasive levels of fear and anger. This observation gave me pause to wonder: how do we restore ourselves, heal our spirit and revitalize the earth too? What is true healing, anyway, and can it be effected?
When we are unwell, it's mostly due to imbalances clogging our lives and limiting our innate capacity for joy and well-being. These internal imbalances and energy blockages often express themselves as disturbing emotions--anger, frustration, anxiety and alienation, to name...
Published in The Huffington Post 4-28-2010
Can you tell me What is Wisdom while standing on one leg? This was the challenge put to a rabbi of old.
King Solomon said that wisdom was the knowledge and judgment to know right from wrong. He received his vaunted wisdom from God in a dream; would that we too had such dreams!
"Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for he is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold." -- Proverbs 3:13
The Talmud says that the wisest among men is he who learns from all. My father's view on the subject was that...
Breathe, relax, center and smile. Let things come and go, and just let be. Practice Presencing. It’s not about trying not to think but about letting things come and go. Learning to relax, just be, center, and naturally meditate is a well known spiritual secret that people ought to be able to learn and integrate into life. Like mental flossing, it keeps one open and free, calm and clear. I too was a teeenage thinkaholic, even till recently, but I’m much more spacious now.
American Buddhas, awaken! Loosen your attachments.”
Lama Surya Das, New Dharma Talks 2012
Nicholas P. :
On your CD Tibetan Dream Yoga you talk about a meditation called a hermitage where you are in complete darkness, can you explain this?
Lama Surya Das: I'm not sure what you're actually asking about, but a hermitage is a cloistered sanctuary or retreat place where outside influences are absolutely minimized, perhaps like a cave or hut-like cabin in the woods (without cable or internet access). Of course one might use a basement, attic, garage, or even walk-in closet, although' it could become quite claustrophobic. Modern techie yogis might even find a way to do it with...
I have been reading Lama Das' books for many years and am now. They bring me peace and hope. In my area we have but one Buddhist temple and it is Kadampa not Dzogchen. I have purchased a copy of The Buddhist Path. I'm seeking advice: can I just practice Dzogchen, take the Bodhisattva vow on my own and do my best in my own way? Thank you so much.
Lama Surya Das:
Sure, you can fruitfully and even joyously just practice Dzogchen, take the Bodhisattva vow on your own, and do your best in your own way, as you say...no problem there.