With the The American Lama column, we are proud and delighted to offer bestselling author and Dzogchen meditation teacher Lama Surya Das as our spiritual elder and Lama-In-Residence at Elephant Journal.
Here’s your opportunity to ask the Dudeha from Long Island, New York—whom the Dalai Lama affectionately calls “The American Lama”—whatever questions you may have about spirituality, the purpose of life, your own spiritual path or sexuality.
Autumn leaves are turning red and gold here in New England, The High Holy Days are upon us, and the Day of Death (Halloween) is approaching– and my spiritual mind turns towards the poignancy of aging and death. Perhaps it’s because my Dad died in late august and my Mom in September. Or is my own later season approaching as well? Who knows? Life is tenuous. Lama says: Handle with prayer.
This has always fascinated me. I love to take slow, solitary walks in the old cemeteries of New England, in every season: read their inscriptions, feel my feelings and intuitions, and contemplate the lives...
Let Go or Be Dragged Down
Attachment to things which don't help us very much is a Buddhist definition of the cause of suffering and distress. We say "Let go or be dragged down," but what does it really mean? How can we re-condition ourselves to really "let go" and accept things when there's so much wrong with the world as we know it? And moreover: Let go of what, exactly- our possessions, family, emotions, thoughts and opinions, and our hatred and prejudices? Easier said than done.
Here's what I've learned, and continue to practice, flawed as I am and may be. Letting go means letting be, a radical...
Another day, another dollar, and oh yes, another senseless shooting spree. My mind is a swirling mess of confusion and my heart is overflowing with grief for the insanity in Orlando this past week.
So, after the initial shock and weariness wears off, how do we move forward? We start within. Unconditional acceptance and appreciation is a vital part of wise and compassionate living; it is one of the most generous and loving gifts one can bring to the world, and the source of great peace.
After attending a peace vigil and memorial prayer service Monday night with my friend Rev. Kim Harvie,...
By practicing inter-meditation we can delight in a state of true inter-being beyond words and concepts, named and forms, while realizing the very best in others and ourselves. The following is an excerpt from my latest book, "Make Me One with Everything: Buddhist Meditations To Awaken From The Illusion Of Separation".
The Keys to Inter-Meditation: What Oneness Feels Like
Authenticity—which arises from attention, honesty, and pure presence (of mind and heart)
Selflessness—a Big-Self-interest that goes beyond selfish, with a little bit of healthy individuation so we can take care...
Six Steps to Freedom and Intentional Responsiveness
I have found that fear, anger and irritation are like an affliction, and a serious impediment to open communication and healthy relationships of all kinds. Discovering methods to deal with these challenging emotions is essential in leading a healthy well-balanced, harmonious life. It is important to realize that anger has its own function, intelligence and logic and so we should not entirely try to eradicate it. After much trial and error, I have come up with my own practice for regulating strong emotions and being patient and more authentically...
Please open your heart and join me in sending loving thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters in Belgium as they try to navigate a path thru this hideous day.
We stand with you, we embrace you, we pray for peace in our troubled world.
Let peace begin with me.
“Information talk is one thing, transformation talk is another. When the latter is uttered, something happens.” ~Bruno Lattour
"Dzogchen can’t be taught but can be caught, when you catch on; it can be transmitted and realized. Teaching is a sacred profession. The best teachers strive to produce students who surpass them. Especially in this Over-Information Age, genuine higher education must include wisdom for life education and learning to learn, including cultivation of character development and self-knowledge. Self-deception is one of the hidden pitfalls on the spiritual path, and hard...
What's The Secret?
I have just returned from ten blessed, restful, de-lightfull days with my dear old ashram friend and mentor, Baba Ram Dass, at his home on Maui, a truly magical and healing place. Spending time with RD is awe-inspiring. Every moment of enlightened conversation or carefree laughter, dinnertime meditation or sacred chanting, opens up new worlds. Memory-making, I cherished and filed away an abundant array of happiness data as well as stories and teaching tales from the Great Path.
Spending time with this realized spirit allows me an opportunity to “see” and be more...