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.
“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 teenage thinkaholic, even till recently, but I’m much more spacious now.
American Buddhas, awaken! Loosen your attachments.”
Lama Surya Das, New Dharma Talks 2012
I came upon this rather enlightening article-- "Don't Just Sit There" --in the New York Times and thought it obviously relevant for us all, especially meditators and contemplatives, writers, thinkers, Buddhist geeks and other sedentary denizens of the great Immobile State.
As a writer who spends seemingly endless hours at my computer, I've learned to value a movement break as much as a breath break! I've also found there are many options for "moving". Walking meditation, yoga or tai chi are all interesting choices, as well as working with a physical trainer to focus on a more skillful work-out....
I love sports and have been involved with athletics since before I can remember. I claim a lifetime batting average of over .400, including softball and stickball as well as school and little league baseball teams. My parents too were into it. My uncle Bill Miller even tried out for the Pittsburgh Pirates major league baseball team, after playing on the travelling US Army team in Europe during WW II.
Recently, in response to an inquiry submitted to my "Ask The Lama" blog regarding the Diamond Mountain University and Retreat Center tragedy, the answer I posted received such overwhelming feedback that I decided to add it to my Huffington Post blog-- "Spiritual Responsibility and Cult Awareness" .
Twenty years ago, when there was quite a bit of troubling public news concerning dangerous cults among spiritual groups, I co-authored a white paper called "Spiritual Responsibility" with my Boston neighbor, cult deprogramming expert Steve Hassan. At that time the guru Bhagvan Rajneesh...
"The thing is that this life is so precious and mysterious,
I don’t know what to say about it most of the time.
Words are like birds, passing through the trackless sky.
The dog barking, the sound of the purling stream,
the wind among the weeping willow trees:
how are these not right off the tongue of the Buddha?"
--Lama Surya Das
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.
Lama Surya Das on humor, contemplative education, technology, and the secrets of Tibetan mindfulness
By Danny Fisher
originally printed by Shambala Sun
A dyed-in-the-wool East Coast guy, Lama Surya Das — Tibetan Buddhist teacher; founder of the Dzogchen Center in Cambridge, MA; and author of such bestselling books as Awakening the Buddha Within and Buddha Standard Time – will be making the trek way out west next month for a special mini-workshop at InsightLA in Santa Monica, CA. “The Secrets of Tibetan Mindfulness: Remembering to Remember,” to be held March 17 (tickets are still...
As the song goes, “Be kind to our four-legged friends,” but what about our siblings, other relatives, neighbors, friends, or mere acquaintances?
Loving actions and empathic compassion are both wise and desperately needed in this violent, competitive world. Just how is it that each of us can live in such a way to contribute toward a happier, healthier, and more loving and sane home, school, community, and world? This is a big question, yet the answer is not out of reach. I well remember a young child once said to me “Martin Luther King was a great leader — he had big words. When...