The search for God, peace, love or enlightenment may be a serious business,
but we have to lighten up as well as enlighten up along this great way of
awakening. Joy is an important part of life and necessary component of spirit.
If we take ourselves too seriously, life ain’t much fun. My old girlfriend
used to call me Serious Das, but I was older then. That was in the Seventies.
A laugh closes the distance between a speaker and an audience. A smile is
the shortest distance between two strangers. I have found that humor is one
of the best teaching...
Pure Vision, Buddha Vision: Turning the Spotlight Inward
I have noticed that if I can change the frame, the picture always looks quite different. I wonder what new and high tech specs or special eyewear can provide us with Buddha Vision. And more importantly, as my wife would want to know: How do they look on me?!
How would Buddha see this is a good question to ask. Buddhism actually has some practices to help us see things through such a divine iye.
My favorite practice of this kind is called Pure Perceptions. Cultivating this kind...
I would love to tell you a glorious story of personal and universal transformation. But here I would rather tell you the truth. That’s the bad news.
We all want to change. Most of all we want our mates to change, our parents or children, colleagues, boss, employees to change. We want the economy and education and government to change, and our leaders too, of course…. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget to make these things change for the better--now that we are in charge, or think we are. Too many revolutions just turn things around and revolve back...
Letting Go While Leaving Room For Hope
By Lama Surya Das
I remember wading through thigh-high monsoon flooded streets in Chang Mai, northern Thailand, when I lived in Asia during the Seventies, and finally seeking asylum at a hotel above the floodline, along with other tourists and foreign journalists. Having an American passport helped, of course. Yet this week I was unprepared for the searing images of carnage and chaos in a great city in our own rich, proud and powerful country, even though my assistant...
Lama Surya Das
Buddhist Teacher & Founder of the Dzogchen Foundation
How to handle losing everything? No words will suffice. Yet Buddhist wisdom reminds us here again about impermanence and evanescence, and the benefits of being able to let go, patiently forbear and accept. One of the prime virtues of adversity is to take this naked moment to reflect upon what really matters and is most important in life, and learn to balance our grief, fear, anger, and loss with appreciation for the fact that we are alive at all. Let's realize that the most important thing,...
I am often asked to make decisions for people, or to advise them. It is
much too easy to tell people what to do, but too dumb and useless for me to fall
into doing it much. Although, there's no shortage of those around who seem glad
to do so, thus disempowering others and going out on a limb themselves.
Of course if one is a professional being paid for expert advice, such as a
lawyer or accountant, that could be another matter. It is far trickier in
the humanistic realm-- spiritual direction, therapy, life skills management
counselor, etc. Each of us has to own our own experience,...
I love walking outside. It almost feels as if God awaits me the minute I
look up and around. I barely believe in God, and yet there is this felt
sense; it must by my Jewish genes speaking. Many wait for the messiah to
come. I sense Him awaiting me, awaiting us. Yet the God that I love is
within. Let's look deeper, and see for ourSelves.
Just connecting with nature is enough to open my heart and mind to all that
is, and feel grateful, touched, inspired. Thrilled to be alive, to be
breathing. The treetops speak to me like steeples and spires. An
It's a great year to live in New England. First the Red Sox long-awaited
triumph, and now the Pats. Who could ask for more?
At last New Yorkers have realized that Boston is best, and will stop trying
to compete. :-)
Oh yes, there was John Kerry's defeat-- but what can you say? My wife
canvassed in New Hampshire for Kerry, but that kind of Massachusetts
trifecta would have been once in a century, if ever, and was probably too
way much to ask for and expect. Perhaps we partisan Pilgrims didn't have
our priorities exactly straight? ( It's...
Religion should be a unifying force, not a divisive one. Today I think we all have to face the fact that, as Gandhi said, religion and politics are not separate and apart; those who think they are unrelated don't know much about either. It would be nice, but it is not realistic, to wish them to be separate, for as soon as you have two or three people together, there are politics.
On my first Asian trip, overland to India in July 1971, I met the ancient great Buddhas in Bamiyan, treasures of the ancient world destroyed in the Nineties by the Taliban. With my ex-Green...
I was flying to Maui recently, to do a three week juice fast and healing retreat. On the nerd-bird from Boston to San Francisco, I met a hard-drinking overweight business exec type who'd gone to MIT and now works for Dell Computer Company in Austin. He asked what I was doing, and I told him, much to his shock and surprise. "Why would you do that?" he exclaimed. "I am a Christian, and we put our stock in the next world, after we die. Our body is dust. It doesn't matter how long we live here, but how we live."
I was glad to hear of his beliefs. In a way, I couldn't...