I was recently asked by The Huffington Post to contribute my perspective on their TED Weekend Series "Identifying the Extremist Brain" , featuring Diane Benscoter's remarkable story "I Used to Be in a Cult and Here's What It Did to My Brain".
Cults Come in All Kinds:
The Head Is Not a great neighborhood to Live In
by Lama Surya Das
Not unlike people, all cults may be created equal, but some are more equal -- or should I say, dangerous? -- than others. This is a simple fact agreed...
Mindful Anger Management and the 6 Rs of Intentional Responsiveness
We live in a violent, strife-filled era. Even Buddhist monks are prey to intolerance, nationalism and violence. Terror and fear surround us. This provokes all kinds of difficult feelings and emotions, especially anger and hatred. Yet it's not what happens to us but what we make of it that actually makes all the difference. Just because the wind is blowing doesn't mean we have to be blown away by it, or even driven helplessly in that direction; we can certainly learn how to understand the situation better and even...
Posted April 22, 2013One allegedly violent 19-year-old boy pretty much shut down our fine city of Boston last Friday. Not to mention the terrible damage he and another are believed to have wrought on innocent lives near the marathon finish line on Monday. Now four young people are dead and scores injured as result of the bombing suspects' actions. Why? Will we ever really know? As authorities are working to get to the bottom of this, and prevent similar possible future crimes, let's together strive to get to root causes and origins of our violent society and era, and genuinely do something about...
"Enlightened Leadership: Kings, Queens and the 99 Percent"
posted January 24, 2013
I watched the inauguration on Monday, and thought about how desperately our county needs visionary enlightened leadership. As President Obama takes on the next four years, I pray for the safety and flourishing of his young family and for an era of self-control as well as gun control, to help us safeguard our society and ourselves from the violence and strife characteristic of people not at peace with themselves.
Buddha's renowned Eightfold Noble Path is the world's oldest extant business plan. His business...
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 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...
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 Zen of Steve Jobs: Right Livelihood
In this engaging article in the Huffington Post, Lama Surya Das discusses the late Steve Jobs in Buddhist perspective. Surya Das suggests Steve Jobs as an incarnation of Vincent Van Gogh, describes his personal interactions with Jobs, and how he exemplified the virtuous aspect of the Noble Eight-fold Path taught by Buddha: Step Five, Right Livelihood and True Vocation.
"Many people have been asking me of late if Steve Jobs really was a Buddhist. The answer is yes, and for many years..." Read the full Huffington Post article here
How Do I Not Lose...