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Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now Hardcover – May 24, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“This book is Lama Surya Das in his most tone-perfect Western guru voice: authoritative, inviting, generous, funny, poetic, imaginative and informative and totally accessible.” (Sylvia Boorstein, author of Happiness Is An Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life)

“Lama Surya Das is on our best teachers of universal wisdom. Buddha Standard Time is fairly dripping with insights. It’s like a treasure to keep near you at all times.” (Marianne Williamson, author of The Age of Miracles)

“Lama Surya Das offers a wise and sane way to navigate these times. This pragmatic book will be illuminating and helpful for anyone wishing to find the timeless amidst the rush of time.” (Joseph Goldstein, author of One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism and A Heart Full of Peace)

“I felt myself calming down as I read. Surya Das expands upon important wisdom from Tibetan Buddhism as well many other spiritual traditions, and shares this wonderful Native American quote, ‘Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.’ This book could be one of those blessings for you.” (Mary Pipher, author of Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World)

“If your life feels busy, frantic, desperately stressed – please read this book. Lama Surya Das is a rare and gifted teacher. I can think of few better guides in our time and he has given us a beautiful gift.” (Reverend Wayne Muller, bestselling author of Sabbath and A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough.)

“We all want more time. Surya Das reveals the open secret that we already have it, hidden within each moment. Discovering it is simple but not easy, and he gives us the tools and reminders to actally do it. Now. So let’s have tea....” (Mirabai Bush, Founding Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society)

“A wealth of inspiration and practical tips for enjoying the Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha, *now*.” (bestselling author Thich Nhat Hanh)

“If you want your future moments to sparkle with ecstatic awareness read this book.” (Ram Dass, author of Be Love Now)

“...the author carefully evokes the power of perception and the creation of space within time and all of its vast infinities. Das weaves together intricacies of living in the moment, sensing inherently the overwhelming power of now. Exhilarating and profound food for the timeless soul.” (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover

We're all given the same twenty-four hours a day.We can spend our time feeling hurried and harried,overwhelmed by chores and demands, distractedand burned out . . . or we can awaken to BuddhaStandard Time, the realm of timelessness whereevery choice, every action, and every breath canbe one of renewal and infinite possibilities.

Buddha Standard Time shares one of the greatrealizations of Buddhism, an insight that anyonecan learn to apply. The minutes and hoursof our days do not simply march from futureto present to past. Rather, each moment isintersected by a fourth dimension. By learningto live in this dimension—Buddha StandardTime—we reduce the amount of stress in our livesand find greater focus, fulfillment, creativity, andeven wisdom.

Drawing on Tibetan Buddhism and other greatwisdom traditions, as well as on neuroscience andholistic traditions, renowned teacher and nationalbestselling author Lama Surya Das shares real worldexamples, practical exercises, and essentialtechniques.

The pace and pressure of today's world feels relentless.That is why, now more than ever, we need theancient wisdom contained in Buddha StandardTime. Far from being at the mercy of time'sdemands, we will finally realize that we have, infact, all the time in the world.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1St Edition edition (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061774561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061774560
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, one of the main interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, and a leading spokesperson for the emerging American Buddhism. The Dalai Lama affectionately calls him "the Western Lama."

Surya has spent over forty years studying Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with the great masters of Asia. He is an authorized lama (priest and spiritual master teacher) in the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the founder of the Dzogchen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its affiliated branches. He is also the founder of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network annual conferences with the Dalai Lama.

As a best selling author, sought after speaker, teacher, and lecturer, he conducts retreats and workshops around the world. Surya is also a published poet, translator, and chant master. He has been featured in numerous publications and major media, including ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, New York Post, Washington Post, Long Island Newsday, Long Island Business Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Jewish Free Press, New Age Journal, Tricycle Magazine, Yoga Journal, and The Oregonian.

One segment of the ABC-TV sitcom Dharma & Greg was based on his life ("Leonard's Return"). Surya has appeared on Politically Correct with Bill Maher and on The Colbert Report.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Although written by an American Tibetan Buddhist Lama, this book is really for anyone that finds themselves saying "I just don't have time" (which is just about everyone.) It contains teachings, insights and exercises on mindfulness and meditation designed to help us shift our relationship to time, in a world in which we are constantly overstimulated, and pushed to do more faster. Although many of these teachings are drawn from Tibetan Buddhism, the book has a very ecumenical feel, with quotes, anecdotes and teachings drawn from virtually every other religious tradition, as well as medical science, neuro-scientific research, and popular culture.

I have always been a fan of Lama Surya Das' Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World, and frequently recommend it to people interested in learning more about Buddhism, because it is accessible and grounded in daily life within the Western world. I feel that is a great strength of this book too, as he effortlessly glides from telling a story about a traffic jam he was recently in, to a Sufi parable, to describing the different kinds of human brain waves and how meditation impacts them. This fluidity and movement between stories from daily life that almost any of us can relate to, to religious themes, to neuroscience, keep the book engaging and relevant throughout.

It begins with chapters on mindfulness, a cornerstone theme through the book (and of course of Buddhism too.) As the book progresses, it moves closer and closer to exploring what he calls 'Buddha Standard Time', a level of consciousness and/or insight both outside of and within the 'linear' version of time that we normally experience.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Lama Surya Das has always had the ability to present deep truth in terms, which can be easily understood at first glance and revisited at different times of life yielding various and deeper insights with each encounter. I think this is one of the timeless (pardon the pun) wriings that will wear well over the course of a lifetime. The simple meditations and exercises fit anyone's time schedule and call to that which is common to humankind. Who does not get caught up in the beauty of the occasional sunrise or sunset, which catches us unaware by its spectacular display? I find these moments have more to do with my focus than the actual event. This is one of the teachings I took away from this newest book, to bring awareness to as many moments as I feel like. I refuse to put awareness on a to do list and make it a chore. By offering so many easy to do meditations, I feel pretty sure I can fit one of Lama Surya's suggestions into my day. The one that comes to mind first is breathing itself. Since I am already breathing, paying attention to an in breath and an outbreath once in a while, and stepping outside of clock time to rest in the stillness of that moment, seems brilliant. I hope everyone can have the opportunity to find time enough to be on BST (Buddha Standard Time). Lama Surya has certainly provided enough options for me to find a way to be more present. Maybe I will even find the time to take pleasure in the time I "find."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really recommend this book especially for readers like myself who have had difficulty starting and persisting with medication practice. In particular if you procrastinate because of a hectic schedule & busy lifestyle.

I found the material to be quite profound and yet available & grounded. Each chapter ends with some "small steps" anyone can take to start small and go slow. He makes it seem less daunting to begin to alter one's sense of time and to become mindful during a variety of moments we all move through each day. I also felt a sense that his spirituality is well honed by years of his own practice & not just a superficial Americanization of Buddhism. Take (back) your time with this book. It will reward.
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Format: Hardcover
Buddha Standard Time by Lama Surya Das is the book to read if you are so busy that you think you don't have time to do things. Read this book and start to de-stress by getting back in tune with the natural time of things - not a clock.

Buddha Standard Time is a book that everyone who thinks they are so busy they have no time to even stop and enjoy a sunrise or sunset should read. It includes guides to help readers start living in the present moment and to enjoy things that they really want to do. It doesn't promise to expand your 24 hour day into 48 hours, but if you start practicing some of the steps and meditations, you may just find yourself with extra time in the day so you can start enjoying your "time" once again.

Overall, I found that the exercises are quite helpful in learning how to meditate and reconnect with nature. I highly recommend this book to everyone who needs help de-stressing and enjoying the time in a day again.

* Thank you to the publisher of Buddha Standard Time, Harper One, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Format: Hardcover
As a person living in today's western world with a full time job, family, etc, Lama Surya's newest book Buddha Standard Time is a necessary, healing, and soothing medicine which comes at a crucial time. I too, like so many others nowadays, complain that I don't have enough time or energy to devote to my spiritual practice. Lama Surya's heart advice illuminates this fallacy for what it is- laziness, and a lack of focus or priority. He holds aloft the blazing torch of Buddhahood in the here and now, and reminds us that the Buddha is ever present and shining through every moment. This is a most rare and precious transmission. We would be doing ourselves and the world a great benefit by deeply listening and following his advice, learning to live in Buddha Standard Time. How amazing, how sweet it is. Thank you Lama Surya for upholding the light so that we too may see the light within ourselves and others.
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