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Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World Paperback – June 15, 1998
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If you dropped the Buddha into a modern metropolis, would he come off sounding like a 16th-century morality play or more like a drive-time disc jockey? Lama Surya Das doesn't spin platters for a living, but he does have a hip delivery that belies his years of sheltered training in Buddhist monasteries. In Awakening the Buddha Within, he borrows a time-tested bestseller format for a 2,500-year-old tradition that comes off as anything but ancient. With the "Five T's of Concentration," the question of "need or greed," and the story of the monk who bares his backside to prove a point, Surya Das invokes a path of wisdom that is as accessible and down-to-earth as a worn pair of loafers. It's not an easy path--it demands thought, effort, and discipline. But Surya Das is there for you, lighting the way to wisdom training, coaxing you into ethics training, and laying out step by step the path of meditation training. And if that's not enough to get you to live in the now, consider these words of the enlightened lama: "You must be present to win." --Brian Bruya
"A warm, accessible, deep, brilliantly written exploration and adventure along the Buddhist path." --Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D.
"[T]his is a great achievement and I feel deeply grateful for it."
--Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Living Buddha, Living Christ
"This open-hearted offering of the Buddha's teachings ranges from fundamentals to magic. It is a wonderful gift."
--Sharon Salzberg, author of Loving Kindness
"Wise and wonderful, gentle and profound. . . . This is surely one of the finest spiritual manuals meant for a larger public and it succeeds brilliantly."
--Ken Wilbur, author of A Brief History of Everything
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Lama Surya Das has the credentials in both Eastern and Western thought to explain these concepts.
Centuries of wisdom are packed into one book. This is a basic reference book that you can return to for years for information, inspiration, and insight.
Whether you intend to adhere to Buddhist thought or whether you want to learn more about the concepts, this book will be useful.
Lama Surya Das doesn't "lecture;" he explains. This is not a "dull" philosophy book; it lists concepts and explains them in terms we Westerners can understand and relate to.
The author's deep immersion into Buddhist philosophy provides sound background for the assertions he makes: namely, that all of us can benefit from applying Buddhist principles in our everyday lives, even if it seems 'odd' to many.
The result is a more fulfilling, more satisfying, and less stressful existence.
I highly recommend this for multiple readings, in depth study, and as a roadmap for living in this turbulent time.
For me, this book is a little dragged out - the author seem to want to included commentary on every thought he has had since he was eight years old, daily accounts and observations.
However, he does give enough information about the Buddha and the spiritual practice to make me want to learn more. In fact I've highlighted many passages and have been driven to the internet to get more detailed information about the teachings Lama Surya Das experienced.
Lama Surya Das, although accused of presenting "Buddhism Lite," knows what he is talking about, having spent many years mediating and learning from Tibetan lamas. This is a well written, clear, practical and easy to understand introduction to Buddhism. That doesn't mean it's an easy read. There is a huge amount of information and explanation so you can't just swallow it whole. It takes time to absorb and once you begin to begin to practice it, your understanding deepens. We all have to start where we are and no one becomes enlightened overnight. Any effort you make is worth it. No matter what your religion or lack of it, you can benefit from the ideas presented.
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through his life.