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Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now Paperback – May 22, 2012
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“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
Ancient Wisdom for Thriving in Today's World
Buddha Standard Time shares one of the great realizations of Buddhism, an insight that anyone can learn to apply. The minutes and hours of our days do not simply march from future to present to past. Rather, each moment is intersected by a fourth dimension. By learning to live in this dimension—Buddha Standard Time—we reduce the amount of stress in our lives and find greater focus, fulfillment, creativity, and even wisdom.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. Every chapter includes two kinds of suggested exercises - 'Mindful Moments' describe ways to engage with our daily lives more fully in the moment, and 'Time Out' meditations describe more formal meditation techniques for retreating - even if just for a few minutes - from our hectic pace.
The exercises really span the gambit, and I think almost anyone will be able to find something they resonate with - he includes basic breath, chakra, mantra (chanting), insight, and deity visualization meditations, among others. He talks a lot about nature, and finding ways to connect to natural cycles, including the circadian rhythms of our own bodies (which he describes in plain English terms that anyone can understand.) Towards the end of the book he moves into a discussion of aging, our relationship with death and dying, and various theories on the nature of time - and its seeming acceleration in the modern age. As someone especially interested in women's spirituality, an added bonus for me were several sections that described some of the ways Tibetan Buddhism honors the sacred feminine, and others that summarized neuro-scientific findings on differences between the female and male brain.
Along the way there are many fun cultural references (did you know Sherlock Holmes traveled to Tibet and studied meditation in the original books??) It is a deeply spiritual book that doesn't always seem to be - which I mean as a compliment, and hopefully you know what I mean. So overall, an excellent book that I would recommend to almost anyone - relevant, grounded, accessible, engaging, and inspiring.
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.