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 five years studying Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with the great masters of Asia, including the Dalai Lama’s own teachers, and has twice completed the traditional three year meditation cloistered retreat at his teacher’s Tibetan monastery. He is an authorized lama and lineage holder in the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism, and a close personal disciple of the leading grand lamas of that tradition. He is the founder of the Dzogchen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its branch centers around the country, including the retreat center Dzogchen Osel Ling outside Austin, Texas, where he conducts long training retreats and Advanced Dzogchen retreats. Over the years, Surya has brought many Tibetan lamas to this country to teach and start centers and retreats. As founder of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network with the Dalai Lama, he regularly helps organize its international Buddhist Teachers Conferences. He is also active in interfaith dialogue and charitable projects in the Third World. In recent years, Lama Surya has turned his efforts and focus towards youth and contemplative education initiatives, what he calls “True higher education and wisdom for life training.”
Surya is the author of thirteen books, including Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World(1998), Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Spiritual Life from Scratch(1999), Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning and Connection into Every Part of Your Life(2000), Buddha Is as Buddha Does: The Ten Transformative Practices of Enlightened Living (2007), The Mind is Mightier than the Sword: Enlightening the Mind, Opening the Heart (2009), Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now (2011), andMake Me One With Everything: Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation (May 2015)
Awakening Together in a Fragmented Age: The Art & Practice of Presencing “Pay attention, it pays off. You must be present to win.” ~Lama Surya Das
In this new Over-Information Age and the agitated, distracted and cacophonous era we live in, experiencing calm, inner peace, wisdom, focus and clarity may be our most endangered natural resource, and greatest challenge. Buddhist mind-training and heart-opening attitude-transformation exercises have proven effective in allowing us to discover and uncover, access and further develop these innate resources, deepen our self-knowledge and intuitive understanding, and unfold the treasure trove of bliss and well-being cultivated within. Meditative mindfulness is truly a reliable friend with benefits of all kinds! Don’t leave home without it.
The new 21st century NeuroDharma – the interface of modern neuroscience with ancient yet timeless sacred traditions’ practices, especially meditation and visualization-- is based on decades of modern scientific brain research combined with tried and true contemplative experience. This new path integrating the modern inner sciences invites us to experience these heightened states of conscious awareness for ourselves, through mindfulness practice, Tibetan Awareness Training, Compassion Cultivation, Self-Inquiry, etc.
Everyone interested in meditation, mindfulness, chant, prayer and yoga understands such contemplative practices as inward and introspective, something done alone and silently. The venerable American Lama and meditation master brings his original perspective to the self-help project and pilgrim’s progress in emphasizing moving from me to we, going from I and you to WE, the “sacred third available to all relationships.” His creatively adapted and original practices for “Meditating With” and “Awakening Together” help us realize that we are not alone and that “one plus one equals oneness”; what he calls “Natural everyday/backyard mysticism.” Lama Surya’s Natural Meditations are a sophisticated yet simple path for integrating unitary BuddhaVision into every aspect of daily life and experiencing our inherent interbeing: one body and soul, heart and spiritual mind. “Everything is already in harmony and at peace; leave it as it is.”
Come, co-meditate, and awaken with this jolly lama!