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LAMA SURYA DAS, one of the foremost American Buddhist teachers and scholars, and whom the Dalai Lama calls the American Lama, is the founder and spiritual director of the Dzogchen Foundation (dzogchen.org). The author of several books, he lectures and leads meditation retreats all over the world. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The "Buddhist heart" that Surya Das refers to in his third book turns out to be a good heart. Blending intimate anecdotes with wisdom gleaned from his decades of study with traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachers, the American-born author seeks to help readers to awaken this heart so that their everyday relationships may become a way to experience the meaningful interconnectedness and sacrednessness of life. Surya Das wishes to cut to the essence of Buddhist wisdom, while bolstering a general readership with a dawn-of-a-new-era pep talk: "As we enter a new century and a new millennium... it seems increasingly important to awaken our Buddha-like hearts through spiritual connections." Unlike in his first two booksÄAwakening the Buddha, an explication of Tibetan Buddhism, and Awakening the Sacred, an attempt to describe spiritual values in nonsectarian termsÄhere Surya Das initially seems to be trying to be all things to all people, and the advice he offers can feel flimsy or vague. He counsels readers to cultivate a more authentic presence, for example, by learning to be natural, simple and open. The disarming honesty of the many personal accounts he presents puts a friendly human face on an ancient tradition, yet the work as a whole lacks power and coherence. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
In this highly readable guide to learning "to dance gracefully with life," an American lama trained in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism shares lessons, practices, and meditations to foster a spirit of loving kindness towards ourselves, other sentient beings, and the inanimate objects that comprise the relative world. Das (Awakening the Buddha Within; Awakening to the Sacred) makes his message more accessible to Western sensibilities by presenting Buddhist teachings stripped of much of the vocabulary, rituals, and trappings we find so enigmatic. Das's numerous fans and other seekers will appreciate finding his latest offering in popular collections alongside the works of Sylvia Boorstein, Pema Chdrn, and the prolific Thich Nhat Hanh. James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville Lib. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Advance Praise For Awakening the Buddhist Heart "Surya Das's book brings to life the timeless wisdom of Buddhism in traditional teaching stories and heartfelt everyday examples. Anyone on a spiritual path will recognize themselves in these pages and find both inspiration and practical advice." --Sharon Salzberg, author of A Heart as Wide as the World and Loving kindness "This brilliant, amusing, and wise book is the perfect distillation of ancient spiritual wisdom for our times. Practical and down-to-earth, written by one of the greatest American dharma teachers, it has the power to awaken you to an ever-deepening relationship with all of life. What a precious jewel you hold in your hand. Use it with joy." --Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Mending the Body, Mending the Mind and A Woman's Journey to God "Awakening the Buddhist Heart contains about as much wisdom as any book I know. It will help you in the lifelong path of becoming more wise, more compassionate, and more joyful." --Sam Keen, author of Learning to Fly "When we come to the end of our lives, what will matter most are the relationships we've shared with loved ones. In his new book Awakening the Buddhist Heart, Lama Surya Das takes you on a spiritual journey that will return you to this important priority-a deep connection with yourself, others, and the Divine. It is written with grace and love, and you'll not only want to read this book again and again, you'll want to share it with those who matter most." --Cheryl Richardson, author of Take Time for Your Life and Life Makeovers "Lama Surya Das makes the Buddha nature seem very real and accessible. I feel lighter, I feel calmer, I feel more peaceful. This book is a blessing on my bookshelf and a blessing on my heart." --Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love From the Hardcover edition.