Category Archives: Awakening the Buddha Within

Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das

Beach Chair Meditation (Awakening the Buddha Within)

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasThis simple meditation is one of my favorite things from Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das.

Beach Chair Meditation
Lean back in a comfy beach chair
or chaise lounge, with legs outstretched
and totally relax.
Let go of body and mind;
let go, and let goodness
do it.

At poolside, or on your patio or porch;
in a garden
or on the beach;
raise your gaze,
open your eyes and heart and mind.
Elevate the scope of global,
three-hundred-and-sixty-degree panoramic awareness.

Simply relax
and watch the rolling waves
of sea or river,
or the clouds pass by
while the mind unfurls,
as the soul unfolds
and the infinite sky opens up
revealing the joy of meditation.

The Mirror of Mindfulness (Awakening the Buddha Within)

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasI really liked this simple statement on mindfulness from Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das.

The Mirror of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the root of the Dharma.
Mindfulness is the body of practice.
Mindfulness is the fortress of the mind.
Lack of mindfulness will allow the negative forces to overcome you.
Lack of mindfulness is the creator of evil deeds.
Without mindfulness and presene of mind,
Nothing can be accomplished.
Lack of mindfulness piles up shit.
Without mindfulness you sleep in an ocean of piss.
Without mindfulness you are like a heartless zombie, a walking corpse.

Four Heartitudes (Awakening the Heart Within)

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasI really liked this simple chant for meditation from Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das.

Four Heartitudes
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness.
May all beings remain free from suffering and the cause of suffering.
May all beings come to remain unseparated from the sacred joy and happiness that is totally free from sorrow.
May all beings come to rest in the boundless and all-inclusive equanimity that is beyond attachment and aversion.

And this one:

We rejoice in the good fortune of all. We rejoice in the virtuous good deeds and accomplishments of others. We put an end to covetousness and jealousy. We forgive and accept others, and put an end to feelings of ill will and enmity. Blessings to the world. Blessings to ourselves.

Meditation Training (Awakening the Buddha Within)

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasThis section about meditation from Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das is a great introduction for Westerners:

Meditation Training
Awareness, Attention, and Focus

Westerners who are attracted to Buddhism because of meditation often make the mistake of seeing meditation in the narrow sense of going into a quiet room, crossing your legs, and closing your eyes. What the Buddha actually intended by this part of the path was mental discipline, an effort to train the mind through the cultivation of mindful awareness and attention to the present. If all the difficulties of life are the result of ignorance, deluded thinking, and conflicting emotions, then the obvious solution is to get wiser, more aware, balanced, and loving. We do this through the practice of meditation training or samadhi. Meditation training includes Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

Demystified and divested of religious and cultural trappings, meditation basically means the intentional cultivation of mindful awareness and pure attention — an alert, wakeful presence of mind. This development of awareness eradicates ignorance — about ourselves and others as well as reality. Meditation awakens and frees the mind, and opens the heart, helping us develop inner wisdom, clarity, joy, and compassion, thus bringing spirituality and a larger perspective into every aspect of daily life. Meditation training helps us to concentrate as well as to see and think more clearly. In this way we develop spiritually into wiser, more selfless, and caring men and women.

Awakening the Buddha Within

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasI loved Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das so much that I will have to get a copy for myself.

And yes I probably went overboard posting some of my favorite parts of the book here, here, and here.

Click here to view the table of contents and here to read an excerpt.

Awakening the Buddhist Heart

Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life by Lama Surya DasAwakening The Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life by Lama Surya Das was such a quick read (much faster than Awakening the Buddha Within).

I liked this book and found it inspiring but felt it lacked the serious Buddhist teachings of Surya’s first book.

In fact, whereas I felt there were so many parts of Awakening the Buddha Within that I wanted to save for future reference, I only felt that way about the Appendix of Awakening The Buddhist Heart — The Bodhicitta Practices of an Awakened Heart (Thogme Zango’s Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva).

Anger and Awakening the Buddha Within

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasAfter recently re-reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, I enjoyed reading the brief section about anger in Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das.

I think it’s important to remember that there is nothing in the Dharma that tells us never to be angry. Anger is a human emotion; it doesn’t automatically disappear. Also it has its own logic, its own intelligence and function. If you bottle up and swallow your anger too often, you are going to make yourself ill. Meeting the challenge of ill will is not about denying, repressing, or suppressing anger. It’s about staying up to date with anger and other emotions by experiencing and releasing their energy moment by moment rather than storing them up. It’s about not carrying grudges or blaming yourself, or turning your anger inward and becoming depressed and despondent. Ideally we should be able to be sensitive and aware enough not only to feel life fully but also to let it go.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt that someone had treated you very badly, and you couldn’t let it go? You continued to want some kind of resolution or vindication. Perhaps this went on for so long that you felt out of control, and instead of briefly befriending your anger and disappointment, you allowed these feelings to become uncomfortably close companions? The Dharma doesn’t tell you to turn your anger inward. Buddhist wisdom encourages you to look at these situations realistically, experience freely and feelingly, stop grasping, and transform your attitude.

I also liked the Metta Prayer:

May all beings be happy, content, and fulfilled.
May all beings be healed and whole.
May all have whatever they want and need.
May all be protected from harm, and free from fear.
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May all be awakened, liberated, and free.
May there be peace in this world, and throughout the universe.

Click here to view the table of contents and here to read an excerpt.