A Spirit of Reverence Provided by Lama Surya Das with entire credit to John Blofeld

A zen pupil articulates the particular dissimilarities between the conceptual along with ritual parts of practice. This text was in fact brought to our notice by Lama Surya Das Married who is an American lama inside the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He’s a poet, chantmaster, religious activist as well as author of several popular works on Buddhism; a meditation tutor and spokesperson for Buddhism in the west. Lama Surya Das keeps us updated concerning the a variety of facets of Buddhism and also meditation occasionally with his very own discourse and often via articles along with content which sheds light on Buddhism. This particular piece on Buddhism stems from John Blofeld a scholar, writer, along with translator of Asian philosophy along with religion, specifically Buddhism along with Taoism. Continue reading to read more information on Buddhism and also the distinctions involving the conceptual in addition to ritual aspects of practice.

Given that Buddhism came to the West, inevitably some people have felt, “Zazen is good, love is great, self-discipline is a useful one, why all this bowing along with incense? To whom would you provide incense as well as flowers?” For this all of the Buddhists of the past and all of Asian ?Buddhists today might answer with one voice: “Dear friends, a spirit of reverence is vital to effective practice. Without it, enlightenment can never be acquired!”

Prostrations in addition to offerings usually are admittedly just forms-just a person’s way of articulating what cats express by rubbing themselves alongside a much loved person’s legs. If it had been natural for individuals to stand on their heads as well as stick out their rumps to convey respect, then Buddhists would probably stand on their particular heads or even stick out their rumps as a matter of course. Styles usually do not matter in themselves, but the attitude of mind displayed by prostrations and so forth is of fantastic significance to followers of the Way.

My Tibetan lama explained at a very early stage of my training: “Ignorant people embrace the perspective of subject to king before a Buddha statue. Higher-level practice is accomplished totally within the mind. However even if you reach the maximum level-hard certainly to succeed in in one lifetime-you have to every day alternate formless, wordless, above-conceptual practice with bowing down and making offerings. Never fail in that.” My Chinese Chan (Zen) educator told me: “In between your rounds of meditation, practice bowing, supplying incense, along with making circumambulations. When you have no spirit of reverence, virtually no feeling of awe for all that lies beyond the constraints of that miserably circumscribed illusion you suppose to be your ‘me,’ you will earn hardly any development. Why? Simply because whenever your practice improves, you may reflect: ‘I did much better within my meditation just now’ and by so contemplating fall back to the lowest level of ignorance owing to the actual consequent inflation of one’s devilish ‘I’!”

Those Zen priests who said, “Meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha” or even recommended utilizing Buddha figures as firewood and so forth were talking not to Americans or even to new Buddhists but to Chinese or perhaps Japanese Zen followers that could be counted upon to comprehend the meaning of these recommendations, which truly amounted to this: “Never for one minute suppose that veneration of sutras or perhaps images is of much use in itself, thus don’t let it switch the rest of your practice, as uninformed people often do.” I doubt if it actually entered those monks’ minds that one day there’d be people in the world who’d take these powerful (in addition to funny) injunctions actually!

If it is incorrect to have and also to symbolize behavior of reverence, awe, along with gratitude by prostrations in addition to offerings, then all Buddhists have been wrong considering that the dharma was basically preached within this latest kalpa 2,500 plus much more years ago. Can it be probable that those 100s of millions of people at all levels of dedication to the particular practice we so significantly value included no single man or woman of genuine understanding till Buddhism reached America?


Spring on Maui Retreat with Ram Dass, Lama Surya Das, Mirabai Bush & Friends

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 – Monday, May 09, 2016
Napili Kai Beach Resort @ Napili Bay
5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
United States
Map and Directions

Renew, Refresh and Revitalize with Ram Dass
in Natural Wonders & Beauty this Spring on Maui

Daily Meditation & Dharma Talks with Ram Dass, Lama Surya Das
and Mirabai Bush
Special LIVE podcast sessions with Duncan Trussell
and Raghu Markus
Nightly Kirtan with Nina Rao and her band; also, featuring a special evening of music with singer/songwriter Trevor Hall

Daily 90 minute “LIVE Music Hatha Yoga Experience”
Dr. Saraswati Markus of Dao Flow Yoga
Benjy & Heather Wertheimer

Sacred Music Mornings with Shantala

Sunrise Silent Sitting Meditation with Rameshwar Das
Enjoy Ceremony, Prayers and Blessings of Aloha with Lei’ohu Ryder and Maydeen Iao

Delicious, healthy meals, served buffet style, provided by the award winning
Sea House 
Restaurant and Monsoon Indian Restaurant
Gluten Free, non-dairy, vegan and vegetarian options available at each meal
Speedi Shuttle Ride Reservations from Kahului Airport (OGG) to / from Napili Kai Beach Resort
included with ON-SITE Registration

This picturesque ocean-front property with beautiful accommodations, stunning sunsets and sparkling beaches is ideal for relaxing, retreating, walking ocean front nature trails, ocean swimming and snorkeling with sea turtles.

For more details visit here – https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=1738269

Dzogchen center summer meditation retreat with LAMA SURYA DAS

The Natural Great Awakening

We are all Buddhas by nature–we only have to awaken and recognize who we are and how we fit perfectly in this world. This is the teaching of the innate Great Perfection–Dzogchen. Introducing us to this natural wisdom and compassion is the life-work of Lama Surya Das. For the annual Summer Dzogchen Meditation Retreat, he will teach the View, Meditation and Action of the Great Perfection: timeless and inspiring heart-essence instructions passed down in this contemplative tradition for many centuries.

We invite you to join Dzogchen Lineage Holder Lama Surya Das for a week of awakening to the joy of naturally-arising timeless awareness. Lama Surya will teach throughout the week and offer lively Q&A sessions. In addition to guided and silent meditations, dharma talks, heart-opening chanting and private interviews, this retreat will also feature optional and uplifting Tibetan Energy Yoga each morning.

Outside of the teaching hall, the precious gift of Noble Silence is observed, allowing us the peace and spaciousness to explore the mind, as well as to rest and retreat from the busyness of everyday life & chatter.

In addition to formal sessions, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings preserved by the Open Space Institute on the banks of the mighty Hudson River. Those preferring to stay inside can relax in a lounge looking out, or browse selected postings in the retreat reading room.

Registration fees are inclusive of accommodation and delicious vegetarian meals for this seven-day retreat. Additional discounts are available for students in full-time education. House-Jobs are available for a lower cost and are typically 1 hour per day required work. Registration does not include compensation for the teacher, which will be accepted in the traditional form of dana (voluntary donation) in honor of the teachings.

For more details visit here – http://registry.dzogchen.org/event-1808371

What About The Spiritual Life?

I’m getting tired of hearing from Christopher Hitchens in the media, and his fervid and all-too-familiar religion-bashing. I happen to like the guy, and also very much appreciate such diverse opinions–he is brilliant, after all, and has some valid points, which is why I bother to read him–-but overall he goes way too far and keeps grinding the same ax ad nauseum. God Is Not Great is a fine book title but a weak thesis. Rest assured that I myself have plenty of similar criticism about religions, including my own; but doesn’t he know that there are hundreds of millions (and have been billions) of very spiritual people, as well as intensely religious ones, who need little or no deity in order to pursue a spiritual path and live and embody a beautiful, wise and loving spiritual life, both within and outside the formal traditional religious denominations? Moreover, there are plenty of theists who have a much more subtle and sophisticated understanding of the divine, of prayer, and of reality than that which he lumps all deists together with.

There is a difference that can be made between religion (organized, for the most part) and spirituality itself, which is the heart of it all; and moreover, spirituality has no Crusades, Inquisitions, book burnings, isms and schisms, and so forth. Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and their skeptical post-modern atheist ilk seem far too extreme to convert true believers or even to sway the moderate middle; their dogmatic arguments are more often than not one-sided monologues lacking in balance. Although their points of view and critical analyses and reflections are certainly not without merit, and deserving of serious consideration, one might also notice that scientific-minded ultra-rationalists are not without their presuppositions, blind spots, superstitions and beliefs, not unlike those very people of faith whom they roundly criticize. Hitchens himself seems to evince little or no expertise on the subject of Eastern spirituality and practice, although he did live in Rashneeshвs ashram for a little while–in order to write about it–an extreme example of a place to study in India, if there ever was one. I have read things about the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere from Hitchens that I personally know to be inaccurate.

For more information visit here – http://www.surya.org/what-about-the-spiritual-life/