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?

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Look at ourselves

Let’s really look into ourselves, for once, candidly and unstintingly. What are we seeking? What are we missing, if anything? What do we want? Let’s put it very crassly. Not just what do we “aspire to,” but what the hell do we really want? And then try to go for that. Even if it’s just money or a new car or love interest. Because then when we have that, we might still find that we want more. Then we must go on and look deeper until we find what is really satisfying, fulfilling, and leads to long term contentment. But if we are afraid to reach out, afraid to ask, to want or take anything for ourselves; if we pretend we don’t want anything; if we deny all our impulses, desires, hopes, wishes and needs, then we don’t get anywhere. We take all the passion and energy, drive and juice out of our path.

So I ask you: Ask yourself what you are really seeking and want, your greatest desire? Also, what are you afraid of? What is holding you back? What is your greatest fear, and would you be willing to face it? I assure you that fear is already motivating and conditioning you, unconsciously or obviously. The Dharma is the end of all desire. Not the end of passion, but the end of craving and grasping at desire in unhealthy ways. Spiritual freedom and autonomy brings liberation and the immense untapped raw energy that awaits us just below the surface of desire and passion.

I take refuge in awareness and reality-testing, and awaken warm and empathic compassion in recognizing others in similar situations. Fearlessly seek what we are after, and penetrate deeply. We can’t control our conditioning and karma, but we can learn how to be more skillful with them, and ultimately how to be accepting and one with them as well as free of their unhappy effects.

With love & blessings,
Lama Surya Das

Article Source – http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Looking-at-Ourselves.html?soid=1103289318709&aid=7eSkbcHdATY

Lama Surya Das ‘Awakening our hearts’

Everyone needs to feel connected, to love and feel loved, to reach out to others and communicate in order to overcome alienation, loneliness, and a feeling of being disconnected. In AWAKENING THE BUDDHIST HEART Surya Das shows you how to reach inward and outward. For more details about Lama Surya Das visit here –http://www.slideshare.net/LamaSuryaDas

The 3 minute short meditations – It still works

Daily meditation is great for your body and your mind. Meditation can relieve body and spirit. It’s a time out from the anxieties of daily living and can help you feel more focused. One of the best things about meditation is that it can be enjoyed by all. Setting aside as little as 3 minutes a day can help you stay calm when everyone around you is losing it. That’s why Lama Surya Das created a 3 minute short meditation course. If you desire to relax deeper than you ever have, then try the 3 Minute Meditations. In just 3 minutes a day you can relax your way to a better lifestyle. They’re perfect to practice while you are waiting on your cup of tea to steep or for the water to boil. Try it out, begin today.

Here are tips from Lama Surya Das’ book Buddha Standard Time and how I have adopted these in my full and busy life to short meditations.

Life is a moving meditation: I’ve started trying to sneak in short 3 minute meditation through a given day. Waiting in the grocery line, getting tea, brushing my teeth, sitting idle at a stop light have been transmuted from impatient inconveniences to meditative moments. While my daily meditation may not be the traditional 20 minutes in a meditation chair, I get seven 3 minute meditations and more presence throughout my day.

Increase the hours in the day through meditation: During the times throughout my life when I feel overwhelmed and stressed out my mind replays a time scarcity message over and over again, “I don’t have enough time in the day to get all that I have to complete.” Lama Surya Das recommends that stress periods in our lives are the perfect time to meditate as it results in expanding time. While counter intuitive, my higher Self recognized the wisdom in his words. My own experience approves that when I am ready to wrestle control from my brain and meditate; it results in a more resourceful, clear thinking, and quiet form of me and time grows as promised. As a result, my clear presence allows me to manage my time more effectively.

Synchronize your life to the world around you: I have generally experienced and believed in change from the inside out. However, I’ve learned to appreciate and get curious about the unseen effect on natural changes on my inner condition of being. Living from the outside in. This year I have slowed down and become more present to nature and the changes at a small scale (occasional changes) and full scale changes (planetary orbits). Effortlessness, enchantment, and meaning have been my gift as I have danced with the flow of life versus battling against it.

Meditation calms the mind in order to decrease stress and find inner peace and balance. A daily three-minute meditation is a time efficient and effective way to increase back your inner peace. The advantages are more prominent than you may expect.

1. Less stress – Meditation helps with anxiety by lowering stress, blood pressure and increasing energy levels.

2. Better brain function – Meditation affects your brain activity, fosters your creative thinking, improves your learning performance and can strengthen your memory.

3. Achieve Enlightenment – Through Meditation your achieve harmony in your spirit, brain and body. You achieve a spiritual enlightenment where you get self-acknowledgment, you stop trying to change yourself and become who you really are.

4. A happier you – Meditation consists of a focused reflection of yourself and the emotions in your brain. It’s possibly spent offering gratitude for what you do have, valuing the little favors around you and expressing a loving kindness for yourself and others. It makes you and everyone around you happier and it helps you feel more connected with your friends-family, humanity and nature.

5. Self-Actualization – By practicing Meditation you can keep things in perspective, achieve a peaceful mind state and enjoy a cheerful life. You find your motivation in life, your potential and you turn out to be all that you can be.

6. Enhance Vision – Meditations affect your brain movements, encourage your inventive thinking, enhance your learning performance and can strengthen your memory.

7. Improve Sleep – Taking a few minutes out of your day to clam your psyche and practice gratitude will enhance your personal satisfaction, well-being and your capacity to improve night’s rest.

For more details about Lama Surya Das visit here – http://www.slideshare.net/LamaSuryaDas

Lama Surya Das: Make Me One with Eveything

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 – 6:30 PM

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.”

Happy Holydays!

One of my inspirations is the late Boston teacher Howard Thurman (1899-1981),  a great thinker, educator, and peace-activist—Dr. ML King’s mentor– he taught me how important this attitude is for each of us personally and for the well being …of our world. He says: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Those who are alive in this sense look at our suffering world with compassion. Deep inside they know the truth of St. Augustine’s advice: “Look at the whole: Praise the whole.” This vision of the whole triggers an inner singing that echoes on, long after the song of the Christmas angels has fallen silent. Howard Thurman says of it:
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,

For More information about Lama Surya Das feel free to visit – http://www.surya.org

To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.”