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Lama Surya Das
Lama Surya Das, one of the foremost American Lamas in the Buddhist tradition, has been an integral part of Buddhism's surge in popularity in recent years. From his first bestselling book, Awakening the Buddha Within (Broadway Books,1997) to his newest release Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now" (HarperOne, 2011) he has made Buddhism accessible and inspiring to serious practitioners and neophytes alike.

Entries by Lama Surya Das

My First Encounter With the Sixteenth Karmapa

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 3:14 PM

After I graduated from college in 1971, I had the good fortune to travel overland from London to India. I had celebrated at Woodstock and marched on Washington, but that first Asian pilgrimage was the real turning point of my life. Over time, I would find and meet many --...

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Cults Come in All Kinds: The Head Is Not a Great Neighborhood to Live In

(7) Comments | Posted September 28, 2013 | 10:12 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Not unlike people, all cults may be created equal, but some are more equal -- or should I say, dangerous? -- than others. This is a...

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Mindful Anger Management and the 6 Rs of Intentional Responsiveness

(4) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 8:17 AM

We live in a violent, strife-filled era. Even Buddhist monks are prey to intolerance, nationalism and violence. Terror and fear surround us. This provokes all kinds of difficult feelings and emotions, especially anger and hatred. Yet it's not what happens to us but what we make of it that actually...

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The Power of One

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 3:13 PM

One allegedly violent 19-year-old boy pretty much shut down our fine city of Boston last Friday. Not to mention the terrible damage he and another are believed to have wrought on innocent lives near the marathon finish line on Monday. Now four young people are dead and scores injured as...

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Giving Comfort: The Heros in Our Midst

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 11:19 AM

Yesterday was a day of tears and prayers here in Boston, and in widening concentric circles around the country and world. So many were involved in the tragic events. Personally, I can't get over the thought of 8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed while standing in the sunshine...

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Enlightened Leadership: Kings, Queens and the 99 Percent

(2) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 2:12 PM

I watched the inauguration on Monday and thought about how desperately our county needs visionary enlightened leadership. As President Obama takes on the next four years, I pray for the safety and flourishing of his young family and for an era of self-control as well as gun control, to help...

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An American Lama's Thoughts on Prayer

(9) Comments | Posted December 26, 2012 | 11:35 AM

Happy holydays! May every day be a good one, just being alive as the sun dawns.

Every morning I wake and take a moment to appreciate the lovely view from my bedroom window. And every day, as I take in the stillness and beauty of my little pond and...

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Spiritual Responsibility and Cult Awareness

(24) Comments | Posted June 20, 2012 | 4:01 PM

Twenty years ago, when there was quite a bit of troubling public news concerning dangerous cults among spiritual groups, I co-authored a white paper called "Spiritual Responsibility" with my Boston neighbor, cult deprogramming expert Steve Hassan. At that time the guru Bhagwan Rajneesh was deported from this country,...

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Holiday Prayers and Wishes, Winter Solstice 2011

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2011 | 9:19 AM

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape.
Blessed are the patient, for they shall be waited on and attended to.
Blessed are the generous, for they shall receive abundantly.
Blessed are the grateful, for their life shall always be bountiful.

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The Zen of Steve Jobs: Right Livelihood

(57) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 3:30 PM

Many people have been asking me of late if Steve Jobs really was a Buddhist. The answer is yes, and for many years.

He was a Zen Buddhist, which inspired his simple, informal, monkish black dress code and the meticulously minimalist yet elegant consumer products he so...

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Empowering Our Nation: The Importance of the 2011 Kalachakra for World Peace

(2) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 10:10 AM

Last week I sat in front of the Dalai Lama of Tibet at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., where he was leading the 2011 Kalachakra for World Peace and heard him talk about the union of wisdom and compassionate action, and how being an honest and caring...

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6 Time Management Tips from the Buddha

(11) Comments | Posted June 19, 2011 | 10:50 AM

Among all the substances we misuse and abuse, the greatest is time. Time is life; we squander it at our peril. Killing time deadens ourselves.

Almost everyone I encounter complains that they don't have enough. But where did it all go? Why aren't our labor-saving devices and faster means of...

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Life in Buddha Standard Time

(42) Comments | Posted June 4, 2011 | 1:02 PM

The 14th-century Christian theologian and mystic, Meister Eckhart, said: "To reach the now, where one is present to oneself and to God therein, I say to you, be awake."

It's so simple that it's complicated.

People often ask me: How can I make time for meditation, yoga, prayer and...

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The Dragon, the Elephant, and Regulated Capitalism: Sober Reflections on the Awakening of the East in the New Millennium

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2011 | 12:46 PM

President Obama was in the Far East not long ago, which reminded me of my decades there and how much things have changed in what we used to call the Third World and developing countries. And yet, change is the rule. The more things change, the more they stay the...

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Who Decides Who Decides?

(3) Comments | Posted November 15, 2010 | 8:38 PM

Watching the recent election results, I've certainly noticed that the pendulum of public opinion seems to swing back and forth in much shorter cycles than it used to -- just like in so many other areas of life in this hurried age. A single party used to control the House...

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5 Secrets for Healing the Spirit

(85) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 8:55 AM

Last week someone told me that in his eighty-odd years he had never seen such pervasive levels of fear and anger. This observation gave me pause to wonder: how do we restore ourselves, heal our spirit and revitalize the earth too? What is true healing, anyway, and can it be...

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Wisdom: An Endangered Natural Resource

(78) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 9:14 AM

Can you tell me What is Wisdom while standing on one leg? This was the challenge put to a rabbi of old.

King Solomon said that wisdom was the knowledge and judgment to know right from wrong. He received his vaunted wisdom from God in a dream; would that we...

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Who and What Is Buddha, Really?

(193) Comments | Posted April 12, 2010 | 4:50 PM

Last night PBS aired The Buddha, a new TV special about the sage's life, impact, and particular relevance to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. By filmmaker David Grubin, the documentary features the work of some of the world's greatest artists and sculptors, who across two...

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The Tao Of Twitter

(4) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 10:03 AM

The pithy can be powerful. Consider the comedian's one-liner, a haiku poem or the once-revolutionary telegram. Similarly, one of the most useful tools within Buddhism is the use of short statements that potentially transport the listener or reader. Here's an example from the Zen tradition: "The finger pointing at the...

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The Big Question

(24) Comments | Posted December 22, 2009 | 9:31 AM

Should humanity have been created? This has long been a debate among learned Jews.

In fact, long ago in the holy land, several centuries after Jesus' time, the most learned rabbis of the two rival schools of philosophy, Hillel and Shammai, met together to discuss this critical issue.

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