This a fun-to-read introduction to the Buddhist path. Whether you are simply curious about Buddhism or are looking for some spiritual nourishment, this book informs and enlightens.
Lama Surya Das skillfully explains how ancient Buddhist wisdom can help us find peace and meaning in our fast-paced American lives. He conveys the beauty and richness of Tibetan Buddhism without making it so exotic or esoteric that is becomes inapplicable to our Western lives. He also has a warm sense of humor. ("America the Buddhaful" is the title of an essay by Lama Das.).
Das weaves the fundamentals of Buddhism with the story of his own spiritual journey. Find out how a nice Jewish boy from New York (his mom calls him "The Deli Lama") transforms himself into one of the leading teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. For Das, an ex-high school jock, it's a long way from the locker room to the windswept monasteries of the Himalayas!
Lama Surya Das has masterfully written an enlightening introduction to Buddhism, which should prove to be an enduring classic on the subject for years to come. He takes the ancient teachings of Buddhist traditions and wisdom and delivers them succinctly and wholeheartedly to the Western mind.
His astounding work is a source of inspiration and awareness that serves as a "handbook for living" that should be carried with us at all times and used often on our spiritual path. Regardless of the reader's religious or spiritual affiliation, these simple golden rules could change your life.
His introduction to the classic Buddhist teachings of The Four Noble Truths and The Eight-Fold Path are the most comprehensible and understandable that I have yet read. Finally, we are presented with a rich compilation that makes absolute sense and many readers will understand, for the first time, how to integrate this ancient Tibetan wisdom into everyday life.
Often, those of us curious about Buddhist philosophy and practice, find it hard to get beyond the dogma of the many teachings. Lama Surya Das succeeds in bringing the reader the most simple and fundamental ideas and lessons of Buddhism. Throughout the book, he reminds us to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions and to find the kindness, compassion and grace that are inherent in all of us.
For those challenged by meditation, Lama Surya Das strips away all the confusion and mystery around the practice of meditation and brings to the reader a profound understanding and "how to" guide to meditation -- the importance of which must be realized and embraced.
Toward the end of the book, he further reminds us that "We are modern mystics - living in monasteries without walls. The entire planet is our heaven on earth. Instead of being overly dependent on anyone else, we must be leaders and seers." This book teaches us how to lead by example. You do not have to have an interest or belief in Buddhism to enjoy, understand and be moved by this book. It is a book to be read, read and read again.