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Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Lifeby Lama Surya Das
Synopses & Reviews
Connecting to the Bigger Picture
Life is about relationship--the relationship we have with ourselves, with each other, with the world, as well as the connection to that which is beyond any of us yet immanent in each of us. When our relationships are good, we feel good; when they are bad, we feel awful. Let's accept it. We need each other. We need to feel connected; we need to feel each other's presence and love.
The most ancient scriptures of India say that we are all part of a universal web of light. Each of us is a glowing, shining, mirrorlike jewel reflecting and containing the light of the whole. All in one. One in all. We are never disconnected from the whole. This intrinsic knowledge of our place in the greater picture is part of our spiritual DNA, our original software--or "heartware."
Nonetheless, at one time or another most of us feel disconnected from this knowledge of our place in the great web of being. We lose sight of where we belong, and instead, we experience intense feelings of loneliness, alienation, and confusion. Trying to find the way back to our place in the whole is what the spiritual seeker's search is all about. It represents a journey home to who we are.
How about you? Do you ever suffer from a sense that you are lost and wandering--almost as though you have been through some kind of an emotional holocaust? Most of us here in America are very fortunate. We have little idea of what it's like to live in a war-torn country. Even so, from the safety of your own secure home, do you sometimes feel as though you have an uncanny sense of what it must feel like to be a displaced person--unsafe and at the mercy of strangers? Mother Teresa said, "The biggest problem facing the world today is not people dying in the streets of Calcutta, and not inflation, but spiritual deprivation . . . this feeling of emptiness associated with feeling separate from God, and from all our sisters and brothers on planet earth." "Loneliness," she said, "is like the leprosy of the West."
Mother Teresa was talking about the pain associated with feelings of isolation and separateness. These feelings are common to mankind. They can overtake any one of us in a heartbeat, even in the very midst of happiness and joy. Loneliness implies a lack of meaningful connection. For most people, it is a familiar travelling companion. Even when we're surrounded by people we know, we can feel separate and apart. Separate from what, we might ask? Separate from others, separate from ourselves, separate from the Divine, separate from meaning, separate from love. Separate from a sense of belonging.
The promise of spiritual life is that we will be able to heal these feelings through love and an experiential understanding of the essential interconnectedness of all beings. The Dalai Lama of Tibet, for example, often says that no matter how many new faces he sees each day, he never feels as though he is meeting anyone for the first time. That's because the Dalai Lama knows that every single one of us is on an infinite journey that began aeons ago. According to Tibetan Buddhism we have each had so many births that in all probability our paths have crossed time and time again. Wondrously connected one to the other, we have been for each other brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, children, fathers, mothers, and mates. At the heart of Tibetan Bu
The best-selling author of Awakening the Buddha Within provides a practical, easy-to-follow guide that introduces the principles of Buddhism and explains how to apply them to our relationships with others, the world around us, and within ourselves by building more loving and satisfying connections and increasing self-awareness and sensitivity. Reprint.
Surya Das illustrates how to develop authentic presence, how to connect to our own life experience, build deeper relationships, embrace life's lessons, as well as learn how to love what we don't like.
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.
By developing spiritual intelligence, a sense of compassion that helps us be more sensitive, more aware of our own feelings and the feelings of those around us, we become more intuitive; we relate better and love better. Cultivating spiritual intelligence and learning how to connect will improve our capacity for intimacy, making us better mates, friends, parents, and coworkers; it helps all of us to become more giving and brings us fulfillment, meaning, and love. With tremendous insight he explores specific ways in which we can more fruitfully relate to our own experiences as well as each other in today's fast-paced, complicated, and often confusing world.
About the Author
LAMA SURYA DAS, one of the foremost American Buddhist teachers and scholars, and whom the Dalai Lama calls the American Lama, is the founder and spiritual director of the Dzogchen Foundation (dzogchen.org). The author of several books, he lectures and leads meditation retreats all over the world. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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