Lama Surya Das has lived and studied with the great spiritual masters of Asia for almost 30 years. He twice completed the traditional three-year Vajrayana meditation retreat in a Tibetan monastery in southern France. A leading spokesperson for the emerging Western Buddhism, he is a Dzogchen lineage holder and the founder of the Dzogchen Foundation. A poet, translator, activist, and full-time spiritual leader, he lectures and leads meditation retreats and workshops worldwide.
On this combination book and 79-minute CD, Lama Surya Das presents the insights and practices of Dzogchen, or "the Great Perfection," the direct path teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. These teachings have been passed down through the generations by oral transmission and now are available to all through this American master of the tradition.
Enlightenment is possible right now, if we only open to our innate buddha nature. Or as Lama Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye has said of Dzogchen:
It is too close, so we overlook it.
It seems too good to be true, so we cannot believe it.
It is too profound, so we cannot fathom it.
It is not outside ourselves, so we cannot attain it anew."
This path consists of three parts: view (outlook), meditation (practice), and action or conduct (embodiment in life). Surya Das examines all three as being parts of the rainbow body of perfect enlightenment. The CD has seven guided meditations including the "Wake-Up Sky Breath" practice for refreshment and clarity anytime. Surya Das explains: "For this practice, we use the easy to memorize, user-friendly, Dzogchen Sky Breath mantra 'AH.' Although this is traditionally practiced first thing in the morning, you can also take any moment in the day to wake yourself up and to awaken to the world, or simply refresh and energize yourself. I find that stopping in the midst of a busy trip to simply take a deep breath and exhale with a great releasing 'AH' can perforate the solidity and claustrophobia of an intense day, letting the fresh air of spirit and awareness blow through."
Equally edifying is his treatment of pith instructions, which are concentrated bits of wisdom that have been passed on by Tibetan teachers for centuries. A few examples are:
• Nothing to do and nowhere to go.
• What we seek, we are.
• Direct access.
• Just as it is.