Lama Surya Das is one of the most widely recognized Tibetan Buddhist teachers in the West. The Dalai Lama calls him “The American Lama”. He has spent over forty-five years studying Zen, Vipassana, Yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism, world religion and mysticism. Through his many books and meditation retreats, he guides spiritual seekers to “make every breath a prayer, make every breath a spiritual moment”.
When he teaches, Lama Surya Das acknowledges the importance of the ancient teaching—’the answer is within’. It is repeated throughout Buddhist teachings. But he cautions his students, saying don’t be too focused on discovering “The Answer” or even “An Answer.” The spiritual search is not about discovering certainty, like uncovering a hidden treasure. Rather, it is about discovering a tiny flame of Universal Life. This is a luminosity that pervades us, an awareness of something loving and infinite. It’s not the search to find a needle in the haystack. It’s recognizing that you’re dealing with both the needle and the haystack, all the way down.
To Lama Surya Das, looking within is a beginning, but it is more worthwhile to develop the ability to look deeper. He says that we need to use our heightened inner sense to appreciate what cannot be known with our outer senses. Then, he says, we can see that everything is inseparable, the inner and the outer, this world and the next. It is a way to break free from blinding self-centeredness to open-hearted awareness of our connection to everything. He says that this is a vital evolutionary and healing step in moving from ME to WE.
Absolutely, look within, he advises, and then look more deeply at everyone and everything you encounter. The spiritual journey is not really about going from here to there, but discovering that you can change your experience to being totally and truly present.
As he says, “We may feel far from it (higher power, divinity, the Tao) but it is never far from us. That’s what I mean by looking within.”
Want to learn more? Read Lama Surya Das’ most recent book, Make Me One With Everything: Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation. Also visit: http://www.surya.org
Join us for America’s premier conference on mind-body-spirit healing, Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine conference, October 13-16, 2016, Reston, VA, Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year’s theme is Oneness, Consciousness and Everyday Health.
The TCM World Foundation was honored to have Lama Surya join us for The 2013 Building Bridges for TCM conference.