The Essence of Awakening: Who Are We Really?

Lama Surya Das, beloved meditation teacher, scholar, pioneer of bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West, and author of the bestseller Awakening the Buddha Within among many more, shares bright gems of wisdom from his extensive experience practicing Dzogchen, his long immersion in meditation retreats, and studying in person with the great spiritual teachers of Asia. Lama Surya is dedicated to getting the word out, and to young people especially, that the timeless teachings of the great masters are every bit as important and transformative in today’s modern world as they ever were. One doesn’t need to go on retreat to come to a place of wonder, understanding, and appreciation for life; Lama Surya assures us that daily practice of attentive awareness on the path of “awakefulness” is doable and effective in today’s world. This is the path that leads to self-knowledge, and we just need to explore and investigate to discover for ourselves that realization of the Great Perfection, of oneness, is never far away.

Lama Surya embellishes his teachings with humorous tales of his early explorations with psychedelics, his spiritual adventures in India, how he came to undertaking not one but two 3-year silent retreats in the great Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen, and coming home afterwards with a mission for transmission. He talks about divine love and how amazing and influential it was to hang out with spiritual teachers who actually practice unconditional love, here and now. Lama Surya Das’ own deep caring and compassion shine through his words, and his well-known “jolly lama” humor often elicits laughter from Roger and John. “There are a lot of lanes on the highway of awakening, you just want to watch you don’t go off into the ditch.” His authentic, endearing humility shines through as well. He is certain that “if I can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it.”