Awakening the Budhdha Within: Tibetian Wisdom for the Western World

Author: Lama Surya Das

September, 2016


The book starts with a very simple thought – “We are all Budhdha”. Budhdha literally means “awake” in Pali, the original language of Budhdha scriptures. The book will take you to a journey about finding yourself rather than preaching about actions to be followed. It will force you to think about things that you have done in past or currently doing. There are few parts of the book which do not resonate with my thinking but that is acceptable, I think this books depends a lot upon the age and experience you already have had in life. Things that don't make sense today might make sense one day or never at all. I am sure there is something to learn for everybody from this book.

The Budhdha, Dharma, and Sangha, known as the three jewels of Budhdhism or the triple faceted gems are very clearly explained, one of the best explanations I could find. A minimalistic definition without taking the spirit out,

“Knowing truth is Budhdha; expressing truth is Dharma; embodying truth and living truly is Sangha (brotherhood).
It talks about how Dharma is descriptive and not prescriptive and how it can as an agent of change. The Three Poisons or Three fires of life which cause dissatisfaction and unhappiness are also explained more realistically with a perspective of their encumbrance in our daily lives.

  • Poison 1: Ignorance of the Truth
  • Poison 2: Attachment
  • Poison 3: Aversion

The idea of the book is not to take away the normal life from you. It doesn’t ask you to renounce everything in order to seek enlightenment, but it does provide with answers to many questions that you might be facing in life today. It teaches you how to confront the challenges and now to hide or run away. It tells you about the ”Four Noble Truths” of life, explains the source of each of them and tries to establish the idea of accepting them and dealing with them.

  • The First Noble Truth: Life is Difficult
  • The Second Noble Truth: Life is difficult because of attachment, because we crave satisfaction in ways that are inherently dissatisfying
  • The Third Noble Truth: The possibility of liberation from difficulties exists for everyone
  • The Fourth Noble Truth: The way to realize this liberation and enlightenment is by leading a compassionate life of virtue, wisdom and meditation.

The main body of the book is The Eight Fold Path, enumerated below. Virtue, wisdom and meditation are the main teachings of the eight fold path.

  • Step 1: Right View
  • Step 2: Right Intention
  • Step 3: Right Speech
  • Step 4: Right Action
  • Step 5: Right Livelihood
  • Step 6: Right Effort
  • Step 7: Right Mindfulness
  • Step 8: Right Concentration

The book does a wonderful explanation of mindfulness. If you are amongst those who spend a lot of money going to seminars teaching you mindfulness, this book will eliminate that need and desire. The meditation techniques explained in the book are apt for the beginners, and once you master them, it will be easy to find your ways towards higher level. Too much restlessness, stress, chaos in daily life – read this book to calm yourself. There are theories which teach you to convert your anxiety into excitement in order to perform well, but that works best only on stage. In real life, with real life situations, where the dimension and magnanimity of disarray is beyond humanistic control, peace is your only salvage. Read this book to claim your solace…

Only our search for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It’s like a vivid rainbow which you pursue without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.
Although peace and happiness do not exist
as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.


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