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Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment Paperback – Jun 15 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (June 15 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767901576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767901574
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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a jug on his head and carry it up the hill and leave it outside my hut. Read the first page
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Ryan on Feb. 4 2001
Format: Paperback
Lama Surya Das has masterfully written an enlightening introduction to Buddhism, which should prove to be an enduring classic on the subject for years to come. He takes the ancient teachings of Buddhist traditions and wisdom and delivers them succinctly and wholeheartedly to the Western mind.
His astounding work is a source of inspiration and awareness that serves as a "handbook for living" that should be carried with us at all times and used often on our spiritual path. Regardless of the reader's religious or spiritual affiliation, these simple golden rules could change your life.
His introduction to the classic Buddhist teachings of The Four Noble Truths and The Eight-Fold Path are the most comprehensible and understandable that I have yet read. Finally, we are presented with a rich compilation that makes absolute sense and many readers will understand, for the first time, how to integrate this ancient Tibetan wisdom into everyday life.
Often, those of us curious about Buddhist philosophy and practice, find it hard to get beyond the dogma of the many teachings. Lama Surya Das succeeds in bringing the reader the most simple and fundamental ideas and lessons of Buddhism. Throughout the book, he reminds us to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions and to find the kindness, compassion and grace that are inherent in all of us.
For those challenged by meditation, Lama Surya Das strips away all the confusion and mystery around the practice of meditation and brings to the reader a profound understanding and "how to" guide to meditation -- the importance of which must be realized and embraced.
Toward the end of the book, he further reminds us that "We are modern mystics - living in monasteries without walls. The entire planet is our heaven on earth.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Newman on Jan. 4 2004
Format: Paperback
I recommend Lama Surya Das' three books to anyone interested in Buddhism, spirituality, or the search for happiness. His background as a Jewish kid growing up in NY allows him an understanding of the Western world that even the Dalai Lama doesn't have.

His books are written in a plain-talk style instead of a textbook style.

But, most importantly, he explains how you can incorporate Buddhist practices and beliefs into your daily life without abandoning your native religion and/or converting to Buddhism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J Willis on Aug. 7 2003
Format: Paperback
Like many other reviewers I have found Lama Surya Das' book a wonderful introduction to Buddhism. It gave me the inspiration, motivation and the means to bring a theoretical interest in Buddhist philosophy into my daily life. It showed me how I could give meaning to my desire for growth. In particular how I could integrate spiritual practice into my busy Western lifestyle.
The main thing in reading this book is to understand its role and purpose. It is an introduction, a stepping stone from which those interested in Buddhism can move forward. It demystifies, on a basic level, the complex concepts and ancient language that are inherent in Buddhism. It is not a substitute for more detailed scriptures and analyses, nor is it meant to be. It is certainly not a substitute for direct teachings of a qualified spiritual master, nor would Lama Das claim it to be. As a fully qualified master himself, he knows the difference.
To fully engage with Buddhism you will need instruction and guidance. You will need to develop practice as part of your life. You will need teachings and initiation from a qualified teacher. This book will not give you these things. It will however give you a thirst for these things and will provide a solid foundation for your growing understanding and practice.
It is also a wonderful source of ideas and "informal" practices for those who want to grow spiritually without necessarily taking refuge in the Three Jewels.
No-one expects to become enlightened from reading a single book, and anyone who expects this book to provide that is missing the point. If the book leads to even one person committing themselves to becoming a better person for the sake of all others, then it has done its job. The fact that it has done this for many, many people is good news for all of us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Hochmann on May 27 2003
Format: Paperback
If you, like me, have spent a lot of time clinging to views based on pure logic, material desires, etc. or other Western-y views, then this book may be a difficult read. When I first read "Awakening the Buddha Within", my mind (and heart) were not ready for it. I got perhaps 100 pages into it and could not bring myself to read any further, because it felt like I was trying to make headway in the face of an ever-increasingly powerful headwind that eventually brought me to a halt.
Don't get me wrong - this is a wonderfully written and very enjoyable book on Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism. I only recently began my spiritual exploration, and this book has aided me much. However I absolutely do not recommend this to the average American who, perhaps like me, is not yet ready for the simple truths contained within. For those who have not yet uncovered their spiritual self, this is not the book to start with. You'll just end up piling conceptualizations onto it, and convince yourself that you've wasted your time reading it.
My recommendation is that you read "Awakening to the Sacred" (also by Lama Surya Das) first. Buy it, or get it from the library. Read it, live it, and learn more about yourself and the spirit that dwells within you. "Awakening to the Sacred" will help you to discover your true self, and then you will be ready for this book. Only after your true self is revealed can true knowledge be accepted, and so it is with "Awakening the Buddha Within".
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