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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From theory to practice...
It's relatively easy to find a dozen books that lecture in technical Buddhist language, many written by authors that have spent a lifetime in spiritual isolation and many written by foreign authors that might not understand the depth of the difference between the American culture and the Buddhist philosophies. His excellent books provide both the theoretical background...
Published on March 19 2002 by Jesse A Whyte

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awful, awful, awful...
In light of other reviews here I may sound like a lone voice of dissent, but I really do have problmes with this book and much of Das's other watered down 'Buddhism for Treehuggers'. This is - in my opinion - a cosey, reassuring little tome for people who dont want to to go the effort of learning real Buddhism.
Stay well clear of this book - apart from anything else...
Published on Aug. 8 2002 by Ian G. Harling


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From theory to practice..., March 19 2002
By 
Jesse A Whyte (Loveland, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
It's relatively easy to find a dozen books that lecture in technical Buddhist language, many written by authors that have spent a lifetime in spiritual isolation and many written by foreign authors that might not understand the depth of the difference between the American culture and the Buddhist philosophies. His excellent books provide both the theoretical background and the practices that any seeker on the Buddhist path yearns for - he prepares you for challenges and doubt, assuages your concerns and fears, empowers you to find your own path and seek in your own way, and strengthens your courage while helping in subtle yet powerful ways to diminish your ego.
This book is primarily about practice. The first section provides some additional theoretical background about Tibetan Buddhism (the Dzogchen lineage in particular) and then segues cleanly into literally dozens of meditations, prayers, chants and mantras that we can integrate seamlessly into our American lives. He provides plenty of information surrounding the more active forms of meditation such as Tai Chi or yoga. If you are looking for innovative ways to inspire or renovate your spiritual practice, his words may provide the kickstart that we all sometimes need to break free from a rut.
If you can't take years out of your life to study in a monastery, yet still want to find happiness and freedom, Surya Das may provide the tools that you need. This book is a classic, and will be lifted from my bookshelves many times in the coming years.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awful, awful, awful..., Aug. 8 2002
By 
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
In light of other reviews here I may sound like a lone voice of dissent, but I really do have problmes with this book and much of Das's other watered down 'Buddhism for Treehuggers'. This is - in my opinion - a cosey, reassuring little tome for people who dont want to to go the effort of learning real Buddhism.
Stay well clear of this book - apart from anything else it portrays little of true Dzogchen practises.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be sure to check this out from the library first, Feb. 7 2009
By 
Amy VG (Southern Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
I have mixed feelings about this book...

I do think this is a good book for those how still believe in their existing faith but perhaps have lost their way from their spirituality. Lama Surya Das provides many inspirational Buddhist practices to bring the Western-reader back to their spirituality without having to loose their existing religion.

For practicing Buddhists, I think you may find some value in reading this book, but perhaps there are many other books solely for Buddhism with its own special practices.

I enjoyed reading Part 1: Matters of the Spirit, which Lama Surya Das briefly touches on some of the Buddhists practices and truths. He, also, blends God and Buddhism quite nicely, for those who believe in God.

I didn't particularly like Part 2: Approaches to Spiritual Practice. I did find a few gems of practice, so it was still worth the read for those, but mostly I thought there was a lot of fluff. Plus I found the text was laden with Lama Surya Das' opinions. Some...a little outlandish. Without going into too much boring detail, I've give two quick examples: Lama Surya Das states that people should only do hatha yoga poses for spirituality, not for just exercise. That seems like a silly statement, as we all know every one has different goals in life. Another example is he promotes the use of drug treatment in therapy situations. While this may or may not be true, and though I am not entirely certain, however, I do not think Lama Surya Das is a certified therapist and has no authority on this matter.

Part Three: Coming Home to Your True Nature has some good suggestions, especially for the beginner.

All in all, before taking the time to read this rather lengthy book, check out all the reviews and perhaps peruse the table of contents before buying this book. Perhaps simply loan it out of the library.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover your spirituality, and yourself, May 12 2003
By 
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
In this book, Lama Surya Das acts as your guide to discovering spirituality and what it means for you. "Awakening to the Sacred" is like a guided tour through the world of spirit and soul, with Surya pointing out the sights along the way. "On your left, you see the mechanics of Karma..."
While this book draws heavily on Buddhist views and beliefs, it is refreshing to see that Surya Das does not ever try to force any views upon you. He merely describes the beliefs, techniques, and background, and allows you to decide for yourself. Even if you don't buy into the idea of reincarnation, for example, at the very least Surya will get you thinking about the possibilities.
This book is essentially a guide for those who wish to custom craft their own spiritual life. It allows you to decide how best to discover truth, and to discover yourself. Don't think this is a Buddhist book, because it is not. The lessons you take away from "Awakening to the Sacred" can be integrated into any lifestyle. You may not find yourself meditating at dawn and chanting while you shower, but you will certainly learn something about yourself as you journey through this book.
Definitely a must-read for those seeking truth and happiness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This could be the only book you ever need on Buddhism, July 11 2002
By 
J. E. Krummert "Student Potter" (Bay Village, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
This book gives great insights into following the path of Buddhism and guides you through problems in everyday life when you think , your Buddhist principals are about to go out the window. It allows you to be yourself but still find the Buddha waiting inside.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, yet striking........., Dec 15 2001
By 
Shine (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
This is the second book I have read recently, authored by Lama Surya Das.

He puts things very simply, yet in a real manner. Things that any regular Joe can incorporate in his day to day lifestyle.

His sense of humor, love, and authenticity pour through his writing.

Thank you Lama Surya for all your wisdom.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Changed My Way of Thinking, Sept. 4 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
I spent a long time asking around for good book to introduce me to Buddhist thought practice. This book was simply wonderful. I can't give it enough praise. As much as I would like to be that guy who gives a four star rating among the fives to imply a little more intellect, I can't. If you're even considering to learn more about yourself and society pick it up! It changed my life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Brain Basher!!! Beware..., Nov. 9 2000
I read the book. Fine. Before I read the book, I was a Libertarian for Harry Browne. After I read the book, I voted for Ralph Nader and became a "Green". Before I read the book, I no longer believed in God. After reading the book, I once again believe in God. Before reading the book, I thought that mathematics was fun - but had no real use. After I read the book, I am including the study of mathematics as part of my spiritual path.
The main point of this book, if there is one, seems to be to hammer away at our attachments. I am this...I am that... On and on and on. The biggest leap in spiritual practice seems to be to jump over the "hurdle" of logic. Lama Surya Das pounds and pounds away. Forging away for a new American Buddhism. I coughed blood many times while reading this book. "He prays to God everyday?!?" "He sees a therapist?!?" "He's one of those 'environmentalists' who have trees growing out of their ears?". "He loves 12-step meetings where they worship a Christian God?"
If you are fixated on one or many different agendas in spirituality, this book will disgust you. It digusted me! But I kept chewing and finally swallowed it. After, of course, spitting it out several times. It's very good to upset the intellect this way. To bruise the ego. I was following into the trap of "I go by logic, therefore, I know everything!" Order and read the book. It may not be a fun read. But it's a good thing to do. Good luck (you will need it!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars good advice for spirtual seekers, July 5 2000
By A Customer
Lama Surya Das has a way of taking spirituality and bringing it to a level where anyone who is interested can learn. Many people today find that the "religion" they were brought up in is not feeding their spiritual hunger or answering their questions. This book, while most definitely coming from a Buddhist perspective, gives advice that anyone, regardless of where they have come from, can incorporate into their own spiritual practices. For those who would like to delve deeper into Buddhism, Lama Surya Das' last book, Awakening the Buddha Within, is an excellent place to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!, July 4 2000
This review is from: Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life (Paperback)
This one won't get dusty on my book shelf! A GREAT book to refer back to on a daily basis and to share with friends! WONDERFUL work!
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Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life
Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life by Lama Surya Das (Paperback - May 9 2000)
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