September 8, 2006

"Awakening to the Sacred"

Creating a Daily Spiritual Life
from Scratch
by Lama Surya Das

Book Description:
In this elegant, inspiring book, Lama Surya Das - the most highly trained American lama in the Tibetan tradition and author of the bestselling Awakening the Buddha Within - integrates essential Buddhist practices with a variety of other spiritual philosophies and wisdom traditions to show you how to create a personalized spiritual practice based on your own individual beliefs, aspirations, and needs. Through reflections on his own life quest, thoughtful essays, and entertaining stories, Surya Das examines the common themes at the heart of any spiritual path, including faith, doubt, love, compassion, creativity, self-inquiry, and transformation. He then explores prayer, yoga, chanting, guided meditations, breathing exercises, and myriad other rituals, providing practical examples of each that we can use day-to-day to nurture our inner spirit.

Meaningful Quotes:
Do our opinions so define us that our innate goodness gets lost in the rhetoric? Are we so driven by our need for personal rites and rituals, schedules, timetables, and set ways of doing things that our priorities are lost?

We lose god, meaning, and our very selves in complexity. When we get caught up in the many, we lose the one.

By it's very nature, life is not simple.

The more aware we become of all that is within us, positive and negative, light and dark, the more we will be able to handle life in a balanced, sane, and spiritual way.

A human life is a great blessing. If we accept and internalized the fact of our own mortality, then, by definition, we have to deal with the essential questions of how we live and how we spend our allotted time. We have to stop procrastinating, pretending that we have forever to do what we want to do and be what we long to be.

Each time we undergo even a small transformation and life change, we are reborn.

The more deeply we are in the present moment, the less resistant we are to the ebb and flow of change and evolution.

"The mind is by nature luminous, pure, and perfect." Buddha

"If I had to live my life over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies." Nadine Stour (80+)

"There is no greater magic than meditation, to transform the negative into the positive, to transform darkness into light - that is the miracle of meditation." Bhagwan Rajneesh

"Do not overlook tiny good actions, thinking they are of no benefit. Even tiny drops of water in the end will fill a large vessel. Do not overlook negative actions merely because they are small. However small a spark may be, it can burn down a haystack as big as a mountain." Buddha