American-Style Buddhism with Lama Surya Das

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An ancient Tibetan prophecy says: "When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the dharma will spread to the land of the red-faced people." For the past three decades, the emergence of a distinctly American brand of Buddhism has, indeed, become established. Lama Surya Das, who has spent almost thirty years studying Zen and Tibetan Buddhism with masters in Asia, emphasizes the accessibility of a distinctly Western form of Buddhism. Whether you are a novice or well-traveled on the road to enlightenment, you will learn much from his discussion of Tibet's history, beliefs and traditions, and the practical application of Tibetan Buddhism. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Surya Das is the founder of the Dzogchen Foundation and the Western Buddhist Teachers Network, in collaboration with H.H. the Dalai Lama.

He is the author of:

  • The Snow Lion's Turquoise Mane (HarperCollins 1992)
  • Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World (Broadway Books 1997)
  •  Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be: Lessons on Changes, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation (Broadway Books 2003)

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Dzogchen - the ultimate practice of Tibetan Buddhism
  • What makes Tibetan Buddhism different from other forms of Buddhism
  • How reincarnate lamas are discovered
  • Shangri-La, the Himalayas, Tibet and other mysteries of spirit
  • What the Chinese invasion has done to Tibet
  • The eight steps to enlightenment
  • What "dharma" means
  • How Buddhism may help balance "millennium madness"
  • What is it that actually reincarnates?
  • Reconstructing "the house that ego built"
  • The emergence of an American Buddhism
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 7/10/1997       Program Number: 2643