Studying with the Master


Lama Surya Das is one of the nicest and most intelligent men I have ever known. I had the great opportunity of studying with him during the second week of June at Kripalu Yoga Institute where I received my Yoga Teachers Certification in 1987. Das is also, most probably, the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teacher and scholar in North America.

Born Jeffrey Miller, he was raised in Valley Stream on New York's Long Island, where he celebrated his bar mitzvah and earned letters in basketball, baseball, and soccer at Valley Stream Central High School (class of 1968). While a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he attended antiwar protests, marched on Washington (both of which I also did) and attended Woodstock. After graduating with honors from college, he traveled throughout Europe and the East, and he has spent nearly thirty years studying Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with many of the great old masters of Asia.

Today, Lama Surya Das teaches and lectures around the world, conducting dozens of meditation retreats and workshops each year. Based on his relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Surya Das founded the Western Buddhist Teachers Network and has organized three week-long conferences of Western Buddhist Meditation Teachers with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India. He also teaches regularly at Esalen, Open Center, Omega Institute, Interface, at universities in the United States and abroad, and at spiritual centers of all kinds.

Surya Das is the author of the "Awakening Trilogy" -- AWAKENING THE BUDDHA WITHIN: Eight Steps to Enlightenment (Broadway Books, 1997), which appeared on Publishers Weekly Religion Bestseller list, and on lists at the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and Christian Science Monitor; AWAKENING TO THE SACRED: Building a Spiritual Life from Scratch (Broadway Books, 1999; and AWAKENING THE BUDDHIST HEART: Integrating Love, Meaning and Connection into Every Part of Your Life (Broadway Books, 2000). His new book, LETTING GO OF THE PERSON YOU USED TO BE: Lessons on Change, Loss and Spiritual Transformation, was released in August, 2003. A regular contributor to Tricycle magazine, New Age, and Yoga Journal, he is also the author of THE SNOW LION'S TURQUOISE MANE: 155 Wisdom Tales from Tibet (1992), and coauthor of NATURAL GREAT PERFECTION: Vajra Songs and Dzogchen Teachings (1995).

When he's not meditating, teaching, or attending a retreat, Surya Das enjoys music, dogs, swimming, bicycling, hiking, and haiku poetry. He resides in Concord, Massachusetts, with his wife.

Most sincerely, studying with him was one of the highs of my life. Thank You, Das!

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J- 120 SHAMROCK CREW - WINNERS IN CLASS - BVI SPRING REGATTA - Dave is third from the left

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