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Buddhadharma : Summer 2007
buddhadharma| 73 |summer 2007 worthwhile, is how he finally, at age six- teen, broke loose from the monastic envi- ronment for which he was unsuited and made a new life for himself in America. This was due in large measure to his own determined persistence and the kindness of his parents’ friends and family, who took him into their homes and helped to give him a sense of family and belonging for which he longed. In America, Daja visited his mentally ill father, at first with great difficulty, and gradually developed compassion and understanding for the causes of his father’s illness. In the spirit of Buddhist meditations of loving-kindness and see- ing the world through the eyes of others, he came to love and forgive his father. Similarly, he looked into the causes of his mother’s behavior and empathized with the emotional pain she suffered as a neglected child and then unconsciously reenacted in her upbringing of Daja. In so doing, he transformed his own suf- fering into compassion, forgiveness, and reconciliation. In Boston, Daja learned to love and to trust another woman who was herself a Tibetan refugee whose family was forced to flee Tibet for India. With her undying love and support, along with the loving, optimistic presence of her wise and resil- ient Tibetan nomad father who lived in their home, Daja was able to complete his college education and carve out a life for himself and his family. Daja’s story is one of human endur- ance, purpose, and unrelenting self-hon- esty. Perhaps most of all, his compelling memoir demonstrates how forgiveness can break loose the shackles of the past and open up a hopeful future. The author (right) with his wife and father. dzogchen the natural great perfection DZOGCHEN RETREATS WITH LAMA SURYA DAS Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Considered by many to be "the teaching of our time," Dzogchen is direct, immediate, essentialized, adaptable, and profound: a pure awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. Dzogchen, often translated as the Natural Great Perfection, directly introduces us to our inner Buddha, the inherent freedom, purity and perfection of being that is our true nature. Dzogchen Center Meditation Retreats are held across the country, throughout the year as shown below: DZOGCHEN MEDITATION RETREATS Garrison, NY Summer July 14–29, 2007 Garrison, NY Winter December 29, 2007 – January 6, 2008 Joshua Tree, CA Spring March 29 – April 6, 2008 MULTIPLE TEACHINGS DAILY • NOBLE SILENCE • BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS VEGETARIAN MEALS • PRIVATE, SEMI-PRIVATE, AND DORM ROOMS AVAILABLE For complete information and secure on-line registration for all of these scheduled events, go to www.dzogchen.org/retreats, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-628 -1702. LAMA SURYA DAS is the author of the newly released Buddha Is As Buddha Does: The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living. He is also the author of Natural Radiance (Sounds True), Letting Go of the Person You Used To Be (Broadway Books), and the noted Awakening Trilogy: Awakening the Buddha Within, Awakening to the Sacred, and Awakening the Buddhist Heart (all Broadway Books.) Lama Surya Das is a Lineage Holder of the Dzogchen Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the Rimé (non-sectarian) tradition. For over thirty years, including more than eight years in secluded retreat, he has studied with the great masters of Tibetan Buddhism. With his open and lively style, he is particularly effective in the transmission of Buddhism by presenting Buddhist values and insight, as well as methods of practice, in a manner accessible to all. DZOGCHEN CENTER BUDDHISM FOR THE WEST