Lama Surya Das

Lama Surya Das

Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, one of the main interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, and a leading spokesperson for the emerging American Buddhism. The Dalai Lama affectionately calls him “the American Lama.”

Surya Das has spent 45 years studying Zen, vipassana, yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with the great masters of Asia, including the Dalai Lama’s own teachers. He has twice completed the traditional three-year cloistered meditation retreat at his teacher’s Tibetan monastery. He is an authorized lama (priest and spiritual master teacher) in the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism and is founder of the Western Buddhist Teachers Network with the Dalai Lama, and founder and spiritual director of the Dzogchen Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and its branch centers.

Surya Das is a leading spokesperson for Buddhism and contemporary spirituality, a translator, poet, meditation master, chant master, spiritual activist, and author of many books, including his best-selling Awakening Trilogy: Awakening the Buddha Within, Awakening to the Sacred, and Awakening the Buddhist Heart. His most recent book is The Mind is Mightier Than the Sword: New Dharma Talks, and the forthcoming book, Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now.

Today, Lama Surya Das teaches and lectures around the world, conducting dozens of meditation retreats and workshops each year and is a regular contributor at the Huffington Post and Elephant Journal, as well as writing his own blog Ask The Lama (

What People are Saying About Lama Surya Das

“Lama Surya Das communicates the wisdom of Buddhism to the people of his times and environments. To me this is a great achievement and I feel deeply grateful for it.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen master and author of Peace Is Every Step
“Lama Surya Das makes the Buddha nature seem very real and accessible.”
—Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love
“It is inevitably painful to deal with transition, change, suffering, death, and other losses....We must face them with courage, grace, clarity, and wisdom. Lama Surya Das teaches us how to do so in the spirit of enlightenment, great practical wisdom, humility, and effective compassion.”
—Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart