Newness-Awareness for a New Year

As I start to emerge from hip surgery fog of the last few weeks, I am overwhelmed and heartened by the outpouring of loving-kindness, compassion, caring and generosity shared by so many of you, my beloved community. I must admit, being out of it for several days was an interesting and fruitful sort of imposed vacation, although the circumstances weren’t ideal. But, as I’ve continued this personal health and healing retreat at home, by my tree-lined pond, I’ve had the time to reflect on many things, most importantly, the great gift of weakness and dependence—not an easy thing for someone of my age, a helper and caregiver (if not a caretaker), but invaluable as a “late” life lesson. I’m used to helping and being a strong and independent man! Helplessness is much harder to receive, to accept, to allow, to be with things as they are without much control or power of interference. One could almost live like this rather than against it!

Temporary feelings of imbalance and dependence have spurred a new-found level of gratitude and appreciation, for those around me as well as those who are similarly affected, and has forced me to let go in ways I never actually experienced as possible. Genuinely letting go and letting be, melting into the ground of being via surrender and acceptance, trust, vulnerability and openness: the essence of true inner freedom. For this, I am profoundly grateful.

I am also grateful for all of you; those who open my emails, attend my retreats, workshops, and dharma talks, as well as those who take the time to read my books and blogs, listen to my interviews and podcasts, and follow me on social media. While I have always said that my mission is transmission, maybe it’s really been simply to pay attention and maintain positive intention, and share with others how to do the same– because the amount and quality of attention we genuinely bring to bear here and now is what really counts. This is wisdom’s timeless, evergreen secret. Though you may feel far from it yourself, it is never far from you.

Many people are relieved to see this year come to an end, and look ahead to new-found resolve, turning over a new leaf, or even a fresh start. Yet some are simply dreading more of the same spilling over into a new year, fearing that nothing will change for the better because the forces of greed, hatred, intolerance and illusion are simply too entrenched. Many despair of being too ineffectual to make a difference in the face of our massive challenges. So I ask you, how can we each contribute toward building a more harmonious community and world? Let’s be the changes we wish to see in the world, and do something extraordinary by joining hands toward a less divided, more equitable and sustainable world that works for all.

Let’s start by considering how and when to forgive each other and ourselves for whatever missteps may have been made. It’s nearly impossible to move forward and meaningfully evolve if negative energies such as resentment and regrets are still holding us back, weighing one down like old, excess baggage. Gratitude brings in more of the natural good, positive and healing forces; forgiving lets you release what is not healthy. Forgive and remember; learn the lessons so it doesn’t happen again. If you don’t learn now, you might get left back and have to go through very similar experiences again until you do, and can move on.

May peace, wellness and buoyant newness-awareness be with you and your families as we enter a new year!

With love and blessings,

Lama Surya Das

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A letter from Lama Surya Das on seasonal intensive retreat programs

Dear Dharma Friends,

The Dzogchen Center is deeply grateful for your ongoing participation and generous support in continuing our 25 years of mutual efforts to fulfill the potential of our legacy of timeless wisdom and compassion in action, as well as the Dzogchen view, meditation and action in North America.

We continue offering seasonal intensive retreat programs, both long and short; organizing and convening trans-sectarian international Buddhist teacher conferences; and reaching out to the younger generations through varied social media, podcasts, blogs, lectures and workshops. We are improving our Dzogchen Center website, which will afford us a larger presence on the Web, and continuing our retreat scholarships fund, personal mentoring, teacher training and the like, as we strive to carry on our lineage transmission and practice-oriented teachings, intent upon furthering a more sane and peaceful, just and equitable world.

My Lamas Lineage & Legacy Project (“3LP”), begun in Massachusetts in 2014, is dedicated to preserving and providing the teachings, transcripts, text and translations of historic Grand Masters’ (Tibetan Rinpoche) audio cassettes and videotapes, as well as their sacred art and my gurus’ blessed relics. In their current condition, many are in obsolete formats and disintegrating recorded mediums; these rare assets will disappear to posterity if we do not preserve them now!

Through generous donations, we have already digitized about 180 teacher recordings, exclusive only to 3LP. We hope to continue this important work with the remaining recordings, and have partnered with TBRC (Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center) to preserve these invaluable materials online through their pioneering efforts in the forefront of this field, ensuring the maintenance of our work through successive generations of programs, software, etc. With the creation of the 3LP virtual library archive, featuring a micro pod environment, along with my personal sacred art collection—interactivity, scholarship and spiritual education will be advanced.

Without your generous support, we cannot accomplish these transformative wisdom, peace-making and healing initiatives. Please consider making a gift that will ensure the sustainability and further adaptation and application of these teachings.

To make a tax deductible contribution go to:, or mail your check to: Dzogchen Center, PO Box 400734, Cambridge, MA 02140.

The Dalai Lama says: “We need each other to become enlightened, to develop empathic compassion and altruism as well as enlightened wisdom.” Buddha himself said that the patron-benefactors and the monastic practitioners are as if harnessed together, helping pull each other towards enlightenment. This connection between head and heart, body and soul is what’s needed for peace and harmony to flourish in our violent world.

Thank you, thank you for your contributions, generosity, practice and loving support. Happy holydays: May you and all those we embrace as family enjoy a healthy, harmonious and auspicious new year.

With love, prayers and blessings,
Lama Surya Das

Please join us at one of our upcoming meditation retreats:
Spring – March 19-26, 2017 -Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, CA.
Go to to register on-line.
Summer – July 16-22, 2017 – Garrison Institute, Garrison, NY
Go to to register on-line.

For more details feel free to visit: