Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das was the first book I read that piqued my interest in Buddhism and the Buddhist practice.

It introduced the fundamentals of Buddhism while following Lama Surya Das’ story and examples from his life.

I was just beginning my path as a meditation teacher and this book helped to guide me, awaken me and support me on my journey.

Some of my favourite chapters are Part Two, Chapter 1, which introduces you to the Four Noble Truths. They are at the core of Buddha’s teachings but are often the most misunderstood.

Some of my favourite quotes are:

Truth telling begins by becoming aware of what you tell yourself. – page 204

Daily meditation is the simplest means by which we stay on the essential path of awakening.
– page 77

From the sutra of Holy Buddha:

Until you reach the path
You wander in the world with the previous Buddha
Completely wrapped inside
As in a bundle of rags
…. You have this precious Buddha! Unwrap it quickly!!!

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Buddhism or Buddhist practises. It is easy to read with real life, modern day ways to interpret the Eight Fold Path and Four Noble Truths.

The book includes different meditation scripts and an interesting epilogue about a contemporary path to Buddhism.

– Vicki Shannon