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A Spiritual Renegade's Guide to the Good Life

A Spiritual Renegade's Guide to the Good Life

by Lama Marut


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For Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, a provocative yet compassionate guide using a series of insightful lessons, meditations, and exercises designed to incite a fresh take on our quest for happiness and the good life.

Start a Revolution, Incite Happiness!

Delivered with fearless candor and disarming humor, Lama Marut introduces a simple set of exercises that offers a revolutionary yet wholly practical approach to creating and sustaining happiness in a complex modern age.

Integrating the ancient teachings of Tibetan Buddhism into the everyday grind, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life presents a fresh take on our quest for a joyful existence. Each chapter includes an action plan designed to elicit true happiness and forge a clear path toward fulfillment. You’ll learn how to:

• transform problems into opportunities;

• set yourself free from fear and anxiety;

• unburden yourself of past resentment;

• create an action plan for true happiness.

Further explore the concepts of a spiritual renegade lifestyle through Microsoft Tags within this book, which link to online videos of Lama Marut discussing each of his concepts firsthand. This book is bound to disrupt your suffering, disturb your dissatisfaction, and elicit a deep-seated contentment. Happiness is in your hands.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582703732
Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
Publication date: 06/05/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,067,658
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Born Brian K. Smith to a second-generation Baptist minister, Lama Marut had a strong interest in spirituality from a very young age, along with a passion for motorcycles, surfing, and yoga. He earned a Ph.D. in comparative religion before becoming an ordained Buddhist monk. He has worked as a professor at Columbia University and the University of California Riverside. Marut is founder and spiritual director of three spiritual centers and serves as a founding board member and staff teacher at the Yoga Studies Institute.

Table of Contents

Preface: A Manifesto vii

Introduction Inciting Happiness xv

Part I Igniting the Happiness Revolution 1

1 Burning with Desire: Consumerism and Its Alternative-Radical Contentment 3

2 Waking Up: Recognizing the Miraculous Nature of Our Lives 19

3 Getting Stoked: Seizing the Means of the Production of Happiness 39

Part II Changing the Past 53

4 Preemptive and Unilateral Forgiveness: Ending the Repeated Resurrection of Frankenstein's Monster 55

5 Revisionist History: Being Grateful for Everything 85

Part III Controlling the Future 111

6 Letting Go of the Burning Coal: Detaching from the Sources of Suffering 113

7 Transforming the Future: From Worry and Anxiety to Trust and Control 159

Part IV Relaxing into the Present 207

8 Honking in Gridlock and Pop-Ups in Horrorland: Staying Happy-All Day, Every Day 209

9 Good Enough to Be Perfect: Overcoming Liberphobia and Working Hard to Relax 241

Epilogue: Inciting Happiness 24/7-The Components of a Sane Life 269

Notes 275

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Publisher's Weekly Review:

By no means the first to frame spiritual practice as a form of rebellion, Lama Marut (aka Brian K. Smith) manages a fresh approach based on Asian philosophy, particularly Buddhist principles. An ordained monk trained in the Tibetan tradition and former professor of religious studies, the author argues that happiness is the most important goal in life, but it comes from within, not by depending on external, ephemeral factors such as money and relationships. An important key to happiness is giving to others. Focusing on karma as opposed to the usual Four Noble Truths, Lama Marut applies unusually cogent arguments that individuals can indeed change their relationship to the past and have control over their futures, yet be unable to change the present except for their responses to it. He draws on sources from ancient to modern to illustrate his ideas; he avoids sectarian spirituality as well as New Age clichés. Lama Marut knows how to describe concepts clearly and to make a persuasive case while entertaining his readers. His chapter on forgiveness is a particularly compelling gem of brevity. This provocative, “hip” guide (there’s a motorcycle on the cover) doesn’t weasel out on the importance of living a “morally pure life” to achieve happiness. Agent: Molly Lyons. (June)

"A Spiritual Renegade's Guide to the Good Life is so good I wish I had written it myself! Seriously, you really should try to overcome your fear of bliss and start living the way Lama Marut suggests. I recommend this delightful book that should accompany your day to day from now on."

—Robert A. F. "Tenzin" Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa professor of Buddhist Studies, Columbia University, cofounder of Tibet House US, and author of Why The Dalai Lama Matters

"Lama Marut skillfully and eloquently describes how happiness naturally emerges as a reward of authentic spiritual practice. A marvelous guide for those choosing to walk on joy’s path."

—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation

"While reading this book, thinking about this book, and trying his suggestions I have begun to experience what life is like when one puts 'the horse before the cart.' I am experiencing a lot more time and a lot more love, and I am extremely grateful. It's brilliant."

Mary McDonnell, Academy Award nominated actress, Dances With Wolves

"If you want advice on how to dig yourself out of a black hole, you need a man with a spade on the inside. Lama Marut, formerly Brian K. Smith, is just the bloke. He’s the favorite sports coach you had when you were five: big like a bear (in a reassuring way), direct, fun and with an American accent that curls around his forthright southern charm."

—Lisa Mitchell, "The Buddhist and the Black Hole," THE WEEKLY REVIEW (Melbourne)

“I can think of few teachers of spirituality more capable of offering the profound and rich traditions of Buddhism and the visionary voices of yoga. When you meet Lama Marut you encounter greatness, a place where the heart and mind are one, and the company you keep presents a rare presence that can change your life.”

—Douglas R. Brooks, author and professor of Religion, University of Rochester and Spiritual Voice of Anusara Yoga and Rajanaka Yoga

"Lama Marut’s book is an intelligent, readable primer on how to live a good life. He begins with an exploration of happiness, and then moves into areas that influence happiness, such as forgiveness, not living in the past or dwelling on the future, gratitude, work, materialism. His book is a challenge to 'swim upstream' and be the renegade that does not, for instance, buy into the dominant culture of consumerism, which is designed, he says, to keep you wanting more."

—Rae Padilla Fancoeur, The Herald News

"In down-to-earth, no-nonsense language, Lama Marut, Buddhist monk, university professor, surfer and motorcyclist, tells readers how to incite happiness in life....If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and do the work required to achieve genuine contentment and help others achieve it too, let Marut be your guide."

—Diane Holcomb, New Consciousness Review

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