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Lama Surya Das
Lama Surya Das.jpg
Religion Nyingma
Education State University of New York, Buffalo
Nationality American
Born 1950
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Senior posting
Based in International Padmakara Translation Committee
Dzogchen Foundation
Title Lama
Religious career
Teacher Maharaji Neem Karoli Baba
Kalu Rinpoche
Lama Thubten Yeshe
Gyalwa Karmapa
S.N. Goenka
Anagarika Munindra
Website Dzogchen Foundation

Lama Surya Das (born 1950), born Jeffrey Miller, is one of the first Westerners to have be named a lama and teacher of the Dzogchen tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism in the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. As both the famed author of the bestselling book Awakening the Buddha Within and founder of the Dzogchen Foundation, Surya Das is one of the more easily identifiable Buddhists currently teaching in the Western world. He has trained several American and European Buddhist teachers in the Dzogchen tradition and leads meditation retreats worldwide.


Surya Das was born as Jeffrey Miller to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York in 1950.[1] Having graduated from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 1971, Miller traveled to India and Nepal where he met his first teacher Maharaji Neem Karoli Baba (a Hindu) who gave him the name Surya Das. Over the coming years he came to study in various ashrams and at retreats in the East under Tibetan Buddhist masters and Vipassana instructors, teachers like Kalu Rinpoche, Lama Thubten Yeshe, Gyalwa Karmapa, S.N. Goenka and Anagarika Munindra.[2] It was in 1980 that he became a member of a retreat center in Dordogne, France and undergoing two three and a half year retreats led by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Dudjom Rinpoche (both masters of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism). It was during this period that he became a lama in a non-sectarian movement of Tibetan Buddhism.[1]






  1. ^ Lumiere, 76-77
  2. ^ Luminous Passage; 44


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