Reviews of A Spiritual Renegade's Guide to the Good Life:
"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
""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"
"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)
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 cliches. 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)
"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"
"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."
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