In Rebel Buddha, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche gives us a guidebook for leaving behind the status-quo and becoming the rebel that’s inside you. No, not like a ‘James Dean’ rebel but a rebel from the world of illusion that we create. DPR drops all the tradition Buddhist lingo and lays out the path to achieving freedom in a more accessible language.
I have to admit I initially was having difficulty resonating with the book but about halfway it started to click and after re-reading it, I really appreciate what he wrote much more. The book offers a challenge to our normal habits, traditions, view of self and practice. It allows us to truly discover the ‘why’ of Buddhism.
What frees us from being stuck? What cuts through our psychological blockages? We need the courage of our rebel buddha heart to leap beyond forms, to go deeper into our practice and find a way to trust ourselves. We must become our own guide.
The book has a wonderful appendix with an incredible explanation of meditation. He describes mindfulness and analytical meditation practices and how to work with problems during the session. He ends with some great poems like the following:
You are so creative
And your tricks are so original
Look at your magic
So deceptive, real, and endless
You are a great storyteller
So dramatic, colorful, and emotional
I love your stories
But do you realize that you’re telling them over and over and over?
You are such a dreamer
And you’re tirelessly so passionate
For your dream characters and the world
But do you see that you’re just dreaming
You are so familiar
Yet no one knows who you really are
Are you not called “thoughts” by some?
Are you really there-or simply my delusion
Are you not taught to be the true wisdom mind?
What a beautiful world this could be
If only I could see through this mind.
Well, it doesn’t really matter
Because I don’t exist without you!
“Who am I?” is perhaps the right question
After all, I’m just one of your many manifestations!
review by Digging the Dharma (Philip)