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Rebel Buddha: On the Road to Freedom

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1,140 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews

Dzogchen Ponlop presents traditional Buddhist philosophy and practice for Generations X and Y in this refreshing new take on Buddhism for modern times. Each of us has an inner rebel, he teaches, and that rebel represents our innate wisdom. The inner rebel is the voice inside that tells us we don’t have to conform to the materialistic status quo. If we listen to that voice,

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Published November 5th 2010 by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (first published January 1st 2010)
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Mar 16, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism, 2012

I going to tell you a little secret. I have this plan. I read these books on Buddhism because one day when I am old and can't take care of myself that good anymore, when I am close to homeless and seriously considering cat food as an option, I will walk into the nearest Buddhist temple thingy and offer myself up as a monk.

Sure I will have to shave my head and wear orange, but I'll just be old enough that I won't care about being cute anymore.

Hey, it beats being a nun.
Oct 03, 2012 Hans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the title scare you into thinking that it is just "Pop-Buddhism". It definitely is, but it is much more as well. I almost didn't read the book because I thought it would be repackaged Buddhism for yuppies or worse "Buddhism-made-hip". Which in some ways it is but then I had the other thought "does it have to be old and obscure to be authentic Buddhism?" To me that is an equally obnoxious thought to disregard or discredit a message simply because it isn't old or difficult to understand. ...more
Feb 14, 2012 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, spiritual
A plain vanilla milkshake of Buddhism. Nothing new here. Not awful, just kinda useless if you have any prior knowledge on the topic.
May 14, 2011 Reid rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
I admit to mostly skimming this book. There is really nothing new here, though it is restated in terms that perhaps the author hopes will be attractive to those who need to feel they are rebelling in choosing the path of the dharma. Ho hum.
Tony Riches
May 22, 2011 Tony Riches rated it it was amazing
Life changing. If you have any interest in learning more about what Buddhism is about read this. Namaste!
Oct 15, 2011 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dzogchen Ponlop uses REBEL BUDDHA to discuss the origins, practices, and misconceptions of Buddhism within the context of current society. He is quick to point out that it is not a theistic "religion" but a mindset, a way of life. Even then, there are many aspects of this book that can teach and encourage everyone, regardless of religious backgrounds. For instance, Buddhism advocates that kindness is the greatest gift that anyone can give because it's free and plentiful. In addition, people shou ...more
Feb 20, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title on this book is somewhere between being trendy and slightly misleading. Linking Buddhism with rebelling has at least as much to do with trying to link the particular appeal that anything smacking of rebellion has for some people as it does with being a reasonable approach to Buddhism, and once we get beyond the title and into the book itself, the author uses the "rebel buddha" motif very little.

But he does do a very good job of presenting Buddhist thought and practice in a way that's v
Jun 28, 2014 Nik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buddha once said that the finger that points at the moon, is not the moon. This book helped me develop a greater interest for the philosophical propositions of Buddhism and other faith traditions without having to accept the dogmatic, or religious symbols and traditions found within each one. Just as the finger that points at the moon is not the moon, the religion that points to God is not God, belief in God is not God either. Maybe if there is an empiric object or personage known as God, it can ...more
Noah Rasheta
Jun 07, 2014 Noah Rasheta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, philosophy
This book does a great job of explaining the Buddhist philosophical approach to life without the dogma or religious strings attached. This is written for the westerner who wants to understand Buddhism without having to learn any of the typical Buddhist lingo or vocabulary. I loved this book. I purchased 5 copies to give to friends and family to help them understand my philosophical approach to life.
May 05, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction to Buddhism, if a little bit of prior knowledge might be required.
I loved the first half of the book, having been a Buddhist for some time it was a hugely refreshing way of looking at Buddhism as a whole.

The book did start to stagnate as it reached the later stages moving to a more traditional outlook, but this isn't a major fault, simply one that stopped me page turning to grasp the fresh outlook of the start.

Overall, well recommended.
I skimmed a lot of it. It was a great read but it didn't rock my world. It felt too long. Felt like it could have easily been a pamphlet.

But again, I skimmed. I really need to read it again.
Aug 09, 2014 Arlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
I loved this book. It presents the essence of Buddhism in an easily accessible way, emphasizing the need to trust oneself, and to separate the cultural accouterments from the teachings.
Jul 21, 2012 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the modern, plain language of this book - like how to meditate on the subway and use Facebook in your daily practice.
Aug 25, 2014 Nissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read to understand the philosophy without the dogma of Buddhism. Awakened mind!
Amy Sturgis
Don't judge a book by its title! This work may not pioneer new ground concerning Buddhist thought, but that's not its purpose. What Dzogchen Ponlop does very well here is make the central foundations of Buddhism accessible, underscore the need for self-trust and individual responsibility in practitioners, and -- most importantly -- separate Buddhist thought from its accumulated cultural, historical, and religious contexts.
Dec 11, 2016 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is going to end up being one of those books to reread and return to. The later chapters seem more introductory, but it's a nice way to end. Ponlop has a way to resonate with western readers. This book has a nice blend of Buddhist philosophy and a refreshing and rebellious wild streak.
Nov 22, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
i want to re-read this
Feb 18, 2014 Rama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
An introduction to the metaphysical thoughts of Buddhism

The author, a founder-teacher of Nalandabodhi, an international network of Buddhist practice centers, also teaches the Buddhist wisdom and meditation around the world. In this book he shares his journey of mind and spreads the message of Buddha about life, physical reality, and freedom to attain eternal bliss and liberation from the sufferings.

The summary of his work is as follows: The problem with humans is that we don't see who we truly
Jan 24, 2016 Vikram rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I appreciate the most about Indian Buddhism is its emphasis on truth and reality. The questions we don’t often ask ourselves are the very questions we must ask ourselves. The observations we make resulting from these questions are not only valuable, but our growth is contingent on them. Two such observations stood out in this book: (1) that if "we’re not developing awareness in our everyday life, then we are missing the point"; and (2) the time of our death will come as a surprise.

That dea
Mar 08, 2013 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio book version of 'Rebel Buddha.' I think I should make it crystal clear that I am by no means an audio book person. This has only further cemented that fact. I only opted for this format because it was a free offer from I know I missed a lot and could've gained more from a physical copy.

There isn't anything new or groundbreaking in 'Rebel Buddha,' but Dzogchen Ponlop does cast an interesting and fairly unique light on classic Buddhist thought. This isn't just
This is the book the UU Meditation group has been reading this summer. I missed so many weekends with them I was always playing catch-up. And reading passages on my own is not the same as hearing my own and other voices read aloud. And because my reading was so fragmented I approached writing this entry in my book journal with an ambivalent mind. So I spent a little time today reading aloud again a few of the passages I had marked along the way. Consequently I do think this author has things to ...more
Apr 24, 2011 Tommy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written book for Westerners who are curious about, or already practicing, Buddhism. Dzogchen Ponlop shares insights from the historic Eastern origins of this philosophy, and applies it to the Starbucks and Apple computer crowd that populate so many American sanghas.

I can't say I experienced any epiphanies reading "Rebel Buddha", as I did when reading the more personal, confessional (and humorous) approach of Geri Larkin, still my favorite Buddhist writer, but Ponlop does write with the s
Jan 01, 2014 Skye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learnt more about Buddha and... generally I feel the road to enlightenment to a rather painful one. You must struggle (with your mind) to be free. Like the book says, some of us turn to more convenient avenues- the one proposed here requires a very focused intensity and discipline in order to shape and awaken your mind. No shit this is no mean feat T.T It's really hard to detach from emotions, and worse, 'self'. I feel like I will be stuck at the stage of consciousness forever. Double edged swor ...more
Rafael Martinez
Jan 18, 2014 Rafael Martinez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
This is the best introduction to Buddhism I have come across. This not only covers what Buddhism is, but also covers what it can blossom into in the West.

Dzogchen Ponlop cuts the cultural and academic chaff of Buddhism so that a beginner can understand what is at the heart of Buddhist wisdom.

Three meditation techniques are provided as well as a great example of analytical meditation.

If you want to learn about Buddhism and meditation, this is a great book to start with.

Dzogchen Ponlop eschews the
Taylor Ellwood
Mar 19, 2013 Taylor Ellwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
Rebel Buddha is a guide to finding Buddha within you, as well as exploring the concept of the Rebel Buddha, which is the voice of your waking self reaching out to challenge you. The essays in this book explore Buddhism from a philosophical/lifestyle approach as opposed to a religious approach. I found that I really got a lot out of such an approach, because the author doesn't use a lot of esoteric language. He strips Buddhism down to its core, and in the process asks the reader to do the same wi ...more
Steve Woods
Dec 23, 2011 Steve Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddhism
A great book. It relates the basic tenets of Buddhism precisely and directly to every day life. Although not necessary some knowledge and experience with practice will help make senmse of it all. I found it reassurring and encouraging, this is the path forward for me. The later chapters which relate to the experience that comes after the process of surrendering the sense of clinging self has begun are relevant to me now. I am struggling with compassion for others and for self. The book has been ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From my book review blog Rundpinne..."Complete with appendices and an index, as well as a modern approach to teaching the practice of Buddhism, Rebel Buddha not only serves as an educational source for those simply interested in learning about Buddhism, but also offers up new ways of thinking about Buddhism for the well versed."....The full review may be read here.
Meaghan McQuade
I give this book 3 stars. If I had read this when I was younger and just getting into Buddhism perhaps I would have given it 4 or 5 stars. It covers the basic tenants of Buddhism from a non-religious standpoint which is certainly refreshing and does have value. Essentially a great read for those who haven't read much on the subject matter and are looking for a bare bones approach - as I don't feel it holds much value to those already versed in the subject matter.
Tim Weakley
Ponlop created a clearly written attempt at making first principles of Buddhism understandable to a Western audience with this collection of lectures written ten years apart. There's nothing really new here, but it's well written and easily approached. The small section in the back of the book about the three types of meditation he discusses is also very interesting. He touches breifly on the concept of self in a way that I would like to explore further.
Waco Glennon
I so enjoyed this book that I actually read it twice back to back. I can see me returning to this book over and over. Ponlop speaks with such compassion and understanding. He makes Buddhism not magical and not mundane. But he makes it eminently attractive. I love this book. For anyone interested in Buddhism, I think this is a really wonderful place to start.
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Karma Sungrap Ngedon Tenpa Gyaltsen was enthroned as the Seventh Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche by Rangjung Yeshe Dorje, Gyalwang Karmapa XVI, in 1968. A former Tibetan Buddhist monk, he remains a lay teacher in the Karma Kagyu lineage as well as the Nyingma tradition.

A graduate of Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies (the monastic college at Rumtek) and Columbia University in New Yo
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