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A Manifesto For Renegades (Guest Blog Post By Lama Marut)

(Note from Lisa Selow: Today’s guest blog post is actually the Preface from Lama Marut’s book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life. This book will rock your rebel heat and spirit. I’ve gifted it to several of my friends and family.

Some of you who have read my book have asked, “Who is Lama Marut?” since he’s one of the kind people who agreed to check out and endorse my own book, A Rebel Chick Mystic’s Guide (Hay House, Inc.).

I’ve listened to Lama Marut’s teachings for years by podcast, along with seeing him lecture a couple of times in the metro Detroit area when he visited. What I enjoy most about Lama Marut is his humor, warmth, down-to-earth nature, and way of making complex spiritual teachings feel more accessible. 

Read the Preface below and also, read further down to read more about Lama Marut in his bio.

Be sure to leave your comments and questions below for Lama Marut too.)


A Manifesto

This book is for desperados.

It’s for those who know life is short and who are tired of

wasting day after day in low-level unhappiness as they wait for

the next high-level version. It’s a book for those who are desperate

enough to take up arms and make revolutionary inner

changes in their lives before it’s too late.


It’s a book for people who wish to be duped no longer, who

urgently want to be happy and who have figured out that the usual

methods on offer in the modern world don’t work. It’s a guide for

those tired of trying to become well-adjusted to a perverse society

and who are willing—even eager—to deviate from the norm.


It’s for those fed up with both the dead end of modern

consumer-capitalist ideology based on selfishness and greed,

and the toothless, self-absorbed navel-gazing of many contemporary

spiritual self-help books. It’s for those looking for a

hard-core, triple-x, no-nonsense, and supremely practical

guidebook to how to live the good life.


And it’s for people who believe they can do it.


It’s for those who are weary of feeling victimized and powerless.


It’s a book for heroes and heroines—people too afraid to

revert back to the old, ineffectual ways or to run away from

what might actually succeed.


This is a book for warriors. It’s for people ready to take the

bull by the horns and stop coddling their depression, anger,

endless desires, jealousy, and pride. It’s for those itching for

the big rage-in-the-cage smack-down with their own mental

afflictions, their true enemies, the demons that undermine the

happiness we all seek.


It’s for those who know that half-assed efforts bring halfassed

results—and who are prepared to go full-assed.


If you’re ready to get medieval on your suffering, this book

might be for you.


The book is for those who’ve wised up to the callowness of

being too cool to admit that we all just want to be happy—who

know the way to be truly individualistic and stand apart from

the crowd is to realize that we’re all the same.


It’s for those willing to be un-fabulous, and not for those too

trendy to see that the quest for radical contentment is not just

another trend.


It’s for people who won’t be taken in by an anti-happiness

backlash, where, absurdly, being tormented and miserable is

embraced as a sign of sophistication and depth.


This book is for the truly compassionate—the big-hearted,

not the faint-hearted—the ones who have figured out that

being happy is neither superficial nor selfish but the sine qua

non, the indispensable ingredient, for living a meaningful life

of service to others.


It’s for those who have observed that if we are to save others

from drowning, we first need to learn how to swim.


It’s a book for those who realize that we don’t just stumble

upon happiness; that happiness, like everything else, doesn’t

happen without reason, nor does it arise simply by positive

thinking based on a magical law of attraction. It’s for those who

know that happiness can only be brought about through

rationality, self-discipline, and persistence, and who are willing

to roll up their sleeves and get to work.


This book is for those intelligent enough to discern what

will really be effective and what won’t, and who care about

themselves and others enough to seriously commit to creating

a sane, healthy way of life—and who know that in an insane

world, a sane person might very well appear disordered.

It’s for those desperate enough to want to make their spiritual

practice into a tiger—fast and powerful—and give the beast

some real teeth, so armed and dangerous that when the mental

afflictions like anger, pride, and jealousy see it coming, they pee

in their pants.


It’s for those who are done playing footsies under the table

with secularism, materialism, and consumerism, hoping such

flirting might lead to something more, perhaps even a meaningful

relationship someday.


It’s for people who regard themselves as strangers in this

strange and profane land, who are like illegal aliens in a world

stripped of all values and meaning.


It’s for those whose papers are definitely not in order when

it comes to the status quo.


This book is for desperados, rebels, and insurrectionists

willing to pit themselves against a life defined by perpetual dissatisfaction,

egoism, and greed.


Is it for you?


Are you ready yet?


Are you desperate enough to really want to incite happiness

in your life?


(Photo credit: Lama Marut media kit photo)

About Lama Marut:

Who is Lama Marut?

Why did Angeleno Magazine call Lama Marut the “Go-to Guru?”

The son and grandson of Baptist ministers, a Ph.D. of Comparative Religions, motorcycle enthusiast, a former surfer, and a fully ordained Buddhist monk, Venerable Sumati Marut (a.k.a. Brian K. Smith) is a life-long teacher whose easy humor and down-to-earth style make even the most complex spiritual ideas understandable. With his unique combination of earthiness and erudition, commitment and light-heartedness, he attracts large audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Venerable Marut teaches Buddhism and Yoga philosophy, spirituality, and meditation all over the world. He is a founding Board member of the Yoga Studies Institute (YSI) and acts as the Spiritual Director of the Asian Classics Institutes of Los Angeles (ACI-LA), Cape Ann, Massachusetts (ACI-CA), and Reno, Nevada (ACI-Reno).

Venerable Marut’s personal understanding of our modern western lifestyle unites with his extensive scriptural knowledge of authentic South Asian traditions to create spiritual teachings relevant to all, providing advice on how to live happily in the modern world. Additionally, his quarterly newsletters, blog, live video teachings, weekly audio and video podcasts, and daily tweets make his teachings easily accessible to people across the globe. The path to enlightenment has never been so welcoming.

“Are you ready yet? Are you desperate enough to really want to incite happiness in your life?” -Lama Marut

17 Comments on A Manifesto For Renegades (Guest Blog Post By Lama Marut)

  1. melissa dalrymple
    December 6, 2012 at 10:58 am (5 years ago)

    There are days when being positive and uplifting, as well as being grateful just is not in the cards as losing hope or uncertainty creeps in with where I am in my life. In times like this, what do you recommend I do other than talk to friends, blog, journal, etc…..something deeper?

  2. Lama Marut
    December 6, 2012 at 11:44 am (5 years ago)

    Hi, Melissa. There will be ups and downs in life, of course, and when you’re feeling down – hopeless, uncertain, and depressed – it’s important not to beat yourself and cast yourself n the role of a big loser. The spiritual life is an exercise in repeated failure to live up to your own ideals. So cut yourself a break, but also realize that you’re not unique or special in your inability to remain strong and cheerful all the time. And it’s equally important not to wallow in such negative feelings. Let them run their course but don’t over-indulge them either. And then get back up on the horse and try again, without discouragement.

    • melissa dalrymple
      December 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm (5 years ago)

      Makes sense, thanks for the words of support and encouragement. Just at a time in my life where all is new. Lost my pup in July, resigned from my job of over 7 years, moved to a new state away from family and friends….its been a tough transition for me. Tougher than I thought it would be. Usually is not an issue for me, not sure during this go around…guess as you get older you get set in your own ways :)?

      • Lama Marut
        December 7, 2012 at 1:20 am (5 years ago)

        Hang in there, Melissa. This too shall pass. Everything is changing and it’s important to remember that, especially when it seems that a rough path will last forever. It won’t.

        • melissa dalrymple
          December 7, 2012 at 9:58 am (5 years ago)

          Thanks so much again, just taking it day by day, I am confident that good things are coming my way and this is my time to really have the time to reflect and get to know Melissa :) Keep spreading the love, I love your book btw!

          • Lisa Selow
            December 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm (5 years ago)

            Melissa, sending you hugs and love! xoxo

  3. Cindie
    December 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm (5 years ago)

    I struggle with my logical side that little voice my dad installed many years ago. When I ask how do you know which angel or fairy is giving you the message, I often hear several responses, A) “fake it til you make it” my little voice says that is lying and being something you are not. B) it takes many years of practice. I am 50 so my little voice goes by the time you have many years of practice you will be to old. I have had hope, faith in the past only to be disappointed, that is when again I hear that voice telling me that all this woo woo is really just snake oil. My spiritual side really wants to fly but my logical side keeps warning me I am just being foolish to believe.

  4. Lama Marut
    December 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, Cindle. I believe the spiritual life, properly understood, is preeminently logical. It makes sense (to me, at least) that if the purpose and deepest motivation of our lives is to be happy, then we should pursue methods that will allow us to efficiently realize this goal. This is “logical,” right? And what methods actually work to bring us happiness? Greed, selfishness, and consumerism? Endless doubt and cynicism? These false methods for achieving our highest life’s goal are the real “snake oil,” not the really effective tools of ethical living, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, compassion, and love. From the point of view of what actually works to bring happiness, anything OTHER than authentic spiritual methods are the real ‘woo woo”!

  5. Lisa Selow
    December 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm (5 years ago)

    I just thought I’d join in the conversation here too and ask a question. Thanks so much to those who asked questions and to Lama Marut for taking the time to answer…thanks and love! xoxo

    My question…Even though I’ve worked on my mental afflictions for a long time, I still have pop ups now and then, of course. I feel so liberated by cause and effect (karma) as a spiritual idea. However, I’m still human and at times, some people really tweak me. I know I must have tweaked others in the past and that I can prevent this by being loving now. In the moment when I notice I could choose to feel tweaked or not, what’s the best spiritual tool(s) to employ right then and there?

    Thanks :)

  6. Lama Marut
    December 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, Lisa, and thanks so much for inviting me to your blog! It’s great to be here with the original Rebel Chick and all her Chicklets (?!).

    Oh yes, life gives us plenty of opportunities that test our spiritual beliefs and our abilities to put those beliefs into practice. For me, the fight is between my dysfunctional but nevertheless powerful habits (to yell back when someone yells at me, for example) and my reason and rationality (knowing full well that yelling back will only make me feel worse and will strengthen the karma and habit for doing so again in the future). So the preparation for the big smack-down between habits and reason is to strengthen reason as much as possible so it has a chance to break the power of habit when it’s “showtime” — when someone is in your face or has really hurt or betrayed you.

    Study, constant contemplation, and especially meditation on things like patience, lovingkindness, forgiveness, and wisdom are steroids for reason in the battle against habit or instinct. Practice, in other words. No substitution for practice. Then when the challenges come you will have a shot, at least, at doing the right thing.

    And sometimes – maybe even more often than not – you will fail; you’ll lose the battle and get angry, resentful, filled with pride and jealousy, etc. etc. And then, back to the training, the practice – you go back to your workouts at the spiritual gym and get stronger, so the next time it won’t be so easy for the negative inclinations to have their way. You put up a stronger fight, and little by little the good guys win more often over the bad guys!

    • Lisa Selow
      December 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you for that one, Lama Marut. I really need to get back to the spiritual gym. After a year and half of working on my book and reading marketing books, I’m ready to focus more on my yogic and Buddhist studies. Woot! :)

      I so resonate with you as a spiritual teacher since you talk about your own challenges. You’re real and that is so refreshing. :)

      Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here with me and others. Much appreciate it! xoxo

  7. Sue
    December 7, 2012 at 3:05 am (5 years ago)

    Thank you, venerable Lama for being on Lisa’s blog…

    I really like spiritual teachers who aren’t full of fluffy bs, that it’s not all about being positive–or that you can get what you want with a vision board without doing any work in this world…

    So thank you. I alternate between stepping out into being brave and out there spiritually and feeling like a fake because I have “issues” too and aren’t perfect, I get stressed and depressed some of the time etc.

    How did you get the gumption to go on the path you’re on? Thank you.

    • Lama Marut
      December 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm (5 years ago)

      Hi, Sue. I’m not sure it was “gumption” that brought me to a serious spiritual practice as much as desperation. I knew what DIDN’T work, and so for lack of any other options decided to try what I thought, I hoped, would actually bring me more happiness and peace of mind. I call this “Thelma and Louise renunciation” (rebel chicks, take notice!) – I knew what was behind me but I wasn’t sure what would happen if I floored the Thunderbird and took a leap of faith. But it seemed to have worked, and so to the extent that I can keep focussed on my spiritual path I get the results.

      • Sue
        December 8, 2012 at 1:18 am (5 years ago)

        Thank you. I love the idea of “Thelma and Louise renunciation.” I look forward to your book!

  8. Lisa Selow
    December 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm (5 years ago)

    Love that “Thelma and Louise renunciation” bit! I feel like that is another guest blog post for the future! :) Heehee!

    Brilliantly funny and so true!

  9. Astra
    December 8, 2012 at 1:32 am (5 years ago)

    Sweet! So happy to read your guest post here on Lisa’s blog, Lama! You have soothing energy. :)

  10. Lama Marut
    December 9, 2012 at 6:42 am (5 years ago)

    Thanks, Astra. I’m honored to be among you rebel chicks!


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