American Buddhist Rebel
American Buddhist Rebel: Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz
This award-winning biography of the early teaching years of Rama ‐ Dr. Frederick Lenz (1950 ‐ 1998) immerses you in a journey of joyful self-discovery.
Celebrate as Rama emerges from a whirlwind of teenage rebellion to become a dedicated student, a popular teacher, and an icon of American enlightenment.
Along the way, based on hundreds of interviews with hundreds of students, colleagues and contemporaries, you will learn, as I did, about the commitment required to truly teach.
One thing I discerned early on was that Rama was a teacher to the core. He was always teaching. He identified viable, leading edge means to bring Americans/Westerners to enlightenment.
In this biography, originally published as Blue Skies Buddha, you will soon discover that Rama was not the Santa Claus version of enlightened teachers. He was funny, literate, engaged, stern, innocent, articulate, prescient. He regularly pushed people beyond their limits because he saw that they would achieve a breakthrough that would energize and brighten their life and meditation practice.
In this biography, I use Rama’s own words and the insights of people who observed Frederick Lenz’s powerful approach to Buddhist transformation – not just his own – yours.
Endorsements and Reviews
A biography of the spiritual leader, Rama, this book details the life and teachings of a man who not only brought his followers to a keener awareness of mysticism, but also urged them to take an active role in the contemporary world, urging participation in activities such as digital software development and even presidential politics. The book provides varied stories from students, family members and associates. Some recount seeing light flow from his hands, others saw him levitate, and yet others tell of his practical nature.
Rama, whose legal name was Frederick Phillip Lenz, cautioned his students not to view him as a teacher, but to see everything in life as a teacher.
U.S. Review of Books
This fascinating biography captures the wisdom of a genuine, compelling teacher who combined absolute miracles with humor, fun and adventure. When you read this fast-paced book, you feel you are there, learning and transforming. This is an original and exciting read.
Lynn V. Andrews – author of The Medicine Woman Series
“I truly enjoyed this book. My husband and I knew Rama for a long time as a friend, not a teacher. This book was an excellent read and I learned so much more about Rama’s physical and spiritual being and more about his Buddhist history. It’s very fast reading, moving and so interesting. I truly recommend it!”
“This book is full of heart and wisdom. It is a clearly written, fascinating story of an extraordinary individual, the lives he affected, and the potential he showed the world for waking up. It was a wonderful read.”
Yael Shy – Director of The Mindfulness Project at New York University
“A vivid account of Liz Lewinson’s personal relationship with the dynamic contemporary yogi, Rama. Born Frederick P. Lenz, this elusive young man leaps off the pages of her book, showing that magic and enlightenment are available to everyone, right here, right now. She shares the twists and turns of his remarkable journey with warmth, detail, and openness. This book sheds new light on an untold chapter of American Buddhism.”
Judith Simmer-Brown – Professor of Religious Studies, Naropa University
“I enjoyed this book immensely! I read it in one sitting. Just couldn’t put it down. My mind went back to the day in an obscure village in Costa Rica (well over a decade ago) when I picked up a dusty copy of Surfing the Himalayas while vacationing. Although Rama had already transitioned, I received a direct transmission from him! Shortly afterward, I searched for a teacher and began the Buddhist path, ultimately becoming a monk. Currently at a crossroad, I have again received insight and encouragement. The Dharma, through Rama’s biography, spoke clearly to me.”
Venerable Dr. Pannavati – Bhikkuni, Co-Abbot, Embracing Simplicity Hermitage
“I was fascinated, moved, and inspired by this clear and compelling biography of Rama. I found myself very drawn to this true Crazy Wisdom guru who offered so much to his students and who, like all great gurus, also suffered at the hands of those who could not recognize the value of his bodhisattva offerings.”
Margaret Wheatley – author of Leadership and the New Science and many other books
“This biography by Liz Lewinson is a passionate, moving, and experiential glimpse into a remarkable teacher who helped his students discover a better life and enlightened awareness while they lived in the everyday world. A page-turning book to be read again and again.”
Leslie Harris – Executive Coach
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