Lama Willa Miller has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism for the last 20 years and is an authorized lama in that tradition. She teaches Tibetan Buddhist practice and meditation in the Northeast. In this excellent seven-week spiritual manual, Miller proclaims that we are all Buddhas waking up from the sleep of ignorance and apathy into the daylight of wisdom and compassion. Each chapter contains material for seven days: an exercise, dharma tips, and thought-provoking quotations. The different sections of this paperback are:
• Know Your Potential
• Map Your Intention
• Create a Sacred Space
• Grow Love
• Be Magnanimous
• Grow Your Own Assets: Trust, Contentment, Conscience, Integrity
• Grow Your Own Assets: Self-Discipline, Enthusiasm, Wisdom
Miller challenges us to tap into our wisdom-nature which she calls "the authentic aspect of yourself that wants to awaken." Struggle is a sign that we have already embarked on a spiritual journey, and caring is a sign that we are open to becoming more compassionate. Also important for this adventure is acknowledging the gift of our bodies and looking to those who inspire us as companions on the road.
In the second week, Miller discusses intention which she sees as making a vow or a commitment to what matters most in our lives. She also covers the use of spiritual tools such as aspirations and prayers. "Creating a Sacred Space" involves finding a place of refuge, making offerings, searching for nourishment in inspirational material, seeking wisdom inside ourselves, and meditating on our breath. In sections on love and magnanimity, Miller exposes the myths of love and outlines five steps of giving.
The author hits high stride in the last two segments of the book on growing the assets of trust, contentment, conscience, integrity, self-discipline, enthusiasm, and wisdom. These character traits support the blooming of altruism and other ethical ideals. Miller ends with this prayer:
"May you know every step of the path is the destination, and every unanswered question a good companion. May you find joy and enthusiasm on your journey. May you be eager to meet the unexpected. Most of all, each and every day, may you recognize your deepest nature, face to face."