Rebel Buddha Book Review

Rebel Buddha Book Review

rebel buddha

Book Title: Rebel Buddha: A Guide to A Revolution of Mind
Author: Dzogchen Ponlop
Publisher: Shambhala
Year Published: 2011
Pages: 224
Paperback Price: $11.24 
Kindle Price: $9.99

The author of this book is the 7th Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche who is the abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, a renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar, meditation master and is also one of the highest Tulkus (reincarnations of previous lamas) in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

He is also the author of such works as: “Emotional Rescue”, “Penetrating Wisdom”, and “Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen”.  He is a witty and humorous speaker who is beloved by many throughout the world.

Book Summary

In this book, the focus is on the “Rebel Buddha” within which is the voice of your awakened mind.  The author guides the reader through the inner revolution and explains how by training your mind and understanding one’s true nature, one can free oneself from needless suffering.

rebel buddha

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (7th)

This book is a good introduction to the basic teachings of the Buddha and argues that if we are to apply these teachings to our personal lives we should go beyond the cultural trappings of traditional Buddhism as it is practiced in Asia.

Dzogchen Ponlop covers a wide variety of topics including the teachings of nonexistence of the self, compassion, and relationships with spiritual teachers.

He says at one point: “We all want to find some meaningful truth about who we are, but we can only find it guided by our own wisdom – by our own “Rebel Buddha” within.”

Chapter 1: Rebel Buddha
Chapter 2: What You Should Know
Chapter 3: Getting to Know Your Mind
Chapter 4: Buddha on the Road
Chapter 5: The Way to Go
Chapter 6: Relating with Confusion
Chapter 7: The Three Trainings
Chapter 8: Untelling the Story of Self
Chapter 9: Beyond Self
Chapter 10: The Altruistic Heart
Chapter 11: What’s in Your Mouth
Chapter 12: Turning Up the Heat
Chapter 13: The Good Shepherd and the Outlaw
Chapter 14: A Lineage of Awakening
Chapter 15: Building Community: Heart Advice of the Buddha

My Critique

This book is a great introduction to Buddhism which is presented in easy to follow, straightforward and informal language.  If you are looking for a book that can help you apply Buddha’s teachings to our personal lives, then this is definitely it.


Overall, this is a great book for beginners on the Buddhist path, or for those who are interested in learning more about Buddhism.

Buy your own copy of Rebel Buddha: A Guide to a Revolution of Mind  from Amazon today!

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Rebel Buddha Book Review

  1. Cat says:


    I found this post at the perfect time! I’m just starting to get very interested in Buddhism and think this book will help a lot. It sounds like a perfect place for me to start.
    Your review really gave me the confidence to look into this book. Thank you so much!

    • Ian H says:

      Hi Cat,
      It is definitely a great book and uses various analogies to get the point across. You’ll end up with a good working knowledge of the basics of Buddhism.

  2. Patrick says:

    Such a great find, I’m currently reading a few books on Buddhism and most of them handle the theory but none put it into practice much. It looks like i found my next purchase. How do you find the implementation? would it be ok for someone like me who has very little meditational practice and mostly theory? thanks in advance!

    • Ian H says:

      Hi Patrick,
      This is a great book even if you don’t have much experience meditating. The focus is more on understanding the Buddha’s dharma (teachings).

  3. TBonki says:

    Although I am not a Buddhist, the religion fascinates me and I admire the characteristics of those who follow it.
    This sounds like an interesting book, and one that I would like to read in the future. If it’s a good introduction to Buddhism, I think I would enjoy it.. I don’t know too much on the subject.
    Thank you!

  4. Joshua Thomas says:

    Hey Ian, thanks for this concise review. I’m not a practitioner of Buddhism but I’ve always been interested in its teachings. This sounds like a gentle introduction which also has some more contemporary approaches embedded which would make it more of a fit for these times. The name is enigmatic and cultivates a sense of mystery, at least for me. I’ll look more into this, thanks!

    • Ian H says:

      Hi Joshua,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you liked my review. It definitely gets you acquainted with Buddhist teachings quickly, I definitely recommend it.

  5. Andrea Sivani says:

    Hey Ian,

    This review came in great timing for me. I have been on a spiritual journey for a while now and absolutely love learning about new concepts and ideas.

    Buddhism has always intrigued me as it seems so peaceful and full of unconditional love – which is what I’m trying to strive towards. Unfortunately I have not had a proper look into Buddhism yet but this books seems like a great place to start. I will add it on my list of books to read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ian H says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for your comment. Buddhism is definitely all about the cultivation of unconditional love. I think you’ll really enjoy this book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *