What impressed me the most about Rebel Buddha is that Ponlop Rinpoche isn't trying sell you his brand of Buddhism. Rather, he wisely recommends that Western Buddhism grow organically. Instead of surgery, he recommends planting a seed and allowing it to grow in a shape reflecting the needs of its (American) practitioners. This is a very radical stance for Ponlop Rinpoche, considering that he studied for years in a traditional Tibetan monastery. But it should come as no surprise, especially in light of Rebel Buddha's title and main theme--Buddhism is a form of radical rebellion, one that runs, to use the Buddha's own words, "against the stream." We each have a Buddha inside, and it will take nothing short of a revolution to awaken it.
Ponlop Rinpoche recognizes that Asian Buddhism in American clothing cannot sustain itself for long; in order for Buddhism to thrive in America, it must take on a life of its own. Despite whatever backlash he might receive from his peers and teachers, Ponlop Rinpoche encourages us to see past Buddhism's Asian cultural legacy, to stop clinging to cultural vestments, and return to the heart of the Buddha's teaching--to the Dharma itself. Historically, Buddhism has always adapted; its migration to the West should be no different.
Rebel Buddha is written in accessible, humorous prose; its tone comfortably conversational. While reading it, I often had the impression that Ponlop was an old friend (or spiritual mentor) and speaking directly to me. I enjoyed it very much and highly recommend you read it. Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche will surprise you on every page with his keen and good-humored wisdom.