Bob Thurman Podcast

Bob Thurman Podcast
By Bob Thurman : Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US and American Institute of Buddhist Studies
About this podcast
Professor Robert A.F. "Tenzin" Thurman’s official podcast covering diverse topics including Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist Studies, spirituality, Tibetan Culture, Asian history, philosophy, Eastern Ideas, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These podcasts include original content as well as selected highlights from his lectures and presentations given around the world.

Thurman is a recognized worldwide authority on these subjects and is an eloquent advocate of the relevance of Eastern ideas to our daily lives. He is a leading voice of the value of reason, peace and compassion. He was named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans and has been profiled by The New York Times and People Magazine.
Latest episodes
yesterday
Tibet House US President Robert AF Thurman discusses Standing Rock to highlight the interconnection between Tibet + Indigenous Peoples across the planet and how both the environmental + opioid addiction crisis provide the unique opportunity for them to forge new ties and provide innovative solutions. Includes a discussion of Sogan Rinpoche and about the melting ice caps + snow throughout the Himalayan Plateau with ways people can support endangered ecosystems + cultures globally. Podcast concludes with a special expose & call to action for the American + British electorate about the Radical Libertarian special interest groups and individuals behind the election tampering + voter suppression during Brexit & the election of Donald J. Trump. Using wit, wisdom & compassion Professor Robert Thurman provides a clear explanation of how these Libertarian & Anarchist groups are different from Republican efforts & candidates in their intentions, stated or implied. “Tibet as Global Standing Rock” Thumbnail photo by David Breashears, courtesy of Glacier Works. About GlacierWorks Founded by acclaimed mountaineer, photographer, and filmmaker David Breashears, GlacierWorks is a non-profit organization that vividly illustrates the changes to Himalayan glaciers through art, science, and adventure. Since 2007, GlacierWorks has undertaken twelve expeditions to document the current state of the glaciers, retracing the steps of pioneering mountain photographers in order to capture new images that precisely match the early photographic records. Over the past five years, they have recorded losses and changes to glaciers that are inaccessible to all but the most skilled climbers. To learn more about this important work please visit: www.glacierworks.org. To watch + listen to  recordings of past events with Robert AF Thurman please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. Learn about joining the Tibet House US Membership Community with a monthly tax-deductible donation by visiting: www.tibethouse.us. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. The post Planetary Treason: Tibet as Global Standing Rock – Ep. 143 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Nov. 11, 2017
Exploring the history of the “Lam Rim: Stages of The Path” a collection of mind training teachings preserved in Tibet, Professor Thurman provides an introduction to these cherished practices as refined + passed down by Tsongkhapa & the Dalai Lama lineage. Podcast includes a discussion of Gendün Druppa the First Dalai Lama, the centrality of the awareness of the possibility of infinite past + future lives, The Three Kinds of Suffering as presented in Tsongkhapa’s Lam Rim teachings & how these teachings provide a systematized path to prepare one for the study of Buddhist Tantras. Concludes with a guided meditation on the exchange of Self + Other, Mother Kindness Recognition & the Causal Steps used in Tsongkhapa’s Lam Rim teachings. This podcast was recorded at the “Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Sources: Madhyamaka – Lam Rim” Session of the Force For Good Series at Tibet House US in 2016 in New York City. The oral teachings of the tradition coming from Atisha had been passed to Atisha’s chief disciple, the layman Dromtonpa. He in turn passed on the lineage and emphasized the need for a thorough comprehension of the meaning of the Buddha’s actual words in their entirety, not omitting even a single word or syllable. The Lam Rim Lineage was given to Gampopa and places reliance on Atisha’s Light on the Path to Enlightenment, The Guideline Instruction Lineage and Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, that Atisha had travelled to an island near Java in order to receive.” Robert AF Thurman from Life & Teachings of Tsongkhapa   To watch the full video recording of this & other Force For Good Teachings at Tibet House US please consider becoming a member. All past teachings from this on-going course are available as apart of the Tibet House US Member Archives. Full Access begins at $2 a month. To learn more about the benefits of Tibet House US Memberships please visit: www.tibethouse.us. ‘A Force For Good’ is a Tibet House US course to further the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studiesand Mind & Life Institute science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama) & along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility). This on-going series was inspired by Daniel Goleman’s ‘A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World‘. To learn more about this year’s Force For Good Series please click the image above or visit: www.tibethouse.us. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. This podcast is apart of the ‘Buddhism 101’ Series using classic teachings from Robert Thurman to elucidate basic concepts of the tradition. The post Lam Rim: Stages of The Path – Buddhism 101 – Ep. 142 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Nov. 6, 2017
Using Tsong Khapa’s Tengyur text, Essence of True Eloquence Professor Robert Thurman discusses the Buddha’s central teachings & concepts as preparation for the 2014 Beacon Theater teachings given by the H.H. the Dalai Lama. Podcast includes a discussion of Robin Williams’ “What Dreams May Come” and an introduction to non-dualism found at the heart of all of the Buddha’s teachings: overtly or through implication. H. H. the Dalai Lama gave an historic discourse on Nov. 3 & 4 2014 in New York City at the request of Tibet House US on “Essence Of True Eloquence”, and the masterpiece text by Jey Lama Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) that is considered a classic presentation of the profound view of reality that is foundational for opening the floodgates of universal compassion. The text is known as the Essence Of True Eloquence: Distinguishing the Interpretable from the Definitive Meanings of the Buddha’s Sutra Discourses (Tibetan– Drang nges legs bshad snying po), which is lucid and detailed expansion of the Short Essence of True Eloquence, the poem Jey Tsong Khapa wrote on the morning of the dawning of his full enlightenment in 1398. From the course description listing: “We are offering a preparatory course which will go over some of the main points of the text, with a view to providing a basic familiarity with the territory of the realistic worldview—first branch of the eightfold path of the fourth noble truth—as understood and taught by the Indo-Tibetan Nagarjuna–Chandrakirti–Tsong Khapa–Dalai Lama tradition. The point of preparing for the Dalai Lama’s own discourse is to be familiar with the main concepts about and outlines of the most important insights, so that when His Holiness, the living transmitter of the authentic tradition, gives his discourse, the prepared recipient can listen with a better understanding. The essence of this realistic worldview is the nonduality of nirvana and samsara, wisdom and compassion, emptiness and relativity. As long as the slightest trace of separation of these two levels remains in one’s mind, wisdom of emptiness does not reach the ultimate depth, and great compassion cannot spring forth from the wholehearted commitment to the amelioration of the condition of suffering beings in the emptiness/relativity nondual reality of their world, blocked by some version of an escapist concept of some sort of absolute release. The text delves deeply into this essential focus, first briefly from the perspective of the seemingly dualistic Individual Vehicle Realist schools, then in more detail from that of the Idealist (“Mind-only”) schools, and then finally from the perspectives of the Dogmaticist (Svatantrika) and Dialecticist (Prasangika) Centrist (Madhyamika) schools. The course will proceed with lecture, Q & A, and some contemplative sessions, with a final day-long retreat on Oct. 11. Recommended reading for this course is in R. Thurman, Central Philosophy of Tibet, (Princeton paperback), especially the Introduction, but one can come to the course without having done so, as a summary pamphlet will be made available during the course. It is also recommended that one attend the entire course; but, space permitting, walk-in attendance might also be possible.” From www.tibethouse.us. “True Eloquence: Pretas, Puppies + Dreams” is an audio excerpt from the Tibet House US Member Archive Video “True Eloquence: Profound Wisdom + Vast Compassion Introduction with Robert AF Thurman”. Recorded at Tibet House US September 2014 in New York City. To watch the full video please visit the Tibet House US Member Archive. To listen to more recordings from past programs with Robert AF Thurman at Tibet House US in New York City + Menla in Phoenicia, New York in the Catskills please consider becoming a Tibet House US Member. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. The post True Eloquence: Pretas, Puppies + Dreams – Ep. 141 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Oct. 30, 2017
In this podcast Robert AF Thurman discusses the history of Nālandā & why the Dalai Lama of Tibet identifies Tibetan Buddhism as well as himself as heirs to the university whose ruins are located in modern-day Bihar, India. Founded under the patronage of the Gupta King Chandragupta II Vikramāditya in the 5th Century then Destroyed in 1203 by Turkish Muslim invaders, Professor Thurman illustrates how Nālandā University brought together the greatest minds of India, Persia, Indonesia, China & Tibet finding it’s highest expression in the seventeen greatest Pandits of Nālandā Monastery, whom the Dalai Lama celebrates in his famous eulogy. Podcast includes an overview of the most influential of the “Great Seventeen” Mahayana Buddhist yogi scientist sages (Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Buddhapalita, Bhavaviveka, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Shantarakshita, Kamalashila, Asanga, Vasubandhu, Dignaga, Dharmakirti, Arya Vimuktisena, Haribhadra, Gunaprabha, Shakyaprabha & Atisha) known for their middle-way centrist perspective & the popular Stages of the Path (lam-rim) teachings. “I am the longest guest of government of India for the last 58 years and am now paying back for that gesture by becoming the messenger of Indian culture. In fact, I consider myself a son of India. A few years ago, some Chinese reporters asked me why I identified myself as India’s son. I told them that my mind and each part of my brain are filled with the knowledge and thought of Nalanda. Besides, in last 50 years this body survived on Indian dal, chapati and rice. That is why both physically and spiritually, I am a son of India. Buddha himself stated my followers should not accept my teaching out of faith or out of devotion, but rather thorough investigation and experiment, the scientific way of approach. So all the Nalanda masters like Nagarjuna, Aryadeva, Asanga, Chandrakirti, all these great masters of Nalanda, even Buddha’s own words, they carry investigation whether Buddha’s statement is acceptable or not. So they are always based on logic and experiment so, therefore, I follow that pattern, tradition.” HH Dalai Lama from www.huffingtonpost.in. This podcast is an excerpt from “Why does the Dalai Lama say he is “Son of Nālandā”? a talk given in October 2017. Photo by Abhishek Sundaram via www.flickr.com. To listen to more recordings from past programs with Robert AF Thurman at Tibet House US in New York City + Menla in Phoenicia, New York in the Catskills please consider becoming a Tibet House US Member. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. The post Buddhist History 101: Dalai Lama Son of Nālandā & Indian Culture – Ep. 140 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Oct. 20, 2017
Using Thomas Cleary’s translation of the “Flower Ornament Scripture: The Avatamsaka Sutra”  & Wilhelm Reich’s “The Function of the Orgasm: Discovery of the Orgone” Professor Thurman discusses the place of reincarnated Tibetan Tulkus within the Buddha’s teaching of the Three Bodies. “Being a Buddha is the juiciest experience possible. Robert AF Thurman Defining Buddha-hood as as permanent orgasmic state Professor Thurman explains the need for a vivid imagination when understanding the wisdom contained in Buddhist visualization practices focused on transforming the subtle energies of the body & mind. This podcast is an excerpt from the 2017 “Tibetan Secrets of Longevity Retreat” with Dr Nida Chenagtsang & Robert Thurman recorded at Menla in Phoenicia, New York. To listen to more recordings from past programs with Robert AF Thurman at Tibet House US in New York City + Menla in Phoenicia, New York in the Catskills please consider becoming a Tibet House US Member. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash The post Buddhas Never Leave : Tulkus, 3 Bodies & Reincarnation – Ep. 139 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Oct. 13, 2017
In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses the concept of the Wheel of Dharma and the historical Buddha’s role as the founder of a world philosophy within the complex religious landscape of India at the time of his teaching. Opening with a humorous story on the Buddha’s view on Theism including his meeting with Brahma & other Gods at the time of his Enlightenment podcast provides an early history of the establishment of the Buddhist Monastic community & the reluctant acceptance of women within the Sangha. Concludes with an overview of the Buddha’s core discovery of the nature of reality as Bliss & his radical statement declaring the potential of all beings to end suffering through wisdom & compassion as he did. This podcast is apart of the Buddhist History 101 Series presenting seminal teachings drawn from archives of Robert AF Thurman & Tibet House US & is intended for those looking to deepen their historical understanding of Buddhism from a general perspective. “Lectures can be liberating!” Robert AF Thurman To watch the full recordings from this + other past events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. Learn about joining the Tibet House US Membership Community with a monthly tax-deductible donation by visiting: www.tibethouse.us. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. Photo by Amaryllis Liampoti on Unsplash. The post Wheel of Dharma & Buddhism as Philosophy : Buddhist History 101 – Ep. 138 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Oct. 7, 2017
Opening this podcast Professor Thurman lays out the history of the Three Vehicles of Buddhism comparing + contrasting the Individual (Hinayana), Universal (Mahayana), & Vajra vehicles or traditions, tracing their origins, spread across Asia & modern manifestations. Podcast concludes with a detailed telling of the Buddha’s birth, early life & process of enlightenment from various accounts. In regard to the founding of the fourfold community, the Sangha, he says: “It was as if the Buddha created holes in the cheese of society- he “Swiss-chessed’ the society. And the holes were the Sangha, the community, the renunciate institution, where people would go for lifelong free lunch. Around four hundred years after the Buddha had left his body, the Sangha institution had produced many, many free people. And these free people, in a social feedback loop, had begun to make possible more freedom for the lay people as well as the monastics. So, the Sangha institution could intervene more actively in society, in the routine lives of Indians. At that point, the less individualistic and more social teachings, which the Buddha had quietly planted earlier with a few disciples, became more useful, and people began to spread them as a kind of social gospel— called the Mahayana, the universal vehicle, or the vehicle of society. Those monastic institutions began to reach out and actually change the routine way of living in society. They unfolded the social dimension of the Buddha’s teaching and began to change the social ethic of India.” Robert AF Thurman This podcast is apart of the Buddhist History 101 Series presenting seminal teachings drawn from archives of Robert AF Thurman & Tibet House US & is intended for those looking to deepen their historical understanding of Buddhism from a general perspective. Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash To watch the full recordings from this + other past events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. Learn about joining the Tibet House US Membership Community with a monthly tax-deductible donation by visiting: www.tibethouse.us. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. The post Buddhist History 101: Three Vehicles & Buddha’s Early Life – Ep. 137 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Sept. 30, 2017
In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses the modern relevance of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, the key place of wisdom in choosing meditation practices and the centrality of understanding emptiness as the logical gateway to selflessness, compassion & generosity. Using The Padmakara Group’s Translation of Shantideva’s ‘Way of the Bodhisattva‘ Fourth & Fifth Chapters on Generosity and Justice Transcendences Robert AF Thurman leads an examination of the basic concepts underlying the Buddhist understanding of justice, patience & generosity. “According to legend, when Shantideva was a student at Nalanda, he was not well liked. The officials and students thought he was lazy and no-good. All he did was sleep and eat and use the toilet (later revealed to be Shantideva’s “three Perfections”), while everyone else was busy studying and practicing. In fact, they wanted to kick him out. However, they decided that Shantideva should at least give one teaching before they expelled him. So one day they came up and demanded that he give a teaching, and Shantideva had never given one before so he was hesitant, but eventually he said okay, let’s do it. They gathered a large group of monks together and erected a very high throne for Shantideva to sit in. They actually planned to embarrass Shantideva because they figured that he wouldn’t know how to get up into the throne. But when Shantideva merely touched the throne, it shrank to normal size. He sat down and they requested he present a teaching that had never been given by anyone before. Shantideva then recited the Bodhicharyavatara or “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.” The legend has it that when he got to the 34th verse of the ninth chapter he rose into the sky and finished the rest of the teaching from atop a cloud.” Robert AF Thurman via SF Zen Center This podcast is an excerpt from the March 15, 2017 HH Dalai Lama’s A Force for Good: Buddhist Science Sources for Practices Beyond Religion Talk ‘Generosity and Justice Transcendences’ by Robert AF Thurman recorded at Tibet House US in New York City. To watch the full recordings from this + other past events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. Learn about joining the Tibet House US Membership Community with a monthly tax-deductible donation by visiting: www.tibethouse.us. ‘A Force For Good’ is a Tibet House US course to further the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Mind & Life Institute science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama) & along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility). This on-going series was inspired by Daniel Goleman’s ‘A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World‘. To learn more about this year’s Force For Good Series please click the image above or visit: www.tibethouse.us. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash The post Shantideva: Justice & Generosity Transcendences – Ep. 136 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Sept. 21, 2017
In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses the historical Buddha as an Inner Scientist applying the scientific method of inquiry in his exploration of inner & outer realities of the self and the world. Includes a guided selflessness meditation, an explanation of the concept of voidness and an in depth introduction to the Buddhist Inner Sciences. “It is not merely an impersonal biological process of atoms and molecules and cells. He saw that living beings do evolve— progress and regress— in a more than strictly physical sense . He taught that we are not merely passive inheritors of genetic codes. We also personally and intentionally evolve ourselves toward higher states of awareness and happiness, or deteriorate ourselves toward lesser awareness and more wretched embodiments. We do so not just in this life, or in a few lives, but over the course of billions of lives, just as it takes billions of lives for a paramecium to become a butterfly.” Robert AF Thurman Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash This podcast was recorded at the 2016 Science and Nonduality (SAND) Conference. To watch more recordings by Robert AF Thurman from past Science and Nonduality Events please visit their website: www.scienceandnonduality.com. Science and Nonduality (SAND) is a not-for-profit organization which presents annual conferences which aims at fostering a new relationship to spirituality, free from religious dogma, based on timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience. At Science and Nonduality, preeminent scientists, philosophers, mystics and artists gather to explore and advance the new paradigm emerging in spirituality that is both grounded in cutting-edge science and consistent with the ancient wisdom of nonduality–the deep understanding of the interconnectedness of life. To learn more about the work of Science and Nonduality (SAND) please visit their website: https://www.scienceandnonduality.com or attend one of their annual conferences in person or online via their community live-stream broadcasts. This podcast is apart of the Buddhist Inner Sciences 101 Podcast Series taken from the Bob Thurman & Tibet House US archives which are intended to provide an introduction to the yogic, meditative & theoretical practices of the tradition. These recordings are intended to be general overviews & one should be studying with a qualified teacher before attempting or engaging in the practices. The post Buddhist Inner Sciences 101: Buddha as Scientist – Ep. 135 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
Sept. 16, 2017
In this special podcast Professor Thurman is joined by Krishna Das, long time friend & co-teacher for an intimate dialog covering their shared histories, meeting their teachers, non-dualism, love and the interplay between Hinduism & Buddhism. Includes humorous stories by Krishna Das + Bob Thurman about Khunu Lama, Kalu Rinpoche, the 16th Karmapa, the Dalai Lama, Allan Ginsberg, Ram Das & Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji). To learn more about the work + music of Krishna Das please visit: www.krishnadas.com. “It’s a long way from Mickey Mouse to Ram.” Krishna Das This talk was recorded during the Final #ForceForGood Class at Tibet House US in New York City in 2016 with Krishna Das & Robert AF Thurman & is apart of the THUS Member Archive. To watch the full recordings from this + other past events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. Learn about joining the Tibet House US Membership Community with a monthly tax-deductible donation by visiting: www.tibethouse.us. ‘A Force For Good’ is a Tibet House US course to further the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Mind & Life Institute science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama) & along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility). This on-going series was inspired by Daniel Goleman’s ‘A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World‘. To learn more about this year’s Force For Good Series please click the image above or visit: www.tibethouse.us. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. Ganesha Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash The post Force For Good: Mantra with Krishna Das – Ep. 134 appeared first on Robert Thurman.
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