“Imagine a culture in which everything is geared toward helping all individuals become the best human beings they can be; in which individuals are driven to devoting their lives to becoming enlightened by the natural flood of compassion for others that arises from their wisdom …” ~ Robert Thurman
Professor Robert Thurman’s life has been dedicated towards manifesting such “imaginings.” So, it’s no surprise that he is one of the leading voices bringing Gautama Buddha’s teachings into the daily lives of individuals, not just in America but also the world.
And, aside from being such a leading voice he is also known for making these teachings more accessible to the individual.
Incidentally, early in his “Buddhist journey” Robert Thurman gave up being a Buddhist monk and decided to do his “work” through the “American equivalent of the monastery: the University.”
Advocate for Tibet
“The tradition of nonviolence, optimism, concern for the individual, and unconditional compassion that developed in Tibet is the culmination of a slow inner revolution, a cool one, hard to see, that began 2,500 years ago with the Buddha’s insight about the end of suffering. What I have learned from these people has forever changed my life, and I believe their culture contains an inner science particularly relevant to the difficult time in which we live.” ~ Robert Thurman
In addition to decades of scholarship on topics such as Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, Robert Thurman has been a tireless advocate for Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. His expertise, on Tibetan history and culture, is sought after by policy makers (he has even testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee).
And, as part of this commitment he cofounded the Tibet House US at H.H. The Dalai Lama’s request. Tibet House US’ mission is to preserve and promote the Tibetan culture. He, also, created the American Institute of Buddhist Studies (AIBS) at the behest of Ven. Geshe Wangyal and H. H. The Dalai Lama. AIBS mission is to translate the Tibetan Tengyur, a collection of 4000 treatises on Buddhist Sciences. He authored a plan titled, Freeing Tibet Is in China’s Interest. This plan is “regarded as a practical plausible blueprint for peacefully ending the human rights violations and cultural destruction in Tibet.” ~ Omega Institute
Prolific Author and Gifted Speaker
Robert Thurman has written numerous books on Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Art, Politics and more. And, he is a frequent and popular speaker at Universities, Organizations, Conferences, and Think Tanks.
Robert is also at the forefront of the explorations regarding the intersection between science and consciousness. He has said that “Buddhism is all about science. If science is the systematic pursuit of the accurate knowledge of reality, then science is Buddhism, Buddhism is science.” Here’s an example of him making a strong case in his talk from Science and Nonduality 2015, titled: Emptiness, the Womb of Compassion.
“‘Buddha’ is not a personal name. It is a title, a state we can attain. It means ‘awakened,’ ‘blossomed,’ ‘enlightened.’ It is the blossoming of all happiness and positive powers. By definition, being enlightened is a fully evolved way of living. It is perfect freedom — a freedom so total it cannot be lost even in relationships. It is perfect security, certain of its reality, perfection, and eternal bliss — it is the goal in the quest for happiness.” ~Robert Thurman
Robert Thurman Quotes: From his book: Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness.
1st Image: From Robert Thurman’s website (edited).
2nd & the Featured Image: Robert Thurman and His Holiness the Dalai Lama from RamDass.org, attribution pending.
3rd Image: Bob Thurman by Christopher Michel, CC BY 2.0.