Thurman, R.

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Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman is a recognized worldwide authority on mind science and spirituality, Asian history, philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, and H. H. the Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman is an advocate of the relevance of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist sciences, arts, and practices in our daily lives. He is a leading voice for the value of reason, wisdom, 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. He recently has been awarded the Padma Shri Award, the President of India’s fourth highest civilian honor for achievement in enriching Indian education and literature. An author and Jey Tsong Khapa Professor Emeritus of Indo-Tibetan Buddhology at Columbia University, Thurman lectures internationally at universities, companies, conferences and think-tanks. His many books include Inner Revolution, a ground-breaking history of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and a call for an enlightened ethics and politics; The Central Philosophy of Tibet, on Buddhist science; Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, on Buddhist art; Essential Tibetan Buddhism, an anthology of key works of Tibetan authors; Infinite Life, a yogic commentary on Shantideva’s Bodhisattva Career; and The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a study of the Tibetan science and art of dying and navigating the rebirth process; Why the Dalai Lama Matters, a win-win plan to solve China’s Tibet catastrophe; Man of Peace, a 300 page fully-illustrated graphic novel of the XIV Dalai Lama’s life and the true story of the invasion of Tibet; The Brilliantly Illuminating Lamp, a study and translation of Tsong Khapa’s masterwork on the most advanced yogas for mastering the process of conscious evolution; and his latest, forthcoming, The Esoteric Community Tantra with its Illuminating Lamp Commentary, an introduction with translations to the unexcelled yoga tantras; and Buddha Bliss, a study of the eightfold path as an evolutionary core curriculum. At the request of H.H. the Dalai Lama, Thurman co-founded Tibet House US in 1987 with Tenzin Namgyal Tethong and Philip Glass, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and renaissance of Tibetan civilization. It maintains a lively museum and cultural center in New York city, affiliates with Tibet Houses in New Delhi and other national capitals around the world. In 2002 he founded Menla Retreat & Dewa Healing Spa in the Catskill Mountains to advance the practical wisdom and healing arts of Tibetan medicine traditions. Working with the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, an international network of universities, and Indian Buddhist partners, he is currently engaged in establishing the Dharmachakra Buddhist Classics Translation Center in Andhra Pradesh, to complete the multi-generational task of translating from the Tibetan Tengyur the 5000+ originally Sanskrit works from India’s long lost "Library of Alexandria," the Ratnodadhi Library of Nālandā University, into English and other modern Indian and world languages, creating a necessary database for the 21st century collaboration of the Indian and Tibetan Inner Sciences (adhyātmavidyā) with modern, "outer," materialist sciences. Inspired by H. H. the Dalai Lama, Thurman's public presentations take a stand on Buddhism's open ground and thence transport audiences into an expanded vision of the world—the sweep of history, the subtleties of the inner science of the psyche, or the depths of the life of the heart. They help clear away shrouds of confusion and tend to evoke the cheerfulness of an enriched present, with the realistic hope for a peaceful future. (Source: Menla.org)

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Affiliations & relations

  • Columbia University · workplace affiliation
  • Amherst College · secondary affiliation
  • American Institute of Buddhist Studies · secondary affiliation
  • Tibet House U.S. · secondary affiliation
  • Dalai Lama, 14th · religious affiliation
  • Menla Mountain Retreat & Conference Center · religious affiliation
  • Gelukpa · teacher
  • Dalai Lama, 14th · teacher