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A Life That Has Meaning Now and forever with Robert Thurman

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What if, instead of being elected to the Presidency, a candidate had to prove he or she is the personification of Jesus? Why is it sometimes so difficult to be generous? Is human consciousness the one thing in the universe that can be transformed from “something” into “nothing”? One of the most respected teachers of our time, Robert Thurman takes ancient Buddhist wisdom and translates it into answers that make sense here and now, not only for Buddhists but for Catholics, Muslims, “secular humanists” – anyone who wishes to break free of the suffering of modern day life. A self-described “half-baked Buddhist,” Thurman’s wisdom sheds light on our broadest global issues and on our personal daily struggles. It emerges from his lifetime study of theology and religion, including thirty-five years observing the embodied process of the Dalai Lama. Much of his insight is drawn from the real-world perspective of his wife, who wants to know if enlightenment means you will get out of bed when the baby cries at night, or if you will keep your temper when things go wrong. With great humor and humility, Robert Thurman invites us to exchange a lifestyle that sees little consequence of our actions, good or bad, for one that holds the possibility of great meaning and joy in every moment, one that “is liberating and energizing, like having a long-term goal that is sensible and that makes sense.”

Robert Thurman is the cofounder and president of Tibet House, New York, dedicated to preserving the endangered civilization of Tibet. He was the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk, and holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in America, at Coloumbia University. His most recent book is Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well (Riverhead 2004).

Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • What are the day-to-day miracles you can experience to bring enlightenment to the world here and now
  • How you can transform anger, fear and hatred into something positive
  • What is the difference between being fierce and being angry
  • What is the evidence for life after death
  • How can women can revitalize democracy
  • How do we make peace a possibility in a turbulent world

Program Number: 3041            Host: Michael Toms                Interview Date: 3/3/2004

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