Bob Thurman Podcast

Buddha, The Yogis & Yoginis: Yoga Revolution – Ep. 115

Using the Guhyasamāja Tantra as a jumping off point Professor Thurman leads a discussion with Richard Freeman on the value of studying Esoteric philosophy within the context of experiential yoga practices. In this podcast Professor Thurman guides an investigation of the Buddhist understanding of Interdependence & explains how the concept of morphic resonance suggests a… Read more »

Buddhism 101: Pilgrims + Pilgrimages – Ep. 114

In this dialog with Don George Professor Thurman discusses the psychological & spiritual value of performing pilgrimages both in the modern day as well as in the life of Prince Siddhartha and his original group of followers. This podcast is apart of the ‘Buddhism 101’ Series using classic teachings from Robert Thurman to elucidate basic… Read more »

Tantric Art & Tibetan Buddhism – Ep 113

The imagery of Tibetan tantric symbolism is potent and often shocking to those unfamiliar with the meanings of Buddhist art. In this podcast Professor Thurman explores how art is used in Buddhist Cultures as a way to stimulate the mind to develop the imagination needed to conceive of enlightenment & Buddhahood. Using selections from the… Read more »

Dalai Lama: 1959 & Beyond – Ep. 112

The story of the Chinese Invasion of Tibet & the resulting exile of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama vaulted the young leader onto the world’s stage in an unprecedented manner in 1959. Professor Thurman continues his exploration of the Tibet House US Publication ‘Man Of Peace’ starting with the dramatic events of 1959 and… Read more »

China, Civilization & the Dalai Lama’s Vision – Ep. 111

Citing the on-going industrialized savagery occurring post World War II Professor Thurman uses the example of Communist China’s self-created conflict & the potential reconciliation with Tibet’s His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as a possible model for all countries + nations to not only survive but thrive the modern age of mutually assured destruction. This… Read more »

Buddhism 101: Tibet’s Dalai Lama – Ep 110

Tibet’s Dalai Lama is one of the world’s most respected, influential & beloved yet little understood refugees. In this podcast Professor Thurman gives an overview of the life of the Buddha, The Four Noble Truths & their connection to the modern reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. This podcast is a part of the Buddhism 101… Read more »

Dalai Lama: Man of Peace – Ep 109

After more than a decade in the works Professor Thurman discusses the ‘Man of Peace: Illustrated Life of the Dalai Lama’ Graphic Novel publication + provides an introduction to the history of Tibet, Buddhism & the 14th Dalai Lama. To learn more about + get your copy of the ‘Man of Peace’ Graphic novel please… Read more »

Force For Good Buddhist Science – Ep 108

A Special Losar (Tibetan New Year) Podcast celebrating the Fire Bird/Phoenix year with a detailed introduction to the Buddhist Sciences + the secular nature of the Historical Buddha’s teachings. Includes a retelling of the life of Prince Siddhartha & his act of renunciation within it’s spiritual, social & religious context. Recorded at the Tibet House… Read more »

Stress Relief for Buddhists – Ep 107

In this podcast Professor Thurman leads a reading of the early Pali Suttas known as the Digha Nikaya or The Long Discourses of the Buddha on the four foundations of Mindfulness. Includes a guided meditation using the Buddha’s instructions to bhikkhus & bhikkhunis. Recorded at the 2009 Tibet House US weekend retreat “Stress” with Sharon… Read more »

Buddhism 101: Theism & Nonviolence – Ep 106

In this podcast Professor Thurman gives a brief history of the Western discovery of Buddhism and how there have often been misrepresentations of its central ideas—Dharma (or Dhamma), nirvana, karma—confusions some times brought over from the Asian sources countries, some imposed in attempts to modernize or Westernize Buddha’s expressions of how he sees the world…. Read more »

Self & Selflessness – Ep 105

Professor Thurman begins this podcast with a detailed exploration of the concepts of absolute + relative realities as taught through the Buddhist Inner Sciences with commentary by Mark Epstein M.D.. This recording is apart of the Tibet House US Member Archive. To listen to more from this & other past programs please consider becoming a… Read more »

Nagas & The Qualities of Buddhahood – Ep 104

This podcast begins with an introduction to the Buddhist wisdom nagas by Professor Thurman through recounting a story from HH Dalai Lama‘s visit to Menla Mountain & concludes with a reading from the AIBS Publication ‘Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature’. Includes dialog with co-presenter Mark Epstein Ph.D & retreat participants. To listen to more recordings from… Read more »

Buddhism 101: Preciousness of Human Life – Ep 103

The historical Buddha taught that human life is precious and in this podcast Professor Thurman defines & elaborates this theme as taught by the Buddhists of Tibet. This podcast is apart of the ‘Buddhism 101’ Series using classic teachings from Robert Thurman to elucidate basic concepts of the tradition. This recording is an excerpt from… Read more »

Inauguration & Women’s March – Ep. 102

A short guided meditation on the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration, the Women’s Marches held world wide & the historical context of the current global situation by Professor Robert AF Thurman. Includes a short overview of the destructive power of anger & fear from a Buddhist perspective. This podcast was recorded on Jan 17, 2017 in… Read more »

Buddhism 101: Defining Enlightenment – Ep 101

The discovery of the historical Buddha not only posited the nature of reality but put forth a systematic method for individuals & society to transform themselves through enlightenment. In this podcast Professor Thurman introduces & elaborates the idea of enlightenment using Tibetan History as a lens. This podcast is apart of the ‘Buddhism 101’ Series… Read more »

Six Session Yoga & Kalachakra – Ep 100

Professor Thurman guides a close reading of the ‘Six Session Guru Yoga’ it’s commitments for initiates of the Yoga and Highest Yoga tantras, explaining the bodhisattva and tantric vows taken when practicing the Kalachakra and concludes with an overview of the teachings for those with a general interest in Mahayana and esoteric practice. Recorded in… Read more »

Exploring The Kalachakra – Ep 99

The Kalachakra Tantra or “The Wheel of Time” teachings as preserved within the Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana tradition are considered some of the most esoteric & significant series of initiations transmitted by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In this podcast Professor Thurman gives an introduction to the twelve days of the Kalachakra initiation providing the… Read more »

Working With Enemies: Skillful Means & Reincarnation – Ep 98

Sharon Salzberg & Robert Thurman lead a dialog on the concept of skillful means & answer questions about Buddhist reincarnation through story telling & explanation of current empirical evidence found in modern scientific journals. Recorded at the 2009 Tibet House US Retreat “Working With Your Enemies” at Menla Retreat · Resort · Spa in Phoenicia,… Read more »

Lovingkindness For Your Enemies – Ep 97

In this podcast Professor Thurman & Sharon Salzberg discuss the practice of lovingkindness and it’s power to change one’s relationship with difficult people, emotions & situations. Includes a brief introduction to lovingkindness practice & dialog with retreat participants. Recorded at the 2009 Tibet House US Retreat “Working With Your Enemies” at Menla Retreat · Resort… Read more »

Reciting the Tibetan Book of the Dead – Ep 96

In this podcast Professor Thurman leads a recitation from his translation of “The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between” of the final section for those journeying through the final stages of the Bardo. Recorded at Menla Retreat in Phoenicia, New York, 2009. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob20Thurman_Reciting20the20Tibetan20Book20of20The20Dead20-20Ep2096.mp3Podcast: Download |… Read more »

Fierce Deities Of Buddhism in The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Ep 95

In this podcast Professor Thurman explores the concept of fierce protector deities used in Buddhist practices found in the traditional “Tibetan Book of The Dead” teachings and end of life meditations. Using his translation of “The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between” Professor Thurman provides… Read more »

The Buddha’s Path Summarized – Ep 94

In this episode Professor Thurman examines the twelve verse summary of the Buddhist path as found the 12th Century “Essence of Eloquence” transcribed to Jey Tsongkapa by Manjushri in 1396-1397. Using personal stories & tales from the life of the Buddha Professor Thurman elucidates the liberty & opportunity afforded during one’s life.  Includes a short… Read more »

Buddha’s Reputation of Suffering – Ep 93

In this podcast Professor Thurman examines the historical Buddha’s exploration of the nature of reality & dispels the common misunderstanding of his core discovery. Includes a detailed explanation of the Buddhist & Hindu concepts of causality & how they relate to everyday life. This episode is an excerpt from the lecture given during the “Wisdom of… Read more »

The Secret of Joy is Loving Resistance – Ep 92

In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses how to use the practice for the post-election result. This podcast was recorded on November 11, 2016 by Professor Thurman at his residence in Catskills, Woodstock, NY. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_The_Secret_of_Joy_is_Loving_Resistance_-_Ep_92.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

Tibetan Buddhism Is Not Really Tibetan – Ep 91

Conventional terms for different types of Buddhism (Japanese, Chinese, American, etc) seem to imply that Buddhism was made in these countries, and that it is a product of Japan or other places. But even “Indian Buddhism” — Professor Thurman explains — is a wrong term, because in Buddha’s time there was no India. . …. Read more »

A Loving Look of Compassion – Ep 90

According to a Buddhist belief, we all have lived not just one, but many lives, an infinite amount of them. This means that every being has had a chance to be our mother in one of those infinite lives. In this podcast Professor Thurman teaches that realizing the infinity of our past lives enables us… Read more »

Emptiness is not Nothingness – Ep 89

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains that Buddhism is not only a religion, but it is even more a science and a philosophy. He uses as an example the Buddhist concept of “emptiness” and draws parallels with discoveries of quantum physics. He then explains that emptiness should not be confused with the nihilistic concept of “nothingness.” This… Read more »

Realistic & Unrealistic Actions – Ep 88

Different actions bring about different results. Depending on these results, actions may be called skillful or unskillful, right or wrong, realistic or unrealistic. Positive types of actions (physical, verbal or mental) may be called realistic because they improve the quality of one’s life. They also happen to improve the quality of lives of others. In… Read more »

Buddha’s Evolution Theory – Ep 87

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains why karma is a biological theory. Karma doesn’t mean a fate, karma means causality. You shape how you are. You shape how you are not only by what you do, but also by what you say and, most importantly, by what you think. According to the Buddhist belief, a… Read more »

The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Part 2 – Ep 86

This episode is a continuation of last week’s episode on Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. In this episode, Professor Thurman reads from Shantideva’s verses, dedicated to anger and patience (or tolerance), and explains the meaning as he goes along. This episode was recorded on October 20, 2015 in a class taught by Professor Thurman…. Read more »

The Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Part 1 – Ep 85

Shantideva is the author of one of the most studied texts in the Buddhist canon — A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. In this episode, Professor Thurman reads from this text the verses dedicated to anger and patience or tolerance, and explains the meaning as he goes along. This is the first of a… Read more »

Emptiness Means Relativity – Ep 84

In this episode Professor Thurman explains that a Buddhist concept of “emptiness” or “voidness” doesn’t mean a “no state” apart from everything, or “nothingness”. Emptiness means that everything is empty of any non-relational isolated component. Emptiness is relativity, and we are totally interconnected (mentally and physically) beings. This podcast was recorded on July 1, 2015… Read more »

The Four Transcendences – Ep 83

In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses a famous Buddhist concept of the “four transcendences,” or the “four thoughts that change the mind”: 1. The preciousness of the human life of liberty and opportunity; 2. Realization of immediacy of death, empowering one to live one’s best in the moment; 3. The inexorability of the effects of… Read more »

Ten Skillful Actions to Better Your Life – Ep 82

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains how we can apply the tenfold path of positive/skillful evolutionary actions to shape our lives in a positive direction and improve our evolutionary conditions. This tenfold path is comprised of three physical skills, four verbal skills and three mental skills. In Dalai Lama’s book Beyond Religion: Ethics for a… Read more »

Faith, Doubt, Skepticism & Intuition – Ep 81

In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses the importance of right understanding of faith, the ability to apply doubt and skepticism on the Buddhist path without taking it to the extreme of materialism, and developing tolerance of cognitive dissonance. Professor Thurman then engages into a very interesting discussion about what intuition is and how to differentiate it… Read more »

How Free Are We in Our Choices? – Ep 80

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains how freedom in our choices depends on whether we are living consciously or unconsciously. There is no such thing as “meant to be”, however, each action brings about a particular result. For example, being a victim of circumstances — Professor Thurman continues — can be seen as a result… Read more »

Bare Awareness – Ep 79

In this podcast professor Thurman introduces great Buddhist masters Vasubandhu and Dignaga. Vasubandhu was a brother of the famous Asangha, who met with the future Buddha Maitreya. Vasubandhu wrote a famous work of the Abhidharmakosha (The Treasury of the Clear Science), which is the third of the “three baskets” of the Buddhist teachings (vinaya, sutra… Read more »

Roadmap for the Bardo – Ep78

In this podcast Professor Thurman teaches how each of us creates causes and conditions throughout our life, and how the consequences of those causes will go with us as our consciousness continues into the journey after death (“bardo”) and finds new embodiments. As long as we are helpless victims of our unconscious, we will be… Read more »

The Enlightenment of the Buddha – Ep 77

In this podcast Professor Thurman beautifully renders a description of Buddha’s Enlightenment: “The Buddha was in the land of Magadha in the state of purity under the tree of enlightenment, having just realized true awareness . . .” Professor Thurman goes on to consider why we do not remember our previous lives, discusses the meaning… Read more »

“No Eye, No Ear, No Nose” – Ep 76

In this podcast Professor Thurman teaches the meaning of the cornerstone Buddhist concept of “emptiness.” Many people confuse it with the idea of nothingness; Professor Thurman points out, and continues: experientially, emptiness means that everything is there, but it is there with a mirror image reflection-like or an illusion-like quality. The realization of emptiness means that your… Read more »

The Tibetan Book of the Dead – What is it about? – Ep 75

In this podcast Professor Thurman talks about the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The Tibetan name of this book — The Bardo Thodol — literally means The Book of Natural Liberation through Understanding in the Between. A being can be liberated in “the between” (the term is often translated as “intermediate state”), the period after… Read more »

Creativity: Re-creating the World of Suffering as the World of Bliss – Ep 74

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains three steps to re-create the world of suffering as the world of bliss: The first step is seeing true selflessness or emptiness — the negational freedom from all fixation to non-relative structures or non-relative core that we assume things and ourselves have. By following this insight deeply through the… Read more »

The Preciousness of Human Life – Ep 73

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains why, according to the Buddha, the human life is precious. Being able to change oneself by opening to a new insight; having intelligence, which animals do not have; expanding one’s empathy and sensitivity – these are just a few of the freedoms which make human life so precious. Professor Thurman… Read more »

What is Enlightenment? – Ep 72

In this podcast Professor Thurman teaches that enlightenment is not defined as awareness of space of light, which is somewhere else, not here, in some imagined opposition to this place of light and dark that is filled with all the world’s problems, from which one should escape. That is not the Mahayana definition of enlightenment…. Read more »

Illusion-like Samadhi – Ep 71

In this podcast Professor Thurman explores different stages of Buddhist meditation. When the ‘space-like equipoise samadhi’ disappears, what is there [left]? – Professor Thurman asks the audience and proceeds to answer: everything that was there before is there. But the meditator now sees appearances with the realization that they are like a reflection of the… Read more »

Tolerant Patience – What is it? -Ep 70

In this podcast Professor Thurman talks about anger, patience and compassion. He explains that the fuel for anger and intolerance is frustration and mental discomfort. Professor Thurman advises us not to let this build up, and instead learn how to use this energy skillfully. This episode was recorded in Indonesia as part of the Geographic… Read more »

It’s Your Choice: to Be Happy, or to Be Miserable – Ep 69

In this podcast Professor Thurman reads and comments on an excerpt from The Avataṃsaka Sutra, which describes a cosmos of realms enfolding realms, infinite world systems mutually containing one another. Professor Thurman teaches that this infinite cosmos is governed by a principle called “the emptiness [shunyata] of everything.” When you realize that, then your life becomes your work of… Read more »

Genesis of Buddhism in Tibet – Ep 68

In this podcast Professor Thurman talks about causes and conditions which brought about Buddha’s teaching in Tibet, and how Buddhism transformed society. This episode was recorded on November 11, 2015 in a class taught by Professor Thurman. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_Genesis_of_Buddhism_in_Tibet_-_Ep_68.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path – Ep 67

In this episode Professor Thurman explains the cornerstone teachings of the Buddha: the teaching about the Four Noble Truths, and the teaching about the Eightfold Path. This episode is an excerpt from the lecture given at Tibet House US in New York City, January 6, 2016, as part of a course called “Force for Good:… Read more »

Do We Need to Believe in Past & Future Lives to Become Enlightened? – Ep 66

Should we abandon traditional Buddhist views unproven by scientific materialism, labeling them antiquated and irrelevant? What would be the implications of doing so for our study and practice? This episode is an excerpt from the thought-provoking and lively lecture “Past & Future Lives: Is Enlightenment Possible Without Them?” with Robert Thurman, given at Maitripa College in Portland, OR… Read more »

Transcendent Wisdom & Transcendent Love – Ep 65

In this episode Professor Thurman explains the concept of “intrinsic reality” and how it is different from the concept of “relational reality.” He continues by explaining “emptiness,” how it has often been misunderstood for nothingness, and how emptiness is the quality of the relationality of everything, the fact that everything is empty of any non-relational component. By internalizing… Read more »

Buddhalands as Taught in Vilamakirti Sutra – Ep 64

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains what is a Buddhaland and talks about different Buddhalands, based on the Vimalakirti Sutra, which he translated and has been teaching for nearly forty years. The episode was recorded on March 17, 2016 at the “Vimalakirti, Prajnaparamita & Avatamsaka Sutras” workshop at Tibet House India. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_Buddhalands_as_Taught_in_Vilamakirti_Sutra_-_Ep_64.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes… Read more »

Eight Stages of Dissolution into Death – Ep 63

According to Tibetan Buddhism, when we lose consciousness and faint, or fall asleep, we go through the same eight stages, but we don’t normally notice this process. In this podcast Professor Thurman explains what these stages are, and how they are experienced by us. This episode was recorded on February 28, 2016. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_Eight_Stages_of_Dissolution_into_Death_-_Ep_63.mp3Podcast: Download |… Read more »

Birth and Life of Shakyamuni Buddha – Ep 62

In this podcast Professor Thurman gives a brilliant compelling account of Buddha’s birth and path to Enlightenment. The account is enriched by his wide-ranging scholarship and familiarity with so many different sources of Buddha Shakyamuni’s life story. This episode is an excerpt from the lecture given at Tibet House US in New York City, January… Read more »

Three Kinds of Giving – Ep 61

Tibetan Buddhism teaches that there are three kinds of giving: the giving of material objects, the giving of security and protection, and the giving of teaching. The giving of teaching is considered to be the most important one. In this podcast Professor Thurman talks about these different kinds of giving, about the importance of skillfulness… Read more »

A Guru: A Boss Or A Friend? – Ep 60

The Indian word “guru” means “heavy” in Sanskrit, reflecting an understanding from the Indian society of Buddha’s time, in which the guru figure was an authority or a father figure. Buddha challenged this understanding by undercutting the role of a teacher as an authority figure and by refusing to present himself as such an authority…. Read more »

Anger Management for Women – Ep 59

In Professor Thurman’s view, men in our society are socialized to express their anger more readily than women and are expected to be generally more dominating. Women are socialized to be more patient and accepting. Some say, they should find their way to equality through expressing more anger. However, Professor Thurman continues, we would be… Read more »

Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine – Ep 58

In this episode Professor Thurman shares some secrets of a long marriage, talks about the relationship between sacred feminine and sacred masculine, and about the balance of the feminine and masculine energies in the world and inside of oneself. This episode was recorded on March 11, 2016 at the “Embracing the Sacred Feminine” Retreat at… Read more »

Is the Goal of Buddhism to Become Nobody? – Ep 57

The reason why we sometimes think that the goal of Buddhism is just to become nobody is because we don’t understand the concept of selflessness. Selflessness does not mean that we are nobody, it does not mean that we cease to exist. There is no way you can ever not exist, just as you cannot… Read more »

Darwin, Marx, Freud & Buddha – Ep 56

In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses how the ideas of Darwin, Marx and Freud, although brilliant, are based on a rather despondent bottom line assessment: that we as humans are a bunch of helpless robots. But is it true that we can never understand our unconscious? Are we helpless victims of our genes? Are we the… Read more »

Three Luminosities – Ep 55

In this episode Professor Thurman talks about a coarse, subtle and super subtle body-mind. He then explains the Tibetan Buddhist concept of “three luminosities”: the states of consciousness, which can be experienced either after death, or during sleep. He compares the infinite energy of the clear-light space in our mind with the zero-quantum vacuum energy field. This… Read more »

Why Be Mindful – Ep 54

In this episode Professor Thurman talks about a very valuable practice, a meditation of mindfulness. He discusses its influence on the mind and some different ways it can be practiced: you can count your breath or you can say your mantra. When your mind wanders, you bring it back to the main focus and you… Read more »

We Can Make Miraculous Change – A Special Losar Podcast

“We must make miraculous change, and the planet will be better than ever,” – Professor Thurman greets us with this positive message in this special podcast, recorded for the occasion of the Tibetan New Year, Losar. The planet, political systems/structures, society and we personally may experience difficulties and lack of optimism. Nevertheless, he proposes, we… Read more »

Universal Militarism Versus Demilitarized Society – Ep 53

According to Professor Thurman, the only effective institutional opposition to militarism in the history of humanity has been monasticism. He argues that monastic institutions enable the inversion of warriors. The militancy of the warrior is introverted, so that the monk or nun battles with his or her own inner demons of selfishness, anger, greed, and… Read more »

The Pureland and Lotus Sutras – Ep 52

In this podcast Professor Thurman talks about the history and meaning of the Pureland Sutra and the Lotus Sutra. Sutras are canonical scriptures, regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha. The Pureland Sutra is the main sutra of one of the most widely practiced traditions of Buddhism in East Asia, the Pureland… Read more »

Buddhism and Non-Violence – Ep 51

In this podcast Professor Thurman shares his knowledge of the history of Buddhism and its influence on the social and ethical development in the countries where it has taken root. He talks about mainstream Buddhist societies and counter-cultural Buddhist societies, both of which become devoted to non-violence. This episode was recorded on December 8, 2015… Read more »

Emptiness of Emptiness – Ep 50

In this episode Professor Thurman explains the concept of emptiness. Sometimes people think if they have an experience where things seem to melt into empty space, that it is a realization of emptiness. It is a valuable experience — as long as it’s not misinterpreted — however, it’s not a realization of emptiness. It can… Read more »

Becoming Conscious of the Unconscious – Ep 49

In this episode Professor Thurman discusses how to deepen our mental realism about what we are, what our inner world & processes are by applying the famous Buddhist Eightfold Path. There is a great difference between Buddhist psychology and Western psychology (not a religious difference, but a scientific one). Buddhist psychology does not accept that… Read more »

Saints & Miracles – Ep 48

Enjoy the podcast, in which Professor Thurman shares the stories of great sinners transforming into great saints, of workability of the human mind and preciousness of human life. The miracle stories will go well with your celebratory New Year dinner! This episode was recorded on November 24, 2015 in a class taught by Professor Thurman…. Read more »

A Christmas Podcast: Buddhists Love Jesus Too!

Celebrate tonight the welcoming of the Infinite Divine in the form of an innocent child, reaching out not only to humans, but also to non-humans by being born in a manger, and not just to one tribe, but to all of the world, represented by the three wise men. Professor Thurman wishes a Merry Christmas to all of… Read more »

Two Kinds of Bodhichitta – Ep 47

In this podcast Professor Thurman explains the meaning of the cornerstone Buddhist concept of Bodhichitta, which is of two kinds: love & compassion and wisdom of emptiness. Enlightenment is a complete manifestation of it . . . This episode was recorded on December 5, 2015 at the “Shamans and Siddhas: Meeting at the Crossroads of… Read more »

Human Rights and Buddhism – Ep 46

Prince Siddhartha was asserting his human right to seek his own flourishing and fulfillment as a human individual rather than serve the community as a king at the wish of his father and of his society. He didn’t consider that he was able to really help people who he was supposed to be helping as… Read more »

The Seventeen Great Pandits of Nalanda – Ep 45

His Holiness the Dalai Lama often says that he is not necessarily a follower of this or that particular school of Tibetan Buddhism. Rather he traces his spiritual ancestry or lineage to the Seventeen Great Pandits of Nalanda. In this episode Professor Thurman talks about those Great Scholars. They taught at Nalanda, which was a… Read more »

What does Buddha feel? – Ep 44

What does it mean to become a Buddha? Does it mean to disappear into space separate from everything? To feel superior? To become a servant of others? In this episode Professor Thurman discusses what it means to be a Buddha, talks about extreme views of absolutism and nihilism and about the necessity of critical and… Read more »

Anger Management – Ep 43

We all know what anger is. When a situation is going wrong for us — when something we wanted to see happening doesn’t, or when something we don’t want to see happening is happening — we get frustrated. That frustration is a fuel of anger. Some people may advise: “Just swallow your anger,” but if… Read more »

Exchanging Oneself for Others – Ep 42

“Since I and other beings, both, in wanting happiness are equal and alike, what difference is there to distinguish us, that I should strive to have my happiness alone?” In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses the ideas, advanced by Buddhist teachers, in this case skillfully expressed by saint and scholar Shantideva: it’s by abandoning self-preoccupation… Read more »

The Heroic Resolve: Conceiving the Bodhisattva Spirit – Ep 41

When we look at mother-beings and see how they really are—quite unhappy, having a lot of problems, growing old—we naturally wish to relieve their unbearable feelings, and this wish takes a form of unbearable compassion. We are afraid that this will be an unpleasant experience for us, but there is a difference, Professor Thurman explains,… Read more »

The Evolutionary Cause of Beauty – Ep 40

In this podcast Professor Thurman shares insights on the concepts of virtue, beauty and skillfulness in Tibetan Buddhism. We think of virtue as beautiful and associate the good with light and brightness. By drawing from the etymology of the Tibetan word “virtuous”, Professor Thurman shows how virtue also includes aspects of beauty and skillfulness. He… Read more »

Relative & Absolute: A Conversation between Manjushri & Vimalakirti, Part 2 – Ep 39

This episode is a continuation of last week’s episode on the fifth chapter of the famous Vimalakirti Sutra. An object of love and inspiration for many lay practitioners, as well as monastics, the Sutra is known for giving an in-depth explanation & analysis of key buddhist concepts, such as emptiness, non-duality, self & non-self, and… Read more »

Relative & Absolute: A Conversation between Manjushri & Vimalakirti, Part 1 – Ep 38

In this episode Professor Thurman expounds the profound teaching, contained in the fifth chapter of the famous Vimalakirti Sutra, which he translated and has been teaching for nearly forty years. An object of love and inspiration for many lay practitioners, as well as monastics, the Sutra is known for giving an in-depth explanation & analysis… Read more »

The Art of Dying – Ep 37

Death is just like going to sleep.. And then we are going to wake up. The way, in which we wake up, has to do with how we have lived today. In this podcast Professor Thurman offers a discourse on the topic of death and dying: what is happening, when we die, what follows it?… Read more »

Buddhism is Realism – Ep 36

In this episode Professor Thurman explains, why we may call Buddhism Realism. He presents Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths (or Four Noble Realities) and the Eightfold Path (or 8 Steps of Evolutionary Path) in a manner that is fresh and accessible, as it is profound. Recognition of the symptom, diagnosis of the cause,… Read more »

Misplaced Confidence – Ep 35

What do we experience when we look inside? Where do we place our confidence? Do we believe that we have mind? In this episode Professor Thurman discusses the power of questioning, the necessity of digging deeper in order to understand mind and its power. The episode is an excerpt from the the “Buddha and Yogis”… Read more »

The Fast Path – Ep 34

Tantric Buddhism is known as the fast path, meaning that it is possible to become enlightened in one or a few lives, instead of millions. In this podcast, Professor Thurman discusses how we can use our dreams to compress the virtue of many lives into one dream. He also speaks about the role of compassion,… Read more »

Visualizing an Enlightened Universe – Ep 33

In this episode, Professor Thurman discusses visualization practice and meditation. He explains how the context which you assume will determine how much progress you can make. When you create an imagined enlightened universe, you are making vivid to yourself a preferable image, as well as loosen your own sense of yourself as being limited and… Read more »

The Heart Sutra, Part 2 – Ep 32

This episode is a continuation of last week’s episode on The Heart Sutra. In this episode, Professor Thurman discusses the questions: How does free will work? What does it mean that we are all effected by causes and conditions? He also discusses how shunyata, or voidness, is a scientific discovery, not just a mystic philosophy…. Read more »

The Heart Sutra, Part 1 – Ep 31

The Heart Sutra is one of the most profound and widely studied texts in the Buddhist canon. In this episode, Professor Thurman reads the Heart Sutra, and explains the meaning as he goes along. This is the first of a two-part episode on the Heart Sutra. This episode was recorded on July 27, 2015 at… Read more »

Deconstructing the Self – Ep 30

In this episode, Professor Thurman continues with his teaching on Vimalakirti, and explains how to use analysis to realize non-duality. Your body, your mind, everything you think of as solid and real dissolves under this analysis, and brings you into a state of samadhi. This is a powerful practice for deeply understanding the nature of… Read more »

Meeting Vimalakīrti- Ep 29

In this episode, Professor Thurman reads the first chapter of Vimalakirti, which he translated and has been teaching for nearly forty years. Thurman illuminates the meaning of the text, the historical context, and the various possible translations of important words and concepts that elucidate the Mahayana teaching. This episode was recorded on July 23, 2015… Read more »

All Beings Are My Mother – Ep 28

One of the unique aspects of Tibetan culture is that for hundreds of years, thousands of people have been meditating on the thought “every single being has been my mother.” This means that through countless lives, you have been every possible animal and being, and every single being alive today has been your mother countless… Read more »

Bliss is Legal – Ep 27

In this episode, Professor Thurman points out the unspoken rule in our culture that it isn’t OK to be happy for no apparent reason. He explains that in fact, reality is bliss and joyfulness. When we understand the nature of reality, it makes perfect sense to be happy. We just don’t experience our life that… Read more »

Flowing Through the Knots – Ep 26

All of us have knots in our energetic system from our conditioning and emotional trauma that need to be uncoiled through spiritual practice. However, if we try to pierce them or muscle our way through them, they just get tighter. In this episode, Professor Thurman, Richard Freeman, and John Campbell discuss how to flow through… Read more »

Revealing Your Rainbow Body – Ep 25

Yuthok Nyingthig is the most important practice for Tibetan medicine healing practitioners. The practice of Yuthok Nyingthig helps reveal the rainbow body that is each person’s natural state. Professor Thurman discusses the meaning of empowerment, tantra, and why the rainbow body of natural bliss and happiness is such an important teaching for our modern world…. Read more »

The Ethics of Enlightened Self-Interest – Ep 24

In this episode, Professor Thurman discusses Buddhist ethics, which he translates as the ten-fold path of skillful and unskillful action. Instead of right and wrong, Professor Thurman urges us to consider ethical behavior as any action that helps us evolve on the path toward enlightenment. Helping others is the heart of skillful action, but it’s… Read more »

Transforming Anger into Compassion – Ep 23

One of the Dalai Lama’s slogans is: “If you want to be happy, be compassionate.” In this lecture, Professor Thurman discusses how to do this by opening our hearts to others, especially our enemies. Our enemies aren’t just other people, but within ourselves. By transforming anger towards all our enemies we can find true happiness… Read more »

The Fundamental Mis-knowing – Ep 22

The Buddha’s Wheel of Dependent Origination describes the cycle of existence—the endless wheel of samsara and suffering. The first link on this wheel is ignorance, or mis-knowing. Specifically, the idea that we are separate from others. Professor Thurman explains how this fundamental misunderstanding of separateness creates the whole universe of suffering. It is also the… Read more »

The Buddhist “Soul” – Ep21

In this episode, Professor Thurman responds to the question: “Does Buddhism believe in a soul?” Buddhism teaches that we have no inherent self, so how can there be life after death and reincarnation? In a concise and humorous way, Professor Thurman explains the Buddhist understanding of existence, non-existence, and what is reborn. This episode was… Read more »

The Uncreated Mind – Ep20

In this lecture, Professor Thurman explains the concept of nonduality, and that emptiness doesn’t mean we don’t have a mind. Emptiness means we have an uncreated mind—it has always been there and it can never be destroyed. What this means is that we’re already in nirvana, we’ve always been in nirvana, and we can’t leave… Read more »

The Danger of “Just Meditate!” – Ep19

Professor Thurman discusses the potential dangers of cultivating an empty mind without also developing proper understanding of what emptiness is. Just meditating with our default understanding of reality can temporarily dampen our worries, but it won’t completely overcome them. The danger is that we’ll think we’re already enlightened, and lose the motivation to completely transform… Read more »

Advice on Mahamudra Meditation – Ep18

Professor Thurman gives advice to a group of students who have been learning the Mahamudra (great seal) meditation. This episode is an extract from a lecture given to students of the Nalanda Institute on April 16th. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_Advice_on_Mahamudra_Meditation_-_Ep18.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

Buddha and Yoga – Ep17

In a lecture series Professor Thurman, Richard Freeman, and John Campbell compare and contrast the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Brilliant Illumination of the Lamp of the Five Stages. Bob and Richard discuss the first few verses of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. They discuss atman, raja yoga, mahasiddhas, bliss, and the channels/nadis of the body. This… Read more »

Talking to Those Who Depart Through Death – Ep16

Professor Thurman leads a prayer for those who died in the Nepal earthquakes from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. This prayer can be similarly used for anybody who has passed away, whether by natural disaster or otherwise at any time, ideally within 49 days of the passing. In the Tibetan view of the dying… Read more »

Father Philo and Mother Sophia – Ep15

Professor Thurman introduces the Essence of True Eloquence (drang nges legs bshad snying po), discussing his own personal experience encountering and translating the Tsongkhapa’s great work, and also Tsongkhapa’s own experience and doubts about composing the work. He elaborates on the role of Manjushri in influencing Tsongkhapa to eventually compose it, and in influencing those… Read more »

How the Vajrayana and Tantra Works – Ep14

Professor Thurman discusses the distinctions between Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, delving into a discussion of the creation stage and perfection stage; the extraordinary-ordinary mergers pertaining to basis, path and fruition; and the five stages of the Glorious Esoteric Community (Shri Guhyasamaja) — (1) body isolation, (2) speech isolation, (3) mind isolation, (4) clear light, and… Read more »

Meditation & Mistaken Guru Yoga with Gelek Rimpoche – Ep13

Introducing the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśha Sūtra, Gelek Rimpoche and Professor Thurman discuss mistaken relationships with Buddhist gurus and books, particularly in the West. They offer guidance for identifying a good guru and for maintaining a healthy relationship with the guru. Professor Thurman also continues with a reading of a humorous anecdote about Śhāriputra from the Vimalakīrti… Read more »

Heart Sutra – Ep12

Professor Thurman recites and then briefly explains the Heart Sutra. Professor Thurman’s translation of the Heart Sutra can be found in his book, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, on page 171, under the chapter heading, “Practicing the Liberating Wisdom.” This episode is an extract from a lecture that Professor Thurman gave at Tibet House US on April… Read more »

Meditation and Realization – Ep11

This is a fly-on-the-wall episode of Professor Thurman talking to a student about quiescence (pali: samatha, sanskrit: śhamatha), insight (pali: vipassanā, sanskrit: vipaśhyanā) and realization/meditation (bhāvanā). They discuss common misunderstandings of the three, and how to use them on the path to enlightenment. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_Meditation_and_Realization_-_Ep11.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

The Freedom of Asceticism – Ep10

Professor Thurman discusses the difference between Theravada and Universal Vehicle (Mahayana) Buddhism, comparing the Nirvana aspiring mendicants and Enlightenment aspiring Bodhisattvas — the variances in their ways of thinking and the impacts they have on the societies they live among. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/Bob_Thurman_The_Freedom_of_Asceticism_-_Ep10.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

Lucid Dying – Ep9

Professor Thurman discusses the experiential and physical parallels between the process of sleep and the process of dying. He explains also the similarity between this experience and enlightenment, and how sleep yoga and death yoga can be used therefore on the path to enlightenment. This episode is an excerpt from recordings of a weekend retreat… Read more »

Rebirth Stories – Ep8

Professor Thurman discusses the process of dying, death and rebirth, and the relationship we have with this process as compared with the relationship we ought to have with it. He further discusses the relationship that both Christianity and Materialism have with the idea of rebirth and shares some amusing and insightful anecdotes. This episode is… Read more »

HH. Dalai Lama’s March 10th “Appeal to the World” – Ep7

Professor Thurman announces His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s new book, “My Appeal to the World”, which is a collection of transcripts of 50 speeches given by His Holiness The Dalai Lama on March 10th between 1961 and 2011, with commentary by Sofia Stril-Rever, published by Tibet House US. Professor Thurman further discusses the Tibetan Freedom… Read more »

Transcendence in the Universal Vehicle – Ep6

Professor Thurman discusses the impossibility of objective reality, and the influential role of the subject in a relational object’s status. He continues with a discussion of why this is key to the path of transcendence in Universal Vehicle Buddhism (Mahayana). This episode is extracted from Professor Thurman’s Winter 2015 lecture series at Tibet House US… Read more »

The Buddha, Einstein and Wittgenstein: The Royal Reason of Relativity – Ep5

Professor Thurman discusses the progression in theories of relativity in the west, and shows how the Buddha set forth a perhaps more complete version of the same insight 2500 years earlier with what was later called “the royal reason of relativity. “ This episode is extracted from Professor Thurman’s Winter 2015 lecture series at Tibet House… Read more »

Nagarjuna’s Teaching of Evolutionary Skill – Ep4

In a reading of Nāgārjuna’s Jewel Rosary (Ratnāvalī), Professor Thurman discusses the skillful paths of evolutionary action performed by body, speech, and mind, presenting that these paths of evolutionary actions shape an individual’s personal evolution or devolution in an evolutionary matrix similar to that of Darwin but, adding to it voluntary individual evolution through infinite… Read more »

The Truth of Bliss: No Genesis Nor Final Destination – Ep3

Professor Thurman discusses the virtually psychotic way in which people resist the notion of infinite relativistic bliss in favor of accepted creation & destination theories. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/BTP_0003_Bob_Thurman_The_Truth_of_Bliss_No_Genesis_Nor_Final_Destination.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

Buddhist Belief in Past and Future Life – Ep2

Professor Thurman analyzes the idea of non-existence after death (and prior to conception), discussing the requirement of a Buddhist to recalibrate their understanding of life in order for their Buddhist practice to become useful. http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/BTP_0002_Bob_Thurman_Buddhist_Belief_in_Past_and_Future_Life.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page

Debut! The Story of My Early Years – Ep1

Professor Thurman talks about his formative years and his own introduction to Buddhism. The complete lecture can be found at: http://translationandtransmission.org/conference-revisited.htm http://media.blubrry.com/bob_thurman_podcast/p/traffic.libsyn.com/thetimemachine/BTP_0001_Bob_Thurman_Debut_The_Story_of_My_Early_Years.mp3Podcast: Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | Podcast Page