Chauvinism, Clear Light + Bliss in Buddhism – Ep. 155

Reconciling the contradictions found in the wisdom traditions of Tibet, India and all male dominated cultures begins with an acceptance of the chauvinism inherent in the language, symbolism and forms used to express them across history.  In this two part podcast Robert AF Thurman addresses questions from retreat participants about Fire Puja Ceremonies, Dream Yoga and gender in Tibetan Buddhism.

Professor Thurman opens this podcast with an examination of the Heart Sutra + the Symbolism of Agni (Sanskrit: अग्नि) and other planetary deities in found traditional Indian and Vedic Fire Pujas illustrating the corrective teachings and ideas to the chauvinism found in each arguing that Buddhist monasticism was the ultimate antidote to the militarism of India at the Buddha’s time.

Podcast includes a discussion of how best to prepare for Buddhist Vajrayana teachings like the Kalachakra, a discussion of Marilyn Waring’s “Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth“, Dalai Lama’s “Art of Happiness“, Patrul Rinpoche’s “Words of My Perfect Teacher” and a teaching on the value of Tibetan Astrology, Himalayan Medicine and accurate cosmology to seekers of nirvana and ultimate freedom from suffering.

Second part of this week’s podcast includes a Dharma teaching on Relativity, Clear Light and how to use the Buddhist Inner Sciences to find realistic bliss despite it’s history of chauvinism and roots in a male dominated lineages.

“In embracing modernity and progress, we must not abandon the human values that have been so preciously passed down on to us by our elder generations. These values make up our unique culture.

It is these spiritual values that are so ingrained in our culture and in our way of life that make us special and loved by the outside world, and if we are to abandon these values, then it will be a very disheartening situation.”

HH Dalai Lama from

Podcast concludes with a discussion of the dangers of absolutism, a warning to those practicing meditation without developing wisdom, a teaching of Professor Thurman’s “consolation prize” of retroactive nirvana and a dedication of merit practice by Menla visitors.

Bliss, Clear Light + Chauvinism in Buddhism - Ep. 155 of the Bob Thurman Podcast Dalai Lama Fire PujaDalai Lama attending Traditional Fire Puja Photo by David Haung from

“Chauvinism, Clear Light + Bliss in Buddhism” is an excerpt from the “Final Questions + Answers Session of the Kalachakra Study + Practice with Robert AF Thurman” Video. Recorded at Menla’s Nalanda Conference Center in Phoenicia, New York, July 2017 the Annual Kalachakra Study + Practice Intensive Retreat.

To read more about this year’s Kalachakra Program with Robert AF Thurman at Menla please visit:

“Chauvinism, Clear Light + Realistic Bliss in Buddhism” 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 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.

To listen to more recordings from past Robert AF Thurman programs please consider becoming a Tibet House US Member.

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