Compassion + The Intrinsic Reality of Miss Piggy – Ep. 156

Examining cultural norms through the lens of compassion, when grounded in the Centrist mind training perspectives of India + Tibet can transform one’s relationship to conditioning, to themselves and the world in which one finds one self. In this two part podcast Professor Robert AF Thurman discusses Three Manjushris, the place of the Lam Rim Teachings in Buddhism and the use of negation in understanding intrinsic reality.

Podcast opens with an introduction to the 14th Dalai Lama’s favorite teaching Tsong Khapa’s Tengyur text, Essence of True Eloquence and a discussion of reincarnation from the Tibetan + Buddhist perspectives.

In the second half of the podcast Robert Thurman gives a traditional Dharma teaching on absolute and relative reality, non-dualism and a humorous series of stories about the nature of Universal Messianic Compassion.

“Compassion + The Intrinsic Reality of Miss Piggy” was recorded at the “Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Sources: Madhyamaka – Lam Rim” Session of the Force For Good Series at Tibet House US in 2016 in New York City.

H. H. the Dalai Lama gave an historic discourse on Nov. 3 & 4 2014 in New York City at the request of Tibet House US on “Essence Of True Eloquence”, and the masterpiece text by Jey Lama Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) that is considered a classic presentation of the profound view of reality that is foundational for opening the floodgates of universal compassion.

The text is known as the Essence Of True Eloquence: Distinguishing the Interpretable from the Definitive Meanings of the Buddha’s Sutra Discourses (Tibetan– Drang nges legs bshad snying po), which is lucid and detailed expansion of the Short Essence of True Eloquence, the poem Jey Tsong Khapa wrote on the morning of the dawning of his full enlightenment in 1398.

“The root of enlightenment is compassion and different traditions emphasise compassion, but here we are talking about great compassion which is combined with insight into emptiness. Because we experience suffering of different degrees of intensity, we need to recognize its causes and see if we can overcome them. This is the context in which we cultivate great compassion with the intention of liberating all sentient beings and relieving them of their suffering.

If you can’t tame your own mind, How can you help others tame theirs? The Buddha has given clear advice, if people won’t heed him, why should they listen to me?”

Dalai Lama on Lam Rim from


A Force For Good’ is a Tibet House US course to further the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studiesand Mind & Life Institute science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama) & along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility).

To watch the full video recording of this & other Force For Good Teachings at Tibet House US please consider becoming a member. All past teachings from this on-going course are available as apart of the Tibet House US Member Archives.

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This on-going series was inspired by Daniel Goleman’s ‘A Force For Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World‘.

To learn more about this year’s Force For Good Series please click the image above or visit:

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.

This podcast is apart of the ‘Buddhism 101’ Series using classic teachings from Robert Thurman to elucidate basic concepts of the tradition.

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