In this podcast Professor Thurman discusses the modern relevance of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, the key place of wisdom in choosing meditation practices and the centrality of understanding emptiness as the logical gateway to selflessness, compassion & generosity.
Using The Padmakara Group’s Translation of Shantideva’s ‘Way of the Bodhisattva‘ Fourth & Fifth Chapters on Generosity and Justice Transcendences Robert AF Thurman leads an examination of the basic concepts underlying the Buddhist understanding of justice, patience & generosity.
“According to legend, when Shantideva was a student at Nalanda, he was not well liked. The officials and students thought he was lazy and no-good. All he did was sleep and eat and use the toilet (later revealed to be Shantideva’s “three Perfections”), while everyone else was busy studying and practicing. In fact, they wanted to kick him out. However, they decided that Shantideva should at least give one teaching before they expelled him. So one day they came up and demanded that he give a teaching, and Shantideva had never given one before so he was hesitant, but eventually he said okay, let’s do it.
They gathered a large group of monks together and erected a very high throne for Shantideva to sit in. They actually planned to embarrass Shantideva because they figured that he wouldn’t know how to get up into the throne. But when Shantideva merely touched the throne, it shrank to normal size. He sat down and they requested he present a teaching that had never been given by anyone before.
Shantideva then recited the Bodhicharyavatara or “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.” The legend has it that when he got to the 34th verse of the ninth chapter he rose into the sky and finished the rest of the teaching from atop a cloud.”
Robert A.F. Thurman via SF Zen Center
This podcast is an excerpt from the March 15, 2017 HH Dalai Lama’s A Force for Good: Buddhist Science Sources for Practices Beyond Religion Talk ‘Generosity and Justice Transcendences’ by Robert A.F. Thurman recorded at Tibet House US in New York City.
To watch the full recordings from this + other past events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. Learn about joining the Tibet House US Membership Community with a monthly tax-deductible donation by visiting: www.tibethouse.us.
‘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 Studies and 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).
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: www.tibethouse.us.
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