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 you have to be unconscious, and that you are going to be driven forever by unconsciousness drives and energies. Although the ordinary, habitual, instinctual driven person is driven by a huge unconscious, and Freud made a great discovery about it, yet we can become conscious of our unconscious. That’s what mindfulness is about. In this way, the Eightfold Path offers us instruments in how to gain freedom in our inner processes, rather than being driven by the unconscious — in other words, how to be a master of all energies that we are enfolded with.

This episode was recorded on January 3, 2015 at the “New Year’s Yoga & Meditation Retreat” at Menla Mountain Retreat, taught by Sharon Salzberg, Robert Thurman, Carolyn Christie, & Brooke Myers.

To learn about this annual event, please visit:

Becoming Conscious of the Unconscious - Ep. 49 of the Bob Thurman Podcast Photo by m wrona on UnsplashBecoming Conscious of the Unconscious – Ep. 49 of the Bob Thurman Podcast Photo by m wrona on Unsplash

The “Force for Good” Course, which Professor Thurman discussed in the end of the podcast, is available as a Livestream Talk Series with Q & A.

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).

Force For Good Tibet House US Menla Series with Krishna Das, Robert Thurman & Sharon SalzbergThis 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:

Listen to more archive recordings from from past Robert A.F. Thurman teachings + public events please consider becoming a Tibet House US member. To learn about the benefits of Tibet House US Membership please 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.



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The New York Times calls him “America’s number one Buddhist.” He is the co-founder of Tibet House New York, was the first American Tibetan Buddhist monk, and has shared a thirty-five-year friendship with the Dalai …