Everybody Has a Buddha Inside
Robert Thurman: Everybody has a Buddha in there and Buddhas have more fun.
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. The New York Times recently hailed him as "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism."
The first American to have been ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk and a personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years, Professor Thurman is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for the truth regarding the current Tibet-China situation and the human rights violations suffered by the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. His commitment to finding a peaceful, win-win solution for Tibet and China inspired him to write his latest book, Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World, published in June of 2008.
Professor Thurman also translates important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical writings and lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism; on Asian history, particularly the history of the monastic institution in the Asian civilization; and on critical philosophy, with a focus on the dialogue between the material and inner sciences of the world's religious traditions.
Everybody has a Buddha in there and Buddha’s have more fun. That’s one of our slogans. If you find that you will find an inner bliss. And you must find that, actually. It isn’t really just an if and when, it’s a must because your health is your joy and your bliss.
Frustration and misery - that is the source of illness and it messes with the immune system and what holds the atoms and cells together. That's the beauty in ourselves. Atoms – why don’t they all fly apart? Why is it? Dark energy may be connected to gravity. It’s a magnetism. There are subatomic particles in my fingertips – it’s uncertain quantum probabilities that make my fingertips. Why do they stay together in the form of a nice fingertip with some sensitivity and so forth? Why? Actually it’s bliss that is holding them together.
There’s a lot of nice slogans about it and mainly I think people can realize that joy is an elixir to be cultivated and learned to handle calmly - calm joy, peaceful joy, joy that makes you content – not hyper.
That’s what people need. They can enjoy what is called in ancient literature the greatest wealth of all which is the wealth of contentment. You can have hundreds of billions and still think you need more. You’re dissatisfied. But if you’re content with even 50 bucks you’ll be happy temporarily. There’s enough for everybody to have that on this planet.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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