The Buddhist Inner Science Centrist View of Nagarjuna, as interpreted by Buddhapalita and further clarified by Je Tsongkhapa, states that the ultimate truth, emptiness, is totally compatible with conventional reality: nothing exists intrinsically from its own side, yet is in perfect harmony with the conventional truth, that everything is dependently originated. This undermines the root of all suffering, the fundamental ignorance that grasps at an intrinsically existing self, while at the same time allowing for the infallible unfolding of cause and effect. Meditation on this Middle Way between nihilism and eternalism overcomes all forms of ego-grasping and opens the door to liberation and enlightenment.

Saturday, March 11, 2023, 10:00am – 1:00pm

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Bob Thurman, known in the academic circles as Professor Robert A.F. Thurman, is a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings, the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and was a longtime close friend of Gelek Rimpoche.

A charismatic speaker and author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, Bob was named by The New York Times as the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism. Time Magazine chose him as one of the 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.”

Bob served as the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University for 30 years, until 2020. A very popular professor, students always felt his classes were “life-changing”.

Bob is the founder and active president of Tibet House US, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture, and of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific Tibetan treatises.

Thurman writes, “What I have learned from these people [Tibetans] has forever changed my life, and I believe their culture contains an inner science particularly relevant to the difficult time in which we live. My desire is to share some of the profound hope for our future that they have shared with me.”

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