The first American to be ordained a Tibetan Monk by the Dalai Lama, Robert A.F. Thurman is a scholar, author and tireless proponent of peace.

Why you should listen

Tenzin Robert Thurman became a Tibetan monk at age 24. He's a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University, and co-founder of Tibet House US, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization.

Thurman's focus is on the balance between inner insight and cultural harmony. In interpreting the teachings of Buddha, he argues that happiness can be reliable and satisfying in an enduring way without depriving others.

He has translated many Buddhist Sutras, or teachings, and written many books, recently taking on the topic of Anger for the recent Oxford series on the seven deadly sins. He maintains a podcast on Buddhist topics. And yes, he is Uma's dad.

What others say

“Thurman considers Buddhism to be primarily a system of education, a science that guides individuals to live life to its fullest.” — Kansas City Star

Robert Thurman’s TED talks

Robert Thurman on the TED Blog

Transcript

Bob Thurman on happiness and becoming Buddha — on TED.com

June 7, 2007

Amid TEDGlobal’s talk of our global connection and interconnection, it’s a fine time to present Bob Thurman, Buddhist monk and scholar, on the Buddhist view of the universe. In our hyperlinked world, we can know anything, anytime. And this mass enlightenment, says Thurman, is our first step toward becoming Buddha. When we can know everything, […]

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Quotes from Robert Thurman

The Buddhists think that, because we’ve all had infinite previous lives, we’ve all been each other’s relatives. Therefore all of you, in the Buddhist view, in some previous life … have been my mother — for which I do apologize for the trouble I caused you.
Robert Thurman
Chautauqua Institution • 217K views Oct 2008
Inspiring, Beautiful
Those caught in the cycle of self-concern suffer helplessly, while the compassionate are more free and, implicitly, more happy.
Robert Thurman
Chautauqua Institution • 217K views Oct 2008
Inspiring, Beautiful