Robert Thurman
Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies

Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a nonprofit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur. At the request of HH the Dalai Lama, Robert co-founded Tibet House US, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization.

Thurman is known as a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, includingThe Central Philosophy of Tibet, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Why The Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World and, most recently, with Sharon Salzberg, Love Your Enemies. Time chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997 and The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”

Inspired by his good friend the Dalai Lama, Thurman stands on Buddhism’s open reality, and thence takes us along with him into an expanded vision of the world, whether the sweep of history, the subtleties of the inner science of the psyche, or the wonders of the life of the heart. He always shares the sense of refuge in the Dharma, which unfailingly helps us clear away the shrouds of fear and confusion, sustains us with the cheerfulness of an enriched present, and opens a door to a path of realistic hope for a peaceful future.

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