December 15, 2014

Basic Buddhism with Robert Thurman. {Sponsor}


Basic Buddhism lecture with Robert Thurman.

“More than whether you live or die, it’s how you are living or dying that is important.” ~ Robert Thurman

 The following is an excerpt from Robert Thurman, via our sponsor BetterListen.

When somebody like you comes to me, Buddha’s do not say “no soul”. They say “Where is your soul going to be in the next life if you behave like a pig?”

That’s what we say. We don’t always say “no soul.” Buddha’s never say some dogmatic, fanatic formula and think that that captures the world. To a person who would understand non-soul, or selflessness, or non-self as corroborating nihilism, meaning that they do not exist, the Buddha will not use that expression “no soul.” He will say “What are you talking about? You are there. Do you think I, Buddha, am not here? Do you think I’m a psycho? I’m some person who says ‘Hey, I’m here. You think I’m here, but I’m not here? Really?’ You think I’m saying that? Is that it?”

Then the alignment would be attainment of the true psycho state. No responsibility for your actions, because you’re not.., no continuity in your own memory, you’ll stab someone through the shower curtain today, give them a flower tomorrow. Who cares? I don’t exist. They don’t exist. Do you really think Buddha is like that? That’s what alignment is? Lock him up if that’s what it is. You’d be right to lock him up.

Many of the Hindus in India misunderstood Buddhism as like that, and they thought the Buddhas should be locked up, because they were saying caste system is not important, and many things, they were a little too radical because of.., not because of “no soul” but because of their teaching of the changeability, conditionality, relativity of the soul, you see. It’s all changing, all inter-related, we totally agree. And I also agree with his emphasis on the “no soul.” Why? Because again, see Buddha, Buddha never says, he never comes along and he says in his dharma “Believe my dharma. That’s it. That will save you. Taking refuge in the Dharma is not adopting a belief. It’s not that easy, it’s like, you know, as I said, the refuge is that thing where you change your behavior actually, you see, that’s what the refuge is. You’re someone who can have a belief and they can just get as mad as ever, and “Oh, I believe so and so. Yeah, please make it OK, I got mad.” That won’t work.

Exclusive Bonus to you, our readers: “Mandala” is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “sacred circle that protects the soul.” It also refers to the sacred cosmograms that serve as core symbols of all cultures. Free download of Robert Thurman’s World Mandala.



Robert Thurman’s Basic Buddhism is a collective series of 5 lectures he has given on Buddhism. In these lectures, Thurman patiently takes apart each jewel of Buddhism: the Buddha as the teacher of enlightenment, the Dharma as the teaching, or enlightenment itself, and the Sangha as the historical and current community of learners seeking to become Buddhas.

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