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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Robert Thurman on Buddhism

Robert Thurman on Buddhism (1999)

"Take refuge in the three jewels, the three precious gems," begins Robert A.F. Thurman's introduction to Buddhism: "the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha." Each of these is the focus of one tape in Thurman's three-part lecture series On Buddhism, an extremely thorough introduction to the philosophy, theology, and history of Buddhism. Thurman is well-known as a professor of Indo-Tibetan studies at Columbia University, having also translated The Tibetan Book of the Dead into English. 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. The videotapes themselves do not have elaborate production values: these are essentially college lectures, and they are not for newcomers to Buddhism. For people who have done some reading or have some personal experience with Buddhism and want to gain greater insight and understanding from a leading scholar, however, these lectures are an excellent foray into the intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual underpinnings of Buddhism. --Erik MackiRobert Thurman on BuddhismRobert Thurman on Buddhism

> Starring: Robert Thurman
> Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
> Format: Color
> Rated: NR
> Studio: Wellspring
> DVD Release Date: July 2, 2002
> Run Time: 220

What Do Others Think About Robert Thurman on Buddhism

Very informative, easy to follow, February 21, 2000
Reviewer: A viewer


This was essential to learing the real thoughts regarding buddism. Books I had read in the past were difficult to comprehend the actual meaning of the teachings of the buddah. Thurman is a great teacher and makes it easy and enjoyable to learn about this way of life. Also makes reading other books on the subject much easier.

A good explanation, March 15, 2002
Reviewer: Jeffrey Leeper "kem2070" (Seattle, WA USA)


This series consists of three videotapes that cover three aspects of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Each tape is a lecture given by Robert A. F. Thurman at the Tibet House in New York. Excepting the occasional shot of the audience, each video is 70 minutes of his lecturing.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Thurman is an entertaining speaker and does a great job in explaining some of the mystical aspects and philosophy. He is very good at relating to the audience. After viewing them, I do feel that I have a better grasp of main tenets.

This does not appear to be scripted. For instance, in tape two, he mentions that he will discuss the Four Noble Truths, the three wheels, and the three vehicles. He goes in depth on the truths and the first two wheels, but then seems to realize that he is running out of time so rushes through the last four. There is still good information, but I wished that these last ideas had the same kind of detailed explanation.

Thurman presents lectures on the "Three Jewels", October 11, 2000
Reviewer: Michael Schelb (Boca Raton, FL United States)


Robert Thurman, the renowned professor of Indo-Tibetan studies from Columbia presents popular lectures on the basic concepts of "The Three Jewels" of Buddhism - The Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Thurman's style of teaching is light, sometimes humorous and entertaining enough to capture interest in the before mentioned topics. The video quality and sound are adequate - the lectures were recorded at Tibet House, New York, and the set of tapes provides a good introduction to Buddhist thought - great for the inquiring newcomer and a nice refresher for those who have studied this philosophy.

Robert Thurman on BuddhismRobert Thurman on Buddhism

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