Modern Mendicants – No Haircut, No Free Lunch : Force For Good Principles of The Path with Robert AF Thurman
Opening this video with a question from a Force For Good class series participant about the structure of the Lam Rim teachings, Robert AF Thurman leads an explanation of the Buddhist monastic tradition using a deconstruction of the terms bhikkhu (from Pali, Sanskrit: bhikṣu) & bhikkhuni (Sanskrit bhikṣuṇī). Interpreting them as mendicants instead of the traditional monk or nun., Professor Thurman explains an accurate as “one who lives on alms” provides a wealth of wisdom to modern students of Buddhism.
Includes a discussion of the need for preliminary practices, the dangers of Tantra, the role of learning the arts & crafts in mandala creation & visualization and suggestions for those looking to engage in Vajrayana & Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices.
Full archive video recording explores the history of the “Lam Rim: Stages of The Path” a collection of mind training teachings preserved in Tibet & their connection to the Buddhist Tantra. Professor Thurman provides an introduction to these cherished practices as refined + passed down by Tsongkhapa & the Dalai Lama lineage.
Archive Video includes a discussion the First Dalai Lama, past + future lives, The Three Kinds of Suffering and concludes with a guided meditation on the exchange of Self + Other, Mother Kindness Recognition & the Causal Steps used in Tsongkhapa’s Lam Rim teachings.
In Tibet some of the paths have been less taught to lay people so when the traditions meet in America. The reinforcement from Zen about doing certain types of advanced meditation and the reinforcement from the Vipassana tradition about getting right down to mindfulness practice—these are very good. Tibetan Buddhism has reinforced the other traditions about the need for study to accompany the meditation practices.
If only there was some reinforcement from somewhere to all American Buddhists to create and support monastic Sangha members. Support the free lunch monks and nuns require, then all traditions would be much strengthened. We don’t really have that yet but in another 30 or 40 years, we will have a lot of American Buddhist monastics. Some of them will be from Burmese traditions, some from Sri Lankan, some from East Asian or Vietnamese, and some from Tibetan traditions.
American Buddhist monks and nuns are very important.
Robert AF Thurman via www.awaken.com
‘A Force For Good’ is a Tibet House US course to further the Dalai Lama’s contemporary world initiatives, from His Holiness’ American Institute of Buddhist Studies and Mind & Life Institute science dialogues (Universe in a Single Atom) and His creation of Abhidharma 2.0 through the “Science for Monks” programs, his “secular ethics” (Ethics for the New Millennium and Beyond Religion), His nonviolent approach to conflict resolution, including His Nobel Peace Laureate activities to seek dialogue and a win-win reconciliation with China in the face of the ongoing ethnicidal policies in Tibet (Freedom in Exile and Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama) & along with his emphasis on positive activism (A New Reality: Charter of Universal Responsibility).
“Modern Mendicants – No Haircut, No Free Lunch : Force For Good Lam Rim” is an excerpt from the Tibet House US #ForceForGood Class Series Video: “Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Sources : Madhyamaka Lam Rim with Robert Thurman“.
To watch more videos from past ‘Force for Good’ programs please visit the Tibet House US Member Archive, available to monthly supporters.
Full access starts at $2 a month.
About Robert AF Thurman
Suggested Books & Audio by Robert AF Thurman:
Man of Peace: Illustrated Life Story of Tibet’s Dalai Lama (Book), Infinite Life: Awakening to Bliss Within (Book), Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins (Book), Inner Revolution (Book), Circling the Sacred Mountain : A Spiritual Adventure Through the Himalayas (Book), Essential Tibetan Buddhism (Book), The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between (Book) The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism (Book), The Central Philosophy of Tibet (Book), The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture (Book), Life & Teachings of Tsong Khapa (Book), Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World (Book) & Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between: Living with the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Audio).
Connect with Robert AF Thurman
? Music by Tenzin Choegyal, Used with Permission www.tenzinchoegyal.com