Robert Thurman on TED—& we thought we were his only live-to-video talk show.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 5, 2009
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TED’s amazing: a sort of ongoing lecture series with all the people we wish we could get to. Well, when we have a huge talk show someday—whether on Planet Green or NBC ABC MTV etc…we’ll get amazing guests such as Dr. Robert Thurman to appear on our talk show, elevision.

Oh, wait, we already did (thanks again, Dr. Thurman).

Oh—and in the non-theistic spirit of Buddhism, the tradition I consider myself lucky to have grown up with…if someone doesn’t give us a talk show, we’ll make our own platform—, once it has enough traffic and relationships (with,, etc.) will show our various adventures, interviews, ecofashion shows and musical performances in full screen and live formats.

TED Talks Video:



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


2 Responses to “Robert Thurman on TED—& we thought we were his only live-to-video talk show.”

  1. bob thurman says:

    Download free audio and video teachings by Professor Thurman at:

  2. Greg says:

    It is always a pleasure to listen to Robert Thurman expound on Buddhism. He has acquired a lot of wisdom. And I love his translation of the sutra he mentions in the TED talk. (The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra)

    A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a talk of his at a yoga studio in Hollywood. He sat on a raised dais. I sat on a chair in the front row but as fortune would have it two wonderful Buddhist nuns sat in front of me on bolsters, one to my left and one to my right. An improvised dais of sorts.

    I am certain Bob wondered who the hell I was, surrounded by nuns, as I contended with him on his understanding of origins—citing the doctrine of dependent origination and the Buddha's discourses on ignorance being a cause/condition that brings about fabrication. It is through such teachings (and practice) the nature of the origin or creation of the phenomenal world, otherwise known as samsara, is revealed.

    Thurman, being a staunch anti-theist, did not want to hear a single word about "creation." The thought appeared to raise such extreme disgust in his mind that he would not hear of such concepts, let alone engage in an exploration of the Buddha's teachings on the matter.

    This saddened me—and I always felt it was a conversation that deserved revisiting. In the TED speech I realize my timing was off—in a few lifetimes conditions will be better for that dialogue.

    Why would the teachings re the dependently-arisen nature of fabrication as a result of ignorance be important to a discussion of compassion?

    Because only when we understand the dependently-arisen nature of conditions are we able to achieve the ability to see those conditions as they truly are and thus gain the ability to change conditions. The dependently-arisen nature of all phenomena and their origin from Buddha Mind are the only reasons we can understand the true essence of samsara and bring about an end to suffering.

    And to do otherwise would not be truly compassionate.