Robert Thurman joins Dale live on stage to answer questions about karma, coping with death and to share practices for turning towards Dharma.
Robert Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. Learn more at bobthurman.com.
Turning Towards Dharma (Opening) – We begin with a guided meditation based around the Four Mind Turning Truths. Dale leads us in understanding how these four truths about existence provide the motivation and perspective needed to turn our intentions fully towards our Dharma practice.
Karma and our Intention (18:15) – Dale and Robert open the floor to their audience. They explore the role intention plays in the karmic repercussions for our actions.
“There are four things that karma depends on. One of those is the identification of the target of an act.” – Robert Thurman
Robert Thurman explores questions of karma with Raghu Markus on Ep.239 of the Mindrolling Podcast
Being Present for Death (27:00) – Dale looks at our reactions to unpleasant sensations and emotions He explores what being present for unpleasant sensations can teach us about our relationship with death.
“Many people, myself included, learn about not automatically reacting to the unpleasant through a relationship with physically unpleasant sensations, which is much easier and more direct because they are so much more seductive and confusing. I would encourage everyone to explore the possibility of being with unpleasant sensation and see if you can relax. It is just an unpleasant sensation. When you are dying it may be very unpleasant, we don’t know. If every time something unpleasant arises and you go, ‘I can’t deal with this,’ then you are setting yourself up for trouble.” – RamDev RamDev
Supporting Someone Who Is Dying (34:50) – How can we support someone who is dying? Dale talks about some of the emotions, like guilt, that may arise in the dying process and how we might offer compassion and comfort another person experiencing this. Robert looks at the importance of forgiveness and the karmic repercussions that our resentments and grudges carry with them.