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Inner Revolution

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness
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Paperback Book
March, 1999
$20.00 CAD
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Robert Thurman, co-founder of Tibet House in New York, was the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk, and shares a 35-year friendship with the Dalai Lama—while teaching Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia and writing many books! Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, agrees with many, describing Thurman as “a living treasure, one of today’s most provocative spiritual thinkers.” In gestation since his 1976 address “The Politics of Enlightenment,” Inner Revolution is a deeply intelligent primer on practical Buddhism, written in the engaging context of a completely original understanding of the history of civilization.

Unlike in the modern West, where efforts are directed outwardly, toward material progress, in Tibet, energies were directed inwardly, toward progress in the development of an inner universe, toward spiritual progress. The soul was thought of as a subtle, relative, totally and inextricably interconnected process, powerfully influencing and influenced by its environment. So it was the soul that mattered, the soul that was to be developed. It was the soul that needed industry, investment, cultivation.

Through a series of carefully articulated chapters such as “The Cool Revolution,” “A Kingly Revolution,” “The Power of Cool Heroism,” “The World-Taming Adepts,” and “Inner Modernity,” Thurman shows how the “enlightenment factories” of Tibetan and earlier Indian cultures went about creating conditions for human harmony. His insight is sparkling, and his craft of bringing the healing practices and perspectives of the Buddha into our wobbling-with-confusion global culture is both effective and timely.

The tradition of nonviolence, optimism, concern for the individual, and unconditional compassion that developed in Tibet is the culmination of a slow inner revolution, a cool one, hard to see, that began 2500 years ago with the Buddha’s insight about the end of suffering. What I have learned from these people has forever changed my life, and I believe their culture contains an inner science particularly relevant to the difficult time in which we live. My desire is to share some of the profound hope for our future that they have shared with me.

“A wonderful introduction to the entire sweep of Buddhism, pointing out its continuing, powerful relevance for today’s world. All of Buddhism’s breakthrough realizations are carefully explained, along with their direct application to our own experience and awareness right now, so that the Buddha’s radical enlightenment can be our own, here in the midst of ordinary existence.” —Ken Wilber, author of A Brief History of Everything

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