Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well

Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well

by Robert Thurman
     
 
One of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential People in America writes about taking responsibility for our own happiness and our actions.

Robert Thurman is America's most popular and charismatic Buddhist. His first book, Inner Revolution, is an international bestseller and his lectures sell out to thousands.

Infinite Life

Overview

One of Time magazine's 25 Most Influential People in America writes about taking responsibility for our own happiness and our actions.

Robert Thurman is America's most popular and charismatic Buddhist. His first book, Inner Revolution, is an international bestseller and his lectures sell out to thousands.

Infinite Life demonstrates that our every action has infinite consequences for ourselves and others, here and now, and after we are gone. Thurman introduces the Seven Virtues to reconstructing body and mind carefully in order to reduce the negative consequences and cultivate the positive. In his powerful, pragmatic style, Thurman delivers life-changing lessons on the virtues and emotions. He invites us to take responsibility for our actions and their consequences while we revel in the knowledge that our lives are truly infinite. Infinite Life is the ultimate guidebook to understanding our place in the universe and realizing how we can personally succeed while helping others.

Author Biography: Robert A. F. Thurman, a college professor and writer for thirty years, holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in America, at Columbia University. He is the cofounder and president of Tibet House New York, an organization dedicated to preserving the endangered civilization of Tibet. He was the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk and shares a close, thirty-five-year friendship with the Dalai Lama.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One day more than 40 years ago, when Thurman was a 21-year-old novice monk (the first Western Tibetan Buddhist monk), he had a physical experience that showed him how the idea of reincarnation, so vast and impossible to verify, can transform our lives right here and now. In his follow-up to Inner Revolution, the Columbia University professor describes how he was walking down a road in New Jersey, sent by his Tibetan teacher to buy milk for tea, when he suddenly experienced the lifting or release of a familiar "push-pressure" around his tail bone. "The pressure gone, I immediately saw that I had always been feeling as if I were being pushed along from behind toward my destination, not only to the grocery store on Route 9 but to my destiny in life, my future in general." Taking stock, he realized that under all of his ordinary thoughts, he had been pondering the Buddhist understanding of the "beginninglessness" of life. Here, in a guide that can be read through as daring thought experiment or delved into as a workbook, Thurman seeks to impart a sense of the inner freedom, the literal lightening up, that becomes possible as we begin to understand that we are all participants in an "infinite life." Thurman explores related transcendent virtues: wisdom, generosity, justice, patience, creativity, contemplation and making art in the service of others. He offers meditations but always returns to the larger truth that true enlightenment-true awakening to the infinite-is never an escape from life but a state of awareness and compassion for other living beings. Among the riches offered here is the insight that we do not become faceless blobs as we realize our selflessness and the infinite nature of our lives but true individualists. Liberated from a fear of death and isolation, confident that we are in a long-term relationship with life that can never be severed, we can begin to help ourselves and others to happiness. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The first Westerner to be ordained a monk in the Tibetan tradition and a leading academic authority on Tibetan Buddhism, Thurman offers the overstressed and suffering his formula for achieving a profound and secure happiness. Explaining the nature of self and the Buddhist concept of "beginninglessness" (all sentient beings have experienced infinite pasts and will experience infinite futures) are the work's first lessons toward enabling the art of "infinite living." Thurman then devotes a chapter, including a meditation practice and implications for individuals and society, to each of six requisite virtues-wisdom, generosity, justice, patience, creativity, and contemplation. General readers will find much of the wisdom and some of the technique of Tibetan Buddhism prescribed as psychological palliative without religious dogma, but, unlike in most Buddhist literature, Thurman comes across as didactic and proselytizing. The author's reputation, the success of his earlier treatise emphasizing the social and political aspects of Buddhism (Inner Revolution), and a planned advertising campaign will create temporary demand in pop collections for this otherwise unremarkable work.-James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of North Carolina at Asheville Lib. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573222679
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Publication date:
02/23/2004
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.08(d)

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