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Robert Thurman – First American Ordained as a Tibetan Monk

September 23, 2008

This is something someone pointed in a comment yesterday. On the back of Robert Thurman’s books it is often stated that Robert Thurman was the first American to be ordained as a Tibetan monk. Like this quote on the back of Why the Dalai Lama Matters

Thurman has dedicated his life to the study and preservation of Tibet’s cultural heritage, and is the first American ordained as a Tibetan monk.

Here’s something it doesn’t say on the back of his books. Robert Thurman was also the first American to disrobe. He was only ordained for 2 years. Two years is a very short amount of time to be ordained as a monk. Why is his two year ordination promoted as one of his good qualities? Isn’t this a sign of weak moral discipline?

  1. Tenzin permalink

    I agree that it is an odd thing to boast about. (Especially when there is such a song and dance whenever anyone in the New Kadampa Tradition disrobes due to poor moral discipline.)

  2. Ron Cook permalink

    Mr Thurman has on numerous occasions has indicated that he is not a practicing Buddhist. Yet he is continually cited as being an expert on Buddhism. This contradiction is quite understandable in light of his mentor the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama mixes politics, the Bon religion, divination, oracles, science, non-Buddhist religious concepts and non-religion into his pseudo-belief system. If one investigates the content of his teachings, especially in the last decade, one can see clearly the incremental introduction of these heretical doctrines. Less and less he even mentions the Three Jewels. I wonder if Mr.Thurman has noticed?

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