Meet the Dalai Lama's man in America

Robert Thurman. June 25th, 2008. 7:30 p.m.Books and Books Coral Gables. Miami ArtBooks and Books presents Robert Thurman, the Dalai Lama's man in America, discussing and signing his book Why the Dalai Lama Matters at the University of Miami Gusman Concert Hall, located at 1314 Miller Drive in Coral Gables on June 25th, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Having been named by Time Magazine one of the "25 Most Influential Americans," Robert Thurman has cultivated a worldwide awareness of Tibet through his writing, translation of important Buddhist tests, and activism. He is the co-founder with Richard Gere of Tibet House US and currently serves as the President of its Board of Trustees. 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. All this along with his 45-year friendship with the Dalai Lama makes him the perfect voice for Tibet and its quest for freedom.

Why the Dalai Lama Matters brings the issue of Tibet’s autonomy into the hands of people who can help to create change and prompt China into taking action. Thurman believes that China can evolve as a leader of human rights and create a global shift, very similar to the monumental changes that took place when apartheid ended in South Africa, when the Soviet Union dissolved, and when the Berlin Wall was torn down. Like the situation in Tibet, people thought those challenges were hopeless and would never be resolved. What it took was enough people believing in a cause and bonding together to create change.

Why the Dalai Lama Matters is not merely a book about Tibet or the Dalai Lama. It is a revealing, provocative solution for a world in conflict, dealing with the very fundamentals of human rights and freedoms. By showing the work that the Dalai Lama has done on behalf of his people, Thurman illuminates a worldwide call-to-action, showing that power gained by might means nothing in the face of a determined act of truth.

Robert Thurman is the President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. Having studied with His Holiness the Dalai Lama personally, Thurman was the first American monk of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He is credited with being at the forefront of making Tibetan spirituality, philosophy, and art accessible and understandable in the West. He has a B.A., A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard and has studied in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India and the United States. He is a popular professor in the Religion Department of Columbia University where he holds the Jey Tsong Khapa chair in Indo-Tibetan Studies. Policy makers and the news media often seek Thurman’s knowledge of Tibetan history and culture. In this capacity, he has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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