The Buddha’s Good News with Robert Thurman

The wonderful thing about the Buddha’s revelation is that this reality itself is the great bliss state. The extinction of suffering and the achievement of perfect happiness are not found in some elaborate, faraway place—some artificial world we have to create. They are the reality of our world. This was the Buddha’s good news, realized under the bodhi tree—the original wish-granting jewel tree.

This is not to say that there is no work involved. We have to understand the nature of this world through our own understanding, not from some other person showing us. What is Buddhism? It is the response of awakened beings to unawakened beings' wish to become awakened. When we become awakened, we realize our oneness with other beings. When we realize our oneness with them, their suffering becomes our suffering—their delusion becomes our delusion. We feel it, and we automatically respond to help alleviate it.

The reality to which the Buddha awoke 2,500 years ago is undoubtedly the reality that the great founding teachers of other world traditions also experienced and tasted in their own ways. They provided a method of development and education where we could come to awaken from the world of delusion to the world of reality in which we are free.

All beings dwell in this reality. Sadly, we are not aware of it.The Buddha's good news was
“Hey, take a break. Relax. Ease back. Where you are is actually perfect.”
—Excerpt from The Jewel Tree of Tibet

Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman Return to top of page

Robert Thurman currently teaches at Columbia University and holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in America. He received Upasika ordination in 1964 and Vajracharya ordination...


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