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Beyond the Robe (Limited Edition): Science for Monks and All It Reveals about Tibetan Monks and Nunsby Bobby Sager
Synopses & Reviews
Beyond the Robe tells the story of the Science for Monks program and what it reveals about the larger role Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns can play in their monasteries, in their communities, and in the world at large. Science for Monks represents the first time in the 1,500-year history of Tibetan Buddhism that Western science is being taught as part of the monastic curriculum. Beyond the Robe is a collection of essays containing the first insights and observations that have come out of that historic effort. The heart of the book is the perspectives of the monks and nuns themselves as well as reflections from the scientists who teach the workshops. The story of the monks' journey through science to leadership is told by many contributors. More than 30 people have contributed essays, quotes, and photographs. Bobby Sager embraces his role as a convener of their voices and uses his photography to draw the reader into the dialogue. Bobby's dynamic portraits and fine-art photography provide a more complete picture of the monks and nuns and the context in which Science for Monks is taking place. His goal is to create an experiential space where readers can digest the contributors’ thoughts and to provide some “Wow, I didn’t know that!” moments.
"My point of view is grounded in many years of eyeball-to-eyeball experience. Over the past 12 years, I spent time living and studying with monks and scientists while we developed the Science for Monks program. My family foundation, the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama have been partners in this initiative since 2000. My greatest wish for this book is that it helps bring more attention to the untapped potential of the monks and nuns to provide leadership in their world and further insight into ours. Instead of simply admiring them from afar, let's get close enough to listen."
"Bobby Sager has been not only a most generous and dedicated benefactor of the Science for Monks program since it was launched 12 years ago, but also he is a direct witness to its flourishing. His testimony and insight are key to an in-depth understanding of this unique encounter between two major traditions of knowledge, Buddhist contemplative science and modern Western science. His account provides a welcome encouragement to this wonderful meeting of minds and hearts at the service of humanity."
"Beyond the Robe has many fascinating dimensions and makes a critical contribution to Tibet, to Buddhism, and to our world today. The space it opens is the world of the Tibetan Buddhist monastic universities, still thriving in Indian exile. Within that world, we encounter, in beautiful and thought provoking ways, the living tradition of Buddhist monastics, their realms of study, debate, prayer, and meditation, and their living intellectual and experiential encounter with the modern worldview, with its discoveries, technologies, and anxieties."
About the Author
Bobby Sager is a tough-minded businessman who made a fortune by seeing opportunity where others have not. In 2000, Bobby and his wife and kids founded the Sager Family Traveling Foundation & Roadshow (teamsager.org). Three-dozen trips later, the Sagers have established their own special brand of hands-on, eyeball-to-eyeball philanthropy. With Bobby, there are no handouts, no charity. His philanthropy uses business principles and business accountability whether it's fostering entrepreneurship in Rwanda and Palestine, training teachers in Pakistan, or a leadership program for Tibetan monks.
Using his camera as a way to connect with people, Sager's photographs have been featured in numerous publications and have been seen by over 4 million people at concerts and events around the world. He authored The Power of the Invisible Sun (Chronicle Books, 2009), which was featured on NBC's The Today Show and ABC World News, and UNICEF selected the book as one of its featured publications.
While acting as a pioneer in catalyzing Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) as a platform to make a difference, Sager has been recognized by YPO as the first ever recipient of their Global Humanitarian Award. He is also Honorary Consul General for the governments of both Rwanda and Nepal and has given speeches at venues around the world including the General Assembly Hall of the UN and the Sydney Opera House.
Bobby was the Executive Producer for A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006), winner of Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize and Venice Film Festival's Critics' Week Prize. Furthermore, his philanthropy was the inspiration for the NBC prime-time drama The Philanthropist (2009). Bobby received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Brandeis University and a Master's in Management from Yale University.
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of Tibet House U.S., and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. He has B.A., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard and has studied in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India and the United States. The New York Times recently hailed him as "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism."
The first American to have been ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk (1962) and a personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years, Professor Thurman is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for the truth regarding the current Tibet-China situation and the human rights violations suffered by the Tibetan people under Chinese rule. He has also authored many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics, and culture, including Circling the Sacred Mountain, Essential Tibetan Buddhism, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, Infinite Life: Seven Virtues for Living Well,Inner Revolution, The Jewel Tree of Tibet, and most recently, Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World (2008).
Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, an author, translator, and photographer. He has lived, studied, and worked in the Himalayan region for over 40 years. He earned a Ph.D. in cell genetics at the renowned Institut Pasteur under the Nobel Laureate Francois Jacob. He is the author and photographer of Journey to Enlightenment, Buddhist Himalayas, Monk Dancers of Tibet, Tibet: An Inner Journey,Motionless Journey, and Bhutan: Land of Serenity. Ricard donates all proceeds from his books and much of his time to 110 humanitarian projects in Himalayan areas (www.karuna-shechen.org) and to the preservation of the Tibetan cultural heritage (www.shechen.org). His work has been exhibited in New York (RMA Museum, Aperture Gallery), Paris, Perpignan (Visa pour l'image), Winthertur, Stockholm, and Hong Kong.
Since 1989, Ricard has served as the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama. He is an active member of the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to collaborative research between scientists and Buddhist scholars and meditators. When he is not traveling, Ricard resides at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
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