Book Club
Breaking Free from the Terminal Lifestyle: Infinite Life by Robert Thurman

In Infinite Life, Professor Robert Thurman shares his joyous, exuberant, expansive, yet realistic view of the multiverse, as viewed from inner space. Infinite Life is richly written and inspiring as it delights, softens, and opens the heart.

Infinite Life has different editions with different subtitles: Awakening to Bliss Within, Seven Virtues for Living Well, but Prof. Thurman’s favorite subtitle (which his publisher would never agree to) is “Breaking Free from the Terminal Lifestyle.”

“If the infinite life is free and full of endless possibilities, then what is the terminal, constricted, finite life? It is just the opposite—a life limited in possibilities and human potential, a life that does not motivate us to achieve fulfillment for ourselves or for those around us.” (p. 10)

And who needs that?

With Prof. Thurman’s superb guidance, we’ll be pointed away from the terminal lifestyle, and warmly encouraged to at least consider as an “experimental idea”—or embrace, if we can—a realistic view, free and full of possibility.

After introducing us to the nature of reality and Buddhism as “a joyous science of the heart,” Infinite Life presents seven transcendent and universal virtues: Wisdom, Generosity, Justice, Patience, Creativity, Contemplation, and The Art of of Infinite Living. The Art of Infinite Living is the summation, culmination, practice, application, or personal performance of all of the transcendent virtues combined.

Infinite Life invites us all, people of all religions and no religion at all, to expand our view of reality, and to entertain the idea of our “infinite intertwinement with all beings,” which Thich Nhat Hanh calls “interbeing.” And you’re invited to join us.

Reading Schedule

Week 1: 

Foreward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Intro, Part I, xiii-29

Week 2: 

Buddhism: A Joyous Science of the Heart, Wisdom, 31-55

Week 3: 

Wisdom (cont’d), 56-82

Week 4: 

Generosity, 83-113

Week 5: 

Justice, 115-151

Week 6: 

Patience, 151-186

Week 7: 

Creativity, Contemplation, 187-230

Week 8: 

Contemplation (cont’d), The Art of Infinite Living, 230-276

Additional Materials

Please purchase the book Infinite Life by Robert Thurman, before the course begins, and, if possible, complete the Week 1 reading prior to our first online meeting.

Infinite Life by Robert Thurman

Book Recommendations from a Buddhist Scholar

About the Facilitator

Janna Weiss currently practices acupuncture and teaches mind science in New York City. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas Austin in Biological Sciences – Botany (ethnobotany). Janna is also a human rights activist and blogger, for peace, for Tibet, and for the rights of people with developmental and psychosocial disabilities, or those perceived to be so. Janna began studying Tibetan Buddhism with Dharma Friends of Israel in 2005.