Dr. Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important texts from the Tibetan Tanjur. Thurman's work and insights are grounded in more than 35 years of serious academic scholarship. He has a B.A., A.M. and PhD degrees from Harvard and has studied in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India and the United States. A long-time advocate of Buddhist monasticism, in 1962, Thurman became the first American ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He gave up his robes after several years, however, when he discovered he could be most effective in the American equivalent of the monastery, the university. He has written both scholarly and popular books, and has lectured widely all over the world. His special interest is the exploration of the Indo-Tibetan philosophical and psychological traditions, with a view to their relevance to parallel currents of contemporary thought and science.