Not that Buddhism (in my experience and practice), is particularly faith-driven. Still, many may be surprised to hear a religious 'father' advocate and articulate universal morality and ethics without faith-based or doctrinal foundations.
The book is short, practical, well-reasoned, easy to follow, and includes positive prescriptions that can be carried out in the everyday lives of even busy secularists. (I was deeply affected by Hitchens' 'God is Not Great', which did not dislodge philosophical Buddhism's appeal to me, and this book reaffirms my comfort with that affection.)
More than a few readers may be surprised by just how well-read the Dalai Lama is in contemporary neurology and recent science about the brain. Indeed, I look forward to contrasting his opinions here with those of a moral atheist like Sam Harris or a behaviorist like Steven Pinker. If you read more by His Holiness, I think you will be struck by how vigorous and stimulating his intellectual life is.
It must be hard as a narrator to find the 'voice' of the Dalai Lama in a short treatise like this, and while Mr Sheen does a fine job, I found it a distracting listen at times perhaps because he is so well-known. A less high-profile reader may have been called for here.
I'll probably listen again out of respect for the Dalai Lama's position and the knowledge that he has given more time than the average citizen to his subject. And I'm sure salient points were missed in my first review.
The most interesting advice came from the Tibetan exercises for self-control and listening to others. Descriptions of the Dalai Lama's travels weren't particularly interesting to me.
N/A Martin Sheen's narration was a big part of having chosen Beyond Religion. He's an intelligent, exceptional reader.
The world is taking on some pretty important transitions in this century. I would encourage everyone to read to learn, and read across the lines of religion, politics, finance, nature and conservation and especially history.
Wise words needed in a dark time! I look forward to listening to it again and again.
The Dalai Lama has such a way of teaching that it touches the mind and the soul!
Such a strong voice that fits the overall meaning behind the Dalai Lama's words.
It made me think!
I look forward to getting the written book as well!
Here the Dalai Lama talks about how all religions around the world teaches us about kindness, honesty, patience, and forgiveness (inner values) that are for the good of all life on this planet. He also talks about how these same religions are at war with each other despite these teachings. Why can’t we be at peace on the religious front?
If for a moment we stopped and actually applied what was in our religious doctrines or holy books then we’d be at peace tomorrow. Why aren’t we? Because war is money and money makes the world go round.
Excellent choice as a first listen. I've never read any of the Dalai Lama's books, but I'm a Martin Sheen fan, and religion/spirituality is one of my favorite topics.
While I'm still in the early stages of the book, I find Martin Sheen soothing and enthralling as narrator; a wonderful choice for this read.
The book,so far, is quite diverse on the aspects it covers; some more captivating than others.
While I was never really interested in audio books (I love my Kindle), I must say, this favorable experience is, so far, leaving me open to the possibility of future "audio reads", albeit on a narrow, extremely selective basis.
I'm extremely pleased that I was drawn to this book as my first audio read, though nowhere near finished.
With Lotsa Love from gaz regn
The apect of the Dalai Lama that I most admire is the fact that he doesn't seem in the least bit interested in converting anyone to Tibetan Buddhism. All of his energy seems to go into pointing out that we can enjoy our lives more fully, and help others do the same, simply by following a few basic principals. I love the fact that he takes the religion out of his philosophy, and just tells it like it is.
Love to learn. Learn to live. Live to love.
I've never listened to nor read anything by His Holiness the Dalai Lama but found myself really enjoying it during my drives.
The messages have a nice balance of idealism and practicality
He read it well and it took me a while to get used to him just because he is so familiar from films and what not.
It's not a book about religions, but about general human values that remain the same trough time.
The clarity of thinking in the ideas that the Dalai Lama reveals
When he says
There is no significative difference between the most important religions, and it is mandatory that religious and not religious people start living their values.
Most important book I have read in my life.
No...instead spiritually awaken me
Read it for yourself and for others.
Recently retired. Mainly interested in self-development in the final third of life.
I have listened to this twice - it's that good!
The Dali Lama presents an alternative to tired ideas - and hope for a better and unifed world.