I like Martin Sheen and I love the Dalai Lama's view of the world and man. It is so unencumbered
The alternative approach suggested
I believe that we as humans are capable of boundless and endless amounts of love and acceptance and the only thing holding us back are the boxes we place upon ourselves separating 'us' from 'them'. The Dalai Lama expresses the same sentiment and much much more in this book about ethics. He is stating that we need a set of ethics separate from religion. One that all religions can agree with but that does not depend on religion to exist. He believes that these ethics are a natural part of humanity and whether a religious person or not we all have the ability to live an ethical life. I cannot say enough about this wisdom and how well he speaks this truth. This Summer I will be using this book as the core of a curriculum I have created for my teenage son. I want him to understand these principals as he prepares to enter adulthood.
On another note, the narration was a bit funny at first because I have heard the Dalai Lama speak and am also familiar with Martin Sheen. So it took a while to get used to but once I did I think Mr. Sheen did a great job.
The wisdom of the Dalai Lama is so beautiful. The concepts he discusses in this book should be common sense, we shouldn't need to be told to love one another, to help one another, and to try and leave this world better then we found it. I only wish everyone would read this book and take the theme to heart. I love the explanations of thought, the stories, and the deep insight.
I only gave the performance 4 stars because while I do love Martin Sheen his voice didn't have enough pep to keep me listening for long periods of time. I would have to take breaks to make sure I was staying awake and listening.
Otherwise, this was awesome and insightful!
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
Setting aside his religion, the Dalai Lama builds upon a secular message of compassion and ethics that might help the world grow above our greed, wastefulness, and other negative traits of humanity. For the first half of this book, I kept thinking to myself, "This is basic common sense. Of course!" But it's in the second half of this book that the Dalai Lama extracts fundamentals from his faith, which he believes can be practiced without faith, and common sense becomes a profound message of guidance to be practiced at the individual level for those who have ears to hear. Even then, the fundamentals of Buddism provides only a perspective for the Dalai Lama to build upon. He doesn't dwell, but rather immediately relates a given lesson to modern science and the secular world in a way that immediately touches our own everyday lives. Self respect, self mastery, and consideration of others open the way for a much larger meaningful change at every level.
Martin Sheen as a narrator for this seems an odd choice at first glance. At first his voice just seemed "wrong" for this. But it wasn't long when I realized that it really did work on a level I didn't expect. Sheen comes across as a strong father figure, which is precisely how the Dalai Lama's words best come across. Given the comparison, there isn't such a strong disconnect anymore, and indeed, Sheen's reading brings the message home on a less exotic level, bridging that gap between East and West.
Simply put, this isn't the type of book I normally read. I prefer histories, biographies, and fiction, definitely not self-help type books on morality and ethics, especially those written by religious leaders.
That's where this book is different. In this book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, sets aside religion and looks back into his long and well-traveled life, helping people better themselves . His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated something I have always firmly believed, that if a person is good, whether or not he or she believes in a higher power, they are still a good person.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is an intelligent man, with incredible insight on world religions, how they differ and how they are similar. However, despite the similarities, he states that ethics exist outside of religion.
A very fascinating read indeed. And Martin Sheen does an incredible job vocalizing the words of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. So incredible, that I almost felt the words were coming directly from the Dalai Lama's mouth.
If you're religious or not, this is a fascinating, and thought provoking read. I will be listening to this again from time to time.
The narration was very good; I forgot that I was listening to Martin Sheen, and not the Dalai Lama. However, I thought that the material was weak.
No. I didn't feel like it offered anything new or inspirational. It does not offer new material for a "seeker" and it is not controversial enough to challenge a religious person to think differently.
Although Sheen does a very good job, reading may be more inspirational. The books seemed very dry, but that had nothing to do with Sheen's performance.
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In Beyond Religion the Dalai Lama delves on the need to work on compassion at a global level and not focusing on only within our own religion, country, or immediate contacts. He then delves into discussions on what compassion is (not passivity), ways in which we can have compassion for others, and ends with a discussion on meditation to sharpen mental clarity and help with self development. Interesting book to learn more about Eastern believes impacting much of our world today but also good insight into personal development.
As always, the Dalai Lama brings vision and hope for mankind in general, regardless of your religious affiliation or back round. The ideas discussed in the book are rather universal, but important none the less.
There is a lot to digest in 4.5 hours. It will take several passes to take in the meat of the arguments. Narration was good and not intrusive. His rhythm, pitch and rate are supportive of the content and allows the Dali Lama to come though. While the book is short it is about right concidering the depth of content. If it were any longer it would become tedious and tiring.