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Jim

san francisco, CA, USA

88
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 113 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Noble Heart: A Self-Guided Retreat on Befriending Your Obstacles

    • ORIGINAL (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Pema Chodron
    • Narrated By uncredited
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (178)

    You can't get away from suffering. That's the good news, teaches Pema Chodron. For at the core of your most painful experiences, you will find the seeds of your awakening. On Noble Heart, this best-selling author and Tibetan Buddhist nun shows you how vulnerability is our greatest spiritual resource amid life's difficulties. Using special meditations and teachings, she shows how to cultivate your own noble heart, one that sheds its armor, and opens fearlessly to both heartache and delight.

    Jim says: "Wonderful, like a personal retreat"
    "Wonderful, like a personal retreat"
    Overall

    This is very much meant to be listened to as if you were on retreat. You won't get quite as much out of it if you listen to it in the car on the way to work or at the gym. (although closing your eyes while driving might be one way to get closer to the divine :-) In my case I spent an hour or so each day sitting on the beach listening to it over a week. Meditations ARE part of it, and while it might feel a little weird sitting in silence listening to your ipod, it's really no different than sitting with a group of people. Participating in the meditations really does add to the overall experience. There's four or five meditations that last for about 15 minutes... so they're short.

    Pema, as always, is extremely insightful. The teachings are excellent and you feel as if you're part of a retreat group. If you had the time to yourself, you could easily make a personal, 2-day retreat out of it.

    I would highly recommend this. However, if you've never really meditated before and are just getting into it, there are better books out there for getting your feet wet. Meditation For Beginners by Jack Kornfield is excellent as is Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Suriya Das. I think Pema also has an intro to meditation book, but I haven't heard it. But I love everything she's done so it's probably great too.

    68 of 68 people found this review helpful
  • Learning the Human Game

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Alan Watts
    • Narrated By Alan Watts
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This four-session collection offers the best of Alan Watts' celebrated Tao of Philosophy lecture series. It features recordings of live seminars and radio broadcasts spanning two decades. Watts offers clear delineations of Taoist, Buddhist, and Hindu teachings on what it means to be human; insights into the hidden order behind the apparent chaos of the universe; what nature can teach us about how to live our lives; and much more.

    Keith says: "need to download a high quality but worth it"
    "Horrible sound quality"
    Overall

    I have no idea if these lectures are worthwhile since you can't hear half of what is being said. Mr. Watts lectures were all recorded in the 70s so the sound quality isn't great on them in general, but when put through a low quality mp3 compressor they become utterly incomprehensible.

    It defies imagination that Audible would put something up here with such atrocious sound quality.

    This is very disappointing because the other lectures I've heard (on tape) by Mr. Watts are wonderful. I was really looking forward to listening to this.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Zen Clues

    • NONE (2 hrs)
    • By Alan Watts
    • Narrated By Alan Watts
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Jim says: "Nothing but sound bites"
    "Nothing but sound bites"
    Overall

    Hugely disappointed with this title.

    It is nothing but 1-2 minute pearls of wisdom from his speeches, removing them from the context of their larger lessons. While they are undeniably wise bits of information, taken out of the context of their larger lessons, they become significantly less than the whole.

    If you've ever listened to one of Mr. Watts lessons you know that they contain many bits of wisdom which add up to a deeper understanding of the subject at hand. The bits of wisdom by themselves may be worthwhile, but you miss out on the larger picture if they are taken out of context.

    Perhaps this is geared to those people who only have a few minutes a day to devote towards personal development and need their enlightenment in short, easy to digest sound bites. This may be an understandable expectation with all the 'enlightenment in 7 easy steps' books out, but it seems to be missing the point. Anyone really wishing to understand the teachings of Mr. Watts (or anyone worth learning from) would be well advised to listen to his full length audio recordings (usually less than an hour... although the quality of most of these on Audible.com are horrible, I recommend getting the real cassettes).

    Mr. Watts is a brilliant man and his teachings are clear and down to earth. His son, who put this book together, has done him a disservice by creating this 'greatest hits' package that has all of the wisdom, but none of the substance.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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