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Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between: Living with the Tibetan Book of the Dead | [Robert Thurman]

Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between: Living with the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Robert Thurman illuminates the Tibetan Book of the Dead with up-to-date insights for modern audiences. For centuries, this text has been read aloud to the dying, who Buddhist masters say are capable of hearing up to three days after clinical death, as a guide through the tumultuous and often terrifying process of dissolution. Now, in Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between, Professor Robert Thurman demystifies this esoteric teaching and reveals the Tibetan view of dying.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the 25 most influential people in America according to Time magazine, and "the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism" (The New York Times), Robert Thurman illuminates the Tibetan Book of the Dead with up-to-date insights for modern audiences. For centuries, this text has been read aloud to the dying, who Buddhist masters say are capable of hearing up to three days after clinical death, as a guide through the tumultuous and often terrifying process of dissolution. Now, in Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between, Professor Robert Thurman demystifies this esoteric teaching and reveals the Tibetan view of dying: it is not an ending to be feared, but a wondrous and liberating culmination of our life's journey, potentially opening into glorious new beginnings. Entering the bardo, the in-between state in which one reality dissolves and the next has not yet formed, we need not become prey to our fears and hopes. Instead, we can relax into our natural clarity and stabilize the journey. And this treasured teaching is for much more than just changing our understanding of death. Whether we have lost a dear relationship, awoken from a dream, or face the loss of our bodied life, simply hearing these teachings steadies our minds and hearts so that the journey from one state to the next changes from a tragic voyage into a clear adventure through the brilliant sky of great liberation.

©2005 Robert Thurman; (P)2005 Sounds True

What Members Say

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  •  
    John Chapel Hill, NC, USA 12-01-05
    John Chapel Hill, NC, USA 12-01-05
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    "Excellent!"

    Robert Thurman talks about the book commonly known as the "Tibetan Book of the Dead". He's a great scholar of the book, of the tradition from which it arises, and of its relation to other world religious writings and beliefs. He's also obviously himself a deeply spiritual person. So the talks are delightful, combining both fascinating scholarship and religious commitment. His talk is by turns serious and humorous, concentrated and playful. I highly recommend this, and one by no means need to be a Buddhist to enjoy it and benefit from it.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magnus Almgren Sandviken, Sweden 04-06-07
    Magnus Almgren Sandviken, Sweden 04-06-07 Member Since 2002

    pixe

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    "Well worth listening for old/young hippies"

    If you ever found the Tibetan Book of the Dead interesting or useful, this one is for you. Contemporary, without leaving the origin, explanatory, explainig and recommending parallell concepts in our own cultural paradigm, without leaving his context.
    If you ever had some things that you did not quite come to terms with during acid, this might me healing for you. It was for me.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gilbert San Antonio, TX, United States 02-27-12
    Gilbert San Antonio, TX, United States 02-27-12 Member Since 2006

    Sentient Being, Planet Earth

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    "Not for the Novice"
    What does Robert Thurman bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Robert Thurman is beyond the doubt a notable Buddhist Scholar. As such, this book is not for the novice or the beginning intermediate level Buddhist. Dr. Thurman goes into great and granular detail on buddhist doctrine. As a Buddhist book on the perspective of death, the story was lost in the detail.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Winthrop, ME, United States 03-31-12
    William Winthrop, ME, United States 03-31-12
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    "At Long last"
    Would you listen to Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between again? Why?

    Not only would I listen to this again, I listen to it daily!


    What other book might you compare Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between to and why?

    This generic question needs to read the question and look at this book. The title should give you a clue. But I will say that even Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan book of Living and Dying is the only book in the ball park for any sort of comparison. This translation and most especially Bob Thurman's delivery is quintessentially American . Yes , Bob is a real American Buddhist teacher amongst a growing handful.


    Have you listened to any of Robert Thurman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to Bob Thurman before. First at the San Francisco Zen Center. He is a delight. Totally insightful and yet not too


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My extreme reaction to this is : This is by far the best most easily accessed translation of the teaching to date.


    Any additional comments?

    After practicing Tibetan Buddhism beginning in Scotland in 1970 to this date, I have found Bob's manner and insight into the teachings perfectly suited to this moment in human history. Thank you my friend for persevering...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oskar's Mom Tucson, AZ 12-04-08
    Oskar's Mom Tucson, AZ 12-04-08 Member Since 2007
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    "I LOVE Robert Thurman"

    If you are going to only get one Bob Thurman download do the "Jewel Tree of Tibet" this on he rambles on a bit more and it's more one of his lectures then truly a book about the Tibetan Book of the Dead. But personally I like his quirky style, funny political commentary, and his version of Buddhism. It makes really lofty intellectual material accessible and interesting. I have listened to it at least 4-5 times already.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles United States 04-23-13
    Charles United States 04-23-13
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    "Interesting but disquieting"

    The author is engaging and obviously knows his subject. The content is hard to grasp for this Western mind at least and in parts rather uncomfortable.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa J. Macourek tacoma 11-25-12
    Melissa J. Macourek tacoma 11-25-12 Member Since 2011

    meli

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    "Excellent teaching."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between to be better than the print version?

    Hearing Robert Thurman teach this in his own style is remarkable.


    What does Robert Thurman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    These are teachings we reflect on regularly on the Buddhist path, but the ways he teaches them and leads meditation truly connect me with the intensity of the practices and inspire me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Boca Raton, FL, USA 02-04-08
    Carol Boca Raton, FL, USA 02-04-08
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    "Disappointing"

    I was prepared to be educated and perhaps in the bargain to improve my mind with this lecture. How interesting I thought. How disappointing I found. Robert Thurman peppered his lecture with political statements which had absolutely nothing to do with the Tibetan Book of the Dead. You say I'd probably not be so rankled if I agreed with his statements. You're right but I ask why his statements were necessary. They threw me off course, I became totally distracted and lost interest in the subject. One final regret is that I used an Audible.com credit for this audiobook.

    8 of 19 people found this review helpful
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