Out of My Mind

4 out of 5 stars (804 ratings)

Regular price: $7.95

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About This Audible Original

Alan Arkin, one of the most beloved and accomplished actors of our time, reveals a side of himself not often shown on stage or screen.

Like many teenagers, 16-year-old Alan Arkin had it all figured out. Then came young adulthood, and with it a wave of doubt so strong it caused him to question everything he thought he knew about himself and the world. Ever skeptical and full of questions, Arkin embarked on a spiritual journey to find something—anything—to believe in. An existential crisis in his 30s led him to the study of Eastern philosophy. Soon he began opening himself to the possibility that there was more to life than what he had simply seen, heard, or been taught.

In this Audible Original "mini-memoir," the 84-year-old actor shares his powerful spiritual experiences, from his brush with reincarnation to the benefits of meditation. In a gruff, earthy voice that sounds more suited to a New York cabbie than a spiritual guide, he shows us that wisdom can come from the most unexpected places and teachers. Out of My Mind is a candid, relatable, and delightfully irreverent take on how one man went searching for meaning and ended up discovering himself.

©2018 Alan Arkin (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

Go Behind the Scenes of Out of My Mind

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I listened to this memoir in one sitting, and when it was finished, I had many questions for Arkin—he left me wanting more. (I immediately added An Improvised Life to my audiobooks cart.) His storytelling is focused and matter-of-fact; his voice fluid, without extraneous words or noises, nothing to distract me from what he’s saying. "If I have a belief system left," he tells us, "it mostly revolves around stopping to breathe."

- The New York Times
.

Our favorite moments from Out of My Mind

"Work I did on the inside was slowly taking root"
"What follows is not a manifesto"
"Dad came to me last night"

  • Out of My Mind
  • "Work I did on the inside was slowly taking root"
  • Out of My Mind
  • "What follows is not a manifesto"
  • Out of My Mind
  • "Dad came to me last night"

About the Author and Performer

Throughout a distinguished film and theater career spanning six decades, Alan Arkin has won many awards, including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, an Obie, a Golden Globe, two SAG Awards, a BAFTA Award, two Canadian Screen Awards, and two Drama Desk Awards. His notable film roles include the film producer in Argo, the foul-mouthed grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine, a rebellious captain in Catch-22, the sensitive boarder in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and the psychotic criminal in Wait Until Dark. The Brooklyn, New York native is also an accomplished director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. He is the author and audiobook narrator of several books, including An Improvised Life: A Memoir and now, his first Audible Original, Out of My Mind.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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One Man's spiritual journey

Alan Arkin is a famous actor, director, screenwriter, and Academy Award winner. But this autobiography is not about his career in movies. It's about his journey of self discovery through Eastern religion and mysticism, primarily Buddhism and Hinduism.

He tells of his beginnings as a 'know it all' who was sure there was nothing beyond this world, and his change and he came to understand he didn't know it all. He anecdotes from his life of feeling movements of 'spiritual energy' and healing. He espouses the benefits of meditation, how it has helped him, and how he advocates for other to do it (although he says he has mellowed and no longer talks about it unless someone asks him first). He discusses his spiritual mentors through his life, particularity a life long friendship with a man named John. He talks of not worrying so much if it is actually true, but living as if it is true and the effect that peace has brought him.

If you are hoping for an insight into his acting career, this is not for you. If you were wanting a traditional biography telling of the where and whens, you won't find it here. This is much more story like, with subjective ideas and events weaving together. It is based on the theme of his spirituality.

Alan Arkin does fine with his narration, as you would hope for a respected, seasoned actor. The entire piece is just him, no friends or interviews or sound effect or background music. He is telling stories, and there isn't a whole lot of range of emotion or action in those stories to flex the acting skills, but he does make them engaging and provides energy where it is needed. He is clear, well paced and enjoyable to listen to.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Another interesting life experience

I don't usually read or listen to memoirs. I tried this one and was intrigued and found myself rewinding in numerous places throughout the reading.

Expect nothing. Just listen. He has had an interesting life and shares a very personal side of his life's story. You, too, may find it interesting.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Amazing journey into Alan's self!

This book is not for you if:
- you are looking to hear about Alan's acting career.
- you are looking to hear happy, romantic stories.
- you are looking for secret ways to be a millionaire.
- you are looking for a jolly read for a weekend.
- your happiness is solely dependent on the materialistic life and you are okay being that way.

This book is a must read for you if:
- you are eager to explore meditation as a way of a transformative tool to improve your life.
- you are in a thirst to know the meaning and purpose of life.
- you want to understand real life beyond material possessions.
- you are tired of being sick and tired of the happenings in everyday life.
- you are anxious about anything in life and wanting to find an inner peace.
- you want to live in the moment without the worries of the past or the anxiety about the future.
- you want to be more compassionate toward anyone or anything in life.
- you want to live in everlasting happiness and peace in life.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Delightful and...astonishing.

These were two hours worth every second, because Alan Arkin is someone with something special to say. I had no idea I would like him so much. His performance style is intimate yet impersonal, dramatic yet droll and is a perfect embodiment of the content, which is heavy but light—almost unbearably so. Like me, maybe if you listen you’ll find...what you didn’t know you were looking for.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I Rarely Encounter Others With Such a Parallel Journey

Thank you Mr Arkin for sharing the highlights, phenomena and honest toil of your journey. It is a recognizable pattern of a spiraling journey towards ...Who knows what?! It has felt so very supportive to me now as I I attempt to tell/write my own story. At 63, I had to become “disillusioned” enough to just allow it to emerge rather than shift things to put my ego/image self into a better light. Your telling and voice said to me, “ come along Sister, tell your tale... the people who are stirring from their sleep need to hear that everything we need is right here, right now...Share you experience of the place “beyond right doing and wrong doing”. I am grateful for your effort.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

This is a book to read again and again in order to get all the gems contained in this book. Alan Arkin expressed very eloquently his experience with Eastern meditation. As a meditator for 50 years, he has a mature outlook on his practice and on the effects of his practice. This is a great for meditators East and West. Western meditators can learn from his dedication to meditation, both when you feel like it and when you don't. They can also learn that distractions will be part of meditation but you must let them go and go back to the name of Jesus or paying attention your breath. Alan was down to earth as he talked about his practice which will be of great help to contemplative East and West.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable!

I've always liked Alan Arkin's acting. I had no idea I would actually enjoy him so much. I found myself listening, re-winding, and listening again--something that I rarely do. Whether you agree with his brand of spirituality or not, it's lovely (to me) to listen to a person's journey. Common threads abound in all spiritual journeys, in my opinion. I laughed and learned from him. Love his droll sense of humor!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Utterly enjoyed it!

The stories from Alan's musings while unbelievable may be stark naked truth and all the more rattling ergo. The tales are totally enjoyable and one wonders if Alan Arkin the actor/storyteller is at work or Alan Arkin the meditator has had a truly transcending life and it is laid bare believe it or not.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Better than I expected

Alan Arkin opens up about how his spirituality has changed since he was a young man until now. It’s not full of old Hollywood gossip, so if that’s your thing, it’s probably not for you. I’ve always loved Alan Arkin and think he’s very funny, so I really enjoyed hearing this “other side” of him. This book really made me think too. There is something really lovely about hearing Alan Arkin be so revealing and honest about such a taboo subject. And he does it in such a disarming, intimate way. I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating!

Fascinating! What an interesting story and person. I have been a fan for years, now even more so!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful