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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

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  • 12-01-05

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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Winthrop, ME, United States
  • 03-31-12

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...

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Christina
  • Salem, Oregon, United States
  • 03-13-16

Bob Thurman teaching the Tibetan Book of the Dead

It's a very difficult book about the death process and reincarnation explained in easily digestible modern speech. The Bardo, the in-between life and death. Explaining the nature of our subtle mind, which, according to Buddhism, does not die. Bob explains how the belief in a final poof, death, gone forever leads us to be a bit psychotic while we're here, because we disregard karma.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A bit wordy and not specific simultaneously

If you could sum up Liberation Upon Hearing in the Between in three words, what would they be?

It supposed to be about the book of the dead, but I found it to be much more about Robert Thurman's tangental thoughts. It's not an audio of the book, it's Robert Thurman just sort of talking about the book. I really like Robert Thurman and so I want to like it more, but I just don't.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Talk more about the actual content of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gilbert
  • San Antonio, TX, United States
  • 02-27-12

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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wonderfully and compassionately over top!<br />

Aside from a few statements denigrating Theravada Buddhism ( yes I am ) which I found inaccurate about it being selfish in nature ( framing is everthing - a driver could acuse the person he ran over as getting blood on his bumper).. I Love his enthusiasm, his completely off script rantings and teaching in all their wisdom. As we all share death in common I strongly advise listening and remember it's not real it's just manifestations of you own mind and can't hurt You. And go for the strong blue light no matter how painful and do not seek the soft lighting. Thank you for this!

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fantastic

learned lots. dying is joyous. need ten more words so here they are right now.

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  • Ali S.
  • 06-28-15

Enlightening and Inspiring

A very accessible introduction to The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Includes a useful meditation. It's not just for Buddhists ; Robert Thurman explains in a clear , and humorous, way how people of any religion and no religion can benefit from cultivating wisdom and compassion and from learning to live and to die in a more pucid way.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful