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The Life and Teachings of the Buddha

Narrated by: John Daido Loori Roshi
Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Shakyamuni Gautama was an historical figure who lived in India from approximately 563 to 483 B.C. After his death, Buddhism spread over Asia, and almost 2,500 years later Buddhism has come to the West, where it is more relevant than ever. These four classic talks by John Daido Loori, abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, offer a clear, comprehensive version of the Buddha's life and teachings, including Buddha's life as a householder, spiritual seeker, and ultimately a teacher. Roshi brings Buddha to life by describing how Buddha's personal struggles led to his search for greater meaning. Like many of us, Buddha felt dissatisfied with the daily routine of life, and he wanted to understand how to live authentically. Buddha's search led to his realization of the Four Noble Truths, which are essentially the awareness of suffering and how to alleviate it. Daido Roshi discusses the Four Noble Truths, and examines how this core Buddhist teaching is relevant to our lives today. He also explores how subsequent teachers carried on the Buddha's teachings, touching particularly on Zen Buddhist masters. These talks form a wonderful introduction for those completely new to Buddhism, while offering important insights to those who are already practicing.

Zen Buddhism emphasizes zazen, or seated meditation, as the means to study the self and understand who we truly are. Dharma talks are an essential aspect of Zen training and take place in the context of zazen. Said to be "dark to the mind and radiant to the heart", a dharma talk is one of the ways in which a teacher points directly to the heart of the teachings of the Buddha. In our meditation practice, it is easy to get lost in self-doubt, fantasy, numbness, and emotional agitation. Dharma talks help to ground our practice, providing inspiration and an essential recognition of exactly where we find ourselves, so that we can learn to face difficulties and obstacles with a free and flexible mind. This talk was given at Zen Mountain Monastery or the Zen Center of New York City of the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism, founded in 1980 by the late American Zen Master John Daido Loori, Roshi (1931-2009).

©2006 and (P)1990 Dharma Communications

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Practical lessons.

Can be listened to as a lecture in segments. Good foundational teaching.
Accessible at any level.

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  • Erik
  • VERO BEACH, FL, United States
  • 09-16-13

Wonderful!

What made the experience of listening to The Life and Teachings of the Buddha the most enjoyable?

The delivery by John Daido Loori Roshi is great. Just as all dharma talks, be present with the words and everything else is secondary.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Shakyamuni Buddha and his struggle which mirrors our own.

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

It's a lecture. He breaths life into the Buddha.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Terrible

What would have made The Life and Teachings of the Buddha better?

Terrible recording, background noise, terrible presenter just brutally bad. This should not be sold on Audible.

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike C 1967
  • 01-30-19

A positive message, but poorly delivered

I looked forward to listening and learning from this book, but I was disappointed at times with the delivery. The audio quality is very poor and makes the narrative almost secondary at times. I am glad I purchased the book, but feel there are better deliveries available.

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  • SKY LIGHT
  • 05-15-15

Old Tape Recording - Interesting Lecturers

Would you try another book written by John Daido Loori Roshi or narrated by the narrator?

Yes

Was The Life and Teachings of the Buddha worth the listening time?

Yes

Any additional comments?

This is an old recording made on tape, and there is a constant tape hiss in the background.
The content is worth listening to, if you can transcend the hiss!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-14-19

Ending suffering

I am sorry but I tried so hard to discern from this - to engage with the speaker John. I could not. My suffering ended after 3 listen throughs when I decided to let it go. So if Buddha taught no attachment, I achieved that with this recording. At times there is a female laughing and talking on other matters clearly so that you are distracted- so mind focus I did, but I could not be engaged in the tone of this speaker who at times raises his voice to painful volume but 90% is monotone - there is no humour - it was suffering. I listen to many that I simply cannot put down, stay awake and am uplifted to learn more. But not this, not this.