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Basic Buddhism

Narrated by: Robert Thurman
Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

Robert Thurman's Basic Buddhism is a collective series of five lectures he has given on Buddhism. In these lectures, Thurman patiently takes apart each jewel of Buddhism: The Buddha as the teacher of enlightenment, the Dharma as the teaching, or enlightenment itself, and the Sangha as the historical and current community of learners seeking to become Buddhas.

Topics included:

  • Who Was Buddha?
  • Vadrayana
  • Buddhism and The Sangha
  • Mahyana
  • Dharma of Buddha
©2014 Robert Thurman (P)2014 BetterListen! LLC, all rights reserved.

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Absolutely loved it

I loved this. Robert Thurman is amusing and entertaining throughout and gives a wealth of knowledge on what is a deep subject.

I'm not new to Buddhism but I learnt a lot and these lectures have spurned me on to learn more.

1 person found this helpful

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not "basic" at all

a very good series of lectures. having read some literature on buddhism before, i still got a lot of new insight out of these lectures. it shouldn't be called "basic" buddhism though - this audiobook is going into more depth than the usual basic western writings in buddhism, and robert thurman has a very critical view on oversimplified (and misunderstood) writings on buddhism.
i can highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in buddhism and already has a basic knowledge. let's just call it "intermediate/advanced buddhism" ;)

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Disappointed

Audible is one of my favourite apps, I became a lazy reader, but the app gave me back my appetite for learning.

However this is not a book but a lecture difficult to follow or pause and resume. If I could refund I would

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  • strongmetal1
  • 18-10-14

Great lectures!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I highly recommend these lectures! Robert Thurman maps out Buddhism for the westerner.

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

Robert Thurman is thoroughly entertaining.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Umaros
  • 19-02-15

Enlightening and entertaining

Any additional comments?

For a lecture, the audio quality is good. Thurman has a clear speaking voice (although some may find it grating, but I like it). He uses amusing and interesting comparisons as well.

The title "Basic Buddhism), however, is a bit misleading. This is at a much higher level than basic. Also, it focuses more on the spiritual aspects of Buddhism than the philosophical ideas, which could be good or bad depending on what you want to learn.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-04-17

not exactly basic

If you want a basic overview of Buddhism I would recommend Jack Kornfield's a Beginners Guide to Buddhism, or What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Ruhula. To be fair, Thurman is coming from a Tibetan perspective, and not the Therevada like the other authors I mentioned, but nonetheless he goes on rabbit trails and makes a rather complicated overview of "basic Buddhism."

He barely touches the four noble truths or the eight fold path- which really is basic Buddhism. Frankly, he can be a bit crass and seems to paint other religions with a broad disparaging  brush. For instance, he calls other religious prayers and chants mumbo jumbo while extoling the efficacious merit of Buddhist mantras.

However,  he is knowledgeable and if you have a fairly good understanding of ...basic Buddhism then you might enjoy this overview.

2 people found this helpful

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  • VKG2020
  • 08-04-20

Essential Listening

The author has a gift for making complex concepts more accessible. The performance was a perfect blend of entertaining and educational. The title “Basic Buddhism” may give the impression that this contains a simplistic overview of Buddhism, but in fact, I found it to be be quite advanced, yet explained in a manner that many people should find approachable. There is very much wisdom here and Dr. Thurman’s speaking style is casual and warm even when describing complex philosophical notions, and keeps what could be a very academic undertaking quite light and dynamic by skillful use of humor and interesting examples and story telling. This was absolutely one of the most significant lectures I have heard about Buddhism and has given me an entirely new appreciation for it’s richness and the Buddha’s truly revolutionary message of liberation, which is just as relevant today as it ever has been.

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  • Sam Green
  • 17-12-18

Outstanding, warmly recommended

Even if you know something of Buddhism this book is a rich and often highly original reexamination of what you think you know. I highly endorse it.

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  • Graham Patterson
  • 04-01-17

Lecture series, my first intro

I finished this in less than a week. he does repeat in lectures but I was enthralled.

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  • Caylee
  • 23-06-15

Loved it

He is so hilarious!! He really speaks well and conveys his message to the listener with such humor, it really makes it an easy listen! Love this guy!