Sean Barrett gives an illuminating narration of this essential work on Buddhism, which supports the premise that a guru sees truths unavailable in any book. Barrett is soft spoken and respectful but always compelling as he tells the first-person story of Govinda, who was born Ernst Hoffman (1898-1985) in Germany. As Govinda visits Tibet in the 1930s-1940s, before the Chinese invasion, listeners will benefit from hearing him struggle to understand particularly complex Buddhist concepts, such as what happened when he saw horses who mysteriously disappeared, leaving only their hooves behind. Barrett’s performance and explanation of a mantra are also helpful. Most enjoyable is meeting the wonderfully uncomplicated people and monks whom Govinda encountered, especially their moving reaction to a camp stove that seems to “magically” cook food.
S.G.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2016]