In "Buddhism Without Beliefs," author Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic. His awakening was not a shattering insight into a transcendent truth that revealed to him the mysteries of God, and he did not claim to have had an experience that granted him privileged, esoteric knowledge of how the universe ticks. What the ...
In "Buddhism Without Beliefs," author Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic. His awakening was not a shattering insight into a transcendent truth that revealed to him the mysteries of God, and he did not claim to have had an experience that granted him privileged, esoteric knowledge of how the universe ticks. What the Buddha taught, says Batchelor, is not something to believe in but something to do. He challenged people to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, realize its cessation, and bring into being a way of life. This way of life is available to all of us, and Batchelor explains clearly and compellingly how we can practice it and live it every day. Each chapter of Batchelor's book examines how to work toward awakening realistically, with the understanding that embarking on this path does not mean never deviating from it.
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We are using this book in a small study group. We read aloud from it. The print is so small in this edition that I can barely keep to the text. Others read from a different edition which has a more standard size print. I'm having to replace my copy.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-04-14 Batchelor's latest concise volume explores the practical fundamentals of Buddhism and how they can be relevant to both religious and secular-minded Westerners. Batchelor makes several controversial, but thoughtfully argued, points central to his "existential, therapeutic" and agnostic interpretation of Buddhism: that Buddhism is not strictly a religion, since it does not adhere to a belief in God; that the Buddha did not consider himself a mystic or savior, but a healer; and that Buddhismis less a "belief system" than a personal "course of action" that naturally instills morality, compassion and inner peace in the practitioner. Though he is a former monk in both the Zen and Tibetan traditions, Batchelor is now associated with a nondenominational Buddhist community in England. He deliberately eschews elitist, monastic Buddhist traditions, which often make enlightenment appear all but impossible to attain. Throughout, simple meditation exercises acquaint readers with Buddhist principles that illuminate "the nature of the human dilemma and a way to its resolution." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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