Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

ISBN: 1588369846

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 5235

Does Buddhism require faith? Can an atheist or agnostic follow the Buddha’s teachings without believing in reincarnation or organized religion? This is one man’s confession. In his classic Buddhism Without Beliefs, Stephen Batchelor offered a profound, secular approach to the teachings of the Buddha that struck an emotional chord with Western readers. Now, with the same brilliance and boldness of thought, he paints a groundbreaking portrait of the historical Buddha—told from the author’s unique perspective as a former Buddhist monk and modern seeker. Drawing from the original Pali Canon, the seminal collection of Buddhist discourses compiled after the Buddha’s death by his followers, Batchelor shows us the Buddha as a flesh-and-blood man who looked at life in a radically new way. Batchelor also reveals the everyday challenges and doubts of his own devotional journey—from meeting the Dalai Lama in India, to training as a Zen monk in Korea, to finding his path as a lay teacher of Buddhism living in France. Both controversial and deeply personal, Stephen Batchelor’s refreshingly doctrine-free, life-informed account is essential reading for anyone interested in Buddhism.

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Random House LLC

ISBN: 0385527063

Category: Religion

Page: 302

View: 7591

A revisionist assessment of the life of the historical Buddha argues for a restoration of original Buddhist practices, drawing on the ancient text of the Pali Canon while tracing the author's personal spiritual journey. By the author of Buddhism Without Beliefs.

Buddhism without Beliefs

A Contemporary Guide to Awakening

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101663073

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 1143

A national bestseller and acclaimed guide to Buddhism for beginners and practitioners alike In this simple but important volume, Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic who claimed privileged, esoteric knowledge of the universe, but a man who challenged us to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, and bring into being a way of life that is available to us all. The concepts and practices of Buddhism, says Batchelor, are not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

The Faith to Doubt

Glimpses of Buddhist Uncertainty

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Counterpoint

ISBN: 1619026368

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 128

View: 5752

Kierkegaard said that faith without doubt is simply credulity, the will to believe too readily, especially without adequate evidence, and that “in Doubt can Faith begin.” All people involved in spiritual practice, of whatever persuasion, must confront doubt at one time or another, and find a way beyond it to belief, however temporary. But “faith is not equivalent to mere belief. Faith is the condition of ultimate confidence that we have the capacity to follow the path of doubt to its end. And courage.” In this engaging spiritual memoir, Stephen Batchelor describes his own training, first as a Tibetan Buddhist and then as a Zen practitioner, and his own direct struggles along his path. “It is most uncanny that we are able to ask questions, for to question means to acknowledge that we do not know something. But it is more than an acknowledgement: it includes a yearning to confront an unknown and illuminate it through understanding. Questioning is a quest.” Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. He considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.

After Buddhism: Rethinking Dharma for a Secular Age

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 935177774X

Category: Religion

Page: 400

View: 5109

After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is Stephen Batchelor's attempt to set the record straight about who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach. Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative accounts of five members of the Buddha's inner circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening whose long survival is due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with each society it encounters.

Living with the Devil

A Meditation on Good and Evil

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101663081

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 1683

Stephen Batchelor's seminal work on humanity's struggle between good and evil In the national bestseller Living with the Devil, Batchelor traces the trajectory from the words of the Buddha and Christ, through the writings of Shantideva, Milton, and Pascal, to the poetry of Baudelaire, the fiction of Kafka, and the findings of modern physics and evolutionary biology to examine who we really are, and to rest in the uncertainty that we may never know. Like his previous bestseller, Buddhism without Beliefs, Living with the Devil is also an introduction to Buddhism that encourages readers to nourish their "buddha nature" and make peace with the devils that haunt human life. He tells a poetic and provocative tale about living with life's contradictions that will challenge you to live your life as an existence imbued with purpose, freedom, and compassion—rather than habitual self-interest and fear.

Secular Buddhism

Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300223234

Category:

Page: 296

View: 2193

An essential collection of Stephen Batchelor's most probing and important work on secular Buddhism As the practice of mindfulness permeates mainstream Western culture, more and more people are engaging in a traditional form of Buddhist meditation. However, many of these people have little interest in the religious aspects of Buddhism, and the practice occurs within secular contexts such as hospitals, schools, and the workplace. Is it possible to recover from the Buddhist teachings a vision of human flourishing that is secular rather than religious without compromising the integrity of the tradition? Is there an ethical framework that can underpin and contextualize these practices in a rapidly changing world? In this collected volume of Stephen Batchelor's writings on these themes, he explores the complex implications of Buddhism's secularization. Ranging widely--from reincarnation, religious belief, and agnosticism to the role of the arts in Buddhist practice--he offers a detailed picture of contemporary Buddhism and its attempt to find a voice in the modern world.

Alone with Others

An Existential Approach to Buddhism

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

ISBN: 0802196489

Category: Religion

Page: 144

View: 8722

This uniquely contemporary guide to understanding the timeless message of Buddhism, and in particular its relevance in actual human relations, was inspired by Shantideva's 'Guide To The Bodhisattva's Way Of Life', which the author translated into English, the oral instructions of living Buddhist masters, Heidegger's classic 'Being and Time', and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.

Meditation for Life

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Author: Martine Batchelor

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Limited

ISBN: 9780711216730

Category: Meditation

Page: 168

View: 9582

Using words and photographs, this book shows how meditation can enrich your life. Itbook looks at the three main Buddhist traditions – Tibetan, Theravadan and Zen – and offers step-by-step guides to meditation on a variety of themes. Each chapter discusses one of the many different approaches to meditation and features practical instructions and exercises, as well as a discussion of a related aspect of Buddhism, such as wisdom or non-attachment.

Verses from the Center

A Buddhist Vision of the Sublime

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 110166309X

Category: Religion

Page: 208

View: 468

The understanding of the nature of reality is the insight upon which the Buddha was able to achieve his own enlightenment. This vision of the sublime is the source of all that is enigmatic and paradoxical about Buddhism. In Verses from the Center, Stephen Batchelor explores the history of this concept and provides readers with translations of the most important poems ever written on the subject, the poems of 2nd century philosopher Nagarjuna.

God Is Not Great

How Religion Poisons Everything

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Author: Christopher Hitchens

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

ISBN: 1551991764

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 2217

Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time” takes on his biggest subject yet–the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. From the Hardcover edition.

A Philosophy of Emptiness

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Author: Gay Watson

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780233256

Category: Philosophy

Page: 176

View: 7591

We often view emptiness as a negative condition, a symptom of depression, despair, or grief—an assessment furthered by authors like Franz Kafka or the existentialists, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. Offering an alternative view, A Philosophy of Emptiness reclaims these hollow feelings as a positive and even empowering state, an antidote to the modern obsession with substance and foundation. Digging through early and non-Western philosophy, Gay Watson uncovers a rich history of emptiness. She travels from Buddhism, Taoism, and religious mysticism to the contemporary world of philosophy, science, and art practice. Though most Western philosophies are concerned with substance and foundation, she finds that the twentieth century has seen a resurgence of emptiness and offers reasons why such an apparently unappealing concept has attracted modern musicians, artists, and scientists, as well as preeminent thinkers throughout the ages. Probing the idea of how a life without foundation might be lived—and why a person might choose this path—A Philosophy of Emptiness links these concepts to contemporary ideas of meditation and the mind, presenting a rich and intriguing take on the concept of emptiness and the history of thought.

Zen Confidential

Confessions of a Wayward Monk

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Author: Shozan Jack Haubner

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 0834829053

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 9253

These hilarious essays on life inside and outside a Zen monastery make up the spiritual memoir of Shozan Jack Haubner, a Zen monk who didn’t really start out to be one. Raised in a conservative Catholic family, Shozan went on to study philosophy (becoming de-Catholicized in the process) and to pursue a career as a screenwriter and stand-up comic in the clubs of L.A. How he went from life in the fast lane to life on the stationary meditation cushion is the subject of this laugh-out-loud funny account of his experiences. Whether he’s dealing with the pranks of a juvenile delinquent assistant in the monastery kitchen or defending himself against claims that he appeared in a porno movie under the name "Daniel Reed" (he didn’t, really) or being surprised in the midst of it all by the compassion he experiences in the presence of his teacher, Haubner’s voice is one you'll be compelled to listen to. Not only because it’s highly entertaining, but because of its remarkable insight into the human condition.

The Politics Of Enlightenment

(Penguin Petit)

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Author: Robert Thurman

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 9351184706

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 5143

This lecture is a part of the book Becoming Buddha which is a compilation of the invaluable teachings of contemporary Buddhist teachers who have sought to illuminate the ways of the Buddha in a manner that is comprehensible to a wide audience. With easy to follow dialogues, and anecdotes from the Buddha's own life as well as the lives of ordinary people, it explains how everyone can attain Buddhahood. The author, Renuka Singh is the director of Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre, New Delhi.

Buddhism After Patriarchy

A Feminist History, Analysis, and Reconstruction of Buddhism

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Author: Rita M. Gross

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438405138

Category: Philosophy

Page: 365

View: 926

This book surveys both the part women have played in Buddhism historically and what Buddhism might become in its post-patriarchal future. The author completes the Buddhist historical record by discussing women, usually absent from histories of Buddhism, and she provides the first feminist analysis of the major concepts found in Buddhist religion. Gross demonstrates that the core teachings of Buddhism promote gender equity rather than male dominance, despite the often sexist practices found in Buddhist institutions throughout history.

The Wisdom of Imperfection

The Challenge of Individuation in Buddhist Life

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Author: Rob Preece

Publisher: Snow Lion Publications, Incorporated

ISBN: 9781559393492

Category: Religion

Page: 334

View: 9586

"A wonderfully thorough and engaging look at the unfolding of the spiritual/psychological journey. Drawing on a depth of personal experience, Rob Preece offers an insightful and important perspective."ùSharon Salzberg, author of Loving-kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness --

Passing for Normal

A Memoir of Compulsion

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Author: Amy S. Wilensky

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 0307765547

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 5546

"What I remember even more distinctly than the incidents of cruelty and confusion, intolerance and avoidance--more vividly than standing in front of the mirror watching my head move with no conscious instruction from me--is the strain of trying to conceal my tics and rituals from others, especially those closest to me, my own family most of all." The provocative memoir of a young woman's struggle to come to terms with a life plagued by irrational behavior. I am crazy. But maybe I am not. For most of her life, this thought haunted Amy Wilensky as she watched her body do things she couldn't control, repeatedly twitching and contorting into awkward positions. Her mind lurched and veered in ways she didn't understand: She felt that she must touch wood at all times to ward off harm, that chewing a wad of stale gum would prevent a plane crash. Why couldn't she throw away meaningless scraps of paper? Why were six-word sentences strangely satisfying? While Amy excelled in school and led an otherwise "normal" life, she worried that beneath the surface she was a freak, that there was something irrevocably wrong with her. It wasn't until she happened upon the book The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing after graduating from college that she realized she might be among the approximately 5 million Americans afflicted with Tourette's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Passing for Normal is Amy's emotionally charged account of her lifelong struggle with these often misunderstood disorders. A powerful witness to her own dysfunction, she describes the strain it bore on her relationships with the people she thought she knew best: her family, her friends, and her self. Confronting the labels we apply to ourselves and others--compulsive, crazy, out of control--Amy describes her symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment with courage and a healthy dose of humor, gradually coming to terms with the absurdities of a life beset by irrational behavior. This compelling narrative, by turns tragic and comic, broadly extends our understanding of the wondrously complex human mind, and, with subtlety and grace, challenges our notion of what it is to be "normal." From the Hardcover edition.

Let Go

A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits

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Author: Martine Batchelor

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0861715217

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 200

View: 6471

Counsels readers on how to break negative habits and addictions through an application of Buddhist principles, introducing the author's philosophies about "creative engagement" in order to promote productive changes while ending cycles of abuse and negativity. Original.

Unlearning Meditation

What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way

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Author: Jason Siff

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 9780834823143

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 240

View: 2124

When we meditate, our minds often want to do something other than the meditation instructions we've been taught. When that happens repeatedly, we may feel frustrated to the point of abandoning meditation altogether. Jason Siff invites us to approach meditation in a new way, one that honors the part of us that doesn't want to do the instructions. He teaches us how to become more tolerant of intense emotions, sleepiness, compelling thoughts, fantasies—the whole array of inner experiences that are usually considered hindrances to meditation. The meditation practice he presents in Unlearning Meditation is gentle, flexible, permissive, and honest, and it's been wonderfully effective for opening up meditation for people who thought they could never meditate, as well as for injecting a renewed energy for practice into the lives of seasoned practitioners.

The Awakening of the West

The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture

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Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media

ISBN: 9781626542297

Category: Religion

Page: 436

View: 7323

"The Awakening of the West" is an insightful and elegantly written history chronicling the developing relationship between Buddhism and Western culture. As anyone familiar with the work of Stephen Batchelor (best-selling author of Buddhism Without Beliefs) would expect, "The Awakening of the West" is presented in a fresh and lively way and backed by thorough research. Using the innovative approach of starting with the present and working back in time, Batchelor makes it easy to connect familiar contemporary Buddhist teachers to their historical roots. He breathes life into history by capturing the personalities and times of famous and lesser-known but important Buddhist figures. After absorbing these stories and their context, readers will not only have a greater appreciation of Buddhism as a religion but can gain insights that can help them develop their own discerning wisdom. "The Awakening of the West" is a unique, engaging and important book for anyone seeking a greater understanding of Buddhism.