Author: Stephen Batchelor
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2015-10-28
Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha started teaching, his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. What does it mean to adapt religious practices to secular contexts? Stephen Batchelor, an internationally known author and teacher, is committed to a secularized version of the Buddha’s teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his 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. This original and provocative book presents a new framework for understanding the remarkable spread of Buddhism in today’s globalized world. It also reminds us of what was so startling about the Buddha’s vision of human flourishing.
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.
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.
Author: Stephen Batchelor
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-21
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Author: Stephen Batchelor
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release Date: 2007-12-01
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.
Author: Reader in Theology & Religious Studies Christopher Deacy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-09-28
In Christmas as Religion, Christopher Deacy explores the premise that religion plays an elementary role in our understanding of the Christmas festival, but takes issue with much of the existing literature which is inclined to limit the contours and parameters of "religion" to particular representations and manifestations of institutional forms of Christianity. "Religion" is often tacitly identified as having an ecclesiastical frame of reference, so that if the Church is not deemed to play a central role in the practice of Christmas for many people today then it can legitimately be side-lined and relegated to the periphery of any discussion relating to what Christmas "means." Deacy argues that such approaches fail to take adequate stock of the manifold ways in which people's beliefs and values take shape in modern society. For example, Christmas films or radio programmes may comprise a non-specifically Christian, but nonetheless religiously rich, repository of beliefs, values, sentiments and aspirations. Therefore, this book makes the case for laying to rest the secularization thesis, with its simplistic assumption that religion in Western society is undergoing a period of escalating and irrevocable erosion, and to see instead that the secular may itself be a repository of the religious. Rather than see Christmas as comprising alternative or analogous forms of religious expression, or dependent on any causal relationship to the Christian tradition, Deacy maintains that it is religious per se, and, moreover, it is its very secularity that makes Christmas such a compelling, and even transcendent, religious holiday.
Author: Stephen Batchelor
Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media
Release Date: 2015-09-10
"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.
div In this slim, enlightening volume, internationally recognized Buddhist teacher Martine Batchelor presents the basic tenets and teachings of the Buddha through a selection of essential texts from the Pali canon, the earliest Buddhist scriptures. Viewed by scholars as the actual substance of the historical teachings (and possibly even the words) of the Buddha, these texts are essential to an understanding of the Buddhist faith, and Batchelor illuminates them with her lucid analysis and interpretations. Both accessible to nonpractitioners and helpful to scholars, The Spirit of the Buddha touches upon key themes, including dharma, compassion, meditation, and peace, among others, creating a panoramic view of one of the world’s most widely practiced faiths that is deeply rooted in its most vital texts./DIV
Provides a close-up look at the scandals that rocked the San Francisco Zen Center, a leader in alternative religious practice and the counterculture in America, and their repercussions. 75,000 first printing.
“Ourvan offers a succinct but illuminating overview of Zen, Tibetan, and Soka Gakkai Buddhism."—Publishers Weekly Approximately four million Americans claim to be Buddhist. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Americans of various faiths read about Buddhism, are interested in its philosophical tenets, or fashionably view themselves as Buddhists. They’re part of what’s been described as the fastest-growing religious movement in America: a large group of people dissatisfied with traditional religious offerings and thirsty for an approach to spirituality grounded in logic and consistent with scientific knowledge. The Star-Spangled Buddhist is a provocative look at these American Buddhists through their three largest movements in the United States: the Soka Gakkai International, Tibetan/Vajrayana Buddhism, and Zen Buddhism. The practice of each of these American schools, unlike most traditional Asian Buddhist sects, is grounded in the notion that all people are capable of attaining enlightenment in “this lifetime.” But the differences are also profound: the spectrum of philosophical expression among these American Buddhist schools is as varied as that observed between Reformed, Orthodox, and Hasidic Judaism. The Star-Spangled Buddhist isn’t written from the perspective of a monk or academic but rather from the view of author Jeff Ourvan, a lifelong-practicing lay Buddhist. As Ourvan explores the American Buddhist movement through its most popular schools, he arrives at a clearer understanding for himself and the reader about what it means to be—and how one might choose to be—a Buddhist in America.