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Buddhism without Beliefs
Cover of Buddhism without Beliefs
Buddhism without Beliefs
A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
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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.

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.

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Table of Contents-
  • Buddhism Without Beliefs - Stephen Batchelor Preface
    Ground
    Awakening
    Agnosticism
    Anguish
    Death
    Rebirth
    Resolve
    Integrity
    Friendship
    Path
    Awareness
    Becoming
    Emptiness
    Compassion
    Fruition
    Freedom
    Imagination
    Culture
    Sources and Notes
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 5, 2002
    The truths Buddha articulated are not strictly religious beliefs, but experiences that can be tasted by everyone in everyday life, says Batchelor, a respected author, translator and teacher. Here, the Scottish-born author, a former monk in Tibetan and Zen Buddhist traditions, leads listeners to question life as the Buddha questioned it—really tasting the mystery of our existence, wondering what true happiness and freedom might be, considering that everyone is inexorably shuttling towards death. Batchelor captures the spirit of his brilliant 1997 book, expanding the guided meditations, which capped the chapters of the original. He instructs listeners in the classic technique in meditation on the breath, for example, advising them to avoid "eyeballing the breath" and encouraging them to go beyond external observation to find the "question within this primary act of breathing." In the print version, Batchelor was dazzling in his ability to cut to the chase, rendering the experience of awakening and the means of getting there with such eloquence and precision that the reader felt it was a radical new discovery. The more conversational audio version is also more intimate. Guiding listeners in breathing meditation, he describes how "the veneer of familiarity can be peeled away and we can become awestruck that this is happening at all, that we are alive and drawing nourishment from the environment." Listeners will feel they have discovered not just a wonderful mind, but a trustworthy spiritual friend. An excellent companion to the book, this work also stands alone as proof of the special power of oral instruction. Based on the Riverhead hardcover.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 31, 1997
    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."

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Buddhism without Beliefs
Buddhism without Beliefs
A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
Stephen Batchelor
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