Buddhism without Beliefs

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

This concise and beautiful book demystifies Buddhism by explaining, without jargon or obscure terminology, what awakening is and how to practice it. What Buddha taught, says Stephen Batchelor, is not something to believe in but something to do...something that can be practiced every day.

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Editorial Reviews

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
[A]n intelligent and eloquent attempt to...define the parameters for a style of "dharma practice" appropriate to the new situation....In my viewwhat we require is a clear articulation of the essential principles taught by the Buddha himself in all their breadth and profundity.The challenge...is to express these principles in a living language that addresses the deep crises of our time. —Journal of Buddhist Ethics
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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."
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
[A]n intelligent and eloquent attempt to...define the parameters for a style of "dharma practice" appropriate to the new situation....In my view, what we require is a clear articulation of the essential principles taught by the Buddha himself in all their breadth and profundity.The challenge...is to express these principles in a living language that addresses the deep crises of our time. -- Journal of Buddhist Ethics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573226561
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 119,032
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions and the author of the national bestseller Buddhism Without Beliefs. He lectures and conducts meditation retreats worldwide, and is a contributing editor for Tricycle.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Ground
Awakening
Agnosticism
Anguish
Death
Rebirth
Resolve
Integrity
Friendship
Path
Awareness
Becoming
Emptiness
Compassion
Fruition
Freedom
Imagination
Culture
Sources and Notes

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2003

    Finally, some sense!

    This is an absolutely excellent book! I highly recommend it to anyone trying to reconcile the conflict of religion versus common sense. I have always been Agnostic and therefore too hesitant to extensively investigate the teachings of Buddha. This book changes everything, both honestly and consisely.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2008

    Open your mind, open your heart.

    This book will open your mind and heart to live life your way and not the way that we have been told to live by society. This book can be read over and over and everytime it will open you mind and heart to new ways of looking and living life, day-to-day.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2001

    Wisdom for everyone

    As in all the major religions, there is a wisdom behind the theology of Buddhism that informs the believer in daily life. This book would argue that the difference with Buddhism is that the wisdom is in fact independent of the theology and is not informative to believers only, but to everyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2000

    Insightful

    The author makes a clear argument for a 'non' mystic form of Buddhism. His arguments are rational however somthing within me just can not give up a 'religous' Buddhist pratice. A balence between the Mystic and the Rational without favoring one over the other seems to me to be a better path.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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