Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0385527071

Category: Religion

Page: 310

View: 4027


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

Author: Stephen Batchelor

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1588369846

Category: Religion

Page: 320

View: 9508


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.

Buddhism and Human Flourishing

Author: Seth Zuihō Segall

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 3030370275

Category: Religion

Page: 193

View: 9416


The Buddha and Aristotle offer competing visions of the best possible life to which human beings can aspire. In this volume, Seth Zuihō Segall compares Theravāda and Mahāyāna accounts of enlightenment with Aristotelian and neo-Aristotelian accounts of eudaimonia, and proposes a syncretic model of eudaimonic enlightenment that, given prevalent Western beliefs about well-being and human flourishing, provides a credible new end-goal for modern Western Buddhist practice. He then demonstrates how this proposed synthesis is already deeply reflected in contemporary Western Buddhist rhetoric. Segall re-evaluates traditional Buddhist teachings on desire, attachment, aversion, nirvāṇa, and selfhood from the eudaimonic enlightenment perspective, and explores the perspective’s ethical and metaphysical implications.

Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and Buddhist Meditation

Author: Tullio Giraldi

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 3030290034

Category: Psychology

Page: 238

View: 5879


This book critically examines the development of mindfulness, tracing its development from Buddhist meditation to its variety of popular applications today, including the treatment of mental disorders, wellbeing and improvement of performance. The book begins with a chapter on the meaning of mindfulness, then moves on to chart the spread of Buddhism into the western world and examine the development of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The second half of the book considers some of the growing concerns related to mindfulness such as the loss of the moral and communitarian values of Buddhism, and the psychologicization and medicalization of existential problems into a capitalist society.

What is Buddhist Enlightenment?

Author: Dale Stuart Wright

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190622598

Category: Philosophy

Page: 257

View: 1169


What kind of person should I strive to be? What ideals should I pursue in my life? These basic human questions and others like them are components of the overall question that guides this book: What is enlightenment? As Dale Wright argues, any serious practitioner of human life, religious or not, confronts the challenge of living an authentic life, of overcoming common human disabilities like greed, hatred, and delusion that give rise to excessive suffering. Why then, Wright asks, is this essential question often avoided, even discouraged among Buddhists? One reason frequently cited by Buddhists is that pondering a distant goal might be a waste of energy that would be better applied to practice: Quiet the flow of obsessive thinking, put yourself in a mindful state of presence, and let enlightenment take care of itself. In this book, however, Wright contends that pondering this question is meditative practice--that attentive inquiry of this kind is essential as the starting point and guide for any mindful practice of life. Meditative reflection on the meaning of enlightenment focuses us on our aim and direction in life. It guides us in shaping our practices, our ideals, and the kinds of lives we will live. Asking what enlightenment is as a basic form of meditation helps to activate our lives and get transformative practice underway. From Wright's perspective, there is no more important question to ask than this one. What is Buddhist Enlightenment? offers a wide-ranging exploration of issues that have a bearing on the contemporary meaning of enlightenment, including a concluding section with 10 theses that answer the title's question. Written by a leading scholar of Buddhism, the book balances deep learning and an accessible style, offering valuable insights for students, scholars, and practitioners alike. While he takes an examination of what enlightenment has been in past Buddhist traditions as his point of departure, Wright's historical considerations yield to the question that our lives press upon us--what kinds of lives should we aspire to live here, now, and into the future?

Why I Am Not a Buddhist

Author: Evan Thompson

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300248709

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 3296


A provocative essay challenging the idea of Buddhist exceptionalism, from one of the world’s most widely respected philosophers and writers on Buddhism and science Buddhism has become a uniquely favored religion in our modern age. A burgeoning number of books extol the scientifically proven benefits of meditation and mindfulness for everything ranging from business to romance. There are conferences, courses, and celebrities promoting the notion that Buddhism is spirituality for the rational; compatible with cutting-edge science; indeed, “a science of the mind.” In this provocative book, Evan Thompson argues that this representation of Buddhism is false. In lucid and entertaining prose, Thompson dives deep into both Western and Buddhist philosophy to explain how the goals of science and religion are fundamentally different. Efforts to seek their unification are wrongheaded and promote mistaken ideas of both. He suggests cosmopolitanism instead, a worldview with deep roots in both Eastern and Western traditions. Smart, sympathetic, and intellectually ambitious, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in Buddhism’s place in our world today.

The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics

Author: Daniel Cozort,James Mark Shields

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191063177

Category: Religion

Page: 736

View: 1627


Many forms of Buddhism, divergent in philosophy and style, emerged as Buddhism filtered out of India into other parts of Asia. Nonetheless, all of them embodied an ethical core that is remarkably consistent. Articulated by the historical Buddha in his first sermon, this moral core is founded on the concept of karma—that intentions and actions have future consequences for an individual—and is summarized as Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood, three of the elements of the Eightfold Path. Although they were later elaborated and interpreted in a multitude of ways, none of these core principles were ever abandoned. The Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics provides a comprehensive overview of the field of Buddhist ethics in the twenty-first century. The Handbook discusses the foundations of Buddhist ethics focusing on karma and the precepts looking at abstinence from harming others, stealing, and intoxication. It considers ethics in the different Buddhist traditions and the similarities they share, and compares Buddhist ethics to Western ethics and the psychology of moral judgments. The volume also investigates Buddhism and society analysing economics, environmental ethics, and Just War ethics. The final section focuses on contemporary issues surrounding Buddhist ethics, including gender, sexuality, animal rights, and euthanasia. This groundbreaking collection offers an indispensable reference work for students and scholars of Buddhist ethics and comparative moral philosophy.

Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness

Author: Edo Shonin,William Van Gordon,Nirbhay N. Singh

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319185918

Category: Psychology

Page: 365

View: 3346


This book explores a wide range of mindfulness and meditative practices and traditions across Buddhism. It deepens contemporary understanding of mindfulness by examining its relationship with key Buddhist teachings, such as the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-Fold Path. In addition, the volume explores how traditional mindfulness can be more meaningfully incorporated into current psychological research and clinical practice with individuals and groups (e.g., through the Buddhist Psychological Model). Key topics featured in this volume include: Ethics and mindfulness in Pāli Buddhism and their implications for secular mindfulness-based applications. Mindfulness of emptiness and the emptiness of mindfulness. Buddhist teachings that support the psychological principles in a mindfulness program. A practical contextualization and explanatory framework for mindfulness-based interventions. Mindfulness in an authentic, transformative, everyday Zen practice. Pristine mindfulness. Buddhist Foundations of Mindfulness is an indispensable resource for clinical psychologists, and affiliated medical and mental health professionals, including specialists in complementary and alternative medicine as well as social work as well as teachers of Buddhism and meditation.

The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience

Author: Jerome P. Baggett

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 1479867225

Category: Religion

Page: N.A

View: 7588


A fascinating exploration of the breadth of social, emotional, and spiritual experiences of atheists in America Self-identified atheists make up roughly 5 percent of the American religious landscape, comprising a larger population than Jehovah’s Witnesses, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus combined. In spite of their relatively significant presence in society, atheists are one of the most stigmatized groups in the United States, frequently portrayed as immoral, unhappy, or even outright angry. Yet we know very little about what their lives are actually like as they live among their largely religious, and sometimes hostile, fellow citizens. In this book, Jerome P. Baggett listens to what atheists have to say about their own lives and viewpoints. Drawing on questionnaires and interviews with more than five hundred American atheists scattered across the country, The Varieties of Nonreligious Experience uncovers what they think about morality, what gives meaning to their lives, how they feel about religious people, and what they think and know about religion itself. Though the wider public routinely understands atheists in negative terms, as people who do not believe in God, Baggett pushes readers to view them in a different light. Rather than simply rejecting God and religion, atheists actually embrace something much more substantive—lives marked by greater integrity, open-mindedness, and progress. Beyond just talking about or to American atheists, the time is overdue to let them speak for themselves. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in joining the conversation.

Secular Meditation

Author: Rick Heller

Publisher: New World Library

ISBN: 1608683702

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 304

View: 7397


Meditation is a form of mental exercise with numerous scientifically verified physical and psychological benefits. As meditation teacher Rick Heller shows, the benefits of the practice extend beyond the personal to enrich relationships with others, with one’s community, and with the world. In Secular Meditation, step-by-step instructions, personal stories, and provocative questions teach empathy for others, stress reduction, and the kind of in-the-moment living that fosters appreciation for life and resilience in the face of adversity. Heller simplifies what is often found mysterious, describing and providing detailed instructions for thirty-two different practices, ensuring that anyone can find the right one.