Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Buddhism Without Beliefs A Contemporary Guide To Awakening

Buddhism Without Beliefs A Contemporary Guide To Awakening Cover

Book: Buddhism Without Beliefs A Contemporary Guide To Awakening by Stephen Batchelor

In this wonderful, concise introduction, Batchelor has captured the essence of the Buddha's teachings . By going directly to the source and peeling away the accumulated dogma of various traditions, he makes Buddhism relevant for our time. He shows how, despite the Buddha's wishes, over time Buddhism became a religion and an institution unto itself. Of course, rigid doctrinaire thinkers like Bob Thurman will see red when they read Batchelor's simple wisdom, which eliminates the need for hocus-pocus and a priestly class. Batchelor even questions the need for belief in karma and reincarnation, long accepted as essential Buddhist beliefs.

Those with an interest in Buddhism will welcome this new book by Stephen Batchelor, former monk and author of Alone With Others and The Awakening of the West. But those who are just discovering this increasingly popular practice will have much to gain as well-for Buddhism Without Beliefs serves as a solid, straightforward introduction that demystifies Buddhism and explains simply and plainly how its practice can enrich our lives. Avoiding jargon and theory, Batchelor concentrates on the concrete, making Buddhism accessible and compelling and showing how anyone can embark on this path-regardless of their religious background.

As in all the major religions, there is a wisdom behind the theology of Buddhism that informs the believer in daily life. Stephen Batchelor 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. In Buddhism Without Beliefs Batchelor lays out the major tenets of Buddhist wisdom, commenting on their relevance to modern life. The Buddha said that seekers must find the Truth for themselves, and Batchelor offers this book as a roadmap.

Batchelor presents his ideas in simple, but not simplistic, prose, with easy-to-grasp examples. His credentials as a Buddhist and a scholar are beyond reproach, and while others may disagree, no one can question his seriousness and authority. Unlike self-styled gurus and flim-flam artists like "Lama Surya Das" (Jeffrey Miller), Batchelor is not interested in self-aggrandizement; merely in conveying his ideas.

He succeeds admirably in this book.

Highly recommended.

Find Stephen Batchelor's book in amazon.com:
Buddhism Without Beliefs A Contemporary Guide To Awakening

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