Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Before it was a religion, a culture, or even a system of meditation - what was Buddhism? Gautama Siddhartha, the historical Buddha, did not offer mystical revelations about the nature of the universe. He was not interested in questions about God or an afterlife. And he did not present his "awakening" as a lofty or distant goal. What he did profess was a way out of the anguish and dissatisfaction of the unexamined life - not through a religion of blind faith, but through a practice that was meant to be tested and used.
On Buddhism without Beliefs, celebrated teacher, translator, and former Buddhist monk Stephen Batchelor takes us back to the first years after the Buddha's awakening to reveal the root insights of Buddhism hidden beneath centuries of history and interpretation. In eight compelling sessions of self-inquiry - including many fascinating exercises and practices - you will learn how to awaken and refine your senses, introduce the essential spirit of curiosity into the practice of awareness, and comprehend with both your heart and mind the Buddha's astonishing (and often misunderstood) revelations on emptiness, compassion, and the self.
Before he died, the Buddha did not appoint a successor. He simply remarked that each of us must be responsible for our own freedom. Buddhism without Beliefs is an invitation to hear what he taught - and then, to trust yourself on your own path to liberation.
the premise of the book is very promising - examining buddhist thought from an agnostic pov. subscribing to the worship and mystical aspects of buddhism may not be necessary to achieve liberation of the mind and soul.
the writing unfortunately is not smooth (sure, given the concepts are difficult, but still). but in this view, buddha is a human that finally figured out the nature of suffering and reality through spectacular use of intellectual muscle and imagination.
Michaelkchan said on Jun 26, 2010, 08:30
Bob Erb said on Aug 13, 2008, 17:00