- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (4 Jun. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747538433
- ISBN-13: 978-0747538431
- Product Dimensions: 12 x 1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening Paperback – 4 Jun 1998
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Demystifies Buddhism by explaining, without jargon or obscure terminology, what awakening is and how to practise it.
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It is good to read again how the Buddha identified the source of anguish and craving. The book’s meditation on death is both bracing and life affirming. Furthermore Batchelor’s description about how we divide experiences into good and bad – and how we try to have more of the good and banish the bad – is one of the most compelling I’ve read so far. He explains deftly not just how the impossibility of banishing the bad this habit is but how it keeps us trapped in ‘if only...’ Two of the most destructive words that I hear in my counselling room.
Batchelor concludes that ‘a culture of awakening simply cannot occur without being rooted in a coherent and vital sense of community’ and needs a ‘matrix of friendships’ that values individual creativity and rather than following the dogma of organised religion. It’s a great idea but somehow I can’t see it happening.
There are parables, quotes which are broken down and explained, written meditations and paragraphs that put into words how you usually feel and think. I feel Stephen Batchelor, in this book, captured perfectly the distressed, distracted and confused part of our mind and how it affects our actions.
It looks like a short book and is written in a small ish font over 115 pages and took me two days of 'not constant reading' to finish
I will be reading more of his work!
as a map for my life while I'm here. It's just not so easy to remember this way of life all the time.
The book helps!
Short, clear, thought provoking read.
(I am totally bemused by the other reviewers that say it is difficult and left them "exhausted". Whilst it certainly isn't written in a "Buddhism for Dummies" style, it is wonderfully clear and well written.)
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