Confession of a Buddhist Atheist – Stephen Batchelor
Do you need to be a believer to pursue Buddhism as a religion? Is it not possible for an agnostic or atheist to abide by Buddha’s teachings without having any faith in organized religion?
In his one of a kind book Buddhism Without Beliefs, Stephen Batchelor provided a profound and secular approach to Buddha’s teachings that connected with Western readers at an emotional level. This time, with similar brilliance and boldness of thought, Batchelor has painted a revolutionary portrayal of the historical figure – narrated from the point of view of a past Buddhist monk and contemporary seeker.
After growing up on the outskirts of London, Batchelor set out to explore the world instead of going to college. He settled in Dharamshala, India as a Buddhist Monk and soon found himself part of Dalai Lama’s inner circle of monks. After living that part, he decided to close that chapter of his life so he could move on to pursue intensive training in Zen Buddhism at a monastery in South Korea. After several experiences, Batchelor learnt that the way Buddhism was being practiced and preached across the world was far from what Buddha had actually said or done himself.
In Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Batchelor draws from the original Pali Canon – a seminal collection of Buddha’s discourses that were compiled by his adherents after his death. That is how the author portrays to his readers how Buddha was a mere mortal of flesh and blood who happened to look at life in a radically innovative way. This refreshing doctrine-free book that chalks out Batchelor’s devotional journey, is partly controversial and deeply personal and for anyone interested in learning Buddhism, this simple narrative is a must-read.
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