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Get After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age PDF

By Stephen Batchelor

ISBN-10: 030021622X

ISBN-13: 9780300216226

A few twenty-five centuries after the Buddha begun instructing, his message keeps to motivate humans around the globe, together with these residing in predominantly secular societies. What does it suggest to evolve spiritual practices to secular contexts?

Stephen Batchelor, an the world over identified writer and instructor, is dedicated to a secularized model of the Buddha's teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent moral, contemplative, and philosophical imaginative and prescient of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the end result of 4 many years of research and perform within the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his try and set the list instantly approximately who the Buddha used to be and what he used to be attempting to train. Combining serious readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative money owed of 5 contributors of the Buddha's internal circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a practical ethicist instead of a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a regularly evolving tradition of awakening whose lengthy survival is because of its potential to reinvent itself and have interaction creatively with every one society it encounters.

This unique and provocative e-book provides a brand new framework for realizing the amazing unfold of Buddhism in today's globalized global. It additionally reminds us of what used to be so startling concerning the Buddha's imaginative and prescient of human flourishing.

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Nor is it a state of complete non-being, of annihilation. Instead it is the state of no longer being driven, consumed and tormented (however unconsciously) by dukkha. Dukkha, is caused by a perceptual process. It is not that we engage with the world, or contemplate our selves, and infer or decide that we or the things around us are permanent, independent and have identifiable intrinsic natures. Rather, we take the world and ourselves to be like that in our immediate perceptual engagement—we see the world as constituted by entities with that nature.

It is partly for this reason that we cannot use any of the standard English equivalents without careful gloss and a string of caveats. In order to see why this is the case—why dukkha is such a pervasive and universal aspect of experience— it is helpful to explore the three levels at which, from a Buddhist perspective, dukkha operates. At the most mundane and obvious level, our lives are permeated by dukkha in its manifestation as straightforward physical and mental pain. We endure headaches, illnesses, the boredom of airport terminals, fatigue at the end of a long day, hunger, thirst, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, the anxiety of the dentist’s waiting room, the awareness of our own mortality, the terror of immanent death.

After some time, however, the split between these two broad traditions grew, and now most Theravāda practitioners regard Mahāyāna texts, doctrines and practices as heterodox, or even non-Buddhist, while many Mahāyāna practitioners regard Theravāda texts and practices as suitable only for beginners. Once again, the historical and social details need not detain us. Buddhist schools seek foundations in Buddhavacana, the speech of the Buddha. It is the word of the Buddha himself, or at least words spoken in his presence and approved by him, that ultimately validate doctrine from a religious point of view as Buddhist.

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After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age by Stephen Batchelor


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