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

By Stephen Batchelor

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

Stephen Batchelor, an the world over identified writer and instructor, is devoted 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 to set the checklist instantly approximately who the Buddha was once and what he was once attempting to educate. Combining severe readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative debts of 5 contributors of the Buddha's internal circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a realistic ethicist instead of a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a regularly evolving tradition of awakening whose lengthy survival is because of its means to reinvent itself and have interaction creatively with each one society it encounters.

This unique and provocative publication offers a brand new framework for figuring out the impressive unfold of Buddhism in today's globalized international. It additionally reminds us of what used to be so startling in regards to the Buddha's imaginative and prescient of human flourishing.

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570) A world is in a grain of sand, as William Blake saw. Or, it is better to leave out the " i n " : a world is a grain of sand, and a wild flower is a heaven. The fact is, all circumstances focus on a single existence. The whole universe concentrates all its innumerable conditions together on one creature. Otherwise, namely, if this universal harmony should lack even one condition, nothing exists. In this sense, every existence is the very one possibility out o f myriads o f impossibilities.

Cold plum blossoms show Bodhidharma's exact intention: One petal flutters west— another, east— (192) (186) Five thousand forty-eight volumes of sutras: roll up them all. (187) To open eyes wide, lying in the coffin. (193) The cold water waits for spring: the ice is thinning— Dawn mountains meet a clear sky: the snowy peak soars— Cold comes— double your robes! Heat comes— fan it away! (194) Eyes level, nose vertical. (188) Eyes southeast, Mind northwest. An autumn cicada, sticking to the dry tree, Chirps and chirps without moving its head.

He never fails to do it thoroughly. His principle is Killing a man: do it till the blood gushes out. (403) He devotes all his energies to one shout. One roar o f a lion Cracks the brains o f a hundred beasts. (463) His dignity naturally subdues all. These rhetorical hyperboles are not so far removed from scientific truth. Through the analysis o f brain waves, scientists have proved that during (and even after) zazen the trained Z e n monk's brain waves are just as calm as those o f a sleeping person, but still perfectly sensitive to each stimulus from outside.

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