By Stephen Batchelor
People with an curiosity in Buddhism will welcome this new booklet through Stephen Batchelor, former monk and writer of Alone With Others and The Awakening of the West. yet people who find themselves simply studying this more and more well known perform may have a lot to achieve as well-for Buddhism with no ideals serves as an exceptional, elementary advent that demystifies Buddhism and explains easily and evidently how its perform can increase our lives. warding off jargon and thought, Batchelor concentrates at the concrete, making Buddhism obtainable and compelling and displaying how a person can embark in this path-regardless in their spiritual heritage.
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Additional resources for Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
An agnostic Buddhist looks to the dharma for metaphors of existential confrontation rather than metaphors of existential consolation. The dharma is not a belief by which you will be miraculously saved. It is a method to be investigated and tried out. It starts by facing up to the primacy of anguish, then proceeds to apply a set of practices to understand the human dilemma and work toward a resolution. practice has been institutionalized, as a religion can be gauged by the number of consolatory ele'5 o B U D D H I S M W I T H O U T BELIEFS ments that have crept in: for example, assurances of a better afterlife if you perform virtuous deeds or recite mantras or chant the name of a Buddha.
Yet instead of offering him consoling platitudes or the wisdom of someone else, we say something that we did not know we knew, Such gestures and words spring from body and tongue with shocking spontaneity. We cannot call them "mine" but neither have we copied them from others. Compassion has dissolved the stranglehold of self. And we taste, for a few exhilarating seconds, the creative freedom of awakening. i 48 FRIENDSHIP Just as the dawn is the forerunner of the arising of the sun, so true friendship is the forerunner of the arising of the noble eightfold path.
This relationship reflected that between master and servant or feudal lord and subject. The different degree of power between guru and disciple was utilized as an agent of personal transformation. Elements of dominance and submission (and with them the concomitant danger of coercion) came to characterize the notion of- tme friendship. If, after close examination-, you accepted someone as your teacher, then you were expected to revere and obey him, In varying degrees, the authority of the dharma was replaced by the authority of the guru, who came, in some traditions, to assume the role of the Buddha himself.