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Publisher's Summary

Before it was a religion, a culture, or even a system of meditation, what was Buddhism? On Buddhism Without Beliefs, celebrated teacher, translator, and former Buddhist monk Stephen Batchelor takes us back to the first years after the Buddha's awakening to reveal the root insights of Buddhism hidden beneath centuries of history and interpretation.
In eight compelling sessions of self-inquiry - including many fascinating exercises and practices - we learn how to awaken and refine our senses, introduce the essential spirit of curiosity into the practice of awareness, and comprehend with both our hearts and our minds the Buddha's astonishing (and often misunderstood) revelations on emptiness, compassion, and the self. Before he died, the Buddha did not appoint a successor. He simply remarked that each of us must be responsible for our own freedom.
Buddhism without Beliefs is an invitation to hear what the Buddha taught - and to trust yourself on your own path to liberation.
©1997 Stephen Batchelor (P)2013 Sounds True
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kimberly on 04-16-13

What you wondered about but were afraid to ask ...

Stephen Batchelors guide is truly educational. I found his breakdown of Buddhism to be so simple and inspiring. I was concerned that Buddhism would be a complicated thing to understand. Immediately my mind was put to rest as Stephen speaks with authority and expertise. Buddhism as a belief system (it is not a religion for those who may not know) is all that I hoped it would be. I've listened through twice and plan on sharing it with other interested parties. So if you too may be wondering what this thing called Buddhism is all about but are afraid it's too complex, I highly recommend Buddhism Without Beliefs.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Bianca on 04-21-14

Wonderful!

Any additional comments?

I am not a buddhist, even though I'm interested in buddhist "themes": impermanence, emptiness, mindfulness, loving kindness, death and dying, etc. I've read a number of authors of many different traditions (Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, etc.), and Stephen Batchelor was the only one I felt wasn't speaking in riddles or trying to convey a sense of mystery that I never felt was necessary. And here I don't mean, for instance, Zen koans or Zen stories - I mean the convoluted and pasteurized speech of some Western buddhist teachers. <br/>As an atheist, this is as close as I'll ever get to a real experience of spirituality. Wonderful book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mr M F C Rose on 07-02-15

Listen without prejudice

Although rooted in a tradition, a large Tibetan organisation, this is music for my heart. I feel deeply Batchelor's frustration at modern attempts to integrate Buddhist thought into the Western umvelt.

William Gibson once remarked that "the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed" - this is how I feel about modern dharma, some people (Ken Wilber et al) are shaping forward looking, truly modern, post-metaphysical, non-religious (non-'Buddhist') dharma.

To many this is just too much. The baby boomers who have found solace in Eastern mysticism and religion have kept the baby but they are often very reluctant to admit that they are swimming in a large pool of unnecessary Buddhist bathwater too.

Bachelor strips it all back and his movement towards finding the essence of Early Buddhism, the universalism of impermanence, the truths of suffering and emptiness, that which continues to serve us today, is very welcome and, I believe, destined to emerge and shape dharma from here on out.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Tim A on 02-26-15

Confused this is different to the book

What did you like most about Buddhism Without Beliefs?

I am enjoying this and it is well presented by Stephen. It is an excellent proposition of Buddhist ideas without the religion that has overtaken much of modern Buddhism. However I also have the book and this seems to have little connection to that except for the ideas presented. As it has the same title I expected it to be an audio reading of the book.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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