Sunday, March 4, 2018

Wondrous doubt in Buddhism (Batchelor)

Krista Tippett (, Stephen Batchelor; CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Wisdom Quarterly

Stephen Batchelor’s secular Buddhism speaks to the mystery and vitality of spiritual life in every form. For him secularism opens to doubt and questioning as a radical basis for spiritual life. Above all, he understands Buddhism without transcendent beliefs like karma or reincarnation to become something urgent to do, not to "believe" in. Batchelor is a former Buddhist monk, teacher, and writer. His books include Buddhism Without BeliefsConfession of a Buddhist AtheistThe Faith to Doubt, and most recently, Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World.

Batchelor: Many of my critics would be quite happy for me to stop calling myself a "Buddhist."

And even some of those who like my work feel that the Buddhism gets in the way. But I disagree profoundly with that.

Stephen BatchelorThe rootedness in tradition is central to me. And I see Buddhist tradition -- I suspect like other traditions, also -- as not something which is static and fixed and somehow preserved in formaldehyde, but it is something that is alive. 

Host Krista Tippett: I’m Krista Tippett, and this is On Being.[Music: “Seven League Boots” by Zoe Keating]. Stephen Batchelor is the author of numerous books, including The Faith to Doubt, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and, most recently, Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World.

He grew up near London and traveled to India in the early '70s, where -- he has often written -- he was immediately captured by Buddhism. He spent a decade as an ordained monk, living, studying, and writing in Tibetan Buddhist and Zen communities in Asia. I spoke with Stephen Batchelor in 2016. More + AUDIO

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