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Why do you meditate?
These two questions were posted to an online interactive session with Stephen Batchelor during a Bodhi College course in December 2016.
In February 2016, BBC radio presenter Rana Mitter had a wide-ranging discussion with Stephen Batchelor for the BBC Radio 3 flagship arts and ideas programme ‘Free Thinking’.
A conversation between David Loy and Bernat Font – David Loy was born into a US Navy family and as a child travelled far and wide with his family. He ‘dropped out’ and in Hawaii started to practice zen Buddhism. His first teacher was Robert Aitken and later, he practiced with Yamada Roshi. From philosophy to zen is not such a big jump, reading D.T. Suzuki or Alan Watts, but the difficult thing he found was to practice, to sit.
‘The contrast between Classical Buddhism and Secular Buddhism stems primarily from different ways of understanding the human condition,’ writes Pali translator Bhikkhu Bodhi in this article from the U.S. magazine Inquiring Mind.
Working as a nurse with terminally ill people, Sophie Boyer discovered meditation. After several long retreats, she became a Buddhist nun but disrobed a couple of years later, finding that disrobing came with more challenges than she expected. Born in France in 1972, Sophie is a student of Martine Batchelor.
Use this structured study course on secular Buddhism to study on your own at home or with friends. It is made up of a series of recorded talks by Stephen Batchelor with study guides used at Upaya Sangha of Tucson from September through December 2014.
Jan asked everyone in the sitting group here in Wellington to bring along some of our favourites quotes to share with some food and drink tonight, the final sit of the year.
I’m supposed to take a risk and say in 25 words or less what Buddhism is. That of course is a very arrogant presumption on one level. But what I have concluded tentatively in recent years is to identify four points that the Buddha taught that cannot be derived from the socio-historical context of his time, in other words that are distinctively and non-controversially his own ideas.
Killing The Buddha is a recent Sam Harris blog post. I generally agree with what Sam is saying in this post [Buddhism would benefit from taking out the irrational elements] but can’t help thinking that criticizing religions is too narrow and somewhat misses the point of the difficulty he is referring to – superstition, blind belief etc.