Buddhism without beliefs: a contemporary guide to awakening
Former monk and author of "Alone with Others" and "The Awakening of the West" Stephen Batchelor now offers a straightforward, solid introduction to Buddhism that demystifies the discipline and explains simply and plainly how its practice can enrich our lives. "Filled with compassion, lucidly written".--Oscar Hijuelos.
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The central thesis of this book is that the Buddha's teachings were a path that anyone can follow through experiential practice, and that the dogma (metaphysics: karma, reincarnation, cosmology) that exists in modern Buddhism is an unnecessary and rigid accretion that formed as Buddhist philosophy found a home in various cultures.
Batchelor seeks to describe the main aspects of Buddhist philosophy, from aversion and craving to dharma, without recourse to any such metaphysics. It is an interesting enough read. At times it seems to meander, but that's inherent in the subject matter: trying to describe in words something that needs to be experienced is not straightforward, and Batchelor does a good job without being overly verbose.
Review: Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to AwakeningUser Review - Paul L - Goodreads
Very good intro to the concepts of Buddhism, minus the religious contexts. Pretty dense read, though. Will probably require another reading. Read full review