View Full Version : After Buddhism: Embrace Life, Let Go of What Arises, See its Ceasing, Act!

11 Dec 15, 20:57
This is a post from the "Wild Fox Zen" blog at patheos.com.

When I mentioned to a friend that I was reading Stephen Batchelor’s new book, After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age, he asked, “Is it as acerbic as his last book?”


Now, I’ve been reading Batchelor for a long time. Way back in 1983, Batchelor’s Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism, was a powerful and important book for me. Living with the Devil (2005) is still a personal favorite. And perhaps because of my own acerbic proclivity, I haven’t found any of his works to be primarily such. I don’t necessarily resonate with all the atheist and secular threads, but always find his work to be coming from a like-minded practitioner who earnestly follows his line of inquiry wherever it might lead.

Sometimes it leads to a critical examination of dharma training and beliefs, especially those in the Tibetan Gelug tradition where he was ordained and practiced for nearly a decade. Batchelor’s background has led him, in a series of books, to examine Buddhist orthodoxy and to find much of it wanting.

If you’re going to criticize, you risk being thought of as being acerbic from time to time. I’ve been there and have been accused of that.

In any case, I told my friend, “No, I don’t find it acerbic … but then you know me.”
To be clear, I found After Buddhism to be a smart and delightful read and am grateful to Batchelor for the decade-long process that resulted in this book.

For starters, Batchelor’s narrative voice is evocatively sincere and probing.

Continued at the link:


Comments welcome. :hands: