Saturday, September 3, 2011

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor

At the end of his book Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Stephen Batchelor speaks about a secular religion, a beliefless practice, although he understands the contradictory nature of the terms. For me it's a concept that rattles around in my head and heart in the mornings as I prepare to sit and stare at the wall. Settles there while I become quiet sitting on my zafu. I don't need to think about it then. I just need to breathe. It's afterward, that I can take up these questions. This morning, for instance, reading Dogen's Genjo-koan. The light of the moon reflected fully on a tiny drop of morning dew hanging from a blade of grass.  

Below are quotes from page 237 of Confession:

"The point is not to abandon all institutions and dogmas but to find a way to live with them more ironically, to appreciate them for what they are—the play of the human mind in its endless quest for connection and meaning—rather than timeless entities ruthlessly defended or forcibly imposed.
What is it in Gotama’s teaching that is distinctively his own? There are four elements of the Dharma that cannot be derived from the Indian culture of his time. These are
  1. The principle of “this conditionality, conditioned arising.”
  2. The process of the Four Noble Truths.
  3. The practice of mindful awareness.
  4. The power of self-reliance.

Sit well. Hold the sky up with the tip of your head.
Bobby Kankin

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