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Batchelor’s “After Buddhism”: A Review

| December 8, 2015 | 8 Comments
Batchelor’s “After Buddhism”: A Review

With After Buddhism, Stephen Batchelor continues his project of cultivating a secular dhamma. Batchelor’s book is structured as an exegesis of the Pāli Canon, focusing almost exclusively on this early material to reconstruct what might be termed a secular Buddha. This is a Buddha who followed a kind of Pyrrhonian skepticism about truth, who declined […]

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Philip Kitcher on Secular Humanism

| January 19, 2015 | 5 Comments
Philip Kitcher on Secular Humanism

One criticism of ‘New Atheist’ books has been that they lack sophistication, that they attack only the most extreme forms of theistic belief without touching its more nuanced, liberal forms. So it comes as a welcome development to read Philip Kitcher’s new book, which takes a more nuanced look at religious belief and practice. As […]

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Sam Harris Talks Spirituality

| December 18, 2014 | 14 Comments
Sam Harris Talks Spirituality

Sam Harris’s new book Waking Up has a lot to recommend it. Harris is a gifted writer, always clear and engaging, who never seems to talk down to the reader. This is not an easy task when dealing with abstruse topics. Harris picks out salient examples and tells interesting stories that continually bring his points to […]

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Mindful America: A Review

| November 5, 2014 | 3 Comments
Mindful America: A Review

I was by turns excited, puzzled and exasperated as I read Jeff Wilson’s Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture.  This first attempt at an academic look at the rise of the mindfulness movement is a fascinating, provocative and often entertaining read,  but its cultural studies methodology can be questionable and […]

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Waking Up: A Review

| September 22, 2014 | 53 Comments
Waking Up: A Review

I still remember my excitement on encountering, in Sam Harris’ first book, The End of Faith, the suggestion that it would be possible to enjoy many of the benefits which people had traditionally sought from religion without the need to embrace religion itself.  Buddhist meditiation was one of the practices Harris mentioned as a specific example of wisdom that […]

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Episode 157 :: Marc Lesser :: Know Yourself, Forget Yourself

| February 20, 2013 | 0 Comments
Episode 157 :: Marc Lesser :: Know Yourself, Forget Yourself

Marc Lesser Today we speak with the CEO of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute Marc Lesser about his new book Know Yourself, Forget Yourself: Five Truths That Will Transform Your Work, Relationships, and Everyday Life. Paradox is, at best, not the most comforting of places to put our minds. And yet we see it […]

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Episode 153 :: Heinz Hilbrecht :: Meditation and the Brain: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science

| January 26, 2013 | 19 Comments
Episode 153 :: Heinz Hilbrecht :: Meditation and the Brain: Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science

Heinz Hilbrecht Heinz Hilbrecht joins us to speak about his book in German Meditation und Gehirn, or in English Meditation and the Brain. There seems to be an attitude prevalent in our contemporary society, that ancient ways of trying to understand the world are in conflict with scientific findings. And in many cases, this is […]

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