Unlearning Buddhism (Stephen Batchelor)

Stephen Batchelor

A reflection on the difficulties involved in and the methodology of a secular approach to Buddhism, followed by a reading of and comments on the Kalama Sutta, considered as a primary source text for secular Buddhism.

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  1. NaturalEntrust on August 8, 2012 at 5:25 am

    This podcast is from octorber 2011 So I did not knew about it then.
    The first podcast that I actually have listen to. His English and the
    speed he talks allow even non-fluent listeners like me to follow
    much of what he say.

    I get aware of that many times I know what the word means
    if I can wild guess the spelling but many times he say words
    that I have known and used daily for some 15 years on internet.

    But my brain fail to hear what he actually say. The Brittish or English
    accent is too different from the “school” English that I know or how
    they talk on BBC World News. I even have problem with them when
    an Englishmen of foreign descent have their particular accent.

    American English is usually easier to grasp. They seldom have
    difficult to hear accents unless they are immigrants.

    Anyway it was interesting to listen to. Show how utterly complex
    it is to unlearn what one see as Buddhism.

    He seems to be an optimist while I am an pessimist. But I am different.

    Ooops don’t get me wrong. I am not that different. Maybe you guys
    are very good at letting go of what you have learned to be real Buddhism.

    But I know from my own subjective personal experience that
    even the very short and very shallow and brief encounter that
    I have had with Jodo Shinshu Buddhism has biased me heavily
    to see their version as the best understanding of what Buddhism is.

    Kind of “crazy” that I as a strong atheist defend something that
    Buddhist atheists see as a fundy religion that they even say is not Buddhism.

    The world turned upside down in a way. But the reason are
    my subjective personal experience supporting Jodo Shinshu
    seen from a metaphoric perspective. AFAIK they know things
    that “pure” Buddhism seems totally unaware of.

  2. Ted Meissner on August 8, 2012 at 5:59 am

    You might want to consider reading a book or two from another tradition, there are quite a few on the Resources page, and you can click on any that capture your interest to read the Amazon reviews.

  3. NaturalEntrust on August 8, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Ted that is what I did for some 50 years until I found
    Jodo Shinshu. AFAIK none of the others had answers
    like Shin had.

    I do prefer to talk to Buddhists online instead of
    reading texts Real persons can give live feedback
    on misunderstandings that I most likely make.

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