Two from Stephen

“There is nothing so lowly or mundane that it is unworthy of being embraced by mindful attention.  Mindfulness accepts as its focus of inquiry whatever arises in one’s field of awareness, no matter how disturbing or painful it might be.  One neither seeks nor expects to find some greater truth lurking behind the veil of appearances.  What appears and how you respond to it:  that alone is what matters.”


“Siddhattha Gotama rejected the idea that freedom or salvation lay in gaining privileged access to an eternal, non-contingent source or ground, whether it be called Atman or God, Pure Consciousness or the Absolute.  Freedom, for Gotama, meant freedom from greed, from hatred, and from confusion.  Moreover, such freedom (nirvana) was to be found not by turning away from the world but by penetrating deep into its contingent heart.”

from “Confession of a Buddhist Atheist”

Stephen Batchelor


“…its contingent heart,” like Susan’s wild strawberries

8 thoughts on “Two from Stephen

    • Glad to hear it. More people should be reading him. I really think the world needs a thinker like him right now. He speaks about Buddhism from a secular stand-point, without the meta-physical trappings “religion.” Just simply as a liberated, liberating way of life. “Confession…” is more of an autobiography, tracing the path of his thinking, with an attempt to get to who the “biographical” historical Buddha was as a man, not as the “founder” of a “religion”. He in fact argues persuasively that the Buddha did not in fact want to “start a religion”. If you want a great introduction to S. B.’s take on secular Buddhism I would recommend starting with “Buddhism Without Beliefs”. An awesome book and my intro to his thought. I’m getting ready to re-read it now that I’ve finished “Confession..”. They’re both great reads though.


      • Thank you for the recommendations. This is a subject that is very appealing to me. I am looking to study non-violence and naturaly the teachings of the Buddha appeal to me. I always enjoy good, thoughtful commentary on subjects like this.


  1. Reblogged this on The Sand County and commented:
    I don’t usually reblog quotes from other people but in this case I could not resist. The reason I don’t usually is I want to share the blogger’s own words. So, let me just say that I definitely recommend checking out the blog: A Prayer Like Gravity.


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