Batchelors Variante

Gespeichert von Gast (nicht überprüft) am Sa, 04/04/2015 - 19:47


Beim Lesen der aktuellen Folge von Stephen Schettinis Blog "The Naked Monk" : "Buddhism, or dharma?" stieß ich auf ein Vorhaben von Stephen Batchelor,

das im nächsten Kapitel und in seinem Buch „After Buddhism” vertieft wird.



I teach by putting what people already know in a new light. It connects me with others and I love it. If life has a purpose, this is it.

My next book is about the Buddha’s eightfold path, and it’ll steer clear of Buddhism. It’s about dharma, not doctrine or philosophy. I’m borrowing freely from a new language devised by Stephen, which he calls “Rebuilding Buddhism from the ground up.” It’s audacious.



Die Suche führte mich zu dem Pdf-Papier "A Secular Buddhist" von Stephen Batchelor. Darin heißt es unter anderem:


[Seite 1] Rather than attaining nirvana, I see the aim of Buddhist practice to be the moment-to-moment flourishing of human life within the ethical framework of the eightfold path here on earth.


[Seite 3] I suspect that a considerable part of the Western enthusiasm for things Buddhist may still be a Romantic projection of our yearnings for truth and holiness onto those distant places and peoples about which we know the least. I am sometimes alarmed at the uncritical willingness of Westerners to accept at face value whatever is uttered by a Tibetan lama or Burmese sayadaw, while they would be generally sceptical were something comparable said by a Christian bishop or Cambridge don. I do believe that Buddhist philosophy, ethics and meditation have something to offer in helping us come to terms with many of the personal and social dilemmas of our world. But there are real challenges in translating Buddhist practices, values and ideas into comprehensive forms of life that are more than just a set of skills acquired in courses on mindfulness-based stress-reduction, and that can flourish just as well outside meditation retreat centres as within them. Buddhism might require some radical surgery if it is to get to grips with modernity and find a voice that can speak to the conditions of this saeculum.


Anschließend ein interessanter Überblick:


[Seite 3-4] So what sort of Buddhism does a self-declared “secular Buddhist” like myself advocate? For me, secular Buddhism is not just another modernist reconfiguration of a traditional form of Asian Buddhism. It is neither a reformed Theravada Buddhism (like the Vipassana movement), a reformed Tibetan tradition (like Shambhala Buddhism), a reformed Nichiren school (like the Soka Gakkai), a reformed Zen lineage (like the Order of Interbeing, nor a reformed hybrid of some or all of the above (like the Triratna Order – formerly the FWBO). It is more radical than that: it seeks to return to the roots of the Buddhist tradition and rethink Buddhism from the ground up.



Dann kommt er zum Punkt:

[Seite 5-6] My starting point is to bracket off anything attributed to the Buddha in the canon that could just as well have been said by a brahmin priest or Jain monk of the same period. So when the Buddha says that a certain action will produce a good or bad result in a future heaven or hell, or when he speaks of bringing to an end the repetitive cycle of rebirth and death in order to attain nirvana, I take such utterances to be determined by the common metaphysical outlook of that time rather than reflecting an intrinsic component of the dharma. I thus give central importance to those teachings in the Buddha’s dharma that cannot be derived from the worldview of 5th century BCE India.

Tentatively, I would suggest that this “bracketing” of metaphysical views, leaves us with four distinctive key ideas that do not appear to have direct precedents in Indian tradition. I call them the four “P”s:

1. The principle of conditionality
2. The process of four noble tasks (truths)
3. The practice of mindful awareness
4. The power of self-reliance


[Seite 7-8] Above all, secular Buddhism is something to do, not something to believe in.
This pragmatism is evident in many of the classic parables: the poisoned arrow [M. 63], the city [S. 12:65], the raft [M. 22] – as well as in the Buddha’s presentation of his four “noble truths” as a range of tasks to be performed rather than a set of propositions to be affirmed. Instead of trying to justify the belief that “life is suffering” (the first noble truth), one seeks to embrace and deal wisely with suffering when it occurs. Instead of trying to convince oneself that “craving is the origin of suffering” (the second noble truth), one seeks to let go of and not get tangled up in craving whenever it rises up in one’s body or mind. From this perspective it is irrelevant whether the statements “life is suffering” or “craving is the origin of suffering” are either true or false. Why? Because these four so-called “truths” are not propositions that one accepts as a believer or rejects as a non-believer. They are suggestions to do something that might make a difference in the world in which you coexist with others now.

“Enlightenment,” therefore – though I prefer the term “awakening” – is not a mystical insight into the true nature of mind or reality (that always weirdly accords with the established views of one’s brand of Buddhism), but rather the opening up of a way of being-in-this-world that is no longer determined by one’s greed, hatred, fear and selfishness. Thus awakening is not a state but a process: an ethical way of life and commitment that enables human flourishing. As such it is no longer the exclusive preserve of enlightened teachers or accomplished yogis. Likewise, nirvana – i.e. the stopping of craving – is not the goal of the path but its very source. For human flourishing first stirs in that clear, bright, empty space where neurotic self-centredness realizes that it has no ground to stand on at all. One is then freed to pour forth like sunlight.