By Stephen Batchelor
Batchelor's Buddhism with no ideals (1997) defined a mundane method of the japanese philosophy stripped of doctrines resembling karma and rebirth; how a tender British monk ordained within the Tibetan culture become a Buddhist atheist is printed during this new booklet. at the dharma path in India and Korea, and later as a lay resident on the nonsectarian Sharpham neighborhood in England, Batchelor used to be beset via doubts approximately conventional Buddhist teachings. ultimately confident that present-day different types of Buddhism have moved a long way past what founder Gotama had meant, Batchelor launched into a research of the Pali canon (very early Buddhist texts) to determine what the Buddha's unique message could have been. Batchelor's personal tale of conversion is woven easily together with his research of Buddhist teachings and a 2003 pilgrimage to Indian websites very important within the Buddha's lifestyles. he's candid approximately his disillusionments with institutionalized Buddhism with out undertaking one other new atheist broadside opposed to faith. whereas Batchelor might exaggerate the newness of his Buddhism with out ideals stance, this multifaceted account of 1 Buddhist's look for enlightenment is richly soaking up.
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Additional resources for Confession of a Buddhist Atheist
At the moment when the guns are blazing, when lances cross, point to point, and the blows of the enemy rain down, amid the fray of battle—here is where he must practice, putting his meditation immediately to work. In a spot like this, what good is going to be the sort of zazen that calls for a quiet place? ”98 Despite the doubts voiced by various seventeenth-century priests concerning the viability of Japanese Zen, teachers like Daigu, Ungo, Takuan, Gudò, and Shòsan attracted an enthusiastic following.
Converts who refused to renounce their faith were ruthlessly pursued and executed, but those who formally recanted and apostatized were generally pardoned. The Bakufu was especially concerned over the existence of “hidden” Christians, and local officials and Buddhist priests were enlisted in ferreting out secret believers, so that something of a witch-hunt mentality informed many of the government’s anti-Christian activities. As proof that they were not Christians, all Japanese were required to maintain membership in a parish temple (dannadera) and to obtain each year from the temple’s priest a certificate (tera’uke shòmon) affirming that they were parishioners in good standing.
The first generations of priests who assumed office at the Nagasaki temples were not especially noteworthy, restricting their activities entirely to the immigrant Chinese communities they had been brought to serve. It was only with the arrival of Tao-che Chao-yüan in 1651 that the temples began to attract broader attention as centers for the practice and propagation of contemporary Chinese Ch’an. In that year, Sòfukuji had invited a disciple of the celebrated master Yin-yüan Lung-ch’i to assume the temple’s abbacy, but the priest had been drowned in a shipwreck, and when Tao-che arrived on a merchant vessel, he was installed as abbot in the priest’s place.