Stephen Batchelor

A Quote by Stephen Batchelor on transcending self, self, practice, transcendence, realization, and potential

The art of dharma practice requires commitment, technical accomplishment, and imagination. As with all arts, we will fail to realize its full potential if any of these three are lacking. The raw material of dharma practice is ourself and our world, which are to be understood and transformed according to the vision and values of the dharma itself. This is not a process of self- or world- transcendence, but one of self- and world- creation.

The denial of "self" challenges only the notion of a static self independent of body and mind--not the ordinary sense of ourself as a person distinct from everyone else. The notion of a static self is the primary obstruction to the realization of our unique potential as an individual being. By dissolving this fiction through a centered vision of the transiency, ambiguity, and contingency of experience, we are freed to create ourself anew.

Stephen Batchelor

Source: Buddhism Without Beliefs

Contributed by: David

A Quote by Stephen Batchelor on buddhism and mindfulness

The Buddha described his teaching as "going against the stream." The unflinching light of mindful awareness reveals the extent to which we are tossed along in the stream of past conditioning and habit. The moment we decide to stop and look at what is going on (like a swimmer suddenly changing course to swim upstream instead of downstream), we find ourselves battered by powerful currents we had never even suspected - precisely because until that moment we were largely living at their command.

Stephen Batchelor

Source: http://lotusinthemud.typepad.com/sujatin/2008/09/going-against-t.html

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Stephen Batchelor on buddhism, ethics, acceptance, and delusion

One finds that no matter how sincere one's intention to be attentive and aware, the mind rebels against such instructions and races off to indulge in all manner of distractions, memories and fantasies....The comforting illusion of personal coherence and continuity is ripped away to expose only fragmentary islands of consciousness separated by yawning gulfs of unawareness....The first step in this practice of mindful awareness is radical self-acceptance.

Such self-acceptance, however, does not operate in an ethical vacuum, where no moral assessment is made of one's emotional states. The training in mindful awareness is part of a Buddhist path with values and goals. Emotional states are evaluated according to whether they increase or decrease the potential for suffering. If an emotion, such as hatred or envy, is judged to be destructive, then it is simply recognized as such. It is neither expressed through violent thoughts, words or deeds, nor is it suppressed or denied as incompatiable with a "spiritual"life. In seeing it for what it is - a transient emotional state - one mindfully observes it follow its own nature: to arise, abide for a while, and then pass away.

Stephen Batchelor

Source: The Awakening of the West

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Stephen Batchelor on mindfulness, consumerism, spirituality, and economics

Today, however, as we live and work in a world of far greater complexity, where the apparently simple acts of buying and selling have repercussions on people's lives around the world, the ethics of right livelihood must be accordingly reevaluated. The implications of even driving a car or drinking a cup of coffee have social, environmental, and economic consequences far beyond the limits of our immediate experience, which we are morally obligated to take into account. From this perspective, inner spiritual transformation is just as dependent upon the effect of our economic life upon the world as transformations in the world are dependent upon spiritual re-orientation.

Stephen Batchelor

Source: The Practice of Generosity

Contributed by: Siona

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