The Buddha’s Middle Way - Experiential Judgement in his Life and Teaching - Robert M. Ellis

The Buddha’s Middle Way - Experiential Judgement in his Life and Teaching - Robert M. Ellis

Foreword

The Buddha’s Middle Way - Experiential Judgement in his Life and Teaching - Robert M. Ellis

Stephen Batchelor [+-]
Buddhist teacher and writer
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STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Stephen considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. In particular, he regards the doctrines of karma and rebirth to be features of ancient Indian civilisation and not intrinsic to what the Buddha taught. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.

Description

The Middle Way was first taught explicitly by the Buddha. It is the first teaching offered by the Buddha in his first address, and the basis of his practical method in meditation, ethics, and wisdom. It is often mentioned in connection with Buddhist teachings, yet the full case for its importance has not yet been made. This book aims to make that case. The Middle Way can be understood from the Buddha's life as well as his teachings. His early life follows a symbolic quest through the extremes of the Palace and the Forest, followed by the discovery of the Middle Way. His similes, such as the raft, the lute-strings, the arrow, and the blind people with the elephant are not just allegories of Buddhist teachings, but relate closely to the universal human experience of balanced judgement. This book also has a critical case. Although it has transmitted the Middle Way, the Buddhist tradition has also often ignored or distorted it. The Middle Way is experiential, authentic and creative, and thus threatening to the power of a tradition that has instead emphasised the Buddha's authority as a source of abstract, absolute revelation. The Buddha’s Middle Way aims to differentiate the universal Middle Way from Buddhist tradition.

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Citation

Batchelor, Stephen. Foreword. The Buddha’s Middle Way - Experiential Judgement in his Life and Teaching. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. vii-viii May 2019. ISBN 9781781798201. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=38624. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.38624. May 2019

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