By Stephen Batchelor
By myself with Others is a uniquely modern consultant to realizing the undying message of Buddhism, and specifically its relevance in genuine human family members. It was once encouraged via Shantideva’s advisor to the Bodhisattava’s lifestyle, the oral directions of residing Buddhist masters, Martin Heidegger’s vintage Being and Time, and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.
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Extra resources for Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (Grove Press Eastern Philosophy and Literature)
Some people who held the Buddha and his dedicated followers in highest regard had no expectation of imitating their extraordinary undertaking. These men (upasakas) and women (upasikas) contributed money and goods for the support of monks and nuns, becoming a model for later Buddhist laity. The complementary roles played by monastics and laypeople became a pattern that was 18 repeated as Buddhism later spread throughout Asia. Bhikkhus and bhikkhunis pursued the extraordinary religious goal of attaining liberation, while upasakas and upasikas provided them with support and sustenance, an act that was considered to be meritorious.
Formal monastic institutions play an important role in Tibetan Buddhism, but there is also a lively and influential tradition of married clergy. The power of these and other institutions in Tibet remained immense into the middle of the twentieth century. All these traditions and institutions share strong resemblances that point to their origins in a shared national history. Tibetans also share a number of national figures, such as Gesar of Ling, a great warrior, king, and dharma hero celebrated in epic and song, and Padmasambhava, “the lotus-born,” who is credited with taming the demons of Tibet and bringing them into the service of Buddhism.
Assuming there is rebirth, is it possible to escape samsara, the endless wandering through round after round of death and rebirth? Siddhartha’s answers to these questions informed the development of Buddhism throughout Asia and continue to do so in the United States today. For six years after leaving home, Siddhartha studied and practiced harsh ascetic disciplines taught to him by teachers he encountered on his journey. But at the age of about thirty-five, he discovered his own path during a long night of meditation sitting under a pipal tree.
Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (Grove Press Eastern Philosophy and Literature) by Stephen Batchelor