Losing My Religion
Confession of a Buddhist Atheist
by Stephen Batchelor
$26.00 List Price
Those most likely to read Stephen Batchelor's new memoir, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, might find the title redundant. The deity-free character of Buddhism is fairly common knowledge among its enthusiasts in the English-speaking world. The Gautama they have encountered in their various modes of countercultural rebellion comes filtered through the sensibilities of writers such as Hermann Hesse, Allen Ginsberg, and Robert Pirsig. To the crowds drawn to "Eastern" philosophies because "Western" traditions are kind of a drag, the Buddha offers religion without the baggage.
But of course the Buddha has baggage all his own. This was news to the Scottish-born Batchelor, who in the early 1970s launched a decade-long vocation as a Tibetan monk. In recounting how he made the trek into Tibetan piety and just what happened
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