A Tricycle Book Club Discussion with Martine Batchelor
Martine Batchelor joins us here to discuss her new book, The Spirit of the Buddha. Formerly a nun in the Korean tradition of Zen Buddhism, Martine is the author of several books and is a frequent contributor to Tricycle. She led a Tricycle Retreat, "Break Your Addictive Patterns," in the summer of 2010, and lives in France with her husband Stephen.
From the introduction of The Spirit of the Buddha:
In exploring the spirit of the Buddha one could make an extensive presentation of Buddhism and its various developments. But the title for me is a personal title, it is not about Buddhism, it is about the Buddha. The Buddha is the source of Buddhism and in his time he did not know he was creating Buddhism or that his teachings would survive for 2500 years. So in this text I want to go back to the originator and founder of this great religion and cultural movement. Who was he? What did he teach? What were his personal traits? How did he create this new religious movement?
It is important to see that the Buddha did not appear out of nowhere with a philosophy already formed, but that he was born in a certain cultural and religious milieu. Often he had to define himself and his teaching in competition with or in opposition to other religious currents. There was a great tradition in his time for religious seekers to test each other and engage in philosophical debates. Moreover, since the teaching of the Buddha is based on conditionality, it seemed important to consider the conditions that gave rise to his search, to his movement and to the practices he taught.
Here is a video of Martine reading from chapter 2 of the book:
You can purchase The Spirit of the Buddha here.