At the Crossroads

An interview with Stephen Batchelor

James Shaheen

Article Preview

To access this entire article and all other member-supported
content, join Tricycle as a Supporting or Sustaining Member

Drawing from his experience in multiple traditions, Stephen Batchelor, the best-selling author of Buddhism Without Beliefs, discusses his uniquely Western teaching style and Buddhism’s encounter with modernity.


© Lynda RodolitzStephen Batchelor was born in Scotland and educated in Buddhist monasteries in India, Switzerland, and Korea. In 1972, at the age of nineteen, he settled in Dharamsala, and in 1974 he ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan Gelug tradition. Three years later, he left the Tibetan tradition and traveled to Korea, where he practiced as a Zen monk. Batchelor disrobed in 1985, when he moved to Devon, England to live and teach at the Sharpham Community and Gaia House. There, Batchelor synthesized a distinctively Western teaching style, drawing from multiple Buddhist traditions.

Share with a Friend

Email to a Friend

Already a member? Log in to share this content.

You must be a Tricycle Community member to use this feature.

1. Join as a Basic Member

Signing up to Tricycle newsletters will enroll you as a free Tricycle Basic Member.You can opt out of our emails at any time from your account screen.

2. Enter Your Message Details

Enter multiple email addresses on separate lines or separate them with commas.

Become a Supporting Member

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Supporting Member

Become a Sustaining Member

*With Autorenew

  • You Get
  • Tricycle | The Magazine - a one-year subscription to premier Buddhist quarterly
  • Tricycle Retreats - a new online video teaching every every week by a contemporary Buddhist teacher
  • Tricycle | The Digital Edition - web based edition of the magazine
  • The Wisdom Collection - nearly two decades of teachings by the world's most compelling teachers, from the pages of Tricycle
  • Tricycle Gallery - the best in Buddhist art to download and share with friends
  • Tricycle Book Club - online discussions with leading Buddhist authors
  • Tricycle Discussions - teacher-led explorations of dharma in daily life
  • The Tricycle Blog - our diary of the global Buddhist movement
  • Daily Dharma - heart advice delivered direct to your inbox
  • The Tricycle Newsletter - the latest news, teachings, events, and more, every Monday

Become a Sustaining Member