A book by Stephen Batchelor

What is this? Reflections from a Sŏn retreat

What is This? consists of the meditation instructions and Dharma talks given by Stephen Batchelor during a Sŏn (Chan/Zen) retreat offered at Gaia House in April 2016. It introduces us to the practice of radical questioning as taught in the Korean Sŏn Buddhist tradition and offers reflections on how this form of meditation can be understood today. The talks explore how a practice that originated in China more than a thousand years ago can be enriched by ideas from the natural sciences, ancient and modern Western philosophy, Romantic poetry and the early Buddhism of the Pali Canon. The book serves both as a practice manual as well as a personal and critical reflection on the challenge of being fully human in the contemporary world.

What is This? functions as a companion volume to The Faith to Doubt: Glimpses of Buddhist Uncertainty (1990), most of which Stephen Batchelor wrote while training as a Sŏn monk in Songgwang Sa monastery, South Korea, from 1981-1984.

A member of the Gaia House Teacher Council, Stephen Batchelor has regularly taught retreats at Gaia House since 1986. He is the author of Buddhism without Beliefs, After Buddhism and most recently, Secular Buddhism. A co-founder of Bodhi College, he lives in France with his wife Martine.

All profits from this book will be donated to the Building appeal to help Gaia House raise funds to improve the building and provide a better environment for all those who visit, reside and work at Gaia House.
Read more about the Gaia House Building appeal.

Read an excerpt:

What is This? – Sunday – 3 pages

What is This? – Monday – 3 pages

What is This? – Tuesday – 3 pages

Order your copy below.

Book details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of pages: 106
  • Dimensions: A5
  • Materials: FSC certified paper, coated
Price including postage and packing:
  • £12 per copy, for delivery within the UK
  • £14 per copy, for delivery to Europe
  • £15 per copy, for delivery to the rest of the world

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