Get Your Free Audiobook

Buddhism Without Beliefs

Narrated by: Stephen Batchelor
Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

Non-member price: $21.90

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Demystifing the tenets of Buddhism, this introduction to the Buddhist religion explains, without jargon or obscure terminology, the essential elements of its teachings, presents ways to work toward awakening, and examines Buddhism's relevance in Western culture.

©1997 The Buddhist Ray, Inc., and Stephen Batchelor (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent expostn of secular Buddhism principles

Played and replayed much of this book, to understand and master the concepts explained. Some might consider the narration a little flat, but it is calm and clear. If you truly want to understand Buddhism listen to this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Succinct and insightful exploration of Buddhism

speaks to those who have no inclination to believe but seek to understand this life

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian Northum
  • 20-04-2016

Play it at 1.25x speed

This narration was slow but when I sped up to 1.25 speed it became one of my favorite audible books so far. The inflections and cadence and vocabulary of the writer/narrator were almost perfect then. This is a great explanation of the secular Buddhist ideas that have taken hold today.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cole B
  • 25-08-2015

Good for a beginning secularist

Stephen Batchelor approaches the practice of dharma from a secular perspective. While eschewing outright atheism (at least in this book), he offers a contemplative tradition that even an atheist like me can undertake.

Buddhism often crops up as a religion -- despite the Buddha's attempts to thwart the worship of himself and nirvana. Over time, decentralized sanghas form communities with hierarchy, and the process of awakening is placed on a pedestal to be worshipped. The Buddha himself becomes godlike over time.

Batchelor says that not only is this an unnecessary addition to early Buddhism, but that it can be a hindrance to one's own awakening. He addresses the supernaturalist tendencies of followers and even the Buddha's own acceptance of polytheism in ancient India.

This is a fantastic listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Curtis R. Olson
  • 06-03-2016

Good Content, difficult to listen to

What disappointed you about Buddhism Without Beliefs?

Rich content, very hard to listen to. Not a captivating speaker for this listener. I found myself repeating sections again and again trying to remain focused. Ironic, given the subject matter. I'll buy the hard copy book because from what I have gleaned suggests the content would be a very interesting read.

How could the performance have been better?

Crank up the treble, reduce the bass sound, pick up the pace and add some inflection. The monotonic voice becomes monotonous. (sorry, no offense intended)

Any additional comments?

Can I get a refund?

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James Brown
  • 19-02-2016

Buddhism an Atheist can believe in

If you are open minded but not superstitions check this out.
Bachelor makes it possible to think about Buddhism without the religious requirements usually imposed on it. I recommend it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • David E. Maynard
  • 04-11-2015

Outstanding concept, superbly written but the read

Would you recommend Buddhism Without Beliefs to your friends? Why or why not?

Better to get a printed copy.

What didn’t you like about Stephen Batchelor’s performance?

Dreadful... do not listen to this book while driving, you may fall asleep!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 28-08-2015

Interesting Investigation but not a beginners guide

I bought this book thinking it would be a good introduction to Buddhism for someone who didn't see it as a religion. Instead, this book is a philosophical deconstruction that, as someone new to the philosophy, was difficult to follow. Also, the author's voice was hard to focus on due to his calm, slow delivery. While I wouldn't recommend it if you're a beginner like me, this is probably a useful read for someone who already has some knowledge of Buddhist terminology and philosophy.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamazon
  • 11-06-2019

Buddhism without Beliefs

Interesting take on where we are today in society and where we seem to be headed re modern Buddhism. Thought provokong and intellectual.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-03-2019

excellent

Narrator was excellent. Easy to comprehend. Very useful for everyday understanding of the Dharma. I hear it for two times in a row.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Scott T. Hards
  • 24-12-2018

Not for Buddhism beginners

I believe I first heard about this on the 10% happier podcast and dove in. Yikes. Chapters alternated between being deeply thoughtful and idea-provoking, and being utterly inaccessible to someone like myself who has no focused study of Buddhism yet. Some passages almost felt like they’d be written with a random word generator, but this reflects my unpreparedness for the material more than its quality. The author’s narration of his own work is quite good, but you may want to try 1.25x playback.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Julio
  • 29-03-2018

Profound book, not very good to start in Dharma practice

I have enjoyed parts of this book, for I see the author is really illuminated.
But I found other parts really difficult to follow if you are starting in Buddhism.
I would say I found very interesting 1/3 of the book. The rest is difficult to follow for exploring concepts I found not very interesting or too illuminated for me.
I would say the calm voice of the author is good for the guided meditations. But I would prefer a professional narrator.
I would say it’s a book for advanced meditation practitioner.
I think I would come back to the book in a few years for I think the message is very profound.


Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. M. Koch
  • 24-03-2017

Great book, filled with insight

I found this book to be the kind of text I was looking for, given my atheistic leaning. Stephen tackles Buddhism in a scientific manner, without losing any of the reverence the subject deserves.

There are a number of passages in this book that helped my practice. Some obvious yet simple ideas that can be used to aid concentration, with pragmatic discussion of compassion as an integral part of anyone's practice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marek
  • 10-03-2017

Your mind will be gently ripped open...

incredible account of what buddhism is. all the points are articulated well and explanations are succinct with a great flow and poetic liberty. if you have shy-ed away from spirituality because of the wishy-washy nature it is stereotyped to have, this book is for you. I'm on my 3rd read and just about to go again!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phoebus Weebus
  • 29-01-2018

A must listen

Beautiful from start to finish. So much to consider and contemplate when listening that I will be listening multiple times. I can’t recommend it enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Sheppard
  • 21-05-2019

Wisdom and insight without belief

As they say in the advert does exactly what says on the tin. Having the author narrate is always a plus for me as the tone sounds more authentic. The structure is well layered and described. This is an area of study I am pursuing and this book is a guide I will use and go back to. I hope you get as much from it as I did.