Buddhism Without Beliefs

A Contemporary Guide to Awakening

A national bestseller and acclaimed guide to Buddhism for beginners and practitioners alike

In this simple but important volume, Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic who claimed privileged, esoteric knowledge of the universe, but a man who challenged us to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, and bring into being a way of life that is available to us all. The concepts and practices of Buddhism, says Batchelor, are not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

Ezra’s “Climate Cluster”

We live in The Good Place. And we’re screwing it up.
Ezra Klein Show podcast

Welcome to the first episode of our climate cluster. This isn’t a series about whether “the science is real” on climate change. This is a series about what the science says — and what it means for our lives, our politics, and our future.I suspect I’m like a lot of people in that I accept that climate change is bad. What I struggle with is how bad. Is it an existential threat that eclipses all else? One of many serious problems politics must somehow address?I wanted to kick off the series with someone who knows the science cold. Kate Marvel is a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics. But Marvel isn’t just a leading climate scientist. She’s also unique in her focus on the stories we tell each other, and ourselves, about climate change, and how they end up structuring our decisions. We discuss:- How a climate model actually works- Why this is the good place- Why there is so much variation in climate scientists’ predictions about global temperature increases- Why global warming is only one piece of the much larger problem of climate change- Why a hotter planet is more conducive to natural disasters- The frightening differences between a world that experiences a 2°C temperature increase as opposed to a 5°C temperature increase- Whether the threat of climate change requires solutions that break the boundaries of conventional politics- The underlying stories that animate much of the climate debate- Whether the planet can sustain continued economic growth- What it means to “live morally” amid climate change

Systemopedia: Recent Additions

Is Trump Responsible for the Coverup?

From “The Cover-Up Betrays Trump’s Guilt“: 

No one has accused one key person of being part of the cover-up: Trump himself. While his aides tried to hide his behavior, the president himself has been fairly forthcoming….

He has said he wanted Ukraine to investigate corruption, and he has insisted that what he was doing was a proper exercise of his prerogatives in setting American foreign policy….

Trump might have had the better argument politically…. The president recognizes that when he brazens out a scandal, acknowledging the basic facts but insisting he did nothing wrong and attacking his opponents, he has been able to survive.

If that analysis is right, and Trump is not responsible for the Ukraine coverup, his tactic may not work this time.