simply awake

January 26, 2011

The Buddha didn’t describe his awakening as an awakening to some absolute truth or absolute reality, perhaps comparable to God as we would find in other religious traditions. Instead, what he woke up to is the unfolding of the phenomenal world itself.

This I think is what is so radical in the Buddha’s understanding of spiritual experience. It doesn’t have to do with gaining some privileged access to a higher truth that somehow transcends the messiness of everyday life. Rather, his awakening is an awakening to the flux and the flow, the pain, the beauty, the tragedy, the joy of life itself.

Stephen Batchelor, “Awakening to Life, Awakening to Death”

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