This Atheist has revolutionized Buddhism. Does the latest consciousness science agree with his beliefs? |293| by Alex Tsakiris | Nov 10 | Spirituality Please Share Share on Twitter Buddhist teacher Stephen Batchelor explores scientific materialism and secular Buddhism. photo by: Stephen Lasky I remember the first time I tried meditation. The anxiety it stirred gave me a stomachache. When sitting meditation didn’t work I tried walking mediation as taught by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. That wasn’t much better — to confining, too restrictive, too many rules. It felt like church. But despite my inability to “do meditation,” I couldn’t escape feeling there was something to this Buddhist practice of quietly looking within. Today’s guest on Skeptiko, Buddhist teacher and author Stephen Batchelor, has probably done more than anyone else in the last 20 years to change how Westerners approach Buddhist meditation. His books,Buddhism Without Beliefs, Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist, and his latest, After Buddhism, stripped Buddhism of its robes and prayer wheels to consider mediation from a Western, scientific, reductionistic perspective. And while this approach has met resistance from many traditional Buddhists teachers, it has also been a tremendous boon to millions who wish to explore the well-documented scientific benefits of mediation without giving up their modern, secular worldview. Batchelor even made it okay for atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris to give meditation a try. Join Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Buddhist teacher and author, Stephen Batchelor.