STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world.
He studied in Dharamsala, Tibet, with Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey and was ordained as a novice Buddhist monk in 1974. In 1975 he studied Buddhist philosophy and doctrine under the guidance of Ven. Geshe Rabten in Switzerland. The following year he received full ordination as a Buddhist monk, and in 1979 he moved to Germany as a translator for Ven. Geshe Thubten Ngawang. In April 1981 he travelled to South Korea to train in Zen Buddhism under the guidance of Ven. Kusan Sunim. He remained in Korea until the autumn of 1984, when he left for a pilgrimage to Japan, China and Tibet. He disrobed in February 1985 and married Martine Fages in Hong Kong before returning to England and joining the Sharpham North Community in Totnes, Devon. During the fifteen years he lived at Sharpham, he became co-ordinator of the Sharpham Trust (1992) and co-founder of the Sharpham College for Buddhist Studies and Contemporary Enquiry (1996). Throughout this period he worked as the Buddhist Chaplain of HMP Channings Wood. From 1990 he has been a Guiding Teacher at Gaia House meditation centre in Devon and since 1992 a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.
In August 2000, he and Martine moved to Aquitaine, France. For several months each year, he travels worldwide to lead meditation retreats and teach Buddhism. He is the translator and author of various books and articles on Buddhism, including the bestselling Buddhism Without Beliefs and Living with the Devil. His most recent publication is Confession of a Buddhist Atheist