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As this episode goes live on May 9, 2020, many of us have been sheltering in place for the past few months, and some of us are experiencing the myriad effects of solitude on the human psyche. Stephen Batchelor’s new book, The Art of Solitude, was released in mid-February of this year, right before most of us were forced into isolation due to COVID-19. The book documents his explorations of solitude—and how he learned to live in ease with our fundamental aloneness. Stephen is co-founder of Bodhi College, a UK-based organization dedicated to contemplative learning, and is the author of many books on what he has called secular, or agnostic, Buddhism, including After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age. Tricycle’s Editor and Publisher James Shaheen sat down with Stephen in front of a live audience at New York Open Center in Manhattan on February 19—a few weeks before social distancing measures went into effect.

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