BG 280: The Naked Monk

Episode Description:

Stephen Schettini is an author and blogger at, and a teacher of Mindful Reflection. He was a Tibetan Buddhist monk for 8 years before he left the monastic path and began referring to himself as an ex-Buddhist.

In this episode Stephen talks with host Vincent Horn about why he left his monastic order and what he learned from the experience. They discuss why people are drawn to formal religious orders and guru-disciple relationships, and Stephen describes possible alternatives to the guru-disciple dynamic that might be more appropriate for the modern world. Finally, after questioning the very existence of the historical Buddha, they discuss why the myth might be more important than the story of the historical man.

Episode Links:


Stephen Schettini

Stephen Schettini is an author, blogger, ex-Buddhist monk, and teacher of Mindful Reflection. He offers stories, books, articles and recordings on the website His latest book is The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit, and What I Learned