Dave Smith is an internationally recognized Buddhist meditation teacher, addiction treatment specialist, and published author. We recently interviewed Dave about his approach to being a meditation teacher and his Secular Dharma Foundation.
The mission of the Secular Dharma Foundation is to foster the advancement of emotional and psychological well-being through the education and integration of mindfulness, psychology, and various therapeutic modalities.
Bodhi College’s Secular Dharma course takes a secular rather than a religious approach to the teachings of the Buddha. The course emphasizes the humanity of Gotama and the practical applications of his teaching in this world, and encourage each student to find his or her own way of practice within the secular/religious spectrum of their own lives.
Upcoming courses, workshops, and retreats led by Stephen Batchelor and other teachers which focus on issues essential to developing a secular dharma.
Stefano Bettera offers his reflections on the two year course on the Secular Dharma at Bodhi College and what the next steps are for the course participants. He asserts that it is the ‘creative, adaptable, non-dogmatic and unorthodox characteristic of the secular Dharma that is an opportunity’ for contributing to a culture in which awareness and compassion are predominant.
According to Winton Higgins, the foundation of Buddhists’ political engagement is the overarching ethical commitment to care, the responsibility to be ‘engaged as a moral agent in what is going on in one’s own life’.
According to Winton Higgins, ‘We meditate to experience this world and this life as vividly as possible. Intensely. The way we experience it reflects back at us – it tells us who we are and where we’re at in this moment.’
Mike Slott identifies three trends or paths within secular Buddhism: 1) a dharmic-focused effort to reconstruct Buddhism, 2) bringing a secular form of Buddhism into the mindfulness movement, and 3) integrating secular Buddhist perspectives and insights into projects for radical, political transformation.
… Winton Higgins traces the origins of secular Buddhism in interpretations of the Pali canon developed by Harold Musson and Stephen Batchelor.
Winton Higgins urges secular Buddhists to be active citizens and contribute to social and political change. Given the crises facing our society, ‘nowadays politics matters like never before!’