SBN Editor

Metta in the time of the coronavirus: responses of secular Buddhists to the pandemic
Several contributors to the Secular Buddhist Network website offer their insights on how we can best respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The common theme is that by fully understanding core Buddhist insights regarding impermanence, suffering, and interconnection, as well as cultivating an ethical stance of care and compassion, we can skillfully respond to this current crisis.
Exploring secular Buddhism through courses and retreats
For those who want an introduction to secular Buddhism, or who wish to explore key ideas in secular Buddhism more thoroughly, there are a number of excellent courses and retreats to choose from.
Reimagining Community newsletter #6 March 2020
Welcome to our March 2020 newsletter. This month’s glossary item is the FOUR FOCUSES OF MINDFULNESS and we introduce new articles by John Danvers and Bernat Font. Our feature article is an excerpt from a dharma talk given by Stpehen Batchelor.
Stephen Batchelor’s ‘The Art of Solitude’
Yale University Press has just released Stephen Batchelor's new book, The Art of Solitude. In this book Stephen turns his attention to solitude, a practice integral to the meditative traditions he has long studied and taught. He aimed to venture more deeply into solitude, discovering its full extent and depth.
Interview with Winton Higgins on The Mindful Cranks podcast
In an interview for The Mindful Cranks podcast, Winton Higgins discusses different approaches to secular Buddhism, the tendency of Western Buddhists to focus on mindfulness meditation as a form of self-help and self-improvement, and the need for practitioners to become caring dharmic citizens, politically engaged in the struggles to create a just and sustainable society.
Reimagining Community newsletter #5 Feb. 2020
Welcome to our February 2020 newsletter. This month’s glossary item is the EVERYDAY SUBLIME and we introduce new articles by Stefano Bettera and Bill Gayner. Our feature article is an excerpt from a talk given by Winton Higgins in 2019 on satipaṭṭhāna or insight meditation.
A brief history of secular Buddhism
The emergence of secular Buddhism in the west is part of the secularization that has been developing since before the Renaissance. Secular Buddhism represents the attempt to continue the process of rooting the dharma in modern western culture where the earlier non-monastic insight movement left off.
Reimagining Community newsletter #4 Jan 2020
This month’s glossary item is Dukkha and we have an interview with meditation teacher Dave Smith and an unconventional glossary of attitudes relevant to the Buddhist path developed by Nelly Kaufer. We also introduce a new feature of the website, an interactive map that connects secular Buddhists worldwide. Our feature article is by Stefano Bettera, called Defining secular Buddhism: beware of certain traps.
Interview with Dave Smith on teaching meditation and the Secular Dharma Foundation
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.
Ongoing meetings of secular Buddhist groups and sanghas
Workshops, retreats, meetings and other events of interest to secular Buddhists, and the curious
On freedom and nirvana
A moment of freedom is a freedom from something, but it’s also a freedom to something. It’s not just that you’re freed from something, let’s say, attachment or anger or self-centredness, but that that freedom clears a space to act in a way that is not conditioned by your anger or self-centredness.
Secular Dharma Foundation: Educational tools & resources
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.
Reimagining Community newsletter #3 Dec 2019
This month’s glossary item is Conditionality and we introduce two posts which offer new perspectives on meditation retreats and sanghas. We also ask for your feedback about this newsletter and the website. Our feature article is by Stephen Batchelor, called On freedom and nirvana.
Exploring the meaning of community
The community of practitioners – the sangha – is a crucial aspect of the dharmic path for secular Buddhists. But what do we mean by community? How is a community different than other forms of collective organizations? How do we create a true community of practitioners that help each other develop their practice and contribute to a ‘culture of awakening’?
Moving away from hierarchy and toward democratic sanghas
Developing a secular dharma which is relevant to our contemporary world requires us to engage in a serious examination of traditional models and practices of the community of practitioners – the sangha – and to be willing to experiment with new, more democratic forms.