Winton Higgins

Secular Buddhism and the western search for meaning
… Winton Higgins traces the origins of secular Buddhism in interpretations of the Pali canon developed by Harold Musson and Stephen Batchelor.
A secular Buddhist perspective on dharmic citizenship
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!'
Secular Buddhism and democratic communities: sanghas r us
Winton Higgins discusses the importance of not just giving lip service to the importance of community, or sangha, but making it a central part of our practice.
A glossary of Buddhist terms (from a secular perspective) 
A glossary of commonly used terms in dharma (aka ‘Buddhist’) circles set out in plain English, such as dharma, sangha, mindfulness and more.
Sangha essentials – creating community & bonding
In the third of three talks given at a day-long workshop in New Zealand in 2019 Winton Higgins discusses the centrality of creating communities or sanghas in the secular dharma path.
Insight meditation and the inner life
In the first of three talks at a day-long workshop in New Zealand in 2019 Winton Higgins discusses the Buddha’s foundational teaching for meditative practice, the Satipaṭṭhāna sutta (the discourse on the focuses of awareness) from a secular Buddhist perspective.
Mindfulness is a hot commodity: looking for a quick fix?
Something that goes by the name ‘mindfulness meditation’ is a hot commodity these days. You can find many models on the market, some are more or less expensive, and of varying quality (like cars and dishwashers). The brands that are on the market either claim claiming origins in the Buddhist tradition, which lends them the kudos and the aura of ancient wisdom, or studiously avoid doing so.
What to tell your inner yogi about climate change
Responsible citizenship goes to the core of our ethical commitments as dharma practitioners. So the existential threat to ourselves and all other life-forms, that climate change poses, must stand high on our civic agenda. It mightily evokes the overarching ethic of the dharma – the ethic of care – understood both as concernful awareness, and as a prompt to action.
Challenges to Buddhist meditation practice now
In this talk given in 2018 Winton Higgins compares the expectations of people living in the Buddha’s era (5th century BCE) about meditation practice, and to our own views about the goals of meditation.
A dharmic understanding of evil: the banality of climate change
The mythical figure of Mara in the Pali canon provides us with an obvious starting point for understanding evil. He appears again and again to the Buddha and his advanced disciples, preferably when they’re meditating. He’s disguised as a well-meaning stranger offering friendly, banal advice, the import of which would throw the hearer right off course if s/he heeded him.
A review of After Buddhism – focussing dharma for years to come
Winton Higgins reviews Stephen Batchelor's 2015 book After Buddhism, discussing the book's key themes and its contribution to the development of a secular dharma for our age.
Not-self and the narcissism epidemic
Western countries accord their citizens the freedom to practise the religion of their choice. But also as harbingers of the narcissism epidemic, they give Buddhists an extra incentive to practise ardently, in order to remain in good non-narcissistic health and so live skilful, fulfilling lives – including the nurturing of deep relationships.
The dharma as a culture of awakening – developing a sanghic life
In this 2016 talk Winton Higgins discusses how awakening, gaining significant insight into our human condition and its full potential for personal development, is a key component of a secular Buddhist approach.
What is religion for now? a pragmatist inquiry
In this talk in 2013 Winton Higgins argues that religion is best understood from a pragmatic perspective. He says that "our ancestors developed our religious traditions as tools in aid of survival, well-being and self-improvement. Along with other significant inventions, they have served us well and utterly transformed us into self-aware moral agents."
Heidegger for dharma wallahs: the granddaddy of existentialism
In this 2015 talk Winton Higgins discusses the relevance of the ideas of German philosopher Heidegger for developing a secular dharma.