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.
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.
Secular Buddhism and the real reasons to meditate
Mike Slott argues that the goal of meditation is to become a more mindful and compassionate person, one who can contribute to creating a society in which all human beings can flourish.
Jim Champion on meditation: what if I’m doing it wrong?
Jim Champion discusses the common view of meditators that they are somehow doing "something wrong" and argues that "what I’ve found so far in my practice of meditation (which most commonly involves sitting quietly, with the intention to meditate, in the morning and the evening) is that however much I want do it right, in fact I can't do it wrong.
A secular approach to insight meditation
In a dharma talk given in New Zealand in October 2015 Winton Higgins explores the differences between the traditional model of insight meditation using the foundational text of the Satipatthāna sutta and a secular approach.
Why recollect after a meditation sitting: five essential reasons
Here are five reasons why recollecting your meditation sittings is essential for developing an open, unstructured meditation practice.
Jason Siff on meditating with chaotic inner conflict
Sitting down to meditate and having a slew of thoughts rush into your head, and then doing nothing about it, when you know you can settle your mind a bit first, may seem crazy and unreasonable. What is the advantage of letting thoughts and emotions build and consume you at the beginning of a meditation sitting? Why not first calm your mind down with a practice of following the breath, using a mantra, reciting some phrases, or any means by which you can get settled?
My 6 days at a vipassana retreat. The longest 6 days of my life.
Carol Smith's account of her stay at a Goenka vipassana retreat: "Yep folks, I lasted 6 days out of the 10 day retreat. The longest 6 days of my life. I had looked forward to this retreat with a mixture of excitement and trepidation since I booked it, 3 months ago. I knew it would be hard work, but that was ok if I were to get some of the results I’d read people get, from a 10 day Vipassana retreat."
The dharmic foundations of the reflective meditation approach
Winton Higgins argues that taking a reflective approach to meditation is consistent with a secular Buddhist approach. He contends that ‘insight meditation practised in reflective mode is a quintessential dharma practice’.