POSTS:

Secular Buddhism

Dharma vision and tragic vision
In a dharma talk given to the Bluegum Sangha (Australia), Winton Higgins discusses the close affinity between Gotama's notion of dukkha and the tragic tradition in western culture, beginning with the Greek tragic playwrights. A common theme is that our difficulties are an essential part of every human life. Our task is to embrace these difficult challenges and say ‘yes’ to life no matter how dire the predicament.
Lenorë Lambert’s The Buddha for Modern Minds: A non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings
Lenorë Lambert's new book, The Buddha for Modern Minds: A non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings, provides newcomers and experienced practitioners with answers to key questions such as: Does the dharma teach passivity? Is the dharma anti-passion? Do I need to find a teacher to learn the dharma? The book also offers a deep dive into the Four Great Tasks (orthodox Four Noble Truths).
Seth Zuihō Segall and Winton Higgins debate the meaning and value of secular Buddhism
Beginning with Seth Zuihō Segall's article, 'Why I am not a secular Buddhist,' Seth and Winton Higgins have engaged in a dialogue on SBN about the meaning and value of secular Buddhism. They have discussed the notion of secularity, religion and religious experience, the role of community, and other key issues.
The dialogue on secular Buddhism continues: Winton Higgins’s surrejoinder to Seth Zuihō Segall’s rejoinder
In his reply to Seth Zuihō Segall's rejoinder in the debate over secular Buddhism Winton Higgins explores the meaning of secularity, religion, and the everyday sublime. He argues that a secular faith is not opposed to religion but is characterized by a deep engagement, a wholehearted commitment, to living this, our one and only life, meaningfully.
An interview with Robert Wright on evolutionary psychology and a naturalistic approach to Buddhism
SBN interviewed Robert Wright, the author of why 'Buddhism is True,' on evolutionary psychology, his naturalistic approach to Buddhism, and his view of secular Buddhism.
The dialogue on secular Buddhism continues: Seth Zuihō Segall’s rejoinder to Winton Higgins
Seth Zuihō Segall continues the dialogue on secular Buddhism by offering a rejoinder to Winton Higgins' response to his article, 'Why I Am Not a Secular Buddhist.' Seth discusses the nature of the religious attitude, the role of community and traditions, and his non-dual perspective.
Why I am not a secular Buddhist
Seth Zuihō Segall considers his 'naturalized' and 'eudaimonic' approach to Buddhism 'close cousins' to secular Buddhism. Yet, he believes that the word 'secular' implies a set of connotations he does not wish to affirm.
Winton Higgins responds to Seth Zuihō Segall’s ‘Why I am not a secular Buddhist’
Winton Higgins asserts that Seth Zuihō Segall mistakenly assumes that all secular Buddhists support a 'scientistic' form of secular Buddhism which is hostile to religion. In fact, many secular Buddhists advocate an 'interpretive' approach which integrates dharmic insights with modern perspectives to promote human flourishing in this life.
A secular Buddhist perspective on the threat of climate extinction
Stephen Batchelor argues that a wise and compassionate response to the threat of climate extinction demands direct engagement with life itself irrespective of any a priori beliefs about the origins and end of suffering. By entering into a contemplative, empathetic, and existential relationship with the pain of the world, one seeks to respond with situation-specific compassion.
Ted Meissner reflects on the past, present, and future of secular Buddhism
Ted Meissner has been interviewing Buddhist practitioners and writers involved in a wide range of lineages and approaches on his podcast, The Secular Buddhist, and is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association (USA). Ted offers his views of how secular Buddhism has evolved, its current status, and his hopes for its future development.
A secular Buddhist ancestor?
Born in Ireland, U Dhammaloka was one of the first Europeans to become a Buddhist monk. Rather than understanding Buddhism as a philosophical position, he focused on affirming Buddhism and critiquing Christianity as part of his anti-colonial activism.
Secular Buddhism
Secular dharma lowers the moon of nirvana down to our reach. It is no longer treated as a metaphysical reality distinct from everything we could conceive, or as a goal farther than far: it is about living each moment of our life from that place of non-greed, non-aversion and non-confusion.
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.
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.
Defining secular Buddhism: beware of certain traps
Secular Buddhism doesn’t need to be understood as a new ‘Buddhism’ but more as a different approach to practice. This approach starts from our perspective as modern people, and thanks to this lens, revises the meaning of the teachings of an ancient tradition so that they can speak to human beings today.