POSTS:

Secular Buddhism

Key elements of secular Buddhism – a framework
While secular Buddhism is not a ‘school’ of Buddhism with a set of orthodox beliefs and established institutions which represent this trend, secular Buddhists do share some common perspectives.
Two misconceptions about secular Buddhism
Despite the claims of some critics, secular Buddhists are not anti-religious and the goal of a secular dharma is not simply stress reduction but a radical transformation of individuals and society.
Stephen Batchelor on coming out as a secular Buddhist
When Stephen Batchelor first self-identified as a secular Buddhist in 2012 he said that ‘I see the aim of Buddhist practice to be the moment-to-moment flourishing of human life within the ethical framework of the eightfold path.'
A secular reinterpretation of the Eightfold Path
While the Eightfold Path is an essential framework and guide for traditional and secular Buddhists, the goal of the path for secular Buddhists is not nirvana but human flourishing in this life. This requires us to reinterpret the meaning and function of the eight path factors.
Three paths for secular Buddhists – crucial conversations and movements
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.
Three marks of existence, or three factors of human experience?
Mike Slott contends that, from secular Buddhist perspective, it is more appropriate to view impermancence, not-self, and dukkha as aspects of our experience rather than ontological characteristics of reality.
Bhikkhu Bodhi on traditional versus secular Buddhism
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi explores the differences between traditional and secular forms of Buddhism, and expresses concern that both approaches have viewed political activism as marginal to the dharmic path.
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.
Core elements of a secular and socially-engaged Buddhism
Mike Slott explores how a radical social theory and core Buddhist insights are both essential to understanding the causes of suffering and creating a society in which all human beings can flourish.
Are secular Buddhists modern or traditional?
Derek LeDayn discusses the following questions in this article: What is secular Buddhism, or what are secular Buddhisms? Is secular Buddhism the same as modern Buddhism, or Buddhist modernism? How different is it from traditional Buddhisms? Are individual secular Buddhists modern or traditional?
Stephen Batchelor on ‘Buddhism in a nutshell’
Stephen Batchelor offers a summary of secular Buddhism: "I’m supposed to take a risk and say in 25 words or less what Buddhism is. That of course is a very arrogant presumption on one level. But what I have concluded tentatively in recent years is to identify four points that the Buddha taught that cannot be derived from the socio-historical context of his time, in other words that are distinctively and non-controversially his own ideas."
Secular Buddhism: new vision or yet another of the myths it claims to cure?
Akincano Weber raises several concerns about secular Buddhism. In his view, advocates of secular Buddhism tend to promote, a 'flatland Buddhism' which overlooks the difference between a numinous personal experience in which one may feel connected to something beyond their self-construct and which may be truly transforming—and a metaphysical statement or supernatural belief.
An outline of secular Buddhism – a living tradition
In a 2013 talk Winton Higgins offers an outline of secular Buddhism as a recent extension of Buddhist modernism. He explains why "we need to know a lot about the Buddha’s saeculum, and about our own, to trace our living practice and tradition back to him, and make it relevant to us today".
Secular Buddhism: scientistic versus interpretive
In his 2013 talk to the secular Buddhist colloquium at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts, USA, Winton Higgins argues that secular Buddhism should avoid the pitfalls of anti-religious, scientistic approach.
Report on the 2013 Barre, USA, secular Buddhism colloquium
In this 2013 talk Winton Higgins discusses a colloquium held in Massachusetts, USA in 2013 regarding secular Buddhism. The colloquium revealed the diversity among those interested in and/or working to develop a secular dharma relevant to our age.