Books and Talks Recommended

Stephen Batchelor’s dharma talks on a secular reinterpretation of the eightfold path
At Buddha-Stiftung’s fifth study retreat, which was held in October 2021, Stephen Batchelor discussed a secular reinterpretation of the Eightfold Path that is appropriate and helpful for our contemporary world.  As part of this reinterpretation, Stephen suggested a different order of the limbs of the Eightfold Path and offered a new interpretation of each limb.
A missed opportunity: a review of ‘Secularizing Buddhism’
A new collection of essays, ‘Secularizing Buddhism: new perspectives on a dynamic tradition’, unfortunately represents a missed opportunity to explore the emergence of secular Buddhism, to critically examine its assumptions, and to provide us with an accurate snapshot of the diverse views and practices of secular Buddhists.
A review of Lenorë Lambert’s The Buddha for modern minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings
Winton Higgins reviews Lenorë Lambert’s new book, The Buddha for modern minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings. According to Winton, the book admirably achieves its purpose of preparing the newcomer for a promising ‘first date’ with the dharma and its practice. It does so in impeccably secular terms that are securely based in the early teachings.
What Bhikkhu Analayo got wrong: a review of ‘Superiority Conceit in Buddhist Traditions’
While the overall purpose of Bhikkhu Analayo’s new book, Superiority Conceit in Buddhist Traditions: A Historical Perspective , is well-intended, his treatment of superiority conceit in Buddhist traditions fails to identify the root cause of this problem in Buddhism. He also mischaracterizes the writings of Stephen Batchelor and ignores the ideas and practices of contemporary secular Buddhists.
Why Buddhism is NOT a science of the mind: a review of Evan Thompson’s ‘Why I am not a Buddhist’
Bernat Font provides a summary and review of Evan Thompson’s recent book, ‘Why I am not a Buddhist’. While criticizing key concepts in ‘Buddhist modernism’, Thompson asserts that, at its best, Buddhism can challenge our excessive confidence that science explains what the world really is like while offering a radical critique to our narcissistic concern with the self.
A review of Ron Purser’s ‘McMindfulness: the new capitalist spirituality’
The title says it all. In McMindfulness: how mindfulness became the new capitalist spirituality, Ron Purser offers a scathing criticism of how the Buddhist practice of mindfulness has been transformed into a method to reduce the stress levels of individuals in a competitive, capitalist society. Is he right?
Dharma talks for secular Buddhists
One of the most valuable sources for Buddhist insights and teachings – from both secular as well traditional perspectives – is the plethora of dharma talks available to practitioners on the web.
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.