In an August 2020 talk to Bluegum Sangha in Sydney, Australia, Winton Higgins offered some thoughts on This life: secular faith and spiritual freedom, a recently published book by the Swedish philosopher, Martin Hägglund. He explored some of the ways the book might prompt us as dharma practitioners to refocus our practice by clarifying some of our underlying assumptions.
Posts by Winton Higgins
Today we find ourselves in the grip of a scary epidemic. Ours is due to the coronavirus (aka Covid-19). Some great creative writers have used these occasions to plunge into their deeper human meaning, particularly Albert Camus’s The plague (1947), which bristles with dharmic resonances.
Commercialised mindfulness meditation is to Buddhist meditation what McDonald’s offerings are to real cooking, the title of Ron Purser’s book infers. But there’s more to that title – it has antecedents, according to Sydney secular Buddhist teacher, Winton Higgins.
According to Winton Higgins, the foundation of Buddhists’ political engagement is the overarching ethical commitment to care, the responsibility to be ‘engaged as a moral agent in what is going on in one’s own life’.
Ramsey Margolis explains how Winton Higgins’ After Buddhism: a workbook, was produced as part of the creation of a new non-profit organisation dedicated to developing a secular dharma: The Tuwhiri Project.
… The consummate guide to Stephen Batchelor’s After Buddhism: Rethinking the dharma for a secular age – use it to run a course or deepen your own understanding.
According to Winton Higgins, ‘We meditate to experience this world and this life as vividly as possible. Intensely. The way we experience it reflects back at us – it tells us who we are and where we’re at in this moment.’
Winton Higgins has written extensively about democratic communities and the development of secular Buddhism. In this article Winton offers some defining characteristics of a democratic sangha.
… Winton Higgins writes ‘When western societies imported various strains of Asian Buddhism from the 1960s on, few converts noticed the organisational culture that came with the imports. Rather like the tarantula that arrives in the crate of imported bananas…’
… Winton Higgins traces the origins of secular Buddhism in interpretations of the Pali canon developed by Harold Musson and Stephen Batchelor.