Exploring secular Buddhism through courses and retreats

For those who want an introduction to secular Buddhism, or who wish to explore key ideas in secular Buddhism more thoroughly, there are a number of excellent courses and retreats to choose from. They range from SBN’s free online course (available in both self-paced and group versions) to the course on secular dharma offered by Bodhi College.

On this page you will find the variety of courses and retreats available on secular Buddhism.  



SBN's free online course

  •     AIMS    
  •     DEVELOPER 
  •    FORMAT
  •     ENROLL  

The Secular Buddhist Network is offering a free online course exploring the key ideas and practices of secular Buddhism, an important trend that has emerged in western Buddhism in recent years.

We will be using as primary sources for this course the writings of Stephen Batchelor, Winton Higgins, and others who have been developing a secular approach to Buddhism.


Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Winton Higgins, Mike Slott, Jim Champion and Linda Modaro explain the thinking and philosophy behind this course in this short video.

They talk about its origins in the groundbreaking book After Buddhism and the process of revisting and rethinking the teachings of the Buddha for a modern age.



The courses key objectives are to:

  1. Identify and explain the key concepts of secular Buddhism
  2. Compare secular Buddhism with traditional, institutional forms of Buddhism
  3. Sketch a vision of secular Buddhist practice for individuals and communities



The course was developed by Mike Slott. A part-time lecturer in labor history at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, Mike is a long-time political and labor movement activist who began a meditation practice in 2010.

He is the editor of the Secular Buddhist Network website and its monthly newsletter.


The course is available through this website for individual self-study and for people to go through in a group.

We encourage communities to enrol groups of their members in the course together, allowing them the opportunity to exchange views and experiences. Contact us to discuss.

The course will be accessible in three ways:


– for individuals to go through it on their own.


– for people to go through with a group of friends.


– for individuals to go through at the same time with a cohort of others.


Exploring a Secular Dharma is offered without a fixed fee; when you have completed it, you will be invited to make a donation which will ensure that others can go through the course also.

If you are interested in taking this course as an individual, on a self-paced basis, click here.

If you are interested in participating in the course as part of a learning cohort, with opportunities for discussion and feedback from the course instructors, click here.


SBN's free online course on explores key concepts a secular dharma. Participants in the course will go through the course modules, discuss the topics in each module with each other, and meet on Zoom every two weeks with the instructors for the course.

Bodhi College's self-study, online course, After Buddhism and Beyond, will offer a comprehensive series of Stephen Batchelor's lectures, reflections, and discussions on the theme of Secular Dharma. The course includes videos with talks and Q&As, Stephen’s notes, questions for self reflection, and a resources guide.  

Dave Smith, a Buddhist meditation teacher and co-founder of the Secular Dharma Foundation, is offering a new online course, Mindfulness for Everyone. This self-paced course offers a dynamic and comprehensive understanding of mindfulness from a secular perspective.

Receive Our Newsletter

* indicates required