Many Paths to Secular Buddhism
How did you find your way to this website? Did you participate in a traditional Buddhist sangha and found that a more secular approach makes more sense to you? Are you interested in religion or philosophy and have an interest in exploring a new perspective? Did you take a Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and want to learn more about Buddhism but without the religious trappings? Are you curious about Buddhism but don't consider yourself a religious person? Whatever your path, you'll find on this website useful resources to explore this approach and, if you are interested, ways of connecting with like-minded practitioners.
Explore the Website
After reading about the purpose of the website, you will find eight main categories of "content" on the website.
A good place to start is to read the recommended articles in the Secular Buddhism category. There you'll find an introduction to the basic concepts of a secular dharma. Then, check out the Meditation section to find out how secular Buddhists approach the practices and goals of meditation.
Many secular Buddhists believe that social engagement and political action are integral aspects of our practice. Read the recommended articles in the Social Engagement section to learn more about the relationship between Buddhist insights and social transformation. However, on this issue as well as others, secular Buddhists have varying views and perspectives. Check out the Debate and Dialogue category to explore discussions occurring among secular Buddhists about key issues.
If you want to find out about the secular Buddhist groups and organizations throughout the world, we have a Groups and Sanghas section with lists of groups in various countries. Creating democratic, inclusive, and participatory communities or sanghas is a key goal of secular Buddhists. In our Creating Community section you'll learn about how secular Buddhist groups have been formed and sustained.
In the last twenty years the number of books, articles, dharma talks and podcasts related to secular Buddhism has grown enormously. You will find many of the key resources for secular Buddhists in our Books and Talks section, including a list of the books and articles by Stephen Batchelor and Winton Higgins. And if you'd like to further explore this subject, check out the opportunities for study in our Courses and Retreats category.
There are several ways that you can connect with other individuals who are interested in a secular or naturalistic approach to Buddhism:
Our online discussion group meets the third Thursday of each month on Zoom. It’s a great opportunity for secular Buddhists and those who are interested in learning more about a secular approach to the dharma to connect with each other and to discuss key issues.
Our online meditation group meets every Sunday. Each meeting of the group lasts about 40 minutes. We start with a welcome and introduction (2-5 minutes), followed by a 30-minute silent meditation, and close with a brief period of sharing about our meditation experiences.
Our online reading group meets the first Thursday of each month. The readings are chosen by the participants and focus on issues related to a secular Buddhism, including basic concepts of a secular approach, meditation, mindfulness, and the relationship between secular Buddhism and traditional Buddhist lineages and practices.
Our online group on Exploring aging from a secular Buddhist perspective meets the last Monday of every month. The group shares experiences of aging and how we can use our practice to respond skillfully to the process of aging.
Participate in our SBN course on secular Buddhism
Learn about the basic ideas and concepts of secular Buddhism through a free online course. You can either take this course on an individual, self-paced basis or enroll in the group version of the course.
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