MEDITATION

Different ways to meditate, from a secular perspective

Among westerners, Buddhism is often considered to be simply meditation. This is a mistake, as what Gotama taught goes well beyond one practice. Meditation is, however, vital to the dharmic path and secular Buddhists have begun to explore several approaches to meditation which are consistent with the core elements of secular dharma. 


On this page you will find recommended reading to introduce and explore the subject, and more articles written by a number of leading secular dharma writers that will help you dig a little deeper.

RECOMMENDED READING

Secular Buddhist meditation: cultivating virtues and insights to promote human flourishing

Mike Slott argues that the purpose of meditation for secular Buddhists is to cultivate certain virtues and insights which are crucial to promoting human flourishing in this world, not the attainment of nirvana.

By Mike Slott


Getting started with secular meditation

Ramsey Margolis emphasizes that secular meditation is primarily about stillness and self-observation. When we sit regularly, we become becoming mindfully aware of not just the content of our thoughts but also the emotions and mind states that inform these thoughts.

By Ramsey Margolis


The basis of meditation

At a Sŏn-style retreat in which the question ‘What is this?’ is posed Martine Batchelor explains that all forms of meditation practice are all based on two fundamental elements – anchoring and experiential inquiry. 

By Martine Batchelor


Why use meditation and reflection?

Reflective meditation is a relatively new, non-formulaic and flexible meditation approach which many secular Buddhists have found to be very helpful in developing their practice.

By Linda Modaro


Secular versus traditional approaches to meditation

In his 2015 book After Buddhism Stephen Batchelor argues that the goal of meditation for secular Buddhists is not achieving nirvana but gaining an embodied understanding of our experiences from moment to moment.

By SBN Editor


EXPLORE MEDITATION

Creating community – or meditation as a contact sport

By SBN Editor


Mindfulness is a hot commodity: looking for a quick fix?

By Winton Higgins


The goal of secular Buddhist meditation practice

By Winton Higgins


My 6 days at a vipassana retreat. The longest 6 days of my life.

By Carol Smith


A review of Ron Purser’s ‘McMindfulness: the new capitalist spirituality’

By Mike Slott


The dharmic foundations of the reflective meditation approach

Bird seeing itself in car mirror (Flickr Christian Ştefănescu)

By Winton Higgins


On freedom and nirvana

By Stephen Batchelor


Challenges to Buddhist meditation practice now

By Winton Higgins