#26 November 2021
Welcome to our November 2021 newsletter.
This month we highlight a recent dharma talk by Stephen Batchelor, an SBN interview with meditation teacher Dave Smith, an article by Alex Carr on meditating during the time of COVID, and an article by Anna Delacroix on a daily online meditation group led by reflective meditation teachers Linda Modaro and Nelly Kaufer. We also note an article by Winton Higgins in an upcoming issue of the newsletter, Creative Dharma and an interview with Winton, scheduled for 18 November, on his new book, Revamp: writings on secular Buddhism.
Stephen Batchelor on the ‘Parable of the Snake’
Stephen Batchelor’s recent dharma talk on the ‘Parable of the Snake’ highlighted the problematic approach of grasping the dharma as a set of metaphysical truths rather than as pragmatic and ethical guidelines for living in an uncertain, contingent world.
An interview with Dave Smith on teaching during COVID and the secular dharma
Dave Smith talked with SBN about the impact of COVID on his teaching programs and his evolving understanding of secularity and a secular dharma. Dave is one of the co-founders of the Secular Dharma Foundation, which offers several programs that integrate the insights of Early Buddhism with science and psychology.
Secular Buddhism Today: A Conversation with Winton Higgins & James Shaheen
Winton Higgins, a contributor to the Secular Buddhist Network website and the author of Revamp: Writings on Secular Buddhism, will be interviewed by James Shaheen, the editor of Tricycle magazine, on 18 November.
To register for this Zoom event, click here.
Participate in SBN’s online groups
The Secular Buddhist Network is sponsoring an online discussion group which 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. For more information, click here.
We’ve also started an online meditation group which meets every Sunday. Each meeting of the group lasts about 40 minutes. We start with a brief welcome and introduction (2-5 minutes), followed by a 30-minute silent meditation, and close with a short poem, metta meditation or other reading (2-5 minutes). For more information, click here.
Connect with Secular Buddhists worldwide
If you have a sangha, meditation group, resource or website, or are an individual who would like to connect with other secular Buddhists, fill out our simple form and we can add you to our listing of secular Buddhist groups and individuals, as well as an interactive map.
Reflections on the Reflective Meditation Daily Online Sangha
Anna Delacroix discusses an online daily sangha led by two reflective meditation teachers, Linda Modaro (Sati Sangha) and Nelly Kaufer (Pine Street Sangha). During the COVID pandemic, the daily meditation group has provided sangha members with an opportunity to practice Reflective Meditation as a refuge, and a time for daily connection.
Meditation during COVID
Alex Carr, the facilitator of One Mindful Breath, a secular Buddhist group in Wellington, New Zealand, discusses how to start and sustain a meditation practice amidst the challenges and stresses we face during the COVID pandemic.
The dharma of historical fiction
In the next issue of the newsletter Creative Dharma, which will be published in early December, Winton Higgins writes on ’The dharma of historical fiction’. Here’s an excerpt:
‘I took up creative writing 22 years ago, and drifted towards the kind of historical fiction which deals with real events of ethical significance, and mainly historical people. Writing and meditation mesh. On a good writing day I can sometimes get into a zone reminiscent of samadhi in meditation.’
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