#29 February 2022
Welcome to our February 2022 newsletter.
This month we feature a new article on the core tasks of a radically engaged Buddhist by Mike Slott, Katya de Kadt, and Karsten Struhl, as well as Winton Higgins’s response to the article. We also highlight new articles by Bernat Font-Clos, Stefano Bettera, and Robert M. Ellis. Finally, we announce the formation of a new reading group sponsored by the Secular Buddhist Network.
What are the core life tasks for a radically engaged Buddhist?
Mike Slott, Katya de Kadt, and Karsten Struhl offer an account of the core tasks and beliefs for radically engaged Buddhists who seek not just individual transformation but the dismantling of social, economic, and political systems which cause harm and suffering to all beings. Click here.
In response to this article, Winton Higgins expresses his agreement with the authors’ perspective, but points to a missing piece in the article: the lack of any discussion over a pathway or transition from our present morass to a socially just, future society. Click here.
On resolving the neo-early Buddhist contradiction
Bernat Font-Clos identifies an important contradiction in the ‘neo-early Buddhist’ perspective prominent among many contemporary meditation teachers in the Insight tradition and proposes a resolution of the contradiction which is consistent with a life-affirming rather than a renunciant approach to our experiences.
The Buddha on the Orient Express: cultural encounters in the development of Buddhism
The oldest Buddhist monument was discovered in 2021 in the ancient Pakistani city of Barikot in the Swat Valley. Stefano Bettera discusses how this finding is part of an ever growing body of evidence that the development of Buddhism has been profoundly shaped by its encounter with various cultures.
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 brief period of sharing about our meditation experiences. 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.
What kind of Buddhist are you?
Mike Slott offers a ‘map’ of contemporary Buddhism to represent the multiplicity of approaches available to practitioners. The map can used by practitioners to understand how their own interests, values, and attitudes connect with the dharma.
Tirylan House: A new retreat centre for integrative practice
Robert M. Ellis and his partner, Viryanaya, have opened a new retreat centre in Wales: Tirylan House. Beginning in March 2022, they will host a variety of retreats, some with the ‘Buddhist’ and others with the ‘Middle Way’ labels, but what binds them together is the commitment to bringing a range of integrative practices together.
SBN forms new reading group
Several participants in the Secular Buddhist Network online discussion group have taken the initiative to form a new reading group, which will meet online monthly beginning 3 February 2022. The group will focus on topics related to various types of Buddhism, secularity, mindfulness, and meditation.
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