Rethinking the Dharma / Reimagining Community #30 March 2022

February 27, 2022

#30  March 2022

Welcome to our March 2022 newsletter.

This month we look at the past,  present, and future of secular Buddhism.  We also highlight new articles by Stefano Bettera and Mike Slott, as well as a revised version of The core life tasks and beliefs for a radically engaged Buddhist.

Secular Buddhism at the beginning: a study course in 2007

In October and November 2007, Ramsey Margolis and Jonathan Wood facilitated a study course in Wellington, New Zealand called ‘Creating a path: towards a secular Buddhism’, based on dharma talks given by Stephen Batchelor. It was one of the first educational programs to explore the new trend of secular Buddhism.

Find out more.

A conversation about the present and future of secular dharma

On 9 February 2022 leaders and facilitators of secular Buddhist groups and sanghas from nine countries – the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Japan, Australia, and the USA – met on Zoom to discuss their current projects, future goals, and how to strengthen collaboration.

Find out more.

Resolving the secular versus religious dichotomy: a new approach for secular Buddhism

Stefano Bettera offers an interpretation of a secular approach to the dharma which he believes is a third way, inclusive and conciliatory, which avoids the dichotomy between the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’. This approach is based in the primary experience of the ethical dimension of awakening, called nirvana.

Find out more.

Connect with the Secular Buddhist Network

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.

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.

Online reading groupmeets 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. For more information, click here.

Online group on Exploring aging from a secular Buddhist perspective (new) – will meet monthly. The group will share experiences of aging and how we can use our practice to respond skillfully to the process of aging. If you are interested, email the group facilitator: click here.

How Buddhist insights and values can help sustain political activism

Mike Slott explores the ways in which Buddhist insights and values can enable political activists to sustain their activity in various movements and to make a positive contribution to the organizations in which they participate.

Find out more.

The core life tasks and beliefs for a radically engaged Buddhist (revised)

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. This is a revised version, based on feedback and suggestions from individuals in the Buddhist and Left communities.

Find out more.

If you are on Facebook, we would be grateful if you would ‘like’ and ‘share’ any item in this newsletter that you think is valuable or the newsletter itself. Look out for Secular Buddhist Network on Facebook.

Learn about the basic ideas and concepts of secular Buddhism through a free online course

Find out about upcoming courses and retreats



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