#32 May 2022
Welcome to our May 2022 newsletter.
This month we highlight two new articles by David Loy and John Danvers, an interview with Colette Descent on her journey to secular Buddhism, an update on the SBN website, and a special offer from Tuwhiri, the secular Buddhist publishing imprint, for SBN newsletter subscribers.
A practitioner’s journey to secular Buddhism
Colette Descent is an active participant in several SBN groups. She is a member of the monthly online discussion group, the weekly meditation group, and is participating in the Spring 2022 SBN course on secular Buddhism, Exploring a Secular Dharma. We asked Colette about her path to becoming a secular Buddhist and how it has impacted her life.
SBN Website Update and Survey
Over the past few months we have been working on the development of our website to improve speed and user experience and we will be moving to an optimised version of the website on Monday, 2 May. Please note that the website will be temporarily inaccessible that day from 4am until approximately 7am ET while the transfer takes place.
While the SBN website will be speedier and easier to use, we want to get your views on the website’s content and design.
Please click here to fill out a very brief online survey on the SBN website.
What is engaged Buddhism missing? The Buddha on poverty and plutocracy
In a recent dharma talk, David Loy emphasized the economic roots of the climate crisis and calls for structural, not just individual, change. According to David, ‘the ecological crisis is deeply implicated in the basic structure of our economic system. . . In other words, the eco-crisis is also an economic—especially a class—crisis.’
Anger, conflict and compassion
Given the anger that many people feel in relation to the tragic events in Ukraine and to violent conflicts in other parts of the world, John Danvers reflects on this powerful emotion and how we might deal with it in a skillful way so that anger is transformed into compassionate action.
10% off Tuwhiri books until 31 May
As a subscriber to the SBN newsletter, you can get 10% off all Tuwhiri paperback books until 31 May 2022 – go to https://tuwhiri.nz/store and enter the code SBNTEN. Postage is included, to wherever you are on the planet, for single and multiple copies. Tuwhiri publishes educational resources for secular dharma practitioners and communities.
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 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.
Online group on Exploring aging from a secular Buddhist perspective – meets the last Monday of each month. The group shares experiences of aging and how we can use our practice to respond skillfully to the process of aging.
SBN online courses on Exploring a secular dharma – Learn about the basic ideas and concepts of secular Buddhism through a free online course.
Upcoming Events, Workshops, and Retreats
SBN’s Calendar of Meetings and Courses – A calendar of SBN sponsored discussion and meditation groups, as well as SBN’s courses on secular Buddhism.
Rainbow Dharma: a retreat for the LGBTQI+ community at Gaia House, England – 28 July to 1 August
with Katrin Auf Der Heyde, River Wolton and Bernat Font-Clos
This retreat offers an opportunity to connect with others in ways that affirm our identity as a community of shared intention and practice, allowing us to make greater peace with ourselves and our lives, and to grow our capacity for freedom. We hope to co-create a space of acceptance, reflection and support in which to cultivate mindfulness, embodied kindness and wisdom through meditation. The retreat will offer guided sitting and walking practices, movement, optional small groups, dharma talks, and Q&A sessions. For more information, click here.
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.