Welcome to our July 2022 newsletter.
This month we highlight a new article by Rick Heller, the opening of registrations for SBN’s online course on secular Buddhism, and a practitioner’s account of his journey to secular Buddhism. We also feature an online workshop on dependent arising that was offered 13 June by two Bodhi College faculty and a Bodhi College event to memorialize Gary Born, a Trustee of the college and participant in SBN’s monthly discussion group, who recently passed away.
Registrations are now open for SBN’s Fall 2022 online course on secular Buddhism
Registrations are now open for SBN’s Fall 2022 course, Exploring a Secular Dharma. Participants in the course will learn about the core concepts of a secular approach to the dharma in six course modules. During the course, there will be Zoom meetings every two weeks with the course instructors to discuss the key topics in each module.
On pain and pleasure
Rick Heller’s interest in mindfulness and a secular form of Buddhism began when he discovered that much of our pain comes from what we do to ourselves.
A practitioner’s journey to secular Buddhism: Tim
Tim grew up in a Christian household, but found a disconnect between his church’s teachings and how church members lived their lives. He was introduced to Buddhism over 20 years ago and learned about secular Buddhism in the course of his explorations.
Understanding dependent arising
Bodhi College cofounders Christina Feldman and Akincano Weber discussed key aspects of dependent arising, a core notion of Buddhism, in a virtual workshop offered 13 June. The workshop was co-sponsored by Bodhi College and Tricycle magazine.
Remembering Gary Born
Gary Born, a Trustee of Bodhi College, passed away suddenly on 21st April at the age of 73. In 2021 Gary became an active participant in the SBN monthly discussion meeting, bringing to our group his valuable insights about a secular approach to the dharma.
Bodhi College is sponsoring a remembrance of Gary on 20th July 2022. The evening event will bring together the College’s teachers, trustees, staff and participants from around the world, to express gratitude and indebtedness to Gary for all his work. The evening will be facilitated by Christina Feldman and most of the Bodhi College faculty, trustees and staff will participate. To join this event, click here.
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.
Ecodharma Training Retreat – 21 July to 30 July
with Johann Robbins, David Loy and Rochelle Calvert
This training and nature retreat is a ten-day experiential immersion into ecodharma, specifically for dedicated practitioners, dharma leaders and teachers. Our sense of separation from nature is at the root of the ecological crises our civilization faces, and ecodharma is a path of deconstructing that separation, thus reuniting our inner nature with outer nature. Ecodharma practice is about healing our relationship with the rest of the natural world, so that an appropriate and authentic response to suffering can arise, which unifies our personal and spiritual transformation with social engagement. In this time of pandemic, and ecological and social crisis, the earth calls upon us to do what we can in response. For more information, click here.
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.
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