Welcome to our August 2022 newsletter.
This month we highlight an interview with Stephen Batchelor on secular dharma, an article highlighting various perspectives on the core elements of secular Buddhism, a practitioner’s account of her journey to secular Buddhism, and an article by Seth Zuihō Segall on the relevance of John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy for developing a theory and practice of human flourishing.
An interview with Stephen Batchelor on secular dharma
In a recent interview Stephen Batchelor discussed the historical antecedents and development of secular Buddhism, the divergent ‘core logics’ of traditional and secular Buddhism, and the need to create a new Mindfulness Based Human Flourishing program.
What are the core elements of a secular approach to the dharma?
At a recent online meeting of leaders and facilitators of secular Buddhist groups, organizations, and sanghas, the participants offered various perspectives on the best way to define a secular approach to the dharma.
A practitioner’s journey to secular Buddhism: Katya
Katya grew up in a culturally Jewish, Leftist family in New York City and became involved with a Buddhist sangha in 2001. When her sangha refused to engage politically around issues of racism after the murder of George Floyd, she connected with the Secular Buddhist Network and has become an active participant.
John Dewey, flourishing and Buddhism
Seth Zuihō Segall argues that the Buddhist notions of non-self, interdependence, impermanence, and dukkha need to be situated in the broader framework offered by John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy.
Last call for registrations for SBN’s Fall 2022 online course on secular Buddhism
We have just a few openings left 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.
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.
Re-envisioning the Aggregates – 7 October to 9 October (online)
with Bill Wellhouse, Brad Parks and Anna Delacroix
During this online retreat, the teachers will approach the topic of the five aggregates with an open meditation practice followed by reflection and journaling. They welcome continuing students as well as meditators who are new to Reflective Meditation practice and retreats. The roots of this practice can be found in the Buddha’s early teachings and are based on learning to trust the ways of knowing that develop in meditation so that we may be more responsive and present in our everyday lives. For more information, click here.
Mindfulness Based Human Flourishing (MBHF): The ethics and philosophy of mindful living – Saturday 8, 15, 22, 29, October (online)
with Stephen Batchelor
This series of four online workshops will explore the role of mindfulness practice as a key to flourishing in every aspect of human life. The workshops will provide a comprehensive ethical, contemplative and philosophical framework for mindfulness, based on Stephen Batchelor’s secular interpretation of the Buddhist foundation of mindfulness. The program is intended for mindfulness practitioners and teachers in all fields. No prior knowledge of Buddhism is needed. For more information, click here.
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