Welcome to our September 2022 newsletter.
This month we highlight new articles by Carmel Shalev, Stefano Ventura, and Hugh Palmer, a practitioner’s account of her journey to secular Buddhism, and an upcoming online program featuring Stephen Batchelor and several others discussing different perspectives on secular dharma.
Secular dharma and ethics
Carmel Shalev discusses how the ethical approach of secular dharma is not based on obeying laws but acting mindfully in each situation to minimize harm and promote the wellbeing of ourselves, others, and all forms of life on the planet.
Perspectives on Secular Dharma: an online program with Stephen Batchelor and others
The New York Insight Meditation Center is sponsoring an online program, Perspectives on Secular Dharma, on 17 September. In this online program, Stephen Batchelor, Seth Zuiho Segall, Karsten Struhl and Mike Slott will explore these different perspectives in a panel discussion. Join us as we continue to develop a secular approach to the dharma..
A practitioner’s journey to secular Buddhism: Kate
Kate’s interest in Buddhism began when she was a college student and developed further while she was a Peace Corps volunteer and program manager. Over time, she became increasingly skeptical of the adherence to hierarchy and rituals in many Buddhist traditions and moved toward a secular approach to the dharma, one which does not lean on enlightenment as a goal, but fosters a practice that is ethical, practical, compassionate and forward looking.
Upekkhā and emotional regulation
Stefano Ventura discusses the close relationship between the psychological concept of emotional regulation and the Buddhist notion of upekkha or equanimity.
‘Think different’ to prevent extinction
Hugh Palmer argues that Gregory Bateson’s cybernetic epistemology provides an important resource for developing a secular dharma which recognizes our interconnection with nature.
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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