Welcome to our May 2023 newsletter.
This month we highlight new articles by Kirk Mason and Mike Slott, a practitioner’s account of his journey to secular Buddhism, and a workshop by Dave Smith on mindfulness and the Four Noble Truths.
Rethinking not-self: a critical review of Jay Garfield’s ‘Losing Ourselves’
As part of a critical review of Jay Garfield’s 2022 book, Losing Ourselves, Mike Slott offers a different perspective on not-self, one that shifts the discussion from an epistemological and ontological analysis to an ethically-informed exploration of the existential, psychological, and social causes of various forms of ‘selfing’.
A practitioner’s journey to secular Buddhism: Jim
Jim Bronson connected with the Theravāda tradition and Insight meditation over 25 years ago, after the death of his first wife. As a scientist, he was attracted to the secular aspects of Theravāda and began to learn more about secular Buddhism. He finds inspiration in Stephen Batchelor’s view that ‘a secular Buddhist is one who is committed to the practice of the dharma for the sake of this world alone.’
The 12 steps and the 12 traditions of secular Buddhism
Kirk Mason argues that secular Buddhism allows us to integrate the principles of mindfulness and compassion in a more flexible way, and has been essential in his own recovery program.
Mindfulness and the Four Noble Truths
At an online program sponsored by New York Insight Meditation Center, Dave Smith presented the Four Noble Truths as four tasks for engaging in an ethical, flourishing life.
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 groups – SBN offers two meditation groups. Our Sunday group meets every Sunday at 11 am US Eastern Time. We also have a group which meets Monday through Friday, at 1 pm US Eastern Time.
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.
Online group on Secular Dharma in the Community – meets the first Friday of every month. This discussion group for those who wish to share their experiences of and discuss new possibilities for bringing secular Buddhist ideas, ethics, and practices to community groups, social service organizations, and political movements.
SBN online course 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.
Upcoming courses and retreats – Click here for a listing of upcoming courses, programs, and retreats of interest for secular Buddhists and socially engaged Buddhists.
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