Rethinking the Dharma / Reimagining Community #51 December 2023

November 26, 2023

Welcome to our December 2023 newsletter.

This month we highlight an interview with Seth Zuihō Segall about his new book, The House We Live In, and an article by John Danvers.  We also feature a  practitioner's account of her journey to secular Buddhism and Bodhi College's course offerings for 2024.  

An interview with Seth Zuihō Segall on his new book, The House We Live In

SBN interviewed Seth Zuihō Segall about his new book, The House We Live in: Virtue, Wisdom, and Pluralism. In this book Seth offers a theory of ethics and flourishing based on Aristotle, Buddha, and Confucius.

Find out more.

Relatively speaking – truth, diversity & wellbeing

In this article John Danvers clarifies some of the thinking around notions of truth to help secular Buddhists to develop their own ideas of what is true and beneficial.

Find out more.

A practitioner’s journey to secular Buddhism: Sylwia

From a very early age, Sylwia Plich has questioned religious orthodoxies. Born into a Catholic family, she initially saw Protestantism as a ‘purer’ form of Christianity but then found more value in a Buddhist approach to spirituality. She practiced for 25 years in a Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In 2016, she came across Stephen Batchelor's writings and began to embrace a secular approach which focuses on ethical life on a daily basis.

Find out more.

Bodhi College's 2024 programme

Founded by Stephen Batchelor and other Buddhist teachers, Bodhi College offers courses which provide in-depth exploration of the early Buddhist teachings for today’s practitioners. Their 2024 programme includes in-person and online course on a variety of topics, including an introduction to secular dharma and an existential approach to Buddhism.

Find out more.

Connect with the Secular Buddhist Network

Looking for a sangha?  - To facilitate the development of local sanghas, SBN has established a listing for individuals looking to meet others in their geographical area. When you join the listing, you'll have access to a private listing of individuals who are seeking sangha-mates.

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 - Our Sunday group meets every Sunday at 11 am US Eastern Time. After brief meditation instructions, we meditate silently for 30 minutes, followed by a period of sharing our experiences with each other. For more information, click here.

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 is 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.

Tuwhiri Reading Group on What is this is? Ancient questions for modern minds-  21 Jan to 28 Apr 2024 on Zoom (Timed to suit people in the Americas, Europe and Africa)

What is this? contains a series of talks given by Martine and Stephen Batchelor during a Sŏn (Chan/Zen) retreat in England. Leading us through the practice of radical questioning at the heart of this Korean Buddhist tradition, the authors show how anyone at all can benefit from this form of radical inquiry today. Stephen and Martine show how a practice with its origins in China 1000 years ago can meld with insights from the natural sciences, classical and modern western philosophy, Romantic poetry, and early Buddhism. Facilitated by Gaia House teacher, Tony O’Connor, the reading group will discuss one chapter each week, and Martine Batchelor will take questions during a special session on 5 May 2024. For more info and to reserve your place email

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.



Before submitting a comment, please review the SBN guidelines for contributors and readers’ comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *