In early 2022, several participants in the Secular Buddhist Network online discussion group took the initiative to form a reading and discussion group, which meets online monthly. Below is a description of what our group is reading, an overview of the general format for each discussion, and more details on the dates and times of the meetings. For more information or to join the group, please fill out the contact form below.
What we’re reading
Reading materials are selected based on interest from our members, and discussions are led by volunteer facilitators which rotate monthly. We are not strictly a “book club,” as we are open to many other formats as well, including blogs, articles, video lectures, podcasts, and more. The topics for our readings are related to one or more of the following topics:
- Buddhism (Traditional, Zen or secular)
The group continues to evolve, and we are regularly checking in as a group to ensure the selected materials and format of the discussions are meeting the needs of the entire group.
Dates and times
The group discussions are held on the first Thursday of each month. The sessions are 90 minutes long and run from 13:00-14:30 EST (10:00-11:30 PST and 18:00-19:30 GMT). To check what time this will be in your area, use this link to World Time Buddy: https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/
While we leave flexibility for each session to flow organically based on the discussion, the general format is as follows:
- Welcome, introduction of any new members, any administrative topics to cover
- Volunteer facilitator(s) will kick-off the group discussion by providing a brief summary of key themes from the selected material, read aloud a few short excerpts (if desired), and stimulate discussion through a few pre-determined questions/thought-starters
- Majority of the time is dedicated to group members sharing their thoughts, takeaways, questions, and/or how the ideas relate to their lived experience
- One main question we will always try to discuss is: “How does this relate to, clarify, or expand your understanding of secular Buddhism?”
- After group discussion, we open it up to members to share any other thoughts, including sharing other things they’ve been reading outside the group and/or recommendations for future readings
- At the end of each session, we’ll finalize the selected materials for our next meeting, and ask for volunteer(s) to facilitate the next discussion
How to join
The group is held on Zoom. Please fill out the contact form above, and you will be added to the list of attendees and emailed the monthly invite to the Zoom meeting.