SBN guidelines for contributors and readers’ comments

March 31, 2020

The aim of this website is to foster dialogue and a compassionate, critical examination of issues related to secular dharma, while strengthening the bonds of community and collective efforts among secular Buddhists.  We are not attempting to create a membership organization with a uniform set of beliefs and practices. As a ‘hub’ or space where dialogue is fostered and resources and experiences are shared among secular Buddhists, we will adhere to the following guidelines which are consistent with our approach and our intention to play a constructive role in the development of a secular approach to the dharma.


We hold the intention that the articles and readers’ comments posted on the website will not be the cause of physical, emotional, or mental harm. We intend to be mindful of how the content and/or graphic material on the website may cause individuals or groups to feel unwelcome or unvalued. Contributions to the website and readers’ comments which use ad hominem attacks or focus on demeaning others’ perspectives and practices shall not be included in the website. On the other hand, we welcome respectful exchanges on secular-Buddhist issues, ones that may help to clarify them through reasoned debate.

Truthful and kind speech

We recognize that there are a variety of views about a secular approach to the dharma, including criticisms of this approach. We intend to encourage a robust dialogue about issues related to secular Buddhism. At the same time, mindful of the influence of our words on ourselves and others, we intend to promote a spirit of mutual respect, care, and appreciation of each other’s perspectives and practices. When criticism is offered, it should be made in a constructive way and intended to promote community bonds rather than create discord and anger. Contributions based on non-constructive criticism, gossip and slander shall be excluded from the website.

Reasons for excluding articles based on the behavior and speech of a contributor

Any behavior which would be categorized as abusive or a breach of trust—whether emotionally, physically, financially, psychologically or sexually—or which is exploitative, coercive, or an abuse of power, or which attempts to cover-up such behavior, is harmful  and unacceptable in all circumstances. If, upon careful review, any contributor has been found to engage in such speech or actions, then they will not be allowed to contribute articles or material to the SBN website.

Reasons for excluding comments on an article

We encourage comments that forcefully challenge the claims, reasoning or evidence presented in an article, but we will exclude comments if they are not respectful of the author and of the author’s perspective. The comments should be made in the spirit of promoting communal understanding rather than to create anger and discord. For example, comments whose intent is to attack the author or to demean or to ascribe unsavory or otherwise disagreeable motives are not acceptable, nor are accusations that the writer is intentionally resorting to falsehoods or in any way trying to manipulate or deceive. We will exclude abusive speech of any kind aimed at an author or any social group.



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

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