ABOUT SECULAR BUDDHISM

Essential elements and key ideas of secular Buddhism


Adhering to the pragmatic and ethical guidelines for human flourishing taught by the historical Buddha, Gotama, secular Buddhists set aside the cultural and supernatural overlays that Buddhism has acquired as it has traveled around the world. We do not pretend that ours is the definitive version of Buddhism, but we do regard it as having its foundation in Gotama’s original teachings, and being in tune with key progressive values in the modern world – democracy, social justice, and equality.  


On this page, you will find recommended reading that will introduce and explore this subject, as well as articles by a number of writers that will help you to dig deeper.

RECOMMENDED READING

The core concept of secular Buddhism: a fourfold task 

The core teachings and insights of Gotama are not ‘truths’ to be believed but a ‘fourfold’ task to help us live our lives in a mindful and compassionate way.

By Stephen Batchelor


An introduction to secular Buddhism 

For those who are curious about or interested in secular Buddhism and want to learn about this relatively new trend within Buddhism, this article will provide a helpful starting point for exploring a secular approach to the dharma.

By SBN Editor


Stephen Batchelor on coming out as a secular Buddhist 

When Stephen Batchelor first self-identified as a secular Buddhist in 2012 he said that ‘I see the aim of Buddhist practice to be the moment-to-moment flourishing of human life within the ethical framework of the eightfold path.'

By Stephen Batchelor


Flowers in a field by Jim Champion

Budismo ¿secular? 

Secular dharma lowers the moon of nirvana down to our reach. It is no longer treated as a metaphysical reality distinct from everything we could conceive, or as a goal farther than far: it is about living each moment of our life from that place of non-greed, non-aversion and non-confusion.

By Bernat Font


EXPLORE SECULAR BUDDHISM

Report on the Barre, USA, secular Buddhism colloquium

By Winton Higgins


Integrating contemplative practice into life

By Stephen Batchelor


Our diverse paths to secular Buddhism

By SBN Editor


Noah Rasheta interviews Stephen Batchelor on secular Buddhism

By SBN Editor


Should secular Buddhists be socially-engaged Buddhists?

By Mike Slott


The dharmic foundations of the reflective meditation approach

Bird seeing itself in car mirror (Flickr Christian Ştefănescu)

By Winton Higgins


Core elements of a secular and socially-engaged Buddhism

By Mike Slott


Ted Meissner reflects on the past, present, and future of secular Buddhism

By Ted Meissner