POSTS:

Bernat Font-Clos

What are the core elements of a secular approach to the dharma?
At a recent online meeting of leaders and facilitators of secular Buddhist groups, organizations, and sanghas, various perspectives were offered on the best way to define or describe a secular approach to the dharma.
On resolving the neo-early Buddhist contradiction
Bernat Font-Clos identifies an important contradiction in the ‘neo-early Buddhist’ perspective prominent among many contemporary meditation teachers in the Insight tradition and proposes a resolution of the contradiction which is consistent with a life-affirming rather than a renunciant approach to our experiences.
An interview with Yanai Postelnik on meditation and climate change activism
Bernat Font Clos interviewed Yanai Postelnik, a meditation teacher who in recent years has been devoting more and more time to climate activism with the group Extinction Rebellion, a decentralized, international movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act on the climate emergency.
A queer critique of Buddhist renunciation
Bernat Font argues that the renunciant attitude underlying the noble truths and some meditation practices has to be examined with care and fully acknowledged; we may need to look beyond the early texts into how later Buddhisms addressed desire and embodiment, or into more contemporary perspectives. The richness of these teachings is vast: there are many ways to sit and celebrate.
The simile of the raft: another interpretation
The point of the simile of the raft is to realize that holding one’s own version of the dharma  as the only valid one and considering the others wrong is a form of attachment that will not lead to anything good and that contradicts the practice itself. In the long run a closed and dogmatic attitude will reinforce harmful mental patterns. 
Why Buddhism is NOT a science of the mind: a review of Evan Thompson’s ‘Why I am not a Buddhist’
Bernat Font provides a summary and review of Evan Thompson’s recent book, ‘Why I am not a Buddhist’. While criticizing key concepts in ‘Buddhist modernism’, Thompson asserts that, at its best, Buddhism can challenge our excessive confidence that science explains what the world really is like while offering a radical critique to our narcissistic concern with the self.
Metta in the time of the coronavirus: responses of secular Buddhists to the pandemic
Several contributors to the Secular Buddhist Network website offer their insights on how we can best respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The common theme is that by fully understanding core Buddhist insights regarding impermanence, suffering, and interconnection, as well as cultivating an ethical stance of care and compassion, we can skillfully respond to this current crisis.
Covid or Co-life: from fear to love and community
As we face the world-wide pandemic caused by the Covid-19 (coronavirus), there is a tendency to retreat to social isolation, fear, and insecurity. In a recent online talk given to the Southsea Sangha, Bernat Font talks about the need to cultivate social connections, compassion and love in the midst of this great challenge.
Secular Buddhism
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.
How to stop confrontations in 2020
I’m not questioning the wonders of critical thinking, but the reactivity and lack of awareness with which we engage in mental and communicative patterns. We listen to find fault, we exaggerate the positions of others, and we look for that one example which does not work so we can disagree or invalidate. What if discussions were not about arguing, refuting and convincing?
Sharing our practice in a group
In meditation, we cultivate an inner space of openness and acceptance free of judgement. But this space should not remain private: sooner or later we have to extend it, and before we try to cover the entire world with an enlightened society, let’s start with smaller circles.
Bernat Font-Clos interviews David Loy on deconstructing Buddhism
A conversation between David Loy and Bernat Font – David Loy was born into a US Navy family and as a child travelled far and wide with his family. He ‘dropped out’ and in Hawaii started to practice zen Buddhism. His first teacher was Robert Aitken and later, he practiced with Yamada Roshi. From philosophy to zen is not such a big jump, reading D.T. Suzuki or Alan Watts, but the difficult thing he found was to practice, to sit.