While digital technologies are, in themselves, neither the problem nor the solution, they contribute to making us increasingly divided and distrusting of one another. Dan Nixon argues that we can begin to create something better by cultivating an ongoing, open-ended spirit of questioning towards all we encounter in our digitally-mediated experience by asking: what is this?
Meditative practice enables us to develop a more present, lucid and conscious connection with what surrounds us, in the precise moment and place where we find ourselves. Meditative practice does not take us beyond that present moment in its totality. If anything, it leads us deeper, to union with it.
Western countries accord their citizens the freedom to practise the religion of their choice. But also as harbingers of the narcissism epidemic, they give Buddhists an extra incentive to practise ardently, in order to remain in good non-narcissistic health and so live skilful, fulfilling lives – including the nurturing of deep relationships.
This was the third of four talks given by Winton Higgins at a day-long workshop in New Zealand in 2013. He discusses the need to make secular Buddhism relevant to our own culture. “For this to happen, the dharma must speak our language and take on acculturated forms and practices that we can make our own.”