POSTS:

Fourfold task

Rejoinder to Winton Higgins on ‘Reexamining “truths” and “tasks” in secular Buddhism’
Responding to Winton Higgins’ criticism of his view of the relationship of tasks and truths in secular Buddhism, Mike Slott argues that in rejecting metaphysical truths as the basis of Buddhism, we don’t need to reject entirely the notion of truth as correspondence. The beliefs of secular Buddhists are provisional and conditional truth claims about our lived experience and the universe in which we are inextricably embedded.
Response to Mike Slott’s ‘Reexamining “truths” and “tasks” in secular Buddhism’
In response to Mike Slott’s article on truths and tasks in secular Buddhism Winton Higgins argues that Mike’s critique of Stephen Batchelor’s formulation is misconceived; the issue is not the epistemological status of truth but about how we should live and practise. Dharma practitioners do have to choose: they can’t wish-wash over the truths/tasks distinction.
Reexamining ‘truths’ and ‘tasks’ in secular Buddhism
While Stephen Batchelor’s emphasis on the pragmatic and ethical meaning of the Buddha’s teachings has been crucial in the development of a secular approach to the dharma, Mike Slott argues that Stephen has not adequately addressed a legitimate concern about the role and meaning of truth in his approach. The secular dharmic path challenges us to assess constantly both our ‘tasks’ and the ‘truths’ on which they are based.
A review of Lenorë Lambert’s The Buddha for modern minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings
Winton Higgins reviews Lenorë Lambert’s new book, The Buddha for modern minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings. According to Winton, the book admirably achieves its purpose of preparing the newcomer for a promising ‘first date’ with the dharma and its practice. It does so in impeccably secular terms that are securely based in the early teachings.
Lenorë Lambert’s The Buddha for Modern Minds: A non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings
Lenorë Lambert’s new book, The Buddha for Modern Minds: A non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings, provides newcomers and experienced practitioners with answers to key questions such as: Does the dharma teach passivity? Is the dharma anti-passion? Do I need to find a teacher to learn the dharma? The book also offers a deep dive into the Four Great Tasks (orthodox Four Noble Truths).
A secular Buddhist perspective on the threat of climate extinction
Stephen Batchelor argues that a wise and compassionate response to the threat of climate extinction demands direct engagement with life itself irrespective of any a priori beliefs about the origins and end of suffering. By entering into a contemplative, empathetic, and existential relationship with the pain of the world, one seeks to respond with situation-specific compassion.
Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy and Stephen Batchelor’s four tasks
Emotion-Focused Mindfulness Therapy (EFMT) is a new psychological approach to addressing internal conflicts like harsh self-criticism. The approach emerged out of a dialogue between Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) and the secular and contemporary Buddhist perspectives of Stephen Batchelor, Winton Higgins and Jason Siff.
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.
Making the most of the human condition: four talks on secular Buddhism
In four talks on secular Buddhism given at a day-long workshop in New Zealand in 2013, Winton Higgins provides an overall summary of key secular Buddhist ideas on the fourfold task, a non-formulaic approach to meditation, the flexible appropriation of tradition, and the need for a pragmatic theory of truth.