Fede Andino writes about the formation, development, and current functioning of a sangha in Argentina – the Sangha Without a Name (SWAN) – whose teachers and practitioners have deep connections to Tibetan Buddhism and have developed a democratic and participatory style of functioning.
Jewel Wheeler argues that the pain and suffering caused by racism require us to understand why our response as Buddhists – both secular and traditional – has been inadequate. Then, we can begin to think through how we can bring dharmic insights more effectively into the struggle for a multi-racial, just society.
Several participants in SBN’s After Buddhism online course have been meeting on Zoom since June 2020 to discuss issues related to secular Buddhism. They have decided to expand the focus of the group to include an optional period of meditation along with an exploration of secular Buddhist perspectives and practices. The meetings will be held on a monthly basis via Zoom.
Touching the Earth groups aspire to treat participants as equals, where no one is paid to lead or facilitate, and each participant takes responsibility for cultivating their own path and for supporting others in cultivating theirs. The basic format involves meditation, journaling one’s meditation experience, and then exploring the meditation in triads.
Check out the secular Buddhist groups and communities in Europe and South America.
While sanghas in traditional Buddhist lineages are often founded on hierarchical notions of the teacher–student relationship, secular Buddhists emphasize that sanghas should be based on a more equal participation of members. The New Jersey, USA, sangha is one example of an effort to develop more democratic, participatory sanghas.
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.
Check out the list of secular Buddhist groups and communities in the USA.
Take a look at the secular Buddhist groups and communities in Australia
Check out the secular Buddhist groups & communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.