From November 2020 to February 2021 a Tuwhiri dharma book reading group on Zoom will go through a new Tuwhiri publication, ‘What is this? Ancient questions for modern minds,’ by Martine and Stephen Batchelor. Limited to 12 participants, the group will be anchored by Ramsey Margolis in Wellington, New Zealand, and Suzanne Franzway, in Adelaide, South Australia.
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.
The historical Buddha, Gotama, is not properly characterized as either an atheist or agnostic. He does not deny or affirm, but chooses silence, a ’strategic‘ silence which affirms a precise idea: any discourse on the absolute is inadequate. It is not a question of arguing that this dimension is unthinkable or unrealizable. It is about rejecting any attempt by language to establish a definitive truth in one sense or another.
The Secular Buddhist Recovery Group on Facebook is a sangha of individuals who wish to learn, help and support each other in recovery from alcohol, drugs and other addictions using the practices and teachings of a nonsectarian approach to the Dharma. The group is for those who seek or are in recovery from addictions and for those with an interest in addiction recovery using a secular Dharma perspective.
In an August 2020 talk to Bluegum Sangha in Sydney, Australia, Winton Higgins offered some thoughts on This life: secular faith and spiritual freedom, a recently published book by the Swedish philosopher, Martin Hägglund. He explored some of the ways the book might prompt us as dharma practitioners to refocus our practice by clarifying some of our underlying assumptions.
In a dharma talk given to the Community Meditation Center (New York City, USA), Stephen Batchelor discussed the centrality of imagination and creativity to the dharmic path.
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.
When we give a dharma talk and fall into ‘the ego trap,’ the focus is one’s self and making sure the ego is gratified. Alex Carr confronts the key question: How could I be fostering a sense of equanimity and non-reactivity if my sangha was becoming a place where I would inflame my own craving for praise and admiration and my aversion to failure?
The Secular Buddhist Network is offering a free online course, called After Buddhism: exploring a secular dharma, as a group learning experience. Participants in the course will go through the course modules, discuss the topics in each module with each other, and meet on Zoom every two weeks with the instructor for the course.
The lightness of laughter can help us to break the connected dualisms of right/wrong, true/false, internal/external, and us/the others. These standards ways of viewing the world keep us hooked to our ego and hold us back from the freedom to experiment, to be open, to enjoy the time we have and all our experiences, including the negative ones.