While the Eightfold Path is an essential framework and guide for traditional and secular Buddhists, the goal of the path for secular Buddhists is not nirvana but human flourishing in this life. This requires us to reinterpret the meaning and function of the eight path factors.
Buddhists teachings point us towards three characteristics that are common across everything in sentient life: dukkha, anatta, and anicca. Linda Modaro posits a fourth mark of existence based on our need to survive and thrive.
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.
There is now a secular meditation group in Hamilton, New Zealand. The group will be meeting in-person every Monday night at 6:15 pm at the local library.
Beginning with Seth Zuihō Segall’s article, ‘Why I am not a secular Buddhist,’ Seth and Winton Higgins have engaged in a dialogue on SBN about the meaning and value of secular Buddhism. They have discussed the notion of secularity, religion and religious experience, the role of community, and other key issues.
In his reply to Seth Zuihō Segall’s rejoinder in the debate over secular Buddhism Winton Higgins explores the meaning of secularity, religion, and the everyday sublime. He argues that a secular faith is not opposed to religion but is characterized by a deep engagement, a wholehearted commitment, to living this, our one and only life, meaningfully.
In a dharma talk given to the Community Meditation Center (New York City, USA), Stephen Batchelor discussed a secular perspective on the Noble Eightfold Path.
SBN interviewed Robert Wright, the author of why ‘Buddhism is True,’ on evolutionary psychology, his naturalistic approach to Buddhism, and his view of secular Buddhism.
Seth Zuihō Segall continues the dialogue on secular Buddhism by offering a rejoinder to Winton Higgins’ response to his article, ‘Why I Am Not a Secular Buddhist.’ Seth discusses the nature of the religious attitude, the role of community and traditions, and his non-dual perspective.
Registrations are now open for the Spring 2021 class of SBN’s free online course on exploring a secular dharma. 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 instructors for the course.