The Secular Buddhist Network is sponsoring an online group which meets the third Thursday of each month on Zoom. It’s a great opportunity for secular Buddhists and those who are interested in learning more about a secular approach to the dharma to connect with each other and to discuss key issues.
While the overall purpose of Bhikkhu Analayo’s new book, Superiority Conceit in Buddhist Traditions: A Historical Perspective , is well-intended, his treatment of superiority conceit in Buddhist traditions fails to identify the root cause of this problem in Buddhism. He also mischaracterizes the writings of Stephen Batchelor and ignores the ideas and practices of contemporary secular Buddhists.
While we cannot definitively know that secular Buddhism is the most ‘appropriate’ approach to the dharma in some universal sense, Mike Slott asserts that each individual can determine whether secular Buddhism is an ‘appropriate’ view and path for their own life based on their experiences, interests, and goals.
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).
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.