Robert M. Ellis explains that his Middle Way Philosophy shares with secular Buddhism a critical approach to the Buddhist tradition, but he argues that ‘secular’ is not a term that provides the criteria we need to skillfully interrogate Buddhism and other traditions.
To avoid the superiority conceit pervasive in debates within Buddhism, secular Buddhists need to recognize two key points: 1) our approach to the Buddha’s teachings is only one of many legitimate approaches and 2) Buddhism, whether, in a secular or traditional form, does not provide us with all the answers to the key challenges that we face today.
Richard Winter presents the 59 slogans of the Tibetan teachings on ‘Mind-Training’ in a style that is familiar and accessible not just for ‘Buddhists’ but for any of us who, irrespective of systems of belief or cultural allegiances, are open to the appeal of Buddhist-inspired meditation practice, as a resource for trying to flourish in a difficult world.
As part of the 30th anniversary celebration of Tricycle magazine, Stephen Batchelor and Ruth Ozeki discussed the role of creativity in their work and in the dharma. They both emphasized that creativity depends on cultivating a sense of inner openness and relaxation, a loosening of attachment to a fixed notion of the self.
While digital technologies are, in themselves, neither the problem nor the solution, they contribute to making us increasingly divided and distrusting of one another. Dan Nixon argues that we can begin to create something better by cultivating an ongoing, open-ended spirit of questioning towards all we encounter in our digitally-mediated experience by asking: what is this?
The Secular Buddhist Network online group held its second meeting 18 February. The focus for most of the meeting was a discussion of Stephen Batchelor’s ‘ten theses of secular dharma,’ which appears at the end of his 2015 book, After Buddhism: Rethinking the dharma for a secular age.
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.
Bodhi College is offering an online course, After Buddhism and Beyond, that will include a comprehensive series of lectures, reflections, and discussions on the theme of Secular Dharma. The course will be taught by Stephen Batchelor and begins 13 February 2021. Registrations are still available.
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.
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.