POSTS:

Stephen Batchelor

Stephen Batchelor on an ethics of uncertainty
On 9 March 2022 Stephen Batchelor gave an online talk on an ethics of uncertainty which was sponsored by Mind and Life Europe. Stephen argued that both Gotama and Socrates articulate a situational ethics that is grounded in compassion and unknowing rather than a priori moral convictions and metaphysical certainties.
Secular Buddhism at the beginning: a study course in 2007
In October and November 2007, Ramsey Margolis and Jonathan Wood facilitated a study course in Wellington, New Zealand called ‘Creating a path: towards a secular Buddhism’, based on dharma talks given by Stephen Batchelor. It was one of the first educational programs to explore the new trend of secular Buddhism.
Resolving the secular versus religious dichotomy: a new approach for secular Buddhism
Stefano Bettera offers an interpretation of a secular approach to the dharma which he believes is a third way, inclusive and conciliatory, which avoids the dichotomy between the ‘religious’ and the ‘secular’. This approach is based in the primary experience of the ethical dimension of awakening, called nirvana.
Secular Buddhism as a ‘paradigm shift’
Jonathan Golden uses Kuhn’s notion of a ‘paradigm shift’ to discuss the issue of ‘truths’ and ‘tasks’ in secular Buddhism. He argues that Kuhn’s perspective is consistent with Mike Slott’s view of truths and tasks; while there are no absolute truths, our beliefs (provisional truth claims) are a necessary precondition for our practice, and practitioners should not be required to make a binary choice between truths and tasks. 
Reexamining ‘truths’ and ‘tasks’ in secular Buddhism: a dialogue
Mike Slott, Winton Higgins, Stephen Batchelor, and Jonathan Golden discuss the relationship of truths and tasks in a secular approach to the dharma.
Dharma in the shadow of Buddhism: a response to Mike Slott and Winton Higgins
Stephen Batchelor continues the dialogue on ‘truths’ and ‘tasks’ in secular Buddhism by framing the discussion from a broader, historical perspective. Stephen argues that the Buddha’s radical move was to depart from the truth-based perspective of Brahmanic, Indian culture to teach a fully committed ethical life that is not underwritten by any ultimate truth.
Stephen Batchelor’s dharma talks on a secular reinterpretation of the eightfold path
At Buddha-Stiftung’s fifth study retreat, which was held in October 2021, Stephen Batchelor discussed a secular reinterpretation of the Eightfold Path that is appropriate and helpful for our contemporary world.  As part of this reinterpretation, Stephen suggested a different order of the limbs of the Eightfold Path and offered a new interpretation of each limb.
Rejoinder to Winton Higgins on ‘Reexamining “truths” and “tasks” in secular Buddhism’
Responding to Winton Higgins’ criticism of his view of the relationship of tasks and truths in secular Buddhism, Mike Slott argues that in rejecting metaphysical truths as the basis of Buddhism, we don’t need to reject entirely the notion of truth as correspondence. The beliefs of secular Buddhists are provisional and conditional truth claims about our lived experience and the universe in which we are inextricably embedded.
Reexamining ‘truths’ and ‘tasks’ in secular Buddhism
While Stephen Batchelor’s emphasis on the pragmatic and ethical meaning of the Buddha’s teachings has been crucial in the development of a secular approach to the dharma, Mike Slott argues that Stephen has not adequately addressed a legitimate concern about the role and meaning of truth in his approach. The secular dharmic path challenges us to assess constantly both our ‘tasks’ and the ‘truths’ on which they are based.
The question remains, is there a secular self-emptying?
Drawing on the writings of art historians, political activists, philosophers, Christian theologians, and the secular Buddhist Stephen Batchelor, David Patten explores how we might understand the movement away from the egoic self towards the experience of ‘not-self’, a process of secular self-emptying.
Buddha-Stiftung’s Five Day Study Retreat with Stephen Batchelor on the Eightfold Path
From 20 October to 25 October Buddha-Stiftung is sponsoring a study retreat on the Eightfold Path, which will include dhamma talks, meditations, discussions and question and answer sessions. The study retreat will be taught by Stephen Batchelor and held in the English language.
Stephen Batchelor on the ‘Parable of the Snake’ and the need to reimagine Buddhism
Stephen Batchelor led a meditation and offered a dharma talk to the Community Meditation Center (CMC), an Insight meditation center based in New York City, USA.  Stephen’s talk was on the ‘Parable of the Snake,’ a sutta in which Gotama, the historical Buddha, discussed different ways of approach the dharma.
My path to becoming a secular Buddhist monastic
Venerable Tenzin Tharpa discusses his path from Tibetan Buddhist monasticism to becoming a secular Buddhist monastic. He formed the Secular Buddhist Tradition (SBT), an international community dedicated to sharing a practical and accessible presentation of the buddhadharma focused on the positive life-affirming message of the Buddha.
Middle Way Philosophy and Secular Buddhism
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.
Bodhi College’s Secular Dharma Course
Bodhi College’s Secular Dharma course takes a secular rather than a religious approach to the teachings of the Buddha. The course emphasizes the humanity of Gotama and the practical applications of his teaching in this world, and encourage each student to find his or her own way of practice within the secular/religious spectrum of their own lives.