In a dharma talk given to the Bluegum Sangha (Australia), Winton Higgins discusses the close affinity between Gotama’s notion of dukkha and the tragic tradition in western culture, beginning with the Greek tragic playwrights. A common theme is that our difficulties are an essential part of every human life. Our task is to embrace these difficult challenges and say ‘yes’ to life no matter how dire the predicament.
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.
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.
The goal of Buddha-Stiftung in Germany is to make the central and original insights of Buddhism and their practical application in life accessible to people in an understandable form. Buddha-Stiftung will be publishing a German translation of Winton Higgins’ ‘After Buddhism: a workbook’ and has several upcoming events.
The Tuwhiri Project, which produces educational resources for secular dharma practitioners and our communities, is publishing two new books: ‘Refit: selected writings on secular Buddhism’ by Winton Higgins and ‘I love you: investing for intergenerational wellbeing’ by Girol Karacaoglu.
Winton Higgins asserts that Seth Zuihō Segall mistakenly assumes that all secular Buddhists support a ‘scientistic’ form of secular Buddhism which is hostile to religion. In fact, many secular Buddhists advocate an ‘interpretive’ approach which integrates dharmic insights with modern perspectives to promote human flourishing in this life.
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.
As a ‘hub’ or space where dialogue is fostered and resources and experiences are shared among secular Buddhists, we will adhere to certain guidelines for contributors and readers’ comments which are consistent with our approach and our intention to play a constructive role in the development of a secular approach to the dharma.
Several contributors to the Secular Buddhist Network website offer their insights on how we can best respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The common theme is that by fully understanding core Buddhist insights regarding impermanence, suffering, and interconnection, as well as cultivating an ethical stance of care and compassion, we can skillfully respond to this current crisis.