Upcoming courses and retreats for secular Buddhists

February 2023 to May 2023

22 February to 2 May (Online) 

Secular Buddhist Network’s course on Exploring a secular dharma
taught by Ciara Cullen, Lorna Edwards and Mike Slott

In this online course we will explore the key ideas and practices of secular Buddhism, an important trend which has emerged in western Buddhism in recent years.

The course will provide both secular Buddhists and those curious about secular Buddhism the opportunity to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of a secular approach to the dharma. In this course we will:

  • Identify and explain the key concepts of secular Buddhism
  • Contrast secular Buddhism with traditional/institutional forms of Buddhism
  • Sketch a vision of secular Buddhist practice for individuals and communities

For more information, click here.

March 2023 to November 2023

17 March – 19 March; 12 May – 14 May; 7 July – 9 July; 22 September – 24 September; and 17 November – 19 November

Five Principles of the Middle Way Retreats
taught by Robert M. Ellis

Robert M. Ellis will be drawing on the ideas in ‘The Five Principles’ of the Middle Way to offer five weekend retreats over 2023 at the Tirylan House to explore and practise each of them. You can attend all these retreats in sequence or only one of them, as you are able. Like all Middle Way Society retreats, these retreats will be open to people working in any tradition (or none) who want to explore the subject in a practical and universal way. They will combine talks and discussion with meditation, arts activity, and free time in which you can make friends and enjoy the countryside.

For more information, click here.

April 2023

27 April to 30 April

Ecodharma: Buddhist Perspectives on the Ecological Crisis

taught by David Loy

Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalism Buddhist Fellowship, this retreat will include opportunities for small group meetings for shared practice and discussion among practitioners of the various Buddhist schools and lineages such as: koan study from The Hidden Lamp with author Florence Caplow, organizational tips for your local sangha, and workshops on topics such as eco-activism, environmental racism, etc.

For more information, click here.

May 2023

5 May to 10 May

Part 1: Mindfulness, Soulfulness, and Socially Engaged Practice – Retreat 1

taught by Rhonda Magee

This retreat is part of a year-long path program called Mindfulness, Soulfulness, and Socially Engaged PracticePlease click here for more information on the full program.

Since the mid-20th century, psychologists in the tradition of James Hillman (author of The Soul’s Code) and Thomas Moore (author of The Care of the Soul) have explored soulfulness. This dimension of human experience resonates with the grounded connectedness to the elements and ways of being in relationship to earthbound everyday life that mindfulness enables and Buddhist principles and practices support. At the same time, the term soul has been associated with a Black American cultural aesthetic. 

Grounded in Buddhist approaches to the establishment of mindfulness, we will explore varieties of soul and soulfulness in our practices and lives. We will explore mindfulness, soulfulness, and social engagement in the face of such challenges as climate distress, immigration and demographic changes, economic inequality, the increasing implications of extractive technology, and the increasing visibility of White supremacy-based ideology and politics. Together, we will explore the quality of soulfulness and attend to what might be called the soul of awareness, in relationship to ethically-grounded, socially-engaged mindfulness in everyday life.

For more information, click here.

December 2023

3 December to 10 December (in person)

Secular dharma and ethical living study retreat

taught by Stephen Batchelor, Winton Higgins, and Lenore Lambert

This residential study retreat will explore through talks and dialogues how the dharma taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago can help provide the ethical perspectives and practices needed to engage effectively with the various interconnected crises our world faces in the twenty-first century — economic, environmental, social, psychological and spiritual.

We will be presenting a secular approach to the dharma, which leaves aside the metaphysical beliefs of the Buddhist religion to focus entirely on how to respond to the sufferings of this world. Drawing on canonical Buddhist discourses as well as ancient and modern western philosophy, the teachers will consider the theoretical foundations of ethics as well as its practical applications here and now.

For more information, click here.


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