Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Secular Buddhism vs other Buddhisms

If you're interested in knowing a little about how Secular Buddhism differs from other Buddhisms, here's a link to a terrific collection of thinking that's recently sprung up on our sibling web site in NZ. 

The link below will take you to an article by a Buddhist monk, Bikkhu Bodhi, about what he calls 'the great divide' between secular Buddhism and the more religious varieties which he lumps together as 'classical' Buddhism.

Make sure you read the responses that follow as they include comments from some very knowledgeable and influential people in the secular Buddhist movement including Stephen Batchelor who is considered the unofficial leading bush-basher for us secular types, as well as our homegrown Winton Higgins who gives an erudite and educational response. I too have commented (Lenore Lambert).

Click here to read it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The negative eddy + join us on Facebook

If you haven't already joined us, the Secular Buddhism Australia Facebook Page is going strong with over 6000 followers. If you 'Like' the Page, you'll receive several Facebook posts a week with links to articles, tips, reflections, cartoons, and other thought starters all with a Secular Buddhist theme.

Also, as I sit down to pen a new blog post on Dharmadaptation, I realise I didn't let you know about the last one. It's called 'The negative eddy' and is about the way a negative event in our day can send us into a downward spiral. If we can see the eddy for what it is, we can take steps to let the swirling momentum peter out rather than adding to its momentum.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Free mini-podcast - overview of meditation practices

I have to admit much of my small-scale dharma time has been taken up with posting on the Secular Buddhism Facebook Page lately. If you haven't already 'liked' it, have a squiz. You'll probably enjoy it. We've just passed the 5000 followers mark which is pretty exciting!

I have however, mananged to create one new resource lately - a mini-podcast which gives an introduction to and overview of meditation practices. The 8 minute podcast gives an overview of the different types of meditation, where it came from, and dispels the idea that there's one 'right way' to meditate or that we can be 'bad' at it. The next two mini-podcasts in the series will give some example instructions for meditations in each of the two 'buckets' described (the 'serenity' bucket and the 'insight' bucket).

I've put this up on this site under the 'Downloads' tab on the right. You'll need to put in your email address the first time you download something from this section of the web site but once you're registered you won't need to do that again. 

Of course if you know anyone who's just starting with meditation or who's a bit interested in it, or even someone who's been doing it for a while but would like a bit of perspective on it, please feel free to forward the link.

I hope you find it useful.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Secular Buddhism Australia facebook page

Just a quick note to let you know I've started a Secular Buddhism Australia Facebook page. Eventually the site and the FB page will be linked but for now, just click here  and 'like' it to stay in touch.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The recent mindfulness craze

....and a few concerns about it.

My most recent blog post here and another from the web site Tricycle here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Your silly questions please

Some of you know that for the past few years I've been working on a book designed to be a secular introduction to the dharma for newbies. It'll be called 'Whatever Floats Your Boat: A Secular Introduction to the Teachings of the Buddha.'

I'm currently on day 9 of an 11 day solo retreat to try and finish the first draft. The first half is an FAQ with answers from a secular perspective. Does anyone have any more questions that they remember asking when first dating the dharma? Please add them as a comment if you do.

Who was the Buddha?
What is the dharma about?
Does the dharma state that all of life is suffering?
Is the dharma just meditation or mindfulness?
Does Buddhism have a sacred text?
Does the dharma teach passivity - accepting rather than acting?
Is yoga a part of the dharma?
Is the Dalai Lama a Buddha?
Why are some Buddhas fat?
Is there one ‘right’ way to meditate?
Do I have to believe in rebirth or reincarnation to practice the dharma?
What is karma?
Is Buddhism a religion?
Which ‘school’ of the dharma should I explore?
Do I need to go to an Asian country to learn Buddhism?
Do I need to find a ‘teacher’?
How do I float my own boat?
What are the basic tenets of the dharma?
What is awakening?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Four Frontiers of Secular Buddhism - workshop notes available

I recently attended a weekend workshop by Winton Higgins with the above title here in Sydney. It was a stimulating weekend of meditation, talks and discussion. The four talks that were given throughout the workshop are now available. In addition to an introduction, they are:

  1. Nuancing our view of religion
  2. Finitude
  3. The numinous, the transcendent and the sublime, and
  4. Intensity in practice
They are well worth a read and are available here (articles are listed in alphabetical order).

Coming soon: a 5 minute mini-podcast introduction to meditation.


Warm regards