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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Some great new articles

Over the past weeks I've been adding some great new resources to this site. In particular, as part of 'Resources for the mind' I've added a whole bunch of really interesting articles. 

Many of these are dharma talks given by Winton Higgins at my local sangha, along with one each from Stephen Batchelor, Glenn Wallis and Gregory Kramer. Some have brief introductions. Some don't yet. But they will do soon.

If any of these titles pique your interest, feel free to help yourself:

  • Narcissism and not-self
  • Bumpy bits without quick fixes
  • Kindness
  • Adaptation and authenticity
  • Enlightenment
  • The big picture (a great overview of where the different 'Buddhisms' fit)
  • The truth of interpersonal suffering
Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection

Click here to go to the articles page. Stay tuned, there's more coming soon.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Re-vamped web site

I'm pleased to say that after many months of being in the doldrums this web site is in the final stages of being transferred and fixed (again!). We were having no end of technical troubles but they are sorted now. Those who had subscribed to the site by email will soon receive requests to confirm their subscription to this updated site. Then we will be back in business.

There are lots of fabulous new resources that have been added in the meantime. I'll post a summary soon.

Warm regards