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?