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What is the Middle Way in Early Buddhism?

What is the Middle Way in Early Buddhism?

What is the Buddhist Middle Way? We’ll take a look at early Buddhism in particular, and some of the material found in suttas of the Pāli Canon. There we’ll see there are a few related approaches to this topic, some immediate and down-to-earth, others more conceptual and philosophical. Suttas mentioned: Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) Cūḷadukkhakkhanda […]

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History of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism: Power and Transgression

History of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism: Power and Transgression

We’ll go over the history of tantric Buddhism, its origins as well as its differences from other forms of Buddhist belief and practice. Then we’ll give an overall characterization of what constitutes this somewhat transgressive form of Buddhism. It’s a huge topic so this video should only be seen as an intro! Suggested readings: Ronald […]

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History of Mahāyāna Buddhism: Innovation and Perfection

History of Mahāyāna Buddhism: Innovation and Perfection

We’ll take a quick overview of the history of Mahāyāna Buddhism, beginning with its earliest developments and how it separated from the rest of mainstream Buddhism. Then we’ll look at a few of its later developments that came to define the Mahāyāna approach. It’s a huge topic so this video only can provide an introduction! […]

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Roots of Secular Buddhism: Thailand

Roots of Secular Buddhism: Thailand

Some of the roots of secular Buddhism go back to Thailand. We’ll look at two of the fascinating characters that were instrumental in modernizing elements of Thai belief and practice, even as some of that modernization remains controversial to this day.  Some source material: Peter Jackson 1986 PhD diss: “Buddhadasa and Doctrinal Modernisation in Contemporary […]

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Episode 299 :: Gary Gach :: Pause Breathe Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough

Episode 299 :: Gary Gach :: Pause Breathe Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough

Gary Gach Gary Gach returns to the podcast to speak about his new book Pause Breathe Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough. Meditation is sometimes thought of as a passive relaxation technique. And I’ll admit, those three words together rub me the wrong way. Meditation is, to me, an active, alive way of […]

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Episode 298 :: Sara Rahmani :: Understanding Unbelief: Mindfulness Meditation Project

Episode 298 :: Sara Rahmani :: Understanding Unbelief: Mindfulness Meditation Project

Sara Rahmani Dr. Sara Rahmani speaks with us about her work Understanding Unbelief: Mindfulness Meditation project. What is it like to be faced with adopting a religious belief system that’s not part of your personal background? Or perhaps it is, and once there, you find an increasing cognitive dissonance with what’s overtly or subtley encouraged […]

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Episode 297 :: Jeff Eisenberg :: Buddha’s Bodyguard: How to Protect Your Inner V.I.P.

Episode 297 :: Jeff Eisenberg :: Buddha’s Bodyguard: How to Protect Your Inner V.I.P.

Jeff Eisenberg Jeff Eisenberg returns to the podcast to speak about his book Buddha’s Bodyguard: How to Protect Your Inner V.I.P. Though there are differing opinions, the dhamma, like other teachings, has some wiggle room in how it may be interpreted. Some may be very minor nuances of view, others may be wildly off base, […]

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Episode 296 :: Susan Piver :: The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships

Episode 296 :: Susan Piver :: The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships

Susan Piver Susan Piver speaks with us today about The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships. If you ask a Buddhist, secular or otherwise, what it’s about, the answer will often be something along the lines of suffering, or suffering and the extinguishing of it. Gotama made it clear that is […]

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10/12 Practice Circle: Soften, Soothe, Allow

10/12 Practice Circle: Soften, Soothe, Allow

How do we deal with truly difficult emotions when they arise in our daily life? Can we meet them without being overwhelmed or using distraction or numbing to avoid them? When Practice Circle meets again this Sunday evening at 6 Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, we’ll share another practice from Kristin Neff […]

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Secular Buddhism and the Real Reasons to Meditate

Secular Buddhism and the Real Reasons to Meditate

In the most recent issue of Lions Roar magazine (July 2018), Buddhist teachers representing Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajryana lineages discussed the “real” reasons to meditate. While the responses were insightful and reflected the full range of beliefs among Buddhist lineages, there is a glaring omission: no one presents a secular Buddhist view of the real […]

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7/22 Practice Circle:  Befriend Yourself

7/22 Practice Circle: Befriend Yourself

This Sunday, July 22, at 6 pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, Practice Circle will explore the practice of unconditional friendliness towards the self. Amy Balentine will be leading a meditation taught by Pema Chodron. In this straightforward practice, we will be invited to bring a quality of clear seeing and gentleness […]

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7/8 Practice Circle: A Compassionate Friend

7/8 Practice Circle: A Compassionate Friend

In a world in which hatred and blame seem to be winning, where can we find compassion and acceptance in the face of life’s suffering? We have a compassionate resource always available in our own hearts – in fact, the only place we can ever experience compassion is within ourselves. When Practice Circle meets again […]

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Listen to the Suttas! – Audio Recordings of English Translations of the Pali Canon Suttas

Listen to the Suttas! – Audio Recordings of English Translations of the Pali Canon Suttas

Listen to the Suttas! Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTMiZHe8419vKGsORMb1ow/videos   Example Video: The Sammaditthi Sutta (The Discourse on Right View, MN 9)   For those who have difficulty with written text (or Pali), there are few quality, widely-available audio recordings of English language translations of the Pali Canon Suttas. Our own Community Director, Jennifer Hawkins, who developed […]

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Buddha: The First Humanist?

Buddha: The First Humanist?

Robert Thurman is a noted author on Buddhist topics and Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. In 1990, the Humanist Association of Massachusetts invited Robert Thurman, Professor of Religion at Columbia University to lecture on the similarities and differences between Western philosophical Humanism and Buddhism. His talk was entitled Buddha: The First Humanist? […]

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Online, Together, Meditating, Secular: An Event Announcement from New Zealand!

Online, Together, Meditating, Secular: An Event Announcement from New Zealand!

For those who don’t know, New Zealand has a lively Secular Buddhist community: http://secularbuddhism.org.nz/ http://www.onemindfulbreath.org.nz/ http://abet.nz/   Last month, the prominent Ramsey Margolis announced via his newsletter that he wanted to try to lead a free, online meditation using Zoom similar to SBA US’s Practice Circle. Not only had he gone out of his way to […]

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Practice Circle Live: The Benefactor Body Scan

Practice Circle Live: The Benefactor Body Scan

This guided meditation was recorded live at the SBA Practice Circle on October 22, 2017. If you’d like to learn more about why we developed this practice, and how you can join us at Practice Circle, you can read about it here. Transcription I’m Mark Knickelbine from the Secular Buddhist Association, and this is the […]

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