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Don’t Buy This Book!

Don’t Buy This Book!

My good friend Justin Whitaker and I have a paper in the recently published Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics. I’ll discuss some aspects of our paper, how it relates to Buddhist ethics, and some other interesting points before getting to the meat of the matter: why you shouldn’t buy this book! Justin Whitaker’s blog (highly […]

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How Compassion Became Empathy

How Compassion Became Empathy

Buddhist compassion practice changed radically over the first few centuries following the Buddha’s passing. One way it changed is outlined in a paper by Buddhist scholar Anālayo: compassion practice became more of a practice of empathy. This development coincided with a number of other interesting changes in Buddhist belief and practice that we will outline […]

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Is Desire the Root of Suffering?

Is Desire the Root of Suffering?

It is sometimes said that desire is the root of suffering, or that the Buddha claimed such a thing. We will look at the ways in which desire can be unskillful, including some that are very close to our hearts, and other ways in which desires can in fact be skillful. We will see that […]

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Buddhist Compassion Meditation: a Brief History

Buddhist Compassion Meditation: a Brief History

Buddhist compassion meditation practices changed dramatically during the millennium from the Buddha’s lifetime to the lifetimes of some of his most famous commentators. Using a paper by the gifted scholar Anālayo as a guide, we will look at the earliest recorded compassion practices and at practices found in works by the later philosophers and commentators […]

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Episode 295 :: Brad Warner :: It Came From Beyond Zen!

Episode 295 :: Brad Warner :: It Came From Beyond Zen!

Brad Warner Zen teacher and author Brad Warner joins us to speak about his new book, It Came from Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan’s Greatest Zen Master. The Shobogenzo is one of Zen’s most treasured volumes from Dogen, written in the thirteenth century. But don’t let that timeframe fool you, the wisdom […]

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Episode 294 :: Joan and Anne Watts :: The Collected Letters of Alan Watts

Episode 294 :: Joan and Anne Watts :: The Collected Letters of Alan Watts

Joan Watts Philosopher, author, and lecturer Alan Watts (1915–1973) popularized Zen Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies for the counterculture of the 1960s. Today, new generations are finding his writings and lectures online, while faithful followers worldwide continue to be enlightened by his teachings. The Collected Letters of Alan Watts reveals the remarkable arc of Watts’s […]

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Episode 293 :: Bonnie Sumana Ryan-Fisher :: Mindful Moment: 52 Weeks of Mindfulness

Episode 293 :: Bonnie Sumana Ryan-Fisher :: Mindful Moment: 52 Weeks of Mindfulness

Bonnie Sumana Ryan-Fisher Bonnie Sumana Ryan-Fisher joins us to speak about her new book Mindful Moment: 52 Weeks of Mindfulness, Exercises and Reflections. When I first heard about secular mindfulness programs like MBSR, I had a judgmental reaction. This isn’t Sati, you can’t condense mindfulness into eight weeks, this is a watering down… all of […]

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Episode 292 :: David Wilmore :: Pranna Timer, Incense Meditation Timers

Episode 292 :: David Wilmore :: Pranna Timer, Incense Meditation Timers

David Wilmore David Wilmore speaks with us today about Pranna Timers, combining incense, art, and meditation. A long time ago I happened upon my favorite timer for meditation, and it’s never been replaced. In fact, I’ve bought a few more for myself and given others as gifts over the years. What’s unique about this is […]

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6/10 Practice Circle: Mindful Self-Compassion

6/10 Practice Circle: Mindful Self-Compassion

I’m eager to share some of the many very useful practices I learned while being trained in the basics of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) by its originators, Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, at a recent two-day workshop. We’ll begin this Sunday, June 10, at 6 pm Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Eastern, when Practice Circle will explore […]

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5/27 Practice Circle: The Five Hindrances, with Amy Balentine

5/27 Practice Circle: The Five Hindrances, with Amy Balentine

When Practice Circle meets again this Sunday, May 27th, at 6 p.m. Pacific, 7 Mountain, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, we’ll explore the Five Hindrances in meditation practice. Click here to join our free video conference group Sunday night! We all experience obstacles or difficulties in meditation, which can lead to discouragement or a belief […]

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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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5/13 Practice Circle: Trust

5/13 Practice Circle: Trust

When Practice Circle meets again this Sunday, May 13th, at 6 p.m. Pacific, 8 Central and 9 Eastern, we’ll explore one of the Attitudes of Mindfulness described by Jon Kabat-Zinn for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. The attitude we’ll be discussing is that of Trust, and how it plays a role in contemplative practice. […]

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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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