Enlightenment, European and Buddhist

| May 29, 2017 | 2 Comments

The word “enlightenment” is used to describe a period of history in Europe, and a state of mind in Buddhism. What do these really mean, and do they share any important similarities?

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Doug Smith

About the Author ()

Doug is Study Director of the Secular Buddhist Association. He has a PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit. In 2013 he completed the year-long Integrated Study and Practice Program with the BCBS and NYIMC. A long time scientific skeptic, he pursues a naturalized approach to practice. He is also interested in scholarship about the Tipiṭaka, and the theoretical and historical origins of the dhamma. Some of his writing can be found at academia.edu. He posts weekly videos at Doug's Secular Dharma on YouTube.

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  1. Jason Malfatto says:

    Thanks again, Doug. I’ve enjoyed every episode in this series so far.

    Coincidentally, I watched this episode as a companion to reading Greg Lopez’s essay, comparing Buddhist and Stoic versions of “mindfulness”, where I think the TL;DR; is:

    While one pays attention to phenomenological experience in sati, one pays attention to more abstract concepts in prosoche. And while both touch on aspects of one’s present moment, neither sati nor prosoche are as explicitly tied up in that concept as modern definitions of mindfulness are.

    and We should feel free to adapt and change terms for our modern time as long as our words are clear and useful.

    Anyways, it’s good to see these traditions intersect in such a constructive way. Please keep up the good work!

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