Doug Smith

Doug Smith

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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Doug Smith's Latest Posts

What Did the Buddha Teach About Views?

| June 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
What Did the Buddha Teach About Views?

The Buddha’s early teachings on non-clinging to views and opinions are some of his deepest and most profound, as well as being a little tricky to understand. For those interested in a very detailed look at the Buddha on views, do check out Paul Fuller’s book “The Notion of Diṭṭhi in Theravāda Buddhism”. Although it […]

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Video Extra: Vlog Experiment

| June 15, 2017 | 4 Comments
Video Extra: Vlog Experiment

Oy, OK this is another experiment. Mixing things up a bit, this is a bit of a “behind the scenes” vlog, talking about some history I’ve had finding my way with Buddhism and creative writing. OK don’t hate on me too much if vlogging isn’t your thing, I’m not big on talking about myself either! […]

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Some of Secular Buddhism’s Roots are in South Asia

| June 12, 2017 | 0 Comments
Some of Secular Buddhism’s Roots are in South Asia

Secular Buddhism has roots that go well back into 19th c. South Asia. We will look at some of that history here. For more on this general topic see: Secular Buddhism’s Roots in South Asia. Erik Braun’s book “The Birth of Insight” is a wonderful resource for the history of Insight or Vipassana Buddhism.

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Thought and Practice

| June 5, 2017 | 0 Comments
Thought and Practice

How important is thought, reasoning, and cognition to our practice? Or is it just a kind of impediment? We’ll look at some material from early Buddhism for answers to this question.

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Enlightenment, European and Buddhist

| May 29, 2017 | 2 Comments
Enlightenment, European and Buddhist

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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Is Buddhism Atheist?

| May 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
Is Buddhism Atheist?

Was the Buddha an atheist? Does one need to believe in God or gods to follow his system? This is a question with an interesting answer I think we can all learn from.

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On Mettā

| May 21, 2017 | 5 Comments
On Mettā

Where do the instructions for mettā practice come from? The suttas give relatively little instruction on what actually to do, beyond generating universal good will that we find in the Mettā Sutta (Sn. 143-152), and the practice of focusing on each direction, in an oft-cited pericope: [W]ith his heart filled with lovingkindness, he dwells suffusing […]

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