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.

He posts videos at Doug's Secular Dharma on YouTube.

Some of his writing can be found at academia.edu.

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Doug Smith's Latest Posts

The Buddha’s Surprising Advice to Converts

| December 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
The Buddha’s Surprising Advice to Converts

When folks converted from competing religions or philosophies to the Buddha’s dhamma, he had a couple of pieces of advice that might surprise some of us. We will look at that advice and some lessons we can take away from them for today’s world. Suttas mentioned: Upāli Sutta (MN 56.16-17) Sīha Sutta (AN 8.12) (Dāna) […]

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One Way the Dharma Can Bite Us

| December 7, 2017 | 0 Comments
One Way the Dharma Can Bite Us

If we misuse the dharma it can come back to bite us: this is the upshot of one famous sutta. We will look at this sutta and consider some of its implications for our approach to the Buddha’s teachings both online and in person. Suttas discussed in this video: Alagaddūpama Sutta Kālāma Sutta (Kesaputtiya)

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What Did the Buddha Say About Prayer?

| December 4, 2017 | 4 Comments
What Did the Buddha Say About Prayer?

Many contemporary Buddhists make prayer part of their practice. We will look at the early texts to see what the Buddha seems to have thought about such activities. Ken McLeod’s article on Buddhist prayer in Tricycle magazine (may be paywalled): “Where the Thinking Stops“. Suttas mentioned: Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.43 Saṃyutta Nikāya 42.6

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Quit Comparing Yourself!

| November 30, 2017 | 0 Comments
Quit Comparing Yourself!

It’s said that all comparisons are invidious. Early Buddhism understands personal comparisons as varieties of conceit, of which there are three basic types. We’ll look at those types in this video and consider why they are unskillful.

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Why Buddhism Isn’t a Religion

| November 27, 2017 | 5 Comments
Why Buddhism Isn’t a Religion

We’ll look at three ways that Buddhism isn’t a religion, focusing on early Buddhism in particular. Of course, Buddhism has religious aspects. However it also can be seen as something entirely non-religious, more in the vein of a school of philosophy.

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On Gratitude

| November 23, 2017 | 2 Comments
On Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a good time to reflect on the great number of people for whom we should be grateful. This includes not only the folks close to us, or who we know well, but also includes those whom we may never lay eyes on. So many people are responsible for our living a life as […]

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Spiritual Materialism

| November 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
Spiritual Materialism

What is spiritual materialism and how can it get in the way of our progress along the path? Spiritual materialism is a concept that originates from the Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa. We’ll look at three different aspects of it, and discuss what an alternative approach would look like.

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