Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Doug 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.

rss feed Author's Website

Doug Smith's Latest Posts

On the Path

| May 12, 2015 | 9 Comments
On the Path

The Fourth and last Noble Truth is the most complex and important. In the suttas the Buddha gives many different understandings of the Path to nibbāna, but of those the one most associated with the Fourth Noble Truth is the Eightfold Path. This is the path of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, […]

Continue Reading

On Cessation

| May 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
On Cessation

The Third Noble Truth is the truth of the cessation of craving; that there is a method by which craving can come to an end within a human lifetime. As such it is a rather spare truth: the content of that method awaits the Fourth Noble Truth for its elaboration. What is the cessation of […]

Continue Reading

On Craving

| April 23, 2015 | 5 Comments
On Craving

Last time we looked at the Noble Truth of suffering, of dukkha. As we saw, it is not easy to understand precisely what “suffering” amounts to in the Buddha’s dhamma, and part of what we need to do to understand it is to see how it is produced, how it relates to the Second Noble Truth […]

Continue Reading

Pain and Proliferation

| April 14, 2015 | 18 Comments
Pain and Proliferation

The Buddha’s gradual path to awakening begins with generosity and ethical behavior. These calm and gladden the mind, taking it away from states of possessiveness or regret. However when it comes to gaining the wisdom essential to right view, the Buddha tells us in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta that there is something which “is to be […]

Continue Reading

On Conventional and Ultimate Truth

| March 12, 2015 | 16 Comments
On Conventional and Ultimate Truth

One of the most famous Buddhist tropes is the distinction between “conventional truth” and “ultimate truth”. While these terms never appear in the Nikāyas, and so cannot be traced back to the Buddha himself, they do trace to the abhidhamma period, perhaps as a potential explanation for the copious and problematic use of “self” talk […]

Continue Reading

Escaping Dispute

| March 5, 2015 | 7 Comments
Escaping Dispute

The Gratification of Dispute How often do you engage in disputes over your views and opinions? Dispute and argument are an integral part of many secular philosophies, maybe even their most prized practice. Science itself functions around the adversarial methods of dispute, debate, and peer review. The difference between “natural philosophy” and what we consider the science of today […]

Continue Reading

Self and Social Status

| February 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Self and Social Status

When we introduce ourselves to someone new, they will ask us who we are. It’s a hard question to answer. In a nutshell it’s a question about self identity. There are various culturally formed habits we fall into when answering. I have family in Spain, where asking your name is is not entirely innocent. There they […]

Continue Reading