I have been a political and labor activist for over 40 years. In 2010, I became interested in Buddhism and began a regular vipassana meditation practice. As an agnostic and activist, I am particularly interested in exploring how to connect secular Buddhism with a radical political theory and practice.
Michael Slott's Latest Posts
Western Buddhists tend to be wary of strongly-held views. Holding and asserting views with strong emotion or passion is often seen as a form of unskillful clinging, based on an egoic need to be recognized as right, a competitive struggle over who has the best views, or an aversion to another person’s ideas. Strong views […]
This question was recently answered in the affirmative by Christopher Ford, who argued in Elephant in the Meditation Room (October 14, 2016) that it’s possible to be both politically conservative and a Buddhist. More, he thinks it’s crucial that Buddhism in the U.S. has a greater diversity of opinion among its adherents, for “a bigger […]
While meditation retreats have always been challenging, rewarding, and in some ways, deeply moving experiences for me, I believe that they don’t sufficiently foster two key aspects of our practice: our ethical, socially-conscious engagement in the world and our active participation in sanghas. In a previous blog post I raised concerns about the negative effect […]
Introduction A specter is haunting secular Buddhism; it is the ghostly remnant of the non-naturalistic, supra-mundane dimension of traditional Buddhism. While we, as secular Buddhists, embrace the core insights of the Buddha about our human- existential condition, we need to usher this specter – the notion of nirvana – politely but firmly away from our […]
Buddhists (secular and non-secular alike) have it right: suffering is caused by craving. But that’s not the end of the story. While the Buddha’s views on suffering provide us with essential insights about how and why we suffer, we need to broaden our view of suffering beyond the explanation offered by mainstream Western Buddhists. Introduction […]
The SBA website has been an invaluable forum for discussion and dialogue about what secular Buddhism is and should be. What is the difference between secular Buddhism and more traditional forms of Buddhism? Which aspects of Buddhist theory, belief, and practice are consistent with secular forms of Buddhism and which are not? What distinctive role […]