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Is Secular Buddhism an Oxymoron?

| October 16, 2017 | 6 Comments
Is Secular Buddhism an Oxymoron?

It may seem like “secular Buddhism” is an oxymoron, a kind of contradiction in terms. But this depends on how we understand secularism, and how we understand Buddhism. Both concepts have a wide range of senses, which we will explore.  

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My First Retreat – Part 3

| October 12, 2017 | 2 Comments
My First Retreat – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a series of 3 articles.   For Part 1: http://secularbuddhism.org/2017/10/12/my-first-retreat-part-1-of-3-a-zen-sesshin-at-rocky-mountain-ecodharma/ For Part 2: http://secularbuddhism.org/2017/10/12/my-first-retreat-part-2-of-3/ …continued: Morning 3: This was the last day, a short day. And in everything, I “relaxed”… in a “bad way.” I think that one factor was a personal or internal one: all of the praise I got during Dokusan […]

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My First Retreat (Part 2 of 3)

| October 12, 2017 | 2 Comments
My First Retreat (Part 2 of 3)

This is Part 2 of a series of 3 articles.   For Part 1: http://secularbuddhism.org/2017/10/12/my-first-retreat-part-1-of-3-a-zen-sesshin-at-rocky-mountain-ecodharma/ …continued: Day 2: We woke up at 5AM (successfully!), chanted, and sat (zazen). I couldn’t tell you much about what came up during that specific sit, but I do recall that most other retreat attendees took full advantage of any breaks to […]

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My First Retreat (Part 1 of 3) – a Zen sesshin at Rocky Mountain EcoDharma

| October 12, 2017 | 2 Comments
My First Retreat (Part 1 of 3) – a Zen sesshin at Rocky Mountain EcoDharma

What do you call it when the food at the retreat doesn’t agree with you? 30 minutes of sh*tting meditation J/k lol, everyone. This joke (which has probably been thought of before) occurred to me during one of the breaks. I was resting in my room, and I overheard a woman whispering a remark to […]

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Three Paths for Secular Buddhists

| August 28, 2017 | 12 Comments
Three Paths for Secular Buddhists

Introduction As secular Buddhism has become an increasingly prominent trend in the U.S., it’s a good time to reflect on the diverse paths being taken by those of us who identify as secular Buddhists.  While these paths are not mutually exclusive and thus practitioners may be involved, to some extent, in all of them, they […]

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Three Marks of Existence, or Three Factors of Human Experience?

| June 26, 2017 | 1 Comment
Three Marks of Existence, or Three Factors of Human Experience?

Introduction Along with the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, one of the core beliefs of Buddhists is the notion that there are three basic characteristics or “marks” of existence – dukkha (suffering), anicca (impermanence), and anatta (not-self). In the Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta and other discourses the Buddha avoided entering into a debate over […]

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Tragedy Led Me To The Dharma

| May 24, 2017 | 3 Comments
Tragedy Led Me To The Dharma

I sometimes think the deaths of my parents led me directly into Buddhism. When I was fourteen years old my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was in his early 50s. I remember when he told me. He had been having stomach problems for a while and he saw a doctor and they found […]

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