Articles

Practice Circle 3/24: Relax

Practice Circle 3/24: Relax

I think every contemplative technique I’m aware of involves at least some degree of relaxation. The practices I was taught in MBSR all begin with bringing awareness to areas of tightness and holding in the body and inviting them to relax; the Body Scan, which is the first technique one learns in MBSR, consists of […]

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Our Website Needs Your Help

Our Website Needs Your Help

You have probably noticed something funny going on with the SBA website recently – like the fact that there’s been no new content in months, articles and other content disappeared, and recent comments and forum posts are missing. You probably have been unable to log on to your account.  Worst of all, Ted’s podcast, Doug’s […]

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Two Important (but Rather Overlooked) Episodes in Human History

Two Important (but Rather Overlooked) Episodes in Human History

I Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta — Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion – Samyutta Nikaya 56.11 The End of the Buddha’s First Sermon The Buddha’s First Sermon is a very important event in human history indeed – but fortunately it cannot be said to have been overlooked. In it the Buddha expounds the Middle Way and […]

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8/26 Practice Circle: Getting Out of Default Mode

8/26 Practice Circle: Getting Out of Default Mode

I have tended to give concentration practice short shrift. To me, devotion to intense concentration – jhana practice, long sesshins, and the like – seemed like spiritual calisthenics, meditation for its own sake, another skill to attach the ego to. Coming out of the vipassana-influenced MBSR tradition, I thought the tangible benefits of exploring the […]

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Videos

Avoiding Teacher Misconduct

Avoiding Teacher Misconduct

Buddhist teacher misconduct has been in the news recently. We’ll consider some ways the Buddha’s teachings can point us to a more skillful and secure relationship to teachers and to the teachings themselves. Suttas mentioned: Faith in Individuals (AN 5.250) The Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (DN 16) The Siṃsapa Grove (SN 56.31) Justin Whitaker’s blog report. Some […]

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The Three Marks of Existence

Buddhism’s three marks of existence are the deepest part of the dharma. We will discuss what they are, and how there are subtle differences between their scope. We’ll then look at how they were emphasized in different ways throughout history, and how they’ve made a strong comeback in the modern world due to one influential […]

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History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension

Many people come to Buddhist belief and practice through Zen, but not many people have an appreciation for its history. In this video we’ll take a look at both its more and less legendary history, as well as the internal strains that led to the development of the two major schools of Zen. Books: Bashō, […]

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Chronic Stress: Problems and Solutions

Chronic stress causes us many problems in daily life. We’ll look at seven ways it can impact us, and then turn to nine potential solutions to the syndrome of chronic stress. We’ll find that many of the solutions supported by contemporary research mirror those found in early Buddhism. Check out my Patreon page! If you’re […]

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Guided Meditations

Online, Together, Meditating, Secular: An Event Announcement from New Zealand!

For those who don’t know, New Zealand has a lively Secular Buddhist community: https://secularbuddhism.org.nz/ http://www.onemindfulbreath.org.nz/ http://abet.nz/   Last month, the prominent Ramsey Margolis announced via his newsletter that he wanted to try to lead a free, online meditation using Zoom similar to SBA US’s Practice Circle. Not only had he gone out of his way to […]

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Practice Circle Live: One Rare and Precious Life

Practice Circle Live: One Rare and Precious Life

This guided meditation on the Lojong slogan, “One rare and precious human life,” was recorded live at Practice Circle on June 11, 2017. To learn more about our online practice group, visit the Practice Circle Page.

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Practice Circle Live: Lake Meditation

Practice Circle Live: Lake Meditation

This guided meditation was recorded live at Practice Circle on August 27, 2017. If you’d like to learn how to join our online dharma practice group, check out the Practice Circle Page.

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Practice Circle Live: Make Practice Your Whole Life

This guided meditation was recorded live at Practice Circle on June 25, 2017. If you’d like to learn how to join our online dharma practice group, check out the Practice Circle Page.

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Secular Buddhist Podcast

Episode 306 :: Cameron Conaway :: Unplugged — Emotional Trauma, Anger, and Transformation

Episode 306 :: Cameron Conaway :: Unplugged — Emotional Trauma, Anger, and Transformation

Cameron Conaway Cameron Conaway joins us to speak about how Buddhist practice has helped the healing process of childhood trauma. If you have a history of childhood trauma of some kind, know that in today’s episode we explore this topic from the inside. Our guest openly discusses the pain he’s endured, how it influenced his […]

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Episode 305 :: Ann Gleig :: American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity

Episode 305 :: Ann Gleig :: American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity

Ann Gleig Ann Gleig joins us to speak about her new book, American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity. It was just a few years ago that secular Buddhism was an unknown term, and in many contemporary Buddhist circles, unwelcome. Though there are still those who have difficulty with it, the fact is secular Buddhism has attained […]

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Episode 304 :: Jay Forrest :: Spirituality Without God: An Introduction to Bodhidaoism

Episode 304 :: Jay Forrest :: Spirituality Without God: An Introduction to Bodhidaoism

Jay Forrest Jay Forrest joins us to speak about a contemporary fusion of Buddhism with Daoism from his book, Spirituality Without God: An Introduction to Bodhidaoism. One of the many aspects of Buddhism I find fascinating is how it connects with and even complements other world views. I expect much of that is rooted in […]

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Episode 303 :: Bernat Font :: Secular Mindfulness and Buddhism

Episode 303 :: Bernat Font :: Secular Mindfulness and Buddhism

Our friend Bernat Font returns to the podcast to speak about Stream Entry as practice, and the evolution of secular mindfulness and Buddhism. As many of you know, Buddhism is not a monolithic religion with no variation. There are lots of different branches, each with their own further unique interpretations, rituals, and ways the sasana […]

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Weekly Practice

Online, Together, Meditating, Secular: An Event Announcement from New Zealand!

For those who don’t know, New Zealand has a lively Secular Buddhist community: https://secularbuddhism.org.nz/ http://www.onemindfulbreath.org.nz/ http://abet.nz/   Last month, the prominent Ramsey Margolis announced via his newsletter that he wanted to try to lead a free, online meditation using Zoom similar to SBA US’s Practice Circle. Not only had he gone out of his way to […]

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Mindfulness Meditation Can Improve Views On And Interactions With African Americans

Recently, the US media has focused on violence against African Americans – specifically by various police departments. The focus has lead to a lot of anger and a lot of opinions – but what is the TRUTH of these situations? Maybe we’ll never know for sure, but a leading suggestion is that there’s some kind […]

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Practice: The Four Strivings

Practice: The Four Strivings

When we practice, we strive to become proficient. The Sanskrit term for meditation, “bhāvana”, actually means “development” or “cultivation”, near synonyms for “practice” itself. Indeed, meditation is central to the Buddhist path: to meditate is to develop wholesome mental states through mindfulness and concentration. In the Cūḷavedalla Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 44.12), the lay follower Visākha […]

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Practice: Working with the Hindrances

Practice: Working with the Hindrances

The first and biggest problems we all have in meditative practice are those constant bothers that the Buddha termed “hindrances”, clouding the clear water of awareness. He counted five, usually translated: sensual desire, ill-will, restlessness, sloth-and-torpor, and doubt. When I first heard these, I wondered, why these five? They sound like a miscellaneous grab-bag of […]

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Social Justice

Listen to the Suttas! – Audio Recordings of English Translations of the Pali Canon Suttas

Listen to the Suttas! Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTMiZHe8419vKGsORMb1ow/videos   Example Video: The Sammaditthi Sutta (The Discourse on Right View, MN 9)   For those who have difficulty with written text (or Pali), there are few quality, widely-available audio recordings of English language translations of the Pali Canon Suttas. Our own Community Director, Jennifer Hawkins, who developed […]

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A “Re~Collection” on Building, Renewing, and Sustaining Sanghas – (reposted from "Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand" blog)

“It can be said that a Sangha is like a projection of its individual members. There cannot be healthy relationships with others if “the self” is not known, accepted, and sustained. So do that internal work first. Then if and only if new relationships are actually desirable, try out some of what is suggested here…. […]

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Practice Circle: The Benefactor Body Scan

Recently, SBA Community Director Jennifer Hawkins engaged us with folks from the North American Buddhist Alliance to talk about the body scan, a practice used widely in both Buddhist meditation and mindfulness programs. If you’re not familiar with it, it consists of systematically directing your concentrated awareness to one body part at a time, starting […]

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Episode 263 :: Jay :: Transitioning in Community

Episode 263 :: Jay :: Transitioning in Community

Jay Jay joins us to speak about being trans in dharma community. There is a seeming disparity between the Buddhist concepts of not self, and being comfortable in one’s identity. We sometimes hear the criticism of meditation groups for people of color or for those of particular orientations that they reify ideas of self, rather […]

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