Episode 92 :: Tony Bernhard :: Culture Independent Buddhist Retreats

| November 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

Tony Bernhard

Tony Bernhard speaks with us about facilitating a-cultural Buddhist teaching and retreats.

Hi, everyone. As we’ve seen in the growth and popularization of Buddhism in the West, the teaching and practice takes on forms that may not fit with the cultural background from which they’ve come. Our commitment to Buddhism does not, as it turns out, force us into a false dichotomy of monasticism versus lay practice. We can, and many of us do, choose to engage with this moment as sentient beings, rather than as people who have decided to accept a culture and religion with which we have certain reservations and disagreements.

To me, this is the tremendous strength of a secular approach to Buddhist teaching and practice. It’s not specific to Buddhists, it’s something anyone can do — even us secular types!

Tony Bernhard is one of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders, sits on the Spirit Rock Planning Committee and on the Board of the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies, leads sitting groups in Davis, and teaches in and around the Bay Area.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Rainforest Mate.

:: Discuss this episode ::


“Karma is about what you make yourself into, not what happens to you.” — Tony Bernhard


Web Links


Music for This Episode


Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from the Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series, Volume 1, courtesy of Tai Hei Shakuhachi. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Track 6 :: Esashi Oiwake

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Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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