Episode 104 :: Rick Heller :: The New Humanism

| February 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

Rick Heller

Rick Heller speaks with us about the intersection of Secular Humanism with mindfulness practice.

Hi, everyone. There’s been a great deal of discussion online recently about how Secular Humanism has very strong alignment with what we’re calling Secular Buddhism. We see very little difference in the ideological propositions about social interaction, and one of the few outlying differences seems to be in the realm of practice. That is, we agree that improving our interactions with others is a positive thing, but what can we do to get better at that on a personal level?

Fortunately, as both communities grow we are positively engaging on these kinds of questions, and finding Secular Humanists who have an active meditation practice as one feature of that personal transformation is not at all uncommon. And as we shall see in today’s discussion, some of those interactions have been supported by this podcast.

Rick Heller is the editor of the online magazine, The New Humanism, a publication of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University. He is also a facilitator of the Humanist Mindfulness Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has guided mindfulness and loving-kindness meditations at Occupy Boston. He is the creator of Seeing the Roses, which offers free videos on mindfuless and shows how mindfulness can be an antidote to the excess consumerism that drives climate change. Rick’s writing has appeared in The Humanist, Tikkun, Free Inquiry, UUWorld, and Buddhadharma magazines, and in the Boston Globe and Lowell Sun. His short stories have appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. Rick holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School, a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from MIT.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Dark Side Roast coffee. Come to the dark side. We have cookies!

:: Discuss this episode ::



Does humanist meditation exist

View more presentations from Rick Heller

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 2 :: Shika no Tone

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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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