A few months back I addressed the question we were receiving frequently What is Secular Buddhist Practice? Now, we are seeing stereotypes of secular Buddhists cropping up, and some assumptions about the beliefs or lack thereof regarding secular Buddhists. I’d like to address both those questions in one article, because they tend to roll into each in online conversations.

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Long before my interest in Buddhism, I was fascinated by how our brains work, how thoughts arise, how consciousness works, and where this feeling of self comes from. In my opinion, going back to childhood, I’ve never seen the brain and body as separate, but instead two integrated systems. My interest in neuroscience was partly…

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This talk covers the relationship of mindfulness to the three marks of existence as well as the the three ‘fires’ of greed, aversion and delusion. The question is also raised as to how we want to live our lives and our commitment to that vision.

I highly recommend that you listen to this talk. John does an excellent job of talking about what the Buddha taught, explaining words from the Pali Canon, and most importantly how this all fits into the reality of the lives we live every day, in this life.

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We often get asked by traditional Buddhist, and people of all kinds, what is secular Buddhist practice? This is a great question, and I’ll do my best to answer, but I hope other secular Buddhist practitioners will also comment on this article to share any practices not mentioned here. Also, I want to remind everyone that we have a discussion forum that is dedicated to secular Buddhist practice, where people can ask questions and share their practice.

What is secular Buddhist practice? For the most part, secular Buddhist practice is identical to traditional Buddhist practice. In every Buddhist tradition to my knowledge, the following are vital practices:

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Recently I’ve been contacted by atheists/secularists who have heard that mindfulness is a great practice, backed up by scientific study. These people want to learn mindfulness and meditation, but aren’t interested in Buddhism. I went through my own library, but found most of my books on mindfulness and meditation focused a great deal on Buddhist…

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In Part 1 of the Eightfold path, I wrote about Seeing into Experience: Right View. In this article, Part 2, we’ll explore the next factor of the path, Directing Wholesome Intentions: Right Intention. Like Right View, Right Intentions isn’t something to explore and learn in isolation, but it touches on all other aspects of the path and everyday life.

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Minds are turning towards politics, especially in the US where we have a big election coming up. Arguments and opinions are flying back and forth, along with facts and misinformation. As Buddhist practitioners, we are handed challenges in many forms.

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Starting to meditate, I was taught two practices and I am very grateful for both of them. The first was a meditation on the breath. Not something that we can easily control, all we do is watch it coming in and going out. Sounds simple but once we try we realize that it ain’t.

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Science is the process of asking questions, but not any question. Science is the pursuit of asking the right questions, intelligent inquiry. And there lies the rub . . . What is a wrong question? Here is an example of a wrong question.

Let’s say you went back in time, and found a man staring at the horizon. He asks you, “What happens when you fall off the horizon?”

Since you come from a time when we know that one can never reach the horizon, let alone fall off, you see immediately that you can’t specifically answer his question as he worded it. His question is incorrect. The right question might be, What is the horizon? Or Why does the horizon move away from me as I try to approach it? Can a person ever reach the horizon? You could answer those questions.

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