Posts by Doug Smith

What Isn’t Meditation

We hear lots of different things called “meditative” in daily life. But are they really meditation in the Buddhist sense of the term? We will look at several of these and see how they stack up, and then turn to a passage from the early texts that may help illuminate the problem. This will be…

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Buddhist Practice for Social Change

How can early Buddhist practice help our effort for social change? We’ll discuss ways that these teachings can impact our efforts towards making the world a better place, and ways that they might help make us healthier and more effective. Books mentioned: Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony Richard Gombrich, Theravāda…

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Dealing With Regret

We all have regrets. We’ll discuss what early Buddhism says about them. What is their role in our lives? What good can they do us? And how do we deal with them, and move forward? Suttas mentioned: https://suttacentral.net/an10.1/en/sujatohttps://suttacentral.net/sn46.53/en/sujato

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Do We Need Pāli?

Pāli is the language of many of the oldest Buddhist discourses. Do we need to know Pāli to know about or practice early Buddhism? We’ll consider that question with reference to a new book out by eminent Pāli scholar Richard Gombrich, as well as a look at a couple of early texts from the Buddha…

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Was the Buddha Human or Divine?

We see aspects of both humanity and divinity in the Buddha of the early texts. I’ll discuss some of those aspects and propose some ways the historical development might have proceeded. Essays: https://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/on-the-32-marks/https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg.de/pdf/5-personen/analayo/genesis-bodhisattva.pdf Suttas: A Trainee: https://suttacentral.net/mn53/en/sujato A Delicate Lifestyle: https://suttacentral.net/an3.39/en/sujato Fear and Dread: https://suttacentral.net/mn4/en/sujato Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving: https://suttacentral.net/mn38/en/bodhi At Cātumā:…

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Equanimity Through Sense Restraint

One of the key ways the Buddha recommended we aim towards an equanimous outlook on life was through sense restraint, otherwise known as “guarding the sense doors”. What was that practice? We will discuss it in this video. Suttas mentioned: All the DefilementsUntamed, UnguardedSāriputta and the PupilWith Bhāradvāja Interesting online discussion: https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/how-to-practice-sense-restraint-guarding-the-sense-doors/3228

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Buddhism for Today, and the SBA

There are many forms of Buddhism for today. Once we understand this we will see the way to make room for a more inclusive and contemporary approach to belief and practice. I’ll discuss this and the role of the Secular Buddhist Association in this video. Please consider donating to the SBA. You can find its…

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Learning vs. Doing Buddhism

Many of us spend our time learning about Buddhism. That’s great but there is another way to approach it: by doing. We’ll look at some of the key differences between these approaches and why it’s good to know about both of them.

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No Local Meditation Group? Six Solutions.

What should you do if you’re having trouble finding a local meditation group? It’s one of my most asked questions. I have six different things you might consider doing. Suttas mentioned: The Rhinoceros Half the Spiritual Life

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