What Is Present Moment?
If you spend time on the FaceBook page for The Secular Buddhist, you may have noticed links to podcast episodes that look a great deal like TSB, but are a little different. These are posts about a new podcast we’ve started, similar topically to Secular Buddhism, but taking the next evolutionary step.
The new podcast is called Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science, and it will have many of the same guests you’ve enjoyed on TSB. It is focused on mindfulness in a very broad sense, rather than being what we would traditionally think of as satipatthana. Rather than appearing in the Religion section of iTunes, Present Moment is listed in the Science category. Many of the purely scientific interviews which have occurred on TSB will be shifted to Present Moment, allowing for more focus on topics in alignment with secularism and Buddhism on TSB.
Why Are You Starting A New Podcast?
The Secular Buddhist was always intended to be an evolutionary step, partway between traditional Buddhist teachings and practices and a contemporary, naturalistic way of life. And it serves that purpose very well, bridging a gap for those who are positively inclined to Buddhism, its forms, terms, and wonderful depth, without having to build their practice on a foundation that does not fit with a secular, naturalistic understanding of the world.
However, both “secular” and “Buddhist” are words which may close some doors. The new podcast is to continue this evolutionary trajectory, inviting participation of an even wider interested public. Present Moment, like TSB, is a podcast about what we do, not what we believe, and will explore those practices using the most up-to-date, science-based studies to help us learn, understand, and grow.
TSB has always been about raising awareness of what are practices are, why they are, and how they help us. Present Moment will continue with that intent, opening the door to those who would otherwise not find it. It is about what we share in our humanity, our society, and our very biology. Rather than focus on the practice through the lens of Secular Buddhism, Present Moment will open up the exploration to everyone, regardless of ideological stance or affiliation. It should appeal to the traditional Buddhist, secular Buddhist, atheist, baptist — everyone, as it doesn’t depend on anything beyond our own shared humanity.
Will The Secular Buddhist Podcast Continue?
Absolutely. Opening the door with Present Moment to those who will not resonate with or even necessarily understand phrases like “The Eightfold Path” or “The Triple Gem”, doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been and won’t continue to be great value in Secular Buddhism for those who do. Many of us find great benefit and support for what we do within the rich framework of Buddhism, even the naturalized, secular variety.
Resources have not doubled in the creation of the new podcast, however. Rather than continuing TSB on a weekly basis, new episodes are expected to be released every other week, alternating with Present Moment episodes.
Where Can People Go To Find Out More?
We’ve developed Present Moment on the strong foundational work of the past several years of The Secular Buddhist. The new podcast has its own website, PresentMomentMindfulness.com, and from there you can listen to any episode, Comment, participate in the Discussions, or check out the latest posting on its own FaceBook page or Twitter feed. You will notice that we’ve modified the three ginkgo leaves logo used for the Secular Buddhist Association as a watercolor, a more artful representation of this new way to engage with contemplative learning and practice.
If you’ve enjoyed The Secular Buddhist, please consider subscribing to Present Moment and participating in this new adventure. We hope to see you there!