We are deep into the political season. Looking at the Trump phenomenon, an article by Phil Torres in Salon bemoans the “anti-intellectualism that runs through the roots of American culture.” Torres notes that, “[T]he most dangerous consequence of Fox News is that it discourages that most important form of rigorous curiosity called critical thinking.” Critical thinking,…Read More
The concept of authority in Buddhism shouldn’t be complicated — yet it is. Many of us are already familiar with the Kalama Sutta‘s talk about how we shouldn’t rely on outside authorities but weigh what we’re told against our own experience. For many here this was one of the first reasons we became interested in…Read More
A reflection on the difficulties involved in and the methodology of a secular approach to Buddhism, followed by a reading of and comments on the Kalama Sutta, considered as a primary source text for secular BuddhismRead More
In secular Buddhist practice, it’s essential that we welcome scientific scrutiny on our practices, and that we approach our own practices with skepticism and scientific methodology. So much of our practice involves subjective experience, and experimentation therein. Science has shown repeatedly how incredibly easy it is to fool oneself, and to create experiences derived of…Read More
Critical thinking, skepticism, and experimentation are not only important in science, but our everyday lives. This is also true in Buddhism, and especially secular Buddhism. In fact, the Buddha was well known for saying, and I’m paraphrasing here: Don’t just believe what I say. Look for yourself.
When we first began practice with meditation, and mindfulness in our daily lives, many of the teachings prove themselves to be true. It becomes starkly apparent, for instance, that we cling to pleasure and we have aversion to pain. Our reactions to such clinging often cause a great deal of internal suffering. Mindfulness goes on to reveal much more than just clinging, but also how we create and recreate a feeling of self.Read More
Today we speak with Dr. Linda Elder about Critical Thinking, what it really is, and how to develop it. In meditation, we take an intimate look at what’s going on in our minds, moment by moment. Sometimes the attention is wonderfully on the breath, sometimes on the pain in our leg, and sometimes we’re just…Read More