I still remember my excitement on encountering, in Sam Harris’ first book, The End of Faith, the suggestion that it would be possible to enjoy many of the benefits which people had traditionally sought from religion without the need to embrace religion itself. Buddhist meditiation was one of the practices Harris mentioned as a specific example of wisdom that…Read More
There is an important split in the way many of us approach Secular Buddhism. Some of us want a “big tent” form of Secular Buddhism that welcomes believers from any and all faith backgrounds who are looking for a way to incorporate meditative practice within the context of their own views about religion, salvation, God,…Read More
Ordinarily we begin meditation by focusing on the body, in particular, the breath. This is known as “mindfulness of breathing” and we learn about it at the beginning of the Buddha’s sutta on the Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya 10. I use the Ñaṇamoli/Bodhi translation). The Buddha suggests a few other body-oriented meditations,…Read More
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?Read More
At the end of his very useful and somewhat demanding book, The Bodhisattva’s Brain, philosopher Owen Flanagan poses a dilemma: . . . I still do not see, despite trying to see for many years, why understanding the impermanence of everything including myself makes a life of maximal compassion more rational than a life of…Read More
Owen Flanagan Owen Flanagan speaks with us about his new book The Bodhisattva’s Brain: Buddhism Naturalized. It’s not very often that I get a series of emails, FaceBook messages, and even Tweets about a new book that’s just come out, but recently that did occur. And because this is really a podcast for you, I…Read More
Tom Clark Tom Clark speaks with us about his book Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and Its Uses. How do we as secular Buddhists clarify that line between what we experience in the “real world”, and what we may tend to discount as mysticism? Secular practice does have that inclination away from the supernatural. We may…Read More