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  1. Secular Buddhist Association on February 3, 2012 at 10:47 am

    […] ::Comment on this poll:: […]

  2. InOut on June 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I’d like to see more videos and podcasts on the role of the jhanas in Buddhist practice, how to develop and use them, and how to recognize stream entry. In addition, I’d like to know when, during jhana practice, one can switch from samatha to vipassana during any given meditation session. If a person is fortunate enough to reach into the higher jhanas, is it acceptable to go beyond stream entry before changing to vipassana? Should one continue developing the jhanas past stream entry? And what are the benefits of the deeper jhanas? If I understand it correctly, vipassana is the distinguishing and most important discovery of the Buddha.

    • mikec on July 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Hi InOut,

      So I don’t know if it is appropriate or not to recommend one website while on another. I don’t think it should be a problem since the objectives might be different, and also Secular Buddhist is quite broad while what you’re inquiring about is specific Theravada practice and technique.

      Everything you want to know is on a website called Dharma Overground. There are experienced practitioners that deal with your questions in spades. I’m practicing samatha right now and that website is my life line. It’s very specific to exactly what it is you’re practicing, where you’re at with it and what you need help with. It mostly favors Theravadin because it was started by an insight practitioner who wrote a mostly insight book. But all traditions contribute and are welcomed. My only hang-up is that in some discussion sections they cross my Naturalistic threshold with this stuff called “Powers” or Siddhis. Otherwise, it’s ridiculously helpful and informed, non dogmatic and technique oriented.

      Again, I only recommend it because I’m not sure if here at SBA, they can go down that road. I find both websites complementary. DharmaOverground can be pretty granular and it’s nice to come back here and read posts by fellow sane, atheist practitioners.


      • Linda on July 31, 2012 at 9:12 am

        Nice post, Mike. I don’t see any problem recommending resources like the one you did — we depend on the traditions — they have many great teachers, translators, and insights, and hopefully over the course of the future all Buddhists practitioners will share their understanding and methods. It is nice to have a touchstone of those who see things from a point of view similar to our own though, as well, isn’t it.

        I’m going to go visit the DharmaOverground, myself, so thanks for the suggestion.

      • Ted Meissner on July 31, 2012 at 7:13 pm

        Hi, Mike. Good reply, and yes, you can recommend sites here of course.

        We will be doing podcasts about the jhanas, they’re just a little harder to schedule as there are a limited number of contemporary attaches to speak with. But we’ll get there!

  3. NaturalEntrust on August 1, 2012 at 2:38 am

    I feel very selfish to suggest the following.

    I want to see good explanations on how
    Shin Buddhism could be integrated and
    be seen as a naturalistic metaphoric
    interpretation of Secular Buddhism.

    That would be very helpful to a lot
    of people that are like me.

    those are millions that now can not
    come to SBA due to the very strong
    emphasis on skilful practice.

    To show compassion for all those
    that lack skilful means Shin Buddhism
    from a Secular Buddhist perspective
    would be a good thing indeed.

    • Linda on August 1, 2012 at 10:11 am

      NE, I am honestly having a hard time understanding what you are asking here. Let me reflect back what I am hearing you say, and you can correct me if I am wrong.

      You are saying that because the SBA puts emphasis on the skills of Buddhist practice, Shin Buddhists will tend to not visit this site? That you would like to see explanations of Buddhism without reference to skillful practice, so that Shin Buddhists will get the benefits of a secular Buddhism?

      • NaturalEntrust on August 1, 2012 at 10:44 am

        Ooops sorry. My English is much worse
        than I ever thought it could be.

        This reminds me of Murphy’s extended law.

        If there’s more than one way to say something,
        and if one of those ways will result in total musunderstanding,
        then somebody like NaturalEntrust sure will say it that way.” 🙂

        I am very bad at social skills. and my poor grasp of concepts
        make it even worse. I am a confused thinker too.

        Nope that was not what I intended to say.

        Maybe even the other way around.

        I want Secular Buddhist Association to be able to use
        metaphoric ways to see other Buddhist “schools” texts
        so that the “non-practice” of Shin Buddhism is seen as
        a fully included way to be a Secular Buddhist.

        A kind of official recognition in active words.

        It has very little to do with official Shin Buddhists
        finding SBA I talk about all the many who have
        had similar or same or “feel like” what I did experience
        for some 50 years. I trust we are many and almost none
        of us have ever heard about Shin Buddhism either
        and maybe even would not get what it was about due
        to all the Pure Land bias and Mahayana bias that
        would instantly come in the way. I am it is seen as religion
        by most atheistic Buddhists so it is a taboo even to consider.

        So what I intended to say is almost opposite of what it came through as.

        Communicating skills is something I surely lack.

        *Non-practice is a true practice* or similar saying comes to me
        but maybe it is me misunderstanding them.

        Maybe Dave S being used to the RKK style of trying to mediate???
        can explain how they see The Eternal Buddha. That seems to be a
        very similar way to interpret the texts? But I know nothing about them.

        I wrote him an email using the yahoo RK world interface. Hope I reach him.


  4. Dana Nourie on August 1, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    NaturalEntrust, so far we have not had anyone who knew enough about that tradition to write about the secular aspects of it. But also we don’t generally take a tradition and try to turn it into secular practice. Instead we look at Buddhism as a whole and discuss the secular teachings, which some feel is mostly secular by nature anyway.

    But over time we may have more members who are from the tradition you speak of, who can write to the secular aspects of it. Right now I think you are the only one from that background.

    Many of us come from various traditions, and some have always treated Buddhism in a secular way, so we have not focused on any particular tradition. Thervada comes up because that tradition has a lot of history with the Pali Canon. Some like Zen, and some still practice some of the rituals from Tibetan Buddhism.

    But Shin Buddhism just has not come up much. Maybe over the course of time it will.

  5. NaturalEntrust on August 2, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Thanks Dana,

    that is why I try to get David S to respond
    to my email to him at RK world.
    He should know these things better than what I do.

  6. clrsky58 on October 14, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I would like to see more of the principle of the Middle Way embodied on this site. This web site attracted me because I have had a combination of deep interest in Buddhism and a Carl Sagan-like skeptical approach. However, the more I read here, the more I sense a swing from one extreme to another, an attempt to build a fortress instead of integrating not only with ideas but living traditions. Those other traditions flourished because they were inspired. There are a lot of nourishing things that people from those traditions have said that has nothing to do with rebirth. But when I visited the “Quotes” page here, I was hit by a flood of Stephen Batchelor quotes, to the seeming exclusion of anything else. That is an ominous sign. Is this Buddhism or is this Batchelorism? The points have been made here very intellectually. Please open up, and please don’t just become another paradigm that someone will someday sweep under the rug.

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