What is this thing called secular Buddhism,
and how did it get here?
In a primary, existential sense, human experience is no different today than what it was in the time of the Buddha.
However, it is clear that as these teachings spread from country to country they changed, adapting to the conditions and the cultures of the host societies.
As we develop our own understanding of what we need to do in this particular place and time – 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand – our intention is to foster a culture of openness and generosity among ourselves and in our interactions with others.
Rather than an organisation, Secular Buddhism Aotearoa New Zealand is a network. Scattered the length and breadth of the land of the long white cloud, we are a small and diverse network of spiritual friends whose practices focus around the four tasks offered by Siddhattha Gotama, the man we now know as the Buddha, to his followers in India two and a half thousand years ago.
Also, valuing meaningful and insightful dialogue, a critical examination of other Buddhist traditions improves our understanding of the practice.
A secular approach to Buddhism shares authority and responsibility among peers, believing that everyone is capable of understanding and practicing the four tasks, of taking responsibility for their own practice, and being the spiritual friend for others.
As well as the resources on this website, our intention is to help create the conditions whereby people can become involved in secular Buddhist community in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Here’s an excellent introduction: ‘I am a secular Buddhist,’ writes Stephen Batchelor. ‘It has taken me years to fully ‘come out,’ and I still feel a nagging tug of insecurity, a faint aura of betrayal in declaring myself in these terms.’ Read this article here, and leave a comment, if you wish.
Take a look here:
Join the conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: let those of us who are keen to share our experience with you know how we can do so.