Review of Steven Batchelor’s After Buddhism

After Buddhism: Rethinking the dharma for a secular age by Stephen Batchelor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015. 381 pp.) will focus discussion around a secular Buddhism and dharma renewal for years to come. Anyone with an interest in these subjects will need to know it.

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Ten theses of secular dharma

The ten theses that appear here constitute the final part of the last chapter of After Buddhism: Rethinking the dharma from the ground up, A Culture of Awakening.

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Glossary of dharma terms

The glossary of dharma terms on this website has been updated. It sets out to explain terms commonly used in dharma (‘Buddhist’) circles, in particular those which newcomers may find difficult to grasp. Your thoughts are most welcome.

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Heidegger for dharma wallahs

Well, you asked for it: a commissioned talk on that notoriously impenetrable philosopher, Martin Heidegger, whom I’ve mentioned on various occasions as someone who can help us express something that’s foundational to the dharma, but rarely articulated.

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A secular approach to insight meditation

This evening’s topic brings together a relatively recent current in the dharma world – secular dharma, aka ‘secular Buddhism’ – with the much older practice of insight meditation. Let’s first up get clear what each of these terms means before exploring their relationship.

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The everyday sublime

Meditation originates and culminates in the everyday sublime. I have little interest in achieving states of sustained concentration in which the sensory richness of experience is replaced by pure introspective rapture.

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Talks from a recent retreat

Helping you to put the notion of a secular dharma into practice, here are some talks given at a retreat led by Martine and Stephen Batchelor at Gaia House, Devon between 18 and 24 July 2015.

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Deconstructing Buddhism

A conversation between David Loy and Bernat Font – David Loy was born into a US Navy family and as a child travelled far and wide with his family. He ‘dropped out’ and in Hawaii started to practice zen Buddhism. His first teacher was Robert Aitken and later, he practiced with Yamada Roshi. From philosophy to zen is not such a big jump, reading D.T. Suzuki or Alan Watts, but the difficult thing he found was to practice, to sit.

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Filling in the gaps between religion and philosophy – is this what a secular approach to Buddhism does?

Do you think there is a discussion to be had about how a secular approach to Buddhism fits into the space between religion and philosophy? Human ‘beliefs’ about the nature of consciousness and of free will are very diverse. What importance do you think this diversity makes to our ability to build a strong sense of a community bound by ethics rather than faith?

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Learning Pali online

The University of South Wales is about to offer a module in Pali language as part of their MA in Buddhist Studies, but open to all.

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