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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‘Classical’ vs ‘Secular’ Buddhism – Bhikkhu Bodhi faces a great divide

‘The contrast between Classical Buddhism and Secular Buddhism stems primarily from different ways of understanding the human condition,’ writes Pali translator Bhikkhu Bodhi in this article from the U.S. magazine Inquiring Mind.

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Bodhi Institute to launch in 2016

A groundbreaking new educational centre which will be offering residential courses and study programmes across Europe, Bodhi Institute will integrate early Buddhist theory with practice, with a view to understanding and applying these teachings in a contemporary context.

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The Dharma Bum | Atheist Alcoholic Freethinker Activist Buddhist Monk

Once upon a time, over a hundred years ago, there was a little boy born in the county of Dublin. An alcoholic, homeless tramp, he made his way as a beachcomber all the way from Japan to Burma where he was taken in by local Buddhist monks, he dried out, shaved his head and became a monk, making him the first ever white man in the world to do so.

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Relationality is crucial for an intelligent and coherent secular Buddhism

A reflection on human relationality and why it is important, I’d argue essential, as a core consideration of the emergent notion of secular Buddhism. It does not enter the usual arena of this inquiry: rebirth, the validity of the discourses, and so on. Where it does answer will, I trust, speak for itself.

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Online course – The Four Great Tasks: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age

From 27 May to 21 June 2015, I will be teaching an online course hosted by Realize Media titled The Four Great Tasks: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age.

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Mindfulness Teachers’ Meeting

Last February I posted a notice about a meeting of New Zealand mindfulness teachers. Well, the meeting has taken place and I thought I would share some feedback regarding the meeting.

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Book review: Life’s Meandering Path

When an article in the Otago Daily Times last year described mindfulness as ‘the new black’, the writer’s tongue may have been in her cheek, but the fashion reference is a reminder of how the West can strip rich traditions of so much meaning that they risk becoming yet another fad.

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