- Creating secular
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In This Momentan occasional newsletter
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Mike Slott in New Jersey and I will be taking much of the content that’s been gathering on this website for the past seven years and using it to create a new website with a new, global url.
Winton Higgins led a one-day secular Buddhist workshop titled ‘Entering the tiger’s cave – insight meditation and the inner life’ in Wellington. The talks he gave are available here.
◼ A SECULAR approach to Buddhism has been developing over a number of years. Looking into the early texts to retrieve the original inspiration of Gotama – the man we know as the Buddha – this approach suggests that we bypass the monastic add-ons that since his death have obscured the original teachings, and re-root the practice in the context of modern western ways of life and thought.
◼︎ FOCUSING largely on the practice of meditation and Gotama’s four great tasks (downgraded to ‘The Four Noble Truths’), a secular dharma offers a framework for a more mindful and compassionate life. Awakening in the context in which we find ourselves, this framework is in essence a pragmatic programme for human flourishing that has no use for metaphysical beliefs and religious truth-claims.
◼︎ THE intention of this website is to encourage face-to-face and online conversation around the kinds of practices that might constitute a 21st century approach to the Buddha’s teachings, and a flow of ideas around them, and to support the creation of secular dharma practice community, in whatever forms this may take.
◼︎ YOU ARE encouraged to take part in this conversation by reading through this website, becoming a member and adding a comment or three, and by signing up for our newsletter.
When western societies imported various strains of Asian Buddhism from the 1960s on, few converts noticed the organisational culture that came with the imports. Rather like the tarantula that arrives in the crate of imported bananas.
This updates an article in the ‘In This Moment’ newsletter in which it was incorrectly stated that an ‘Other’ category was not available in the application for full NZBC membership.
I would like to announce my intention to get a new meditation group together later this year in Invercargill. My personal circumstances are now such that facilitating a meditation group down here is once again viable. Anyone who is interested is encouraged to contact me.
Last month, I was invited to a Re~Collective online meeting, “…discussing the conversation that took place during the October 28th Sydney Insight Meditators meeting in which the focus was building, renewing and sustaining community.” I was able to review the SIM meeting minutes and a related article, Sanghas R Us, by Winton Higgins – and even to attend despite time zone confusion on my part.
We SIMians could render the traditional three jewels of Buddhism as the potential for awakening; the dharmic wisdom, compassion and practice that helps us realise this potential; and the practice community (sangha) that supports and guides us as we work towards awakening.
Whether you practice on your own or are part of a group and you’re wanting additional support for your practice, you’re in Wellington or elsewhere, you’re welcome to take part in the One Mindful Breath online secular Buddhist practice sessions.
A new insight meditation sangha has formed in Sydney’s inner-western suburbs, naming itself the Kookaburra Sangha to evoke a spot of dharma joy. On Monday 1 May, the sangha started to meet weekly at the Genki Centre, 1 Arundel St, Glebe (just across the road from Sydney Uni), and will meet there each Monday from 7–9pm.