Category Archives for Talks

Challenges to meditation practice now

What were the expectations of people living in the Buddha’s era (5th century BCE) about meditation practice, and how do they compare to our own?

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Dharmic citizenship

In a number of Buddhist traditions political activism is discouraged. Almost certainly this stance arises from their institutions’ heavy reliance on royal or other powerful patronage, which could be withdrawn if dharma practitioners translated their ethics into political convictions, let alone action.

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A dharmic understanding of evil

The mythical figure of Mara in the Pali canon provides us with an obvious starting point for understanding evil. He appears again and again to the Buddha and his advanced disciples, preferably when they’re meditating. He’s disguised as a well-meaning stranger offering friendly, banal advice, the import of which would throw the hearer right off course if s/he heeded him.

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Not-self and the narcissism epidemic

Western countries accord their citizens the freedom to practise the religion of their choice. But also as harbingers of the narcissism epidemic, they give Buddhists an extra incentive to practise ardently, in order to remain in good non-narcissistic health and so live skilful, fulfilling lives – including the nurturing of deep relationships.

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The ten undeclared topics

Known as the ten undeclared topics, these are the statements that Gotama, the Buddha, refused to give a view on.

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Secular Buddhism and the the politics of decency

Is this talk – for you – a good expression of a contemporary secular Buddhist approach to political and social issues?

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Buddhism and humanism – is there a conflict?

The question is whether ‘awakening’ in Buddhism has anything supernatural or distinctly ‘religious’ about it, or whether it is a natural capacity that can be understood in the light of evolutionary biology and cognitive science. For some people this dilemma is not of any interest because they come down so firmly on one side of the question, however for me it remains difficult to think clearly about whether or not Buddhism should be called a ‘religion’.

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Winton Higgins’ week in Wellington

Visiting Wellington from Sydney at the end of April 2017, Winton Higgins has a busy week ahead of him.

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Introduction to Buddhism evening in Invercargill

You are invited to take part an introduction to Buddhism evening down here in the deep south. 🙂 This will be a relaxed and informal evening and is intended to provide some basic information about Buddhism, meditation, Buddhist ethics, and how to live a life of kindness and generosity. This is not going to be […]

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Good snowflakes

Using the koan ‘Good snowflakes: they don’t fall anywhere else’, Stephen Batchelor goes on to expand on it – trying to resist attempts at explaining it – using examples from modern, Western culture, specifically from the natural sciences.

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