Category Archives for Uncategorized

Creating community – OR – Meditation as a contact sport

Have you noticed how we always see Asian images of a Buddha alone, on its own? Count on your fingers the number of Buddha images in which he’s with others. Sidhattha Gotama, the man we now know as the Buddha, was not a solitary practitioner though. For most of his 45 years as a teacher he was in community. So what are the best ways to find other people to sit with, practice in community, and develop your understanding of the Buddha’s teachings?

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Meditation instructions by Franz Kafka

You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you and be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

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Stillness, & The Moving Image

Doesn’t that sound a lot better than a ‘Secular Buddhist Film Festival’? A couple of us in Wellington have been talking about putting on a festival of films that people who are interested in mindfulness, meditation and a secular approach to Buddhism and other religious practices might find nourishing.

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Working it out for myself

When I was younger, I didn’t like the Buddhists I met – and I’d still never call myself one – they seemed to be attempting to be good. That Buddhism would attract such fearful [of being bad] people is hardly surprising given that each factor of the eightfold path – in English – starts with […]

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Book reviews

From Alexandra, Jonathan Casbolt has contributed the first of what may well be a growing number of book reviews that will be listed on the Resources page. If there’s a book which you believe relevant to people looking to develop a secular approach to Buddhism that you would like to review let me know by email or through the Contact form.

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My Year of Living Without

At the beginning of January I decided to conduct an experiment that I’m calling 2014 – My Year of Living Without (hat tip to Leon Bahauta in San Francisco) and I invited my Wednesday evening meditation buddies here in Wellington to do this experiment with me.

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Meditating with Chaotic Inner Conflict

Sitting down to meditate and having a slew of thoughts rush into your head, and then doing nothing about it, when you know you can settle your mind a bit first, may seem crazy and unreasonable. What is the advantage of letting thoughts and emotions build and consume you at the beginning of a meditation sitting? Why not first calm your mind down with a practice of following the breath, using a mantra, reciting some phrases, or any means by which you can get settled?

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My 6 Days at a Vipassana Retreat

Yep folks, I lasted 6 days out of the 10 day retreat. The longest 6 days of my life. I had looked forward to this retreat with a mixture of excitement and trepidation since I booked it, 3 months ago. I knew it would be hard work, but that was ok if I were to get some of the results I’d read people get, from a 10 day Vipassana retreat.

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Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

This video is well worth watching again and again for those interested in grasping a bit more of both “Buddhism” (a misnomer as Stephen Batchelor points out) and “Secular Buddhism” (the latter is actually perfectly possible and does seem to get back to the roots of authentic “Buddhism”).

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Mindfulness based training for health professionals – training mindfulness practice in a secular setting

Over the weekend of the fourth to the sixth of October, Glenn Wallis (Roshi, of Dunedin, not the translator) and I, Jim Hegarty, ran a mindfulness training course for health professionals in Auckland.

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