- Creating secular
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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.
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.
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?
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.
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”).
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.
I invite anyone within the community to feel free to contact me (via email or on this forum) with questions around my support of children and parents in mindful practice and philosophy.
So did you believe that secular Buddhism originated in the USA, or perhaps in the southwest of France where Stephen Batchelor writes his books? Winton Higgins, in a brand new article, proposes some German roots of secular Buddhism. Accepted for publication in the journal Buddhismus aktuell, immediately before publication date major changes were requested which couldn’t be made in time.
People wanting to know about the study course Creating a Culture of Awakening due to start in October ask this question more than any other. My answer is generally – no, not knowing you (probably) and not being you (definitely) I am simply unable to suggest the right amount of money for you to contribute for a place on the course. It’s completely up to you, and the amount is not what’s important.
Secular Buddhism Aotearoa New Zealand has been accepted into membership of the New Zealand Buddhist Council, an incorporated society which brings together 28 Buddhist organisations. Comprising mainly groups of Asian migrants making a new home here, as a non-organisation and a non-charity, SBANZ is an associate member.