Category Archives for Writing

The Facebook Sutta (SN 57.1)

Thus have I imagined. At one time, the Fortunate One was staying in Silicon Valley. There, he addressed the bhikkhus thus: ‘Bhikkhus.’ ‘Venerable sir,’ they replied. ‘These things should not be cultivated with regards to Facebook by one gone forth. Which things? Thoughts of greed, thoughts of aversion, ignorance of filter bubbles. One who has […]

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A secular approach to the dharma will take how long to develop?

A dharma that westerners could easily relate to arrived in the West in the 1960s, just fifty years ago, so despite the relative difference in the speed of change in these different societies it really is too early to claim that we have evolved it into a secular form which is well and truly integrated into our lives.

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Ten theses of secular dharma

The ten theses that appear here constitute the final part of the last chapter of After Buddhism: Rethinking the dharma from the ground up, A Culture of Awakening.

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The everyday sublime

Meditation originates and culminates in the everyday sublime. I have little interest in achieving states of sustained concentration in which the sensory richness of experience is replaced by pure introspective rapture.

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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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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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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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Why Recollect After a Meditation Sitting

Here are five reasons why recollecting your meditation sittings is essential for developing an open, unstructured meditation practice.

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Pithy quotes

Jan asked everyone in the sitting group here in Wellington to bring along some of our favourites quotes to share with some food and drink tonight, the final sit of the year.

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