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’.

continue reading »
Posted in Talks | Tagged | 2 Comments

Kookaburra Sangha – Australia’s newest secular Buddhist community

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.

continue reading »
Posted in Community | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Conscious listening: meditating on sounds

In this blog post I describe a simple formal practice of meditation on sounds, why it might be something that you should engage with, and how the experience went for me this morning when I practiced it.

continue reading »
Posted in Meditation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Winton Higgins’ week in Wellington

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

continue reading »
Posted in Retreats, Talks | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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 entered the eightfold path does not engage in individuality-view posting, nor crave for likes, nor has the conceit “I share”.

continue reading »
Posted in Writing | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Introduction to secular dharma – a study group

What is secular Buddhism, or a secular dharma? Recently, Wellington’s secular dharma practice community, One Mindful Breath, ran a successful study group which investigated this question. This is what we did.

continue reading »
Posted in Dharma study | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What if I’m doing it wrong?

Have you ever thought ‘What if I’m doing it wrong?’ We’ve all had that feeling when learning something new. This is no less true when the new activity is meditation.

continue reading »
Posted in Meditation | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Sue Hamilton

I’d like to recommend the work of Sue Hamilton, a British Buddhist scholar. Be warned though, this is dense academic stuff requiring some work and patience to understand.

continue reading »
Posted in Research | 5 Comments

False starts and blind alleys – bringing secular dharma practitioners together

Nothing is permanent. This includes the ways we come together as dharma practitioners. Without a dharmic Google Maps to show us the way, we are continually developing our understanding of what it means to be part of a community of secular meditation practitioners.

continue reading »
Posted in Community | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Creating and maintaining a secular dharma community was never going to be easy

Doing something a bit different, a Buddhism that’s not Buddhist – not my words – was always going to present a number of challenges. Some of these were to be expected, others unexpected. I would like to offer just three key reflections here. Think of this as part of a conversation that you’ve just walked in on.

continue reading »
Posted in Community | Tagged , | 3 Comments