Some resources

Bringing people together to practice the dharma

If, like a number of people from around the world, you’re considering setting up a secular buddhist group in your community the first recommendation is this: start simple, think small. The second recommendation is to have a careful read though this blog post:

Learn Pali online

Starting in September 2015, this 15-week course at the University of South Wales will enable you to learn the Pali language at home and in the company of others at the same time. Find out more about the course here.

Bhikkhu Bodhi – Facing the Great Divide

Originally printed in the northern hemisphere Spring 2015 issue of Inquiring Mind and posted here with kind permission of the editors, Bhikkhu Bodhi explores what he describes as two distinct streams of Buddhism: ‘Classical’ and ‘Secular’. This article is worthy of widespread discussion. Find it here.

An online study course on secular Buddhism

From May through June 2015, Stephen Batchelor taught an online course hosted by Realize Media. This included a series of four pre-recorded video presentations, followed by four interactive question and answer sessions. The course title is:

The Four Great Tasks: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age

For further information and booking details, go to:

Study secular Buddhism at home or with friends

Use this structured study course on secular Buddhism to study on your own at home or with friends. It is made up of a series of recorded talks by Stephen Batchelor with study guides used at Upaya Sangha of Tucson. Heartfelt thanks to Christine Johnson for creating these study guides and sharing them.

This course is available here.

Your feedback would be most welcome – let us know how you get on.

Meditation instructions and three talks

Given by Winton Higgins at a retreat at Melbourne, Australia, you can find them on the Audio page. The titles of the talks are:

  • In the beginning was the human condition
  • Tradition and culture
  • The four tasks and the eightfold path

An outline of secular Buddhism

The text of a talk by by Winton Higgins given to the secular insight group in Napier, New Zealand, this is an excellent starting point for anyone who’s wondering what secular Buddhism might be and where it’s come from. You can find it here.

The dharmic foundations of the recollective awareness approach

This dharma talk by Winton Higgins, given on retreat at Gorricks Run outside Sydney, looks at how recollective awareness diverges from the more mainstream Buddhist – and especially Theravadin – formulaic, technique-driven practices. You can read what he had to say here.

What is meditation all about?

Watch three short videos with Martine Batchelor here. And, newly available through this website is a secular sermon by Professor Mark Williams on mindfulness, watch it here.

Wisdom and compassion in a globalised world

In his talk to students at the University of New South Wales Buddhist Society Winton Higgins is forthright:

We collude in gross suffering on a colossal scale if we remain silent, inactive and ‘above politics’. Wisdom and compassion – dharma practice – demands a whole lot more of us.

Read the text of his talk here.

Pluralism Sunday

On the Audio page you’ll  find some reflections by Ramsey Margolis given at St Andrew’s on The Terrace in Wellington at a Pluralism Sunday service.

Barre colloquium on secular Buddhism

Read Winton Higgins’ report of the March 2013 Barre, Massachusetts, colloquium Secular Buddhism: rethinking the nikāyas here and the text of Winton’s talk at the colloquium – Secular Buddhism: scientistic versus interpretive – here.

Secular religion – a contradiction in terms?

Winton Higgins and Christian theologian Professor Lloyd Geering discuss whether secular religion is a contradiction in terms

Over the weekend following this conversation, Winton led a workshop – Making the Most of Being Human – in Wellington. Read the text of his first talk here and download the four talks here.

Developing your practice, and your understanding

To help you understand and practice the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhattha Gotama, take a look through these pages:


Dharma talks, meditation bells


Contact info for individuals and communities around the country who practice the dharma with a generally secular approach


A range of texts from Stephen Batchelor, Winton Higgins and others


Key dharma terms in plain English


Websites of interest


For now, three short videos by Martine Batchelor – with more to come.

Retreats, conferences

Public events happening around the country


Talks, discussions recorded in Aotearoa New Zealand, and beyond

Whatever next?

What would help your practice? Let us know – send a message using the form on the Contact page.

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