Texts, documents and more
Free Thinking – Rana Mitter in conversation with Stephen Batchelor
In February 2016, presenter Rana Mitter had a wide-ranging discussion with Stephen Batchelor for the BBC Radio 3 flagship arts and ideas programme ‘Free Thinking’. Their conversation is reproduced here with kind permission from the BBC.
Source texts for a secular Buddhism
When Stephen Batchelor offers a study retreat, the documents being examined – The Pali Canon, Source Texts for a Secular Buddhism – are available as a downloadable PDF.
Journal of Global Buddhism
Useful articles with a secular approach have appeared in the Journal of Global Buddhism, an online academic journal.
- The emergence of secular insight practice in Australia by Winton Higgins and David Bubna-Litic (2007)
- A Secular Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor (2012)
- The Coming of Secular Buddhism: a Synoptic View by Winton Higgins (2012)
- The Flexible Appropriation of Tradition by Winton Higgins (2017)
- Book review: Foucault, Buddhism and Disciplinary Rules by Winton Higgins (2017)
Winton Higgins’ writings
Sydney insight meditation and recollective awareness teacher Winton Higgins has written much about the growth of a secular buddhism. More of his writings will become available here over time. Items with green names are available now.
- Adaptation, authenticity and creativity in insight meditation October 2009
- Awakening in the real world April 2016
- Bluegum Sangha in the big picture 2007
- Buddhist sexual ethics 2000
- The bumpy bits without quick fixes June 2009
- Certitudes, and how to skilfully move beyond them April 2017
- The Coming of Secular Buddhism: a Synoptic View (from the Journal of Global Buddhism 2012)
- Dharma and community for meditators MONTH YEAR
- The dharma as a culture of awakening June 2016
- The dharmic foundations of the recollective awareness approach Sept 2013
- Disrobing the dharma August 2010
- Dukkha, tragic vision and the unconscious August 2009
- The emergence of secular insight practice in Australia (with David Bubna-Litic) 2007
- The Flexible Appropriation of Tradition (from the Journal of Global Buddhism 2017)
- Book review: Foucault, Buddhism and Disciplinary Rules (from the Journal of Global Buddhism 2017)
- Four mental qualities in insight meditation
- This selective Glossary sets out to explain terms commonly used in dharma (aka ‘Buddhist’) circles in plain English, in particular those which newcomers may find difficult to grasp
- Heidegger for dharma wallahs October 2015
- Introducing Glenn Wallis’ Basic teachings of the Buddha June 2010
- Introduction to meditation
- Karma and rebirth MONTH YEAR
- Kindness: why it’s so important, fulfilling, and hard July 2015
- Making the most of the human condition part 1 Feb 2013
- Making the most of the human condition part 2 Feb 2013
- Making the most of the human condition part 3 Feb 2013
- Making the most of the human condition part 4 Feb 2013
- Meditation and being a global citizen – dharma practice and solidarity in troubling times April 2017
- Not-self and the narcissism epidemic November 2009
- On the pavement, thinking about enlightenment September 2009
- An Outline of Secular Buddhism Oct 2013
- A path of care August 2016
- The politics of decency April 2017
- Rebirth April 2010
- Report back on the Barre, USA, secular Buddhism colloquium April 2013
- Sanghas R Us Jan 2018
- A secular approach to insight meditation Oct 2015
- Secular Buddhism: scientistic versus interpretive March 2013
- Secularity, religion and being human August 2012
- The sources of secular Buddhism September 2013
- Sydney insight sanghas in the big picture April 2009
- The view from somewhere and the new ecumenism April 2012
- What is the dharma? October 2007
- What is religion for now? A pragmatist inquiry October 2013
- Wisdom and compassion in a globalised world May 2013
Glenn Wallis’ Buddhist Manifesto
‘Siddhattha Gotama, the man we call the Buddha, was an extraordinarily gifted scientist of the real — [who] investigated with precision and care and understood what all of this (reality) is about … identified the proper categories for investigation (body, feelings, thoughts, the senorium) … prescribed a no-nonsense, no-frills, clutter-free methodology that would allow us to ascertain reality for ourselves … warned against the insidious and ensnaring seductiveness of ritual, devotion, and religious artifice.’
Download this document here and be prepared to debate with the author’s ideas.
Stephen Batchelor interviewed
In December 2004, Ramsey Margolis interviewed Stephen Batchelor for the INSIGHTAotearoa newsletter when Batchelor was visiting Wellington. Their discussion covered meditation, the Buddhist path, and the spiritual and the material. Read this interview here.
A Presbyterian minister and former Professor of Old Testament Studies in Brisbane and Dunedin, Lloyd Geering was Foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Since his retirement in 1984, he has continued to lecture widely both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas. Now in his 100th year and still lecturing, he is Special Lecturer for the St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society.
Delivered in 2007, in this series of lectures titled In Praise of the Secular, he asserts that both fundamentalists and secularists have an inadequate meaning of the word secular. Taking the reader on a whirlwind trip through religious history, Lloyd traces the process of secularisation, seeing within earlier forms of Judaism and Christianity the seeds of secular thought emerging from the margins of previously dominant faith systems.
Each of the lectures can be downloaded separately. They are:
- What does ‘Secular’ mean
- The Emergence of the Secular Age
- The Value of Being Secular
- Spirituality in the Secular World
Our thanks go to Lloyd Geering, Margaret Mayman and the St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society for allowing these lectures to made freely available.
If you enjoy reading, you will find a useful reading list that will hopefully contribute towards your understanding of Buddhism from a secular perspective here.
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