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In a Burmese square script called Magyi-zi, or ‘tamarind seed script’, blocks such as this in the Pali language, used in the earliest Buddhist texts, were commissioned by a Sri Lankan family when a son entered a Buddhist monastery, for use in the ordination ceremony.
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.
Ted Meissner recently interviewed New Zealander and Sea of Faith member Professor Lloyd Geering for his Secular Buddhist podcast.
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.
In June this year, the Dalai Lama visited Aotearoa New Zealand. Face Television took him to Otago University, where he recorded an extended interview with Lloyd Geering. A meeting of minds, it was engaging and provocative as the two men have a lot in common.
On Sunday 5 May, progressive Christian churches worldwide will be celebrating Pluralism Sunday. I’ve been asked to address the congregation at St Andrews on The Terrace in Wellington by the minister, Rev Dr Margaret Mayman. She’s asked me to offer some thoughts about my ‘faith journey as a secular Buddhist’ during the ‘reflection time’. Reflection time is a lovely way of describing what used to be called a sermon.
Contrary to mid-twentieth century expectations, we are experiencing a global resurgence in religiosity. Religion has re-emerged as a political force in nearly every region and major world religion. Most of this religious revitalisation has taken place among fundamentalist movements, often in response to the inequalities and social destabilization of globalisation. It is particularly strong in the global south but is also seen in the culture wars within western democracies.