- Creating secular
Aotearoa New Zealand
Bhikkhu Bodhi faces a great divide
Prominent U.S. Pali translator contrasts 'Classical' and 'Secular' Buddhisms
A fruitful start for meaningful discussion perhaps?Find it here
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Noel Cheer interviewed Winton Higgins for his ‘In Conversation’ programme on FaceTV in February 2013 during Winton’s visit to New Zealand. They had both just arrived in Auckland from the Sea of Faith conference in Hastings. Well worth watching, you can see this on the video page.
This video is well worth watching again and again for those interested in grasping a bit more of both “Buddhism” (a misnomer as Stephen Batchelor points out) and “Secular Buddhism” (the latter is actually perfectly possible and does seem to get back to the roots of authentic “Buddhism”).
Ted Meissner recently interviewed New Zealander and Sea of Faith member Professor Lloyd Geering for his Secular Buddhist podcast.
I met Sonam Tsering at a performance of traditional Tibetan music and dance in Dharamsala. With tan skin and hair tied up in a knot at the top of his head, his samurai looks don’t give any clue to his story. He jokes constantly, exuding ease and directness while showing off a broad and shiny smile; but when a friend of his makes a reference to Buddhist philosophy, he startled me with a confident discourse that is not easy to find in the average Tibetan.
It’s hard to find a quiet cafe in McLeod Ganj, but we did. Likewise, it is difficult to find someone like Karma Yeshe Rabgye. It might not seem strange nowadays to hear a Western Buddhist say you don’t need to believe in rebirth to practice the dharma, that nirvana or enlightenment is not his goal, and that he practices for this life. It is, however, uncommon to hear such words from someone in the red robes of a Kagyu Tibetan monk.
For three days in late March, nine women and 23 men came together in Barre, Massachusetts to discuss Secular Buddhism, the growing tendency which emphasises the practical applications of Buddhist ideas and sidesteps – or drops – the religiosity of the various Asian styles of Buddhism that have been transplanted into the West over the past century.
I am a secular Buddhist. It has taken me years to fully ‘come out,’ and I still feel a nagging tug of insecurity, a faint aura of betrayal in declaring myself in these terms. As a secular Buddhist my practice is concerned with responding as sincerely and urgently as possible to the suffering of life in this world, in this century (our saeculum) where we find ourselves now and future generations will find themselves later. Rather than attaining a final nirvana, I see the aim of Buddhist practice to be the moment-to-moment flourishing of human life within the ethical framework of the eightfold path here on earth.
The invitation list to a June 2011 conference at the Garrison Institute to the north of New York City read like a veritable who’s who of contemporary American Buddhism, according to the Huffington Post.