- 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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In February 2016, BBC radio presenter Rana Mitter had a wide-ranging discussion with Stephen Batchelor for the BBC Radio 3 flagship arts and ideas programme ‘Free Thinking’.
A conversation between David Loy and Bernat Font – David Loy was born into a US Navy family and as a child travelled far and wide with his family. He ‘dropped out’ and in Hawaii started to practice zen Buddhism. His first teacher was Robert Aitken and later, he practiced with Yamada Roshi. From philosophy to zen is not such a big jump, reading D.T. Suzuki or Alan Watts, but the difficult thing he found was to practice, to sit.
Working as a nurse with terminally ill people, Sophie Boyer discovered meditation. After several long retreats, she became a Buddhist nun but disrobed a couple of years later, finding that disrobing came with more challenges than she expected. Born in France in 1972, Sophie is a student of Martine Batchelor.
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.
During February and March 2014, world-renowned Buddhist scholars, authors and teachers Martine and Stephen Batchelor will give talks, retreats and workshops in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Northern New South Wales, Brisbane and Cairns.
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.
How do we comes to terms with the fact that one day we’re going to die? Tibetan monks are taught to include a contemplation on the fact that while death is certain the time of our death is uncertain. Here’s a wonderfully inspiring video on the last days of British Labour peer and strategist Philip Gould.
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.
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.
Journalist and commentator Ian Harris interviewed Stephen Batchelor when he was in New Zealand recently. His article, Adaptive Buddhist viewpoint relevant to modern world, was published in the Otago Daily Times on 9 March 2012, and can be found here: https://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/adaptive-buddhist-viewpoint-relevant-modern-world