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Aotearoa New Zealand
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Seeking to express Buddhism as a living tradition and remain within it
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I’m supposed to take a risk and say in 25 words or less what Buddhism is. That of course is a very arrogant presumption on one level. But what I have concluded tentatively in recent years is to identify four points that the Buddha taught that cannot be derived from the socio-historical context of his time, in other words that are distinctively and non-controversially his own ideas.
I’d like to recommend this hilarious talk by Ruby Wax that was given in London’s Conway Hall as part of the Sunday Sermon Series organised by The School of Life.
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.