Thread: A Conversation about Secular Buddhism

  1. #1

    A Conversation about Secular Buddhism

  2. #2
    In the video #1 above is an interesting conversation about Secular Buddhism with Stephen Batchelor. (approx. 30 minutes.)

    He mentions modernity, the secularisation of the Dharma, practices which address our condition here and now, and how he's drawn to the study of ancient texts.

    Any thoughts about the video?

  3. #3
    Global Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    An interesting conversation, although nothing really new or startling. The main point he makes is the need to embed any secular practice, especially meditation, within a framework the Dharma. You need to work on your own reflective, critical understanding of available texts as you develop your practice. I liked his comments about the place of art in practice. Whether Buddhism can transform a culture or not is another interesting discussion.

  4. #4
    Forums Member Genecanuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Hello Aloka,

    I really appreciate Stephen Batchelor's perspective that Buddhism has taken many shapes and forms as a result of Buddhism being transmitted and embraced by many cultures. I believe that the secularization of the Dharma within the context of modernity is another form of the transmission of Buddhist values and ethics within the modern world. When viewed from this perspective, secular Buddhism can be a pathway to be aware and present in our daily lives.

    He suggests that the mindfulness movement is an example of Buddhist values being transmitted within modernity. However, he seems to emphasize that meditating and becoming mindful is not enough. He highlights the importance of studying ancient texts as practice which, in his words, "provides a framework for ethical living". He also explains that what is essential in Dharma practice is that Buddhist values inform peoples lives.

    Thank you for sharing this video.

    Kind Regards,


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