Author Topic: Secular Buddhism  (Read 989 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Secular Buddhism
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2017, 05:39:49 PM »
I don't belong to a Secular Buddhist group or anything, but I understand it well enough and to a degree even practice it still to this day. If you have a specific question I can try to answer it.  ;D

Question: What does "practicing" secular Buddhism entail?
Basically meditation, mindfulness and compassion.

Okay, that makes sense. Thanks.
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Offline Billzbub

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Re: Secular Buddhism
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2017, 04:10:39 PM »
From here:

Secular Buddhism is a non-dogmatic way of understanding and practicing Buddhism. Buddhism is often referred to as the path of liberation. But liberation from what? From our habitual reactivity and self-inflicted suffering. The aim of Buddhist teachings is to understand the nature of reality, the nature of suffering and to let go of the causes of suffering.

There's more at that web site, and they have a podcast which I have not listened to.

There's also a .org version that has a FAQ:

Basically, they use the Buddhist concepts of The Four Noble Truths, The Three Marks of Existence, and The Eightfold Path to figure out how to eliminate suffering in this life rather than in future lives.  Apparently there's quite a lot of Buddhist stuff that doesn't depend on supernatural woo.
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gleefully altering one’s beliefs to accommodate new information should be a badge of honor

Offline DanConnor

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Re: Secular Buddhism
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2017, 09:23:16 AM »
The meditation technique apparently taught by early Buddhism is a real thing. However, the social norms of the time (reincarnation, karma etc) and the desire of people to religify everything (deities and spirits of Tibetan Buddhism for example) has resulted in a real morass for the skeptical meditator.

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Secular Buddhism
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2017, 12:09:30 PM »
Beyond the woo, my perception is that there is something real in the concepts of "mindfulness" and meditation, but this often gets lost in the religious language, either Buddhist or Catholic, to cite two examples.

I had some early religious experiences that pointed to those kinds of experiences, but then rejected them as illusory when my religious doubts reached their peak. Then, while living in England, I went through a very stressful time with my spouse away, and coincidentally found that a particular Chet Baker album, and later a particular Van Morrison album (Poetic Champions Compose) while trying to calm myself down through meditating evoked this "mystical" experience of calm bliss, shutting out all else.

My current position overall is that religious language itself is an evolutionary adaptation to real brain experiences, not necessarily "accurate" but nonetheless effective for some.
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Offline Pusher Robot

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Re: Secular Buddhism
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2017, 01:27:45 PM »
I find Stoicism to have a great deal in common with a secular Buddhism, but more practically useful and (for me) more relevant to my western culture.
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.