Welcome to The Secular Buddhist!
This is the companion website to the podcast The Secular Buddhist, where we examine early Buddhist teaching and practice with a critical eye to its secular application. If this is your first time here, you may want to check out the Mission page for some specifics on what this podcast is about in a little more depth.
The Secular Buddhist Association
Most of the updating is now done on the Secular Buddhist Association website, where you can find all the podcast episodes and you can Comment about them, find blog articles, and participate in online Discussions. Hope to see you there!
I've decided that the social portion of our adventure is best done on Facebook, so you're going to find a few FB-oriented links around the site:
- The one on the top navigation will simply take you directly to The Secular Buddhist FB page without having to become a fan.
- In addition, several pages have their own "Share This Page on Facebook" link below the page title; that's the one to use when you find a particular web page that you want to share with others, and that posting will be specific to that web page.
Well, less a Readers' Corner and more a Readers' Bottom of the Page. I will periodically post book recommendations here, based on the input of podcast listeners, which may be of interest in your practice. Books linked here can also be found in the Resources pages of this site, so don't worry if one you've seen previously isn't here anymore -- it's still available and on the site!
Confession of a Buddhist Atheist
This week's recommendation is Stephen Batchelor's Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, the new book that tells a more personal story of the author's progress in secular Buddhist practice.
Description -- “Batchelor's Buddhism Without Beliefs (1997) described a secular approach to the Eastern philosophy stripped of doctrines such as karma and rebirth; how a young British monk ordained in the Tibetan tradition turned into a Buddhist atheist is revealed in this new book. On the dharma trail in India and Korea, and later as a lay resident at the nonsectarian Sharpham community in England, Batchelor was beset by doubts about traditional Buddhist teachings. Finally convinced that present-day forms of Buddhism have moved far beyond what founder Gotama had intended, Batchelor embarked on a study of the Pali canon (very early Buddhist texts) to find out what the Buddha's original message might have been. Batchelor's own story of conversion is woven effortlessly with his analysis of Buddhist teachings and a 2003 pilgrimage to Indian sites important in the Buddha's life. He is candid about his disillusionments with institutionalized Buddhism without engaging in another new atheist broadside against religion. While Batchelor may exaggerate the novelty of his Buddhism without beliefs stance, this multifaceted account of one Buddhist's search for enlightenment is richly absorbing.” -- From Publishers Weekly