Episode 58 :: Rick Bateman & Tim Kiely :: Meetup Groups

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Rick Bateman and Tim Kiely join us for a round table discussion of how to start Secular Buddhist groups with tools like Meetup and Ning.

Rick Bateman

Rick Bateman

Rick is the founder of the the website secularbuddhism.com. He is actively striving to form a non-profit organization for secular Buddhism, and currently teaches the Buddhism For Beginners course he developed in Victoria BC. He is an experienced instructor having taught a variety of technical courses in Camosun College’s continuing education program for several years. He has served as Vice President of Human Resources & Operations at an on-line learning company and is currently the Director of Operations for a local software company.

Tim Kiely

Tim Kiely

Tim Kiely is a teacher, long-time meditator, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor. He founded and facilitates the Cambridge-Somerville Secular Buddhists meetup group (meetup.com/Cambridge-Secular-Buddhists). Tim offers MBSR courses in Cambridge, MA; Asheville, NC; and online at discoveringyourbalance.com. Tim is currently working with other educators to bring the MBSR program to teachers, students, and parents.

Hi, everyone. Glad you're here. And chances are, you are here because of a technological word of mouth. Either you found the podcast through iTunes, you got to the FaceBook fan page, or perhaps through a web search found the website for The Secular Buddhist. It may be that one of your friends recommended the podcast -- be sure to thank them for me!

One thing I hear quite frequently, though, is where someone who is more secular can find a group of people to practice, study, and socialize with in person. And the truth is, secular Buddhism is a very new way of approaching a very old tradition. And it's breaking with that tradition in ways can be very uncomfortable for some people. We have something of an edge to walk, as we few openly secular practitioners start to stand on our own without ostracizing our friends who incline to a more faith based path.

So, to support that growing of our comparatively small community, we can take advantage of some opportunities the modern world offers. Today's episode is an interview with two of the forerunners of this growing secular Buddhist community, Rick Bateman and Tim Kiely. Each has started their own secular Buddhist groups -- originally on Meetup.com, and now also on Ning. Whatever you use, the effect is the same, the building of community.

I'd also like to point out that this episode is being released in conjunction with a new page on the website about how to start your own group. The instructions were designed to use with Meetup, but the basic ideas can be easily applied to other applications as well. Please don't feel obliged to go with Meetup, Ning is another good option, and there are lots of others as well!

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Yunnan Mandarin Special tea. You know I'm linking to these on the episode page, right?



"A secular approach to practice can expand personal development beyond the confines of the institution of religion. This frees us from the course plotted by pre-determined answers of dogma, allowing us to question with confidence the personal and individual experience of growth." -- TSB



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Music for This Episode

Hon Shirabe

Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The tracks used in this episode are: