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Dharma Talks Access for Retreatants

Towards a Secular Buddhism

What is distinctive about the Buddha's teaching that sets it apart from the mainstream Indian religious traditions of his day? Through exploring this question, we will try and recover the radical, non-mystical and empirical core of Siddhattha Gotama's vision. We will present the Buddha's teachings on "contingency," "mindfulness," "the four noble truths" and "self-reliance" as the foundation for our inquiry. By discarding metaphysical beliefs (e.g. in God, Absolute Truth, or Unconditioned Consciousness), we will envisage a thoroughly secular Buddhism, which is focused entirely on responding to the suffering of this world. While Pali texts from the early Buddhist scriptures will form the basis of our inquiry, we will interpret them in ways that illuminate their contemporary relevance.
2011-10-30 (8 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

  
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2011-10-31 A Secular Religion? 61:36
  Stephen Batchelor
Reflections on the conversational and dialogical nature of a living tradition; the tension between the deeply human religious impulse (questioning) and religious institutions and dogmas; the twofold meaning of the word "secular."
2011-10-31 Balance in Meditation 57:51
  Martine Batchelor
Looking at balance in mediation through the prism of appropriate vision and appropriate concentration.
2011-11-01 Whatever Arises and Ceases 59:00
  Stephen Batchelor
Further reflections on Secular Dharma; what was distinctive in the Buddha's teaching at his time; "Whatever arises ceases": the ocean, the breath, the heartbeat; the Kaccanagotta Sutta (S.12:15); quotes from Montaigne & Nagarjuna re: neither being nor non-being; the questions of Vacchagotta concerning self (S.44:10)
2011-11-01 A New Paradigm 62:18
  Tempel Smith
2011-11-01 A New Paradigm 62:18
  Tempel Smith
Through a greater self understanding brought about through mindfulness, we can live in alignment with anicca, dukka and anatta. Becoming aligned in the New Paradigm allows our frustrations with life to cease arising.
2011-11-02 From Place to Ground 57:05
  Stephen Batchelor
The Buddha and the sick monk; the awakening as described in M.26 (The Noble Quest); awakening as a shift from place to ground, Not as a breakthrough to an ultimate Truth; "going against the stream"; the appearance of Brahma Sahampati who encourages the Buddha to teach as the arising of love and compassion and creativity.
2011-11-02 Appropriate Mindfulness and Thoughts 63:09
  Martine Batchelor
2011-11-03 The Four 60:20
  Stephen Batchelor
A commentary on the "Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma," the Buddha's first discourses.
2011-11-04 Entering the Stream 62:15
  Stephen Batchelor
Further thoughts on secular Buddhism; ELSA = Embrace, Let Go, Stop, Act; ELSA is a continuous stream; Mara as Namuci, the drought demon; the stream as the 8-fold path; stream-entry as confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha; abandoning the three fetters; an inclusive conception of Sangha; Sarakani the Sakiyan
2011-11-04 Appropriate Action and Effort 66:30
  Martine Batchelor
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