A reflection on the difficulties involved in and the methodology of a secular approach to Buddhism, followed by a reading of and comments on the Kalama Sutta, considered as a primary source text for secular Buddhism.
The first session defines meditation and describes the Buddhist teachings that give a context to the path of practice. We explore the two basic types of meditation--concentration and mindfulness--and then focus on the ground of mindfulness training: bringing mindful attention to the breath and bodily sensations. Guided meditations include setting intention and the sacred pause; learning to "come back" using an anchor of the breath; and "being here" with an embodied presence.
It is helpful to connect with our deeper aspirations to practice - at the beginning of a retreat as well as before practice sessions. Twelve different responses to the question of why we practice are explored.