The parable of the ancient city as a template for a secular Buddhism, i.e. how the four truths and conditioned arising provide a framework for a new culture or civilisation; further reflection on "fully knowing dukkha" in terms of its cognitive, affective and aesthetic implications; how stream entry entails autonomy, as well as confirmed confidence in Buddha, dharma and sangha; the humanised Buddha as the appropriate model for one's practice of the dharma not the arahant.
Reflections on the Buddha's first sermon: how the four noble truths are a translation of the principle of conditioned arising into a way of life; the middle way as avoiding the two dead ends of worldliness and religiosity; the four truths as prescriptions rather than descriptions, as a sequence of tasks to perform rather than a set of doctrines to believe; the first truth as fully knowing dukkha both in depth and breadth.
An analysis of the Buddha's account of his awakening in the Discourse on the Noble Quest (M. 26) as an existential shift from attachment to a 'place' to the seeing of the twofold 'ground' of conditioned arising and nibbana, followed by a psychological interpretation the subsequent passage which describes how, inspired by the god Brahma, he set off to teach his first sermon in Isipatana (Sarnath).
Further reflections on the meaning of the term "secular"; the Buddha's comparison of his teaching to a snake; an enquiry into what is distinctive and original in the Buddha's teaching: the principle of conditioned arising, the process of the four noble truths, the practice of mindful awareness, the power of self reliance; reflections on citations from the Pali canon concerning the principle of conditioned arising.
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.