This talk provides a review of a contemporary non-religious practice of Buddhism called Secular Buddhism, which represents an attempt to understand the original teachings of Buddhism without the cultural religious add-ons that have accumulated over the centuries that are not appreciated as relevant for these transitional times. It is well-known that the percentage of the population who identifies with current religious traditions is diminishing significantly, especially among younger people, while this population largely identifies with spiritual inclinations. An important aspect of this practice that is being reviewed includes the close association between contemporary concepts and practices involving mindfulness and lovingkindness that are being taught and current neuroscientific and psychological research that largely validates the beneficial effects of regular meditation practice for physical, mental and social well-being. Also reviewed is the impact of the internet on the world-wide dispersal of this information.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: What Is Secular Buddhism
The topic for next week’s talk will be a review of how Buddhism understands and practices cultivating compassion, including contemporary research that demonstrates the benefits derived from this training.