Secular Sangha: A Secular Buddhist Group discussion

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message 1: by MJD (new)

MJD | 210 comments Use this thread to chat with members about whatever is on your mind.


message 2: by MJD (new)

MJD | 210 comments I have read a few books on the following book recommendations by Sam Harris, and all of them have become personal favorites.

https://samharris.org/recommended/?ta...


message 3: by MJD (new)

MJD | 210 comments I have found the following websites on secular Buddhism interesting:

http://secularbuddhism.org/

http://www.thesecularbuddhist.com/

https://secularbuddhism.com/


message 4: by John (new)

John MJD,
You seem to have assimilated a lot of philosophical lessons from your readings. Have you been studying philosophy long?

While I think I have some "nuggets" of wisdom from my readings, it feels like I also missed a lot. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve retention? I've read that one way of achieving that level of mastery with philosophy is to right summaries of passages, chapters, books, etc. Is that a good starting point?


message 5: by MJD (last edited Oct 10, 2018 06:13PM) (new)

MJD | 210 comments John wrote: "MJD,
You seem to have assimilated a lot of philosophical lessons from your readings. Have you been studying philosophy long?

While I think I have some "nuggets" of wisdom from my readings, it feel..."


My undergrad was in political science and my masters is in public administration, so I have some background in political philosophy and ethics from my undergrad and grad years in a general sense. I also took an intro class into philosophy and a class purely on existentialism as an undergrad. I also took a class purely on ethics in grad school.

For me, while I do not think that there is a substitute for reading original philosophical text as a whole, I do think that reading summaries of them (such as articles from Wikipedia) alongside reading the texts themselves are a great help to me.

I am also a fan of the approach that the organization The School of Life has in terms of how to contemplate philosophy. The School of Life seems intent on teasing out practical life lessons in even the most esoteric works of philosophy, and since I started reading philosophy with that in mind I think I've started to get a lot more out of it.

I also like the the approach that Joseph Campbell took with his study of myth, trying to tease out universal themes from diverse myths from around the world. I have incorporated that into my reading, trying to find common underlying themes in diverse philosophical works across the world and across different times, and I think that I've got a lot out of this form of reading as well.


message 6: by MJD (new)

MJD | 210 comments I found these study tools on this web-page interesting:

https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/inde...


message 7: by MJD (new)

MJD | 210 comments I found the following video interesting. It takes a secular view of the concept that the "self" is an illusion. It's title is "Sam Harris: The Self is an Illusion," and it's video description is "Sam Harris describes the properties of consciousness and how mindfulness practices of all stripes can be used to transcend one's ego. Harris is the author of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fajfk...


message 8: by MJD (new)

MJD | 210 comments I found the following video interesting, in which it defends monastic values from a secular perspective:

"HISTORY OF IDEAS - Monasticism" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtU5h...


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