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what is Secular Buddhism ?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by ratikala, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    I am hearing many terms bandied about , ..Secular Buddhism , Moddern Buddhism , ...material Buddhism , ...

    please could some one explain what these terms mean , ....and what relationship they hold with the schools of Traditional Buddhism ?
     
  2. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I'll give this a shot. I know some may correct me some on this.

    Traditional Buddhism, as I understand through practice, is rich in culture and tradition. I see this more outside the US. Trad. Buddhist arent evangelical. Zen monks I have met rely on ritual. Many Buddhas are shown in reference. Bowing is important. Ritual language and such.

    Secular Buddhism is, what I read, a "humanist Buddhism." They separate themselves from traditon. Its like protestants coming Catholics. SB still have focus on meditation, four noble truths, etc but do not rely on tradition and culture of the Buddha to shape their worldview.
    Secular Buddhism | No Robes. No Ritual. No Religion. (more info)

    Modern Buddhism

    Similar to SB but it is western influenced. Its more recent too. Many Japense Buddhist schools are modern. Nicheren Buddhism is one and all its sects. Its more with the time the sect flourished. Also, they try to keep traditional beliefs, practices that mirror western thinking, and in the west, dropping the culture.

    Buddhism in China, Chinese Buddhism Facts and History (traditional vs. Modern chinese buddhism)

    Material Buddhism, which seems so contradictory to the Buddha's teachings. I dont know if there is such thing unless practicioners of this buddhism try to hold possessions but free the mind of attachment of them.
     
    #2 Unveiled Artist, Jun 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  3. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    Which ones are those? ;)
     
  4. Rick O'Shez

    Rick O'Shez Irishman bouncing off walls

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    "Secular Buddhism" was popularised by Stephen Batchelor, you should get a good sense of it by looking here: Secular Buddhist Association

    "Modern Buddhism" I'm not sure about, since all contemporary Buddhism is "modern" and it suggests there is an "old-fashioned" Buddhism. ;)

    "Material Buddhism" I haven't heard of, but could be a reference to Secular Buddhism.

    Sometimes people talk about "Western Buddhism", but trying to define what that means would be quite difficult.

    But which schools of Buddhism are "traditional" in your view?
     
    #4 Rick O'Shez, Jun 28, 2015
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  5. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    We could take the opportunity to consider that "Traditional Buddhism" means as well, since the expression is sometimes raised.

    My take on some of these:

    Secular Buddhism - I can't make sense of this one. Buddhism is a religion, secularism is the refusal to get involved in religion, so technically this is a direct contradiction and the expression has no inherent clear meaning.

    I figure, however, that for the most part it is supposed to mean actual Dharmic practice, where people develop their own understandings and their own wisdom.

    It is a sad sign of how mishandled religion usually is that people feel the need to specifically refuse the label when they want to get serious about their practice.



    Modern Buddhism - Obviously, this means little beyond the current understanding of Buddhism.


    Material Buddhism - Never heard this one, but there are frequent accusations by some that there are "materialistic Buddhists" around. Then again, those accusations are usually not very serious, or at least do not betray a lot of desire to earn attention or respect.


    Traditional Buddhism - For the most part it is supposed to be a "respectable boogeyman", a label raised when people expect to silence disagreements by invoking the weight of tradition. In practice, it is just yet another vague label that sorely needs clarification in order to mean anything. Early Buddhist tradition, obviously, had quite a few different aspects and one could choose to emphasize many combinations of those, not least among them that of questioning and breaking from then-traditional understandings.

    Just as obviously, what was good practice and good doctrine 2500 years ago can't very well be just as good now, when social and technological circunstances brought so many changes.
     
  6. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    namaskaram Spiny ji

    probably to my mind the ones with strong monastic backgrounds
    , ...Theravada , Mahayana and Vajrayana equaly .
     
  7. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    no need for any one to correct you :)

    thank you I will give those a read , ....


    sorry I should have explained this better , .....I am refering to some conversations here recently about materialist veiw point regarding the origins of mind and matter , .....

    it seems alien to me and seems to have come about amongst modern or Secular Buddhists who dont hold with some traditional veiw points , ....

    I dont want this thread to turn into an argument I am simply interested in different peoples take on Secular or Modern Buddhism, .....
     
  8. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    thankyou yes , but prehaps not yet , let us first collect comments on secular Buddhism , ....

    I think I would agree here , however I am not so sure that it is allways an out right refusal , some dont see the nececity at this stage in their practice , ....who knows prehaps they will later ?

    but should practitioners not have guidance ? , ...could this style of practice not lead to certain corruptions of the original message of Buddhism ?
     
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  9. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I tend to interpret "secular Buddhism" as being Buddhism minus what the person who is using that terminology may think are religious beliefs, such as the belief in various deities, and maybe even certain concepts such as nirvana and karma.

    As far as I'm concerned, I don't use that terminology as I prefer just to read the scriptures as they are written, and then letting everyone draw their own interpretations and, even more importantly than that, look at each of these with through their own personal experiences and observations. I couldn't care less what may be "politically correct", if you know what I mean.
     
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  10. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Of course they could, but then again so can unwise teachers. We have seen that happen time and again.
     
  11. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    metis ji
    agreed , ....in many respects all teachings are there for us to contemplate have you read the Lam rim ? these teachings are read and meditated upon over and over again in cyclic motion here it is natural that one will look at each of the 21 teachings through the veil of ones own experience and observations , but by doing so in rotation ones understanding deepens upon each turn . ...this is a more traditional approach , ....

    however it is the secular approach that has been mentioned so much recently that interests me and the question of whether it is possible to remove cretain traditional aspects of Buddhism like Rebirth and Karma ?
     
  12. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    Its kind of like accepting Mathematics but renouncing multiplication.
     
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  13. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake ️️️️️️️️️️Dragonslayer

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    Secular Budhism can be an effort to 'step in', when trad Buddhism fails at some instance/. This is not really ''Budhism'', per se, but a pantomime, a sort of ''act''. It's never fully achievable, though, because the premise is incorrect. ''Buddhism'', as well, means things that aren't really ''Buddhist'', they just got included in the label, sort of. So, you have to ask, what ''Buddhism''? Before one can begin to ask other things.

    So, different answers
     
    #13 Desert Snake, Jun 29, 2015
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  14. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    For instance anyone that thinks there is any kind of "God" in Buddhism is routinely ridiculed on this forum, but I hear people that claim they are a follower of Buddha, as well as Satan, or Lucifer. How the heck can you come up with that: peace, love, compassion, and Satanism, somehow I think those things just don't go together. Any more than Buddhism and anti-theism go together IMHO.
     
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  15. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake ️️️️️️️️️️Dragonslayer

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    Agreed, that isn't possible.
     
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  16. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    What is Secular Buddhism?

    It could be anything else than what Buddha himself believed and did.
    Regards
     
  17. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I'm not familiar with the Lam rim, but I plan on looking it up.

    I think concepts like nirvana and karma can be, and probably should be, questioned versus being blindly swallowed. However, coming up with answers is gonna be pretty difficult if we try to deal with this objectively, but I personally don't have a problem with saying "I don't know".

    To me, it's more the FNT and EP as their dealing with the issue of suffering that's more at the core of Buddhism, so I think it can well survive even if one or most do seriously question nirvana and karma.

    What do you think?
     
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  18. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    That's not too bad an overview imo.

    Closest for me would likely fall into the Secular Buddhist designation, albeit I might bounce around a little bit.
     
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  19. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    Could be. Then again maybe not. But it undeniably springs up from Buddhist dharma.
     
  20. crossfire

    crossfire Antinomian feminist heretic freak ☿
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    Here's an idea: why not ask the folks in the LHP DIR?

    I don't ridicule theists, either, and to the best of my knowledge, I'm the only Buddhist who is also a Luciferian around here. ;)
     
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