Buddhism for this life alone is not enough

As secular Buddhists, at the same time as addressing the conditions of the present, the global situation, we are indebted to and rooted in Asian historical traditions. A secular dharma will draw from the different sources that we find in all traditions, and will evolve over time into a way of practicing we simply cannot imagine. 

Very much a work in progress, a secular dharma, a Buddhist practice, is needed that is not only concerned with what I want in this life; this is a terribly superficial understanding of the word ‘secular’.

My practice is not just focussed on how this present moment might be improved through meditation or reflection. I practice because of my commitment to all the living beings who will continue to be born and die on this planet in a future I will never know.

One thing of which I am certain is that life has arisen here on this earth. Talk of other realms of existence, of future existence, and focussing more on those beliefs than on what we know – what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch on this planet on which we live – is irresponsible.

It is vital that we concern ourselves with the future we are creating now through our acts on this earth. We need a dharma that is concerned with the suffering which occurs in this biosphere. How do I live a life with the deepest respect, understanding, empathy and love for this world that will long outlive me?

This is why a Buddhism for this life alone is not enough.

– from the May 2016 secular Buddhist newsletter In This Moment – available here