Buddhism for this life alone is not enough

~ by Ramsey Margolis • onemindfulbreath.org.nz/ramsey-margolis

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