Live streaming to us from Abingdon in Oxfordshire, Jim Champion contended that a healthy approach to the Buddha’s eightfold path – which is sometimes equated with ‘the middle way’ – is one in which we do not assume that we already have the complete picture.
One way of understanding the middle way, he suggested, is to see it as the principle of avoiding both an absolute belief (that something is) and the opposite belief (that something is not).
The middle way, however, is not something that will make us ‘better’ meditators; rather it helps us appreciate that rigidly-held goals undermine the process itself. But when push comes to shove, there’s no better direct way than meditation to appreciate what the middle way is about, and why it needs to be practiced at every point of judgement.
Jim Champion teaches physics at secondary school in the UK; he first encountered secular Buddhism in April 2016.
He is a member of the Middle Way Society, and the international online community Re~Collective.
For The Tuwhiri Project he contributed the excellent group study questions to the production of After Buddhism: a workbook and he is currently writing questions for What is this? Ancient questions for modern minds.
You can watch Jim’s talk here: