Secular Buddhism is not a ‘school’ of Buddhism
It has no orthodoxy, no separate canon and no institutional presence.
A secular dharma stands for a developmental direction that is typically Buddhist in its open-minded scepticism and its desire to let the dharma speak most effectively, that is in culturally available terms.
Focusing largely on early Buddhism, with a focus on the teachings of conditionality (known also as dependent origination), and the four great tasks that Gotama – the man we know as the Buddha – set out, the practice of meditation and a secular dharma offers a framework for a more mindful, ethical and compassionate life.
Awakening in the context in which we find ourselves – 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand – this framework is in essence a pragmatic programme for human flourishing which allows us to ignore metaphysical beliefs and religious truth-claims.
As a community, a group of friends, we are working to develop forms of practice, community and thought that harmonise with our own culture and its more progressive values – kicking off with egalitarianism, inclusiveness and democratic self-rule; Wellington’s secular Buddhist community in fact.
The Buddha’s Four Great Tasks: Embrace + Let Go + Stop + Act
If you’re interested in finding out more about a secular approach to Buddhism, take a look at the Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand website.