Ten Theses of Secular Dharma by Stephen Batchelor

Every now and then I will contribute to the theses by adding a proposal, comment, question or a personal insight to the

Ten Theses of Secular Dharma by Stephen Batchelor:

 

1. A secular Buddhist is one who is committed to the practice of the dharma for the sake of this world alone.

ad 1: A secular Buddhist is one who practices the dharma for the sake of this world alone.

 

2. The practice of the dharma consists of four tasks: to embrace suffering, to let go of reactivity, to behold the ceasing of reactivity, and to cultivate an integrated way of life.

 

3. All human beings, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, and religion, can practice these four tasks. Each person, in each moment, has the potential to be more awake, responsive, and free.

ad 3: All human beings, irrespective of gender, ancestry, race, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, and religion, can practice these four tasks. Each person, in each moment, has the potential to be more awake, responsive, and free.

 

4. The practice of the dharma is as much concerned with how one speaks, acts, and works in the public realm as with how one performs spiritual exercises in private.

ad 4: The practice of the dharma is as much concerned with how one pays attention, speaks, acts, and works in the public realm as with how one performs spiritual exercises in private.

 

5. The dharma serves the needs of people at specific times and places. Each form the dharma assumes is a transient human creation, contingent upon the historical, cultural, social, and economic conditions that generated it.

 

6. The practitioner honors the dharma teaching that have been passed down through different traditions while seeking to enact them creatively in ways appropriate to the world as it is now.

ad 6: The practitioner honors the dharma teaching that have been passed down through different traditions while seeking to enact, develop, recondition and integrate them creatively in ways appropriate to the world as it is now.

 

7. The community of practitioners is formed of autonomous persons who mutually support each other in the cultivation of their paths. In this network of like-minded individuals, members respect the equality of all members while honoring the specific knowledge and expertise each person brings.

 

8. A practitioner is committed to an ethics of care, founded on empathy, compassion, and love for all creatures who have evolved on this earth.

ad 8: A practitioner is committed to an ethics of care and forgiveness, founded on empathy, compassion, and love for oneself and all creatures who have evolved on this earth.

 

9. Practitioners seek to understand and diminish the structural violence of societies and institutions as well as the roots of violence that are present in themselves.

ad 9: Practitioners seek to understand and diminish the attentional, physcial, structural and cultural violence of societies and institutions as well as the roots of violences that are present in themselves.

 

10. A practitioner of the dharma aspires to nurture a culture of awakening that finds its inspiration in Buddhist and non-Buddhist, religious and secular sources alike.

 

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