Two new episodes are now out at The New Books Network. The latest interview finishes off the Secular Buddhism series with a conversation with a rather fine gentleman, Australian Winton Higgins. But who is Mr Higgins you might ask, well he’s a Bruce for starters, that’s Aussie slang for man. Otherwise, I should inform you that he is a key figure in the Secular Buddhism movement and author of several books including Revamp: Writings on Secular Buddhism, and After Buddhism: a workbook. Winton has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1987, and teacher of insight meditation since 1995. A member of the Tuwhiri editorial board, he has contributed to the development of Secular Buddhism internationally and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators.
He is an associate in international studies at the University of Technology Sydney and has been a board member of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies since its inception in 2000, and teaches a course at the Aquinas Academy on various ethical, social and political topics each year.
Now you know, you can pop on a nice cup of tea, settle down in your cosiest armchair, and give it a whirl.
85. Imperfect Buddha Podcast: Winton Higgins on Secularising Buddhism
The second episode is a rather late audio-text from the series on Complex World, Complex Practice. I have written most of it and you’ve likely seen it here at the site, and hopefully enjoyed reading some of it. Each will become an audio-text with time.
84. Imperfect Buddha Podcast: Practice Item #01
Practice Item #01 original text version
Winton Higgins website
(This is part two of an article on Post-Traditional Buddhism written for the Elephant Journal. Part.1 can be found here: Post-traditional Buddhism: the quiet revolution?)
Part 2: Big up Post-Traditional Buddhism
My new bride on the spiritual path is perhaps best defined as Post-Traditional Buddhism. A term I picked up from Hokai Sobol, who is a Buddhist Geeks associate. What a grand title that sounds. Yet, what it appears to imply in essence is the shedding of deference of authority for the path to traditional Buddhism, whether it be Zen, Gelugpa, Burmese, or Hokai’s own traditional roots, Shingon Buddhism. Emerging Western Buddhism that is post-traditional is in a very early stage of birth. What follows is my own understanding of this emerging phenomenon. Others will no doubt be wiser on this topic, but for now too few voices are discussing it in the public sphere, so, not one to fear for my safety, I’ll dive straight on in and do my best to paint a rather challenging picture with words.
It appears that the pregnancy started in earnest in the 1960s, although it seems to me that the birth has only really begun to take place in this century. Whereas Western Buddhism defines any form of Buddhism, traditional or otherwise, that is alive and functioning on western soil, Post-Traditional Buddhism is perhaps the most radical and accurate description for what is starting to show tentative signs of flowering in both North America and Europe as a response to the inadequacies of traditional Buddhism for a contemporary western audience. Secular Buddhism is one of the more well-known faces of this emerging phenomenon. Though most often this disconnected movement towards a radical re-engagement with Buddhism is found in very small pockets of physically disconnected individuals, couples and groups who are connecting primarily through the Internet and through informal meetings. Some of them came together at the Buddhist Geeks conferences in 2012 and 2011, but rumours abound that they were infiltrated by many traditional Buddhist buddies. In fact a key feature of Post-Traditional Buddhism is the mixing of old and new. Post-Traditional Buddhism is built on the work that has come before it.