Doug's Secular Dharma
  • Welcome!

    3,349 views 1 year ago
    If you're interested in finding out how to live a wiser, a kinder, and a less stress-filled life, you've come to the right place! We'll be going through how to do that, inspired by material from early Buddhism, as well as other wise and helpful philosophies.

    I'll put out a couple of videos out a week, on Monday and most Thursday mornings. There will be a mix of introductory material as well as deeper discussions of history and current scholarship about the dharma, but all will be with an eye to its practical use.

    Why early Buddhism? Because it's approachable and down-to-earth, a good fit for contemporary belief and practice, and too little appreciated.

    I'm Doug Smith, I have a PhD in philosophy, many years of Buddhist practice in the Zen and Theravāda traditions, and am Study Director at the Secular Buddhist Association.

    Please enjoy, and be well! Show less
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    • Four Stages of Progress - Duration: 25 minutes.

      • 57 minutes ago
      In early Buddhism we find four stages through which we progress in our journey to awakening. We will discuss each of the four and look at one recent scholarly history that may uncover how these sta...
    • Why Won't the Buddha Answer You? - Duration: 14 minutes.

      • 1 week ago
      There were many questions that the Buddha refused to answer. We will look at those questions, many of which may interest us today, and consider why the Buddha wouldn't answer them. Then we will con...
    • The Road to Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions - Duration: 17 minutes.

      • 2 weeks ago
      For the Buddha good intentions play a key role in the ethical value of our actions. But isn't the road to hell paved with good intentions? We'll look at the Buddha's ethical system and some concern...
    • What is the Meaning of Life? An Early Buddhist View - Duration: 18 minutes.

      • 3 weeks ago
      Is there a meaning to life? We will begin by looking at what "meaning" is, and then take that to suggest various questions we might consider. Finally we will turn to what an early Buddhist answer m...
    • Buddhist Right Speech and Promoting Social Justice - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 4 weeks ago
      The Buddhist ideal of right speech counsels us to avoid harsh or divisive speech, but sometimes when pursuing social justice we may need to speak out. We will also look at the related topic of so-c...
    • Buddhist Right Speech: How Does it Relate to Free Speech? - Duration: 19 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      How do Buddhist right speech and ideals of free speech interrelate? We will look at a little of the history of free speech in the West, in particular how aspects of speech are not really free. We w...
    • Removing Negative Thoughts: Five Early Buddhist Techniques - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      We will discuss five techniques in early Buddhism for removing negative thoughts. Often it's said that we should simply observe thoughts arise and pass, not trying to influence them. This is a very...
    • Mind and Body: What's the Difference? - Duration: 24 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      What is the difference between mind and body? This is an age old problem in philosophy. We will begin by looking at the history of this relation in Western philosophy and theology, and then move in...
    • Body Scan Meditation: Description and History - Duration: 18 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      We'll look at the body scan meditation. We'll see that there seem to be two or three different practices that go by that name. Then we'll delve a little into the history of the practice, and see wh...
    • A Historical Buddha? - Duration: 21 minutes.

      • 2 months ago
      Many people gain confidence in the path of Buddhist practice by thinking of the Buddha's own story. We'll consider the difference between a story based in history and one based in myth and legend. ...
    • How Can I Help You? - Duration: 9 minutes, 10 seconds.

      • 2 months ago
      How can I help you? In this video I'll discuss the ways I'm trying to provide aid for you in your understanding of early Buddhism, but I'm interested also in hearing other ideas from you!

      Free min...
    • Essentialism and Buddhism - Duration: 16 minutes.

      • 2 months ago
      Essentialism is a new approach to life, developed in a recent book by Greg McKeown. We'll consider it in this video, and how its ideas relate to those found in early Buddhism.

      Free mini-course at ...
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    • Buddhism for Beginners - Duration: 13 minutes.

      • 9 months ago
      Are you a beginner at Buddhism? This is the video for you! We'll look at how Buddhism views the world and how Buddhist practice stems from that view.

      Check out my Patreon page at https://www.patr...
    • History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension - Duration: 27 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      Many people come in to Buddhist belief and practice through Zen, but not many people have an appreciation for its history. In this video we'll take a look at both its more and less legendary histor...
    • History of Theravada Buddhism: Very Old and Very New - Duration: 19 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      Theravāda Buddhism can be seen both as very old and very new. We'll go over the ways Theravāda has roots in the earliest forms of Buddhism, as well as the way it may be a very recent form of religi...
    • History of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism: Power and Transgression - Duration: 29 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      We'll go over the history of tantric Buddhism, its origins as well as its differences from other forms of Buddhist belief and practice. Then we'll give an overall characterization of what constitut...
    • The Buddha on Self and Non-Self - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      The Buddha's teachings on the self and on non-self are some of his most subtle, interesting, and unique. We'll take a look at them in this video. We'll also compare the Buddha's view of the self wi...
    • History of Mahayana Buddhism: Innovation and Perfection - Duration: 26 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      We'll take a quick overview of the history of Mahāyāna Buddhism, beginning with its earliest developments and how it separated from the rest of mainstream Buddhism. Then we'll look at a few of its ...
    • The Three Schools of Buddhism: Intro - Duration: 21 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      We will look at the three major schools of Buddhism, in the sort of contemporary context YouTubers would be likely to encounter them. We'll highlight some of the similarities and differences in the...
    • Is Buddhism Atheist? - Duration: 11 minutes.

      • 2 years ago
      Was the Buddha an atheist? Does one need to believe in God or gods to follow his system? This is a question with an interesting answer I think we can all learn from.

      Texts mentioned:

      Kevaddha Sut...
    • Why Buddhism is True - Duration: 14 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      Today we'll be taking a look at Robert Wright's new book Why Buddhism is True, some of its positives and negatives, and whether or not it fits well with secular Buddhism.

      The book:
    • What is Dharma (Buddhism)? - Duration: 7 minutes, 20 seconds.

      • 2 years ago
      What does the word "dharma" mean in early Buddhism? We will look at several ways it's used in the texts, and discuss its importance.

      For further information, see Rupert Gethin, "He Who Sees Dhamma...
    • Introduction to the Eightfold Path - Duration: 12 minutes.

      • 2 years ago
      Many of us have heard of the Eightfold Path as perhaps the definitive description of Buddhist practice. What is it?

      For a longer explanation of the Eightfold Path see my playlist here: https://www...
    • Dharma Vlog: Cults and Weird Buddhism - Duration: 12 minutes.

      • 2 years ago
      Today I'll discuss some experiences with a teacher of mine who was in a couple of cults, plus an example of weird Buddhism that provides a bit of a lesson.

      Check out my Patreon page: https://www.p...
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