Doug's Secular Dharma
  • Welcome!

    1,952 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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  • Uploads Play all

    • Was the Buddha Human or Divine? - Duration: 18 minutes.

      • 1 day ago
      We see aspects of both humanity and divinity in the Buddha of the early texts. I'll discuss some of those aspects and propose some ways the historical development might have proceeded.

      If you woul...
    • Equanimity Through Sense Restraint - Duration: 21 minutes.

      • 5 days ago
      One of the key ways the Buddha recommended we aim towards an equanimous outlook on life was through sense restraint, otherwise known as "guarding the sense doors". What was that practice? We will d...
    • Buddhism for Today, and the SBA - Duration: 16 minutes.

      • 1 week ago
      There are many forms of Buddhism for today. Once we understand this we will see the way to make room for a more inclusive and contemporary approach to belief and practice. I'll discuss this and the...
    • Learning vs. Doing Buddhism - Duration: 13 minutes.

      • 1 week ago
      Many of us spend our time learning about Buddhism. That's great but there is another way to approach it: by doing. We'll look at some of the key differences between these approaches and why it's go...
    • No Local Meditation Group? Six Solutions. - Duration: 16 minutes.

      • 2 weeks ago
      What should you do if you're having trouble finding a local meditation group? It's one of my most asked questions. I have six different things you might consider doing.

      If you would like to help ...
    • Constructing a Daily Practice - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 2 weeks ago
      How should we go about constructing a daily practice? We will look at several aspects that could go into it, including ethics, meditation, and wisdom infused by regular reflection and sutta reading...
    • Confronting Illness and Death - Duration: 23 minutes.

      • 3 weeks ago
      How do we confront illness and death? We will all experience them, but often don't want to contemplate them. I'll discuss some recent YouTube channels that have dealt with illness and death in deep...
    • Fake It Till You Make It? - Duration: 14 minutes.

      • 4 weeks ago
      I did an earlier video where I discussed some of the pitfalls of searching for authenticity in our daily lives. One alternative to a direction of authenticity is to pursue a practice of "faking it ...
    • Early Buddhism on the Internet - Duration: 21 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      It can be difficult to find reliable information about early or secular Buddhism on the Internet. I'll discuss some places we can look, and find both good translations of early texts and reasoned a...
    • The Paradox of Greed - Duration: 12 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      We often feel that the more we have, the happier we will be. Is that really so? We will take a look at the paradox of greed using a story from the Buddha's teaching.

      Sutta mentioned:

    • Authenticity: Good and Bad - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      Many of us feel that being authentic is a life goal. We will look at that claim, and with the help of a recent article, compare the goal of authenticity with another more plainly ethical goal. We w...
    • Second Year Anniversary - Duration: 14 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      It's hard to believe it's been two years already! I'll go over some of the developments we've been through over the past twelve months, and look ahead to some new ones. I'll also discuss the aims o...
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  • Popular uploads Play all

    • History of Theravada Buddhism: Very Old and Very New - Duration: 19 minutes.

      • 9 months 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 Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension - Duration: 27 minutes.

      • 7 months 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...
    • 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...
    • 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:
    • History of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism: Power and Transgression - Duration: 29 minutes.

      • 8 months 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...
    • Is Buddhism Atheist? - Duration: 11 minutes.

      • 1 year 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...
    • History of Mahayana Buddhism: Innovation and Perfection - Duration: 26 minutes.

      • 8 months 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 ...
    • Buddhism for Beginners - Duration: 13 minutes.

      • 4 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...
    • What is Dharma (Buddhism)? - Duration: 7 minutes, 20 seconds.

      • 1 year 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...
    • What is Secular Buddhism? (#1) - Duration: 7 minutes, 27 seconds.

      • 2 years ago
      What is secular Buddhism and how does it differ from traditional Buddhism? This video will try to answer that question. It's my first video, so check out later videos like this one for better video...
    • The Three Schools of Buddhism: Intro - Duration: 21 minutes.

      • 9 months 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...
    • Dharma Vlog: Cults and Weird Buddhism - Duration: 12 minutes.

      • 1 year 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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