Doug's Secular Dharma
  • Welcome!

    963 views 9 months 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

    • Buddhism for Beginners - Duration: 13 minutes.

      • 1 hour 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...
    • Buddhist Global Relief - Duration: 18 minutes.

      • 3 days ago
      We'll take a look at the aid organization Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) as an example of a place we might consider practicing generosity. First we'll consider the benefits of generosity generally, a...
    • Secular Buddhist Practice - Duration: 12 minutes.

      • 1 week ago
      What would a secular Buddhist practice look like, and how would it compare to more traditional approaches to practice? We will try to sketch some answers to these questions in this video, keeping i...
    • The Buddha on Just Government - Duration: 27 minutes.

      • 1 week ago
      Did the Buddha feel that it was possible to have a just ruler or just government? We will look at the early Buddhist texts for an answer to this vexed question, and find several different possible ...
    • The First Noble Truth is Liberating: the Story of Kisa Gotami - Duration: 15 minutes.

      • 2 weeks ago
      It may surprise us with today's "life is good" mindset, but the First Noble Truth can be liberating. Yes, it can be helpful and stress-reducing to consider that life is not ultimately satisfactory....
    • Who is Mara in Buddhism? - Duration: 13 minutes.

      • 2 weeks ago
      Who is Māra in Buddhism? We'll give an answer to that question by looking at how Māra is both similar to and different from the Christian idea of the devil. We'll also look at a famous simile about...
    • Greatness and Wisdom: Two Opinions - Duration: 19 minutes.

      • 3 weeks ago
      What is human greatness? What makes someone wise? We'll look at a couple of opinions on these matters, the Buddha's and that of another powerful and influential person of his day.

      Check out my Pat...
    • Did the Buddha Feel Pain? - Duration: 16 minutes.

      • 4 weeks ago
      One question we may have is whether the achievement of awakening -- or even that of being a Buddha -- means we no longer experience pain. We'll consider that question, with an emphasis on what the ...
    • What's Up With Buddhist Celibacy? - Duration: 27 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      This Q&A episode will tackle a few viewers' questions including one about celibacy in monastic Buddhist practice. We'll also consider questions about a regular exercise routine and how Buddhism mig...
    • The Buddha's Competitors: Unearthing the Dharma - Duration: 30 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      In the early texts the Buddha speaks of six main teachers of his day with whom he disagrees. We will look at those six, and their ideas as presented in the early canonical material. We'll also take...
    • Avoiding Teacher Misconduct: the Buddha's Advice - Duration: 17 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      Buddhist teacher misconduct has been in the news recently. We'll consider some ways the Buddha's teachings can point us to a more skillful and secure relationship to teachers and to the teachings t...
    • Is the Buddha a Christian Saint? - Duration: 19 minutes.

      • 1 month ago
      Did you know the Buddha is a Christian saint? We'll look at the convoluted history of the story of Barlaam and Josaphat, its origins in early Buddhism, and some lessons it holds for today.

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

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

      • 4 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...
    • 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...
    • The Buddha on Self and Non-Self - Duration: 20 minutes.

      • 10 months 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...
    • Good Books on Early Buddhism - Duration: 12 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      Lots of folks ask me for recommendations of good books on early Buddhism. I have a bunch of good ones here, with links below!

      This is my fourth YouTube video, so it's a bit rougher than some of th...
    • 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...
    • Why Buddhism Isn't a Religion - Duration: 10 minutes.

      • 1 year ago
      We'll look at three ways that Buddhism isn't a religion, focusing on early Buddhism in particular. Of course, Buddhism has religious aspects. However it also can be seen as something entirely non-r...
    • History of Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism: Power and Transgression - Duration: 29 minutes.

      • 4 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...
    • Buddhism and Stoicism 1: Five Similarities - Duration: 7 minutes, 18 seconds.

      • 1 year ago
      Buddhism and Stoicism are in many ways allied philosophies. In this video we will look at five ways that they overlap. We will be looking in specific at early Buddhism and Stoicism as reflected in ...
    • History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension - Duration: 27 minutes.

      • 3 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...
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