This residential study retreat will explore through talks and dialogues how the dharma taught by the Buddha 2,500 years ago can help provide the ethical perspectives and practices needed to engage effectively with the various interconnected crises our world faces in the twenty-first century — economic, environmental, social, psychological and spiritual.
We will be presenting a secular approach to the dharma, which leaves aside the metaphysical beliefs of the Buddhist religion to focus entirely on how to respond to the sufferings of this world. Drawing on canonical Buddhist discourses as well as ancient and modern western philosophy, the teachers will consider the theoretical foundations of ethics as well as its practical applications here and now.
In addition to talks and conversations between the teachers, the retreat will include periods of meditation as well as group discussions. Those attending this study retreat in person will need to have an established meditation practice and some familiarity with Buddhist thought and doctrine. Links to pre-reading are provided below for those unfamiliar with secular dharma. We hope to be able to live-stream the retreat so other groups and individuals around the world can participate
About the venue
The retreat will be held at the
St. Joseph’s Retreat Centre Kincumber, NSW, Australia, approximately 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney. Accommodation is in comfortable twin share or single rooms. Serene gardens and bushland surround the meditation centre.
You can also Zoom into the retreat, attending Online from your home or special space. You can follow as much of the retreat schedule as your inclination and circumstance permits.
Pre-reading for an orientation to secular dharma
Essay: A Secular Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor
Book: After Buddhism: rethinking the dharma for a secular age by Stephen Batchelor
Book: Revamp: writings on secular Buddhism by Winton Higgins
Book: The Buddha for modern minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings by Lenorë Lambert
When: 3 to 10 December 2023 (7 nights)
Times: Arrive from 4pm on Sunday 3rd Dec
Finish at 2pm Sunday 10th Dec
Cost: for all meals and accommodation
Dana: In keeping with a 2,500 year old tradition no fee is being charged for the teachings. At the end of the retreat you are invited to give a donation (dana) to express your appreciation and to support the teachers to continue their work.
For more information email Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookings will open later in the year
Scholarships for all SIM retreats are available for people who need assistance paying the full fee and do not qualify for the concession. Click here for more information.
About the Teachers
Stephen Batchelor is a translator, writer, artist and teacher. Co-founder of Bodhi College, he is the author of Buddhism without beliefs, After Buddhism and The art of solitude. He lives in south-west France with his wife Martine.
Winton Higgins is a writer and academic, as well as a senior dharma and meditation teacher associated with Sydney Insight Meditators and the Secular Buddhist Network. He is the author of Revamp: writings on secular Buddhism.
Lenorë Lambert is a psychologist, World Champion Masterstrack & field athlete, entrepreneur, coach, and teacher associated with Sydney Insight Meditators and the Secular Buddhist Network.
She leads the Beaches Sangha and is the author of The Buddha for modern minds: a non-religious guide to the Buddha and his teachings.