Buddhism In Our Time
W 2019


Buddhism is a widespread Eastern tradition that has increasingly attracted the attention of the Western world.  What exactly is it? Is it a religion, a practice, a philosophy?  What is the attraction and why do westerners who are practitioners of other traditional religions or none at all, pursue the study and practices of Buddhism?  This SDG is designed to provide some insight into this phenomenon, both from the historical perspective and what it provides in today’s world.  

Weekly Topics

!.  How Buddhism emerged and spread. The first session will conclude with an optional five minute guided meditation for those SDG members who wish to have this experience. 

            Harvey, Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2, Keown, Chapters 1,2 and 6. 


2.  The sects of Buddhism and their emergence.  The adaptations within Asian countries.

Optional ten minute meditation at the conclusion of the discussion.

            Harvey, Chapters 4,5 and 7


3.  What constitutes and defines Buddhist practice.

            Keown, Chapter 4, Great World Religions, Disc 1, Sections 3 and 4.


4.  The meanings of Buddhist symbols, accoutrements for practice, and Buddhist art.



5.  Buddhist deities and how they are used in practice

     Harvey Chapter 8


6.  Buddhism in daily life:  mindfulness and compassion practices. 

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/07/mindfulness-meditation-empathy-compassion/398867/  Chodron – short book


7.  Buddhism, Ethics, and Politics in today’s world 

      Harvey Chapter 9


8.  Death, afterlife and rebirth.   The dying process, does anything come after, and if so, what?

Keown, Chapter 3, Harvey Chapter 2.


9.  Buddhism in the workplace and burnout. 



10.  Meditation for believers and non-believers:  Mantras and mindset

            Harvey Chapter 11, Keown Chapter 7,


11.   The science of meditation and changes to the brain.

            Keown Chapter 7, Hanson Chapters 1-4.


12.   Buddhism, a belief without God 

            Keown Chapter 1 again - retropective.  Philosophy, religion, psychology. Wright,


13.  Buddhism in coexistence with other religions.

       Selections from writings of HH Dalai Lama


14.  Summary discussion:  Buddhist traditions  and practices that have been adopted by  the western world.     Keown, Chapter 9





HH Dalai Lama, THE ART OF HAPPINESS, Paperback $12.00


The Great Courses  :  Great World Religions:  Buddhism

Available online through Amazon $7.99/month subscription


Rick Hanson, PhD, Richard Mendius, MD, BUDDHA’S BRAIN, the practical neuroscience of happiness, love & wisdom.    Paperback $17.95


Pema Chodron, START WHERE YOU ARE ,  Paperback $10.13


Damien Keown, BUDDHISM A Very Short Introduction.  Paperback $9.10


Peter Harvey, AN INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM:    Teachings, History and Practices (Introduction to Religions) Paperback  $17.55


Charles S. Prebish and Kenneth K. Tanaka Editors, THE FACES OF BUDDHISM IN AMERICA , Paperback $19.16


Tatjana & Mirabai Blau, BUDDHIST SYMBOLS Paperback $14.95


Leah Weiss, HOW WE WORK. Copies will be available for group.

Robert Wright, WHY BUDDHISM IS TRUE,  Paperback, $17.00


Lama John Makransky, AWAKENING THROUGH LOVE, Paperback  $15.00- This book is out of print and available copies are costly.  Removing from suggested list.