Monday, 21 April 2014

Progressive Buddhism, Community, and Modern Psychology

Oh dear, things have gone quiet around here.

I should have been more diligent in prodding authors and adding my own thoughts.

What can we do now?

Obviously the authors (listed on the right) are invited to come back to a regular (monthly or so) posting schedule. We have guidelines meant to keep us on course toward a common discussion of "Progressive Buddhism", but as a community I have always tried to keep our interpretation of those guidelines loose. There is no demand for being polished or perfect with each post. We all come with different degrees of practice and experience in the blogging world, so don't be shy, just be prepared to learn from feedback. Making mistakes is how we grow.

So come, please, and make some mistakes with me.

I'll start with introducing some of my own recent posts at my other blog. They discuss the Coursera class on Buddhism and Modern Psychology. I won't say much more now, except that it is a free online course, so anyone can take it, joining late even. There is an active community there now, along with various discussions going on elsewhere such as facebook and on blogs like mine.

To catch you up via some of my own writings, I offer my summaries and thoughts on weeks one-four here.

  1. In week one I give an overview of the class, which begins (surprise) with an overview of the class. I also go beyond to discuss questions of orthopraxy vs orthodoxy in Buddhism. 
  2. Week two looked into the "Buddhist Prescription" - the 3rd and 4th noble truths as compared with experiments conducted by modern psychologists.
  3. Week three digs in with the question of "not-self". It's a topic I've dealt with a lot and I've posted some resources in my blog post.
  4. In week four I covered, at last in a bit more depth, a series of experiments based on ideas in evolutionary psychology that seem to lead to a 'modular theory of the mind.' 
That's all for now. There should be 4 weeks left, so I'll update things once again in a month or so. Until then, I hope some regular writers here make a return and if any of you are interested in joining, give me a shout at Buddhistethics AT gmail...