Reflections on "an ordinary person's life," as understood in a passage by the 9th century Chan master Teshan. This idea is related to the Buddha's phenomenological analysis of human experience (the "all") into namarupa and consciousness, a vision of life where there is no transcendent awareness or consciousness "outside" ordinary experience, thereby revealing a common thread between the Pali Canon and early Chan.
Buddhist meditation is the refinement of a sensibility rather the gaining of proficiency in a technique. This sensibility is founded on "embracing dukkha", i.e. the totality of one's existential condition, and then cultivating meditation as (a) embodiment, (b) receptivity and (c) wonderment. Such a sensibility can then be further developed through stillness (samatha) and insight (vipassana).
The four P's: principle of conditionality, process of the four tasks, practice of mindfulness, power of self-reliance; ELSA as a framework for living; the city as a key metaphor of Secular Buddhism; emergence of a secular sangha based on friendships that support self-reliance.
The Pali Canon as a user's manual for this life; reconfiguring the core elements of the dharma; problems with the term "truth;" rewriting the operating system of Buddhism: from Buddhism 1.0 to Buddhism 2.0; the post-metaphysical practice of the four noble tasks; the acronym ELSA.
A definition of the term "Secular Buddhism;" a practice-based rather than belief-based form of the dharma; concern with human flourishing in this life; links with the Hellenistic philosophies of Pyrrho and Epicurus.
Negative capability; the ambiguous nature of self; self as process; foundations of ethics; Buddha and the sick monk; definitions of stream entry: as lucid confidence, as freedom from perplexity, as abandoning three fetters; the lay sangha.
Reflections on the demonic: what rises up and limits us on the path; Mara and Namuci; the parable of the crow and the piece of rock as an alternative metaphor of freedom; the Buddha's response to Mara who appears as a farmer.
Insight into conditionality as the core of the Buddha's awakening; reading of and reflection on the first discourse; the process of the four: embracing dukkha, letting go of craving, experiencing the stopping of craving, cultivating the path.
Definition of dukkha; dukkha and pleasure; "fully understanding" dukkha; the Buddha and Nagarjuna's understanding of the five bundles as not self; definition of tanha (craving); clinging and narcissism.