OUR USUAL GUIDED MEDITATION – duration: approx. 10 mins.

The meditation starts immediately, so be prepared: hopefully you’ll be sitting somewhere relatively quiet. It is important to be comfortable, stable, relaxed, yet alert – paying attention to everything that arises: sensations, thoughts and feelings. Simply observe as they come and go – letting go of our usual tendency to comment, make judgments or react in other ways. Just be present and let things be.



  1. A brief introduction to mindful meditation – duration 14.35 mins.


2.  A Buddhist Perspective on Eco-grief – duration 13.11 mins


3. Zazen – a form of mindful meditation – duration 13.37 mins


4. Peak experiences in meditation – duration 6.52 mins


5. Buddha’s aim – what was he trying to do? 3.54 mins.


6. Tilopa’s advice on non-acquisitive meditation – 9.48 mins.


7. Ideal & actual – theory & practice – 11.27 mins


8. Transience, clinging & non-attachment – 10.26 mins


9. The Three Marks of Existence – 9.12 mins.


10. Memories of first doing zazen – 14.05 mins.


11. Everyday awakening & self-construction – 11.12 mins.


12. Interdependence – the relational universe – 12.11 mins.


13. Minding – taking notice, taking care – 8.22 mins.


14. An old man ponders on the closing chapter of his life – 10.27 mins.


15. Impermanence & clinging – 7.36 mins.


16. Self & non-self – anatta/anatman – 7.26 mins.


17. Karma & reincarnation – 7.50 mins.


18. Buddhism & ecology – some parallels – 10.40 mins.


19. Suspending judgment – 8.33 mins.


20. Interwoven nature – an edited recording of a talk given on 24 October 2020 at the Embodiment Conference, including Q & A at the end – apologies for a few glitches in the recording – 48.36 mins.


Books that you might find useful:

Mindfulness in Plain English, Henepola Gunaratana. 1992. Wisdom Publications. Excellent practical introduction to mindful meditation.

What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula. 1974. Grove Press. Well-respected collection of translations of Buddhist Sutras. Useful for reference with thoughtful notes.

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa, 1973. Shambhala – a very popular book, that many people find useful – by a charismatic Tibetan teacher.

The Way of Zen, Alan Watts. 1989. Vintage. First published in 1957, but still an excellent, very readable introduction to Zen, Daoism and Buddhism in general.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki. 1970. Weatherhill. Another good introduction with a lot of practical advice.

Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, ed. Kazuaki Tanahashi. 1995. North Point Press.

The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza, Ed. John Daido Loori. 2002. Wisdom Publications. Very good collection of helpful essays on Zen meditation.

Essential Writings, Thich Nhat Hanh. 2001. Orbis Books. A useful selection of writings by a very influential Buddhist teacher.

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, Stephen Batchelor, 2010. Spiegel & Grau. A provocative but very thoughtful book by a contemporary Buddhist teacher grounded in Tibetan and Korean Zen traditions – but arguing for a new form of Buddhism to suit contemporary western contexts.

After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age, Stephen Batchelor. 2015. Yale University Press. Thought-provoking book by an influential writer on ‘secular Buddhism’.

The Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, trans. Norman Waddell. 2000. North Point Press.

Bankei Zen: translations from the record of Bankei, Peter Haskel. 1989. Grove Weidenfeld. This and the above book – about Bankei, the eccentric and influential Zen teacher.

Nine-headed Dragon: Zen Journals 1969-1982, Peter Matthiessen. 1986. Collins Harvill. Lively account of his Zen experiences by the novelist and Zen teacher.

The New Buddhism, James William Coleman, 2001. Oxford University Press – an overview of the development of western Buddhism up to the 1990s.

McMindfulness: how mindfulness became the new capitalist spirituality, Ronald E.Purser, 2019. Repeater Books – a controversial and thought-provoking text that is well worth reading, even if you disagree with the author’s analysis.

And lastly, a couple of texts on mindfulness in a secular therapeutic context:

The Mindful Way through Depression, eds. Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn, 2007. Guilford Press – a very influential practical guide.

Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn, 2004. Piatkus Books – about mindfulness in everyday life.


Early Buddhist texts:

The Pali Canon – Source Texts for Secular Buddhism, compiled by Stephen Batchelor:

The Word of the Buddha – extracts from the Pali Canon – a very well respected, but early, translation by Nyanatiloka Mahathera – 1907, revised ed. 1967 – (also available as a small book – published by the Buddhist Publication Society:

The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts by Bhikkhu Sujato & Bhikkhu Brahmali, Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies:

A Theravada Library – more extracts from the Pali Canon by various respected translators:

Secular Buddhism:

Secular Buddhist Association

Secular Buddhist Network