American Buddhism: An Online Exploration.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Jan 15, 2011
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A Study in American Buddhism.

Table Of Contents:

(click the links below to read that week’s topic)

Week 1: The Art Of Self Deception.

Overview Of The Course

Do you know where Lumbini is? Can you chant in Pali? Do you know all 32 major and 80 minor marks of a Buddha?

No… I do not even know what Lumbini is.

Well who cares!

“Discovering Meditation in America” is an online exploration of Buddhist principles and the practices designed to uncover these principles. We will address this subject from a western point of view. This will be an online workshop and discussion group all rolled into one. I (Ben Riggs) will be your guide on this 10 week journey.

Having racked my brain for years trying to understand complex philosophical ideas it finally dawned on me, “I ain’t suppose to be studying meditation… Meditation is suppose to be studying me!” Over the next ten weeks I plan on bringing that same perspective to bear on Elephant Journal.

We will cover the entire Buddhist path— all the way from spiritual materialism to total freedom! We will study the stages of the path to enlightenment, and my emphasis will be on translating the material into a practical, user-friendly, western language. There will be guidance in the practice of meditation, and of course intelligent discussion.

Elephant Journal has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community, and engage in a rich conversation about what it means to be fully human. I hope we are able to genuinely commit to the process… That is actually use the principles we are discussing to investigate our own internal condition. Part of this process will be sharing our insights, voicing our concerns, and asking penetrating questions.

To assist with regularity or consistency I have set up a Facebook Fan Page (click here to join Elephant Meditation). If you prefer, click here to follow my twitter feed.

I have not decided on a day of the week yet, nor do I really care… In the comment box below please let me know what day is best for you. When we get a consensus, I will publish it on those days. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for “Discovering Meditation in America” please post them below as well.

I really look forward to the coming weeks… Exchanging ideas about the Buddhist path, sharing our experiences in meditation, and touching the ground we all stand on!

Ben Riggs


About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


39 Responses to “American Buddhism: An Online Exploration.”

  1. Suz says:

    Fantastic opportunity-thank you so much Ben & Ele.

  2. Melissa says:

    Mondays at 7:30…then my whole Mindfulness Club can participate!

  3. Laurie says:

    Would this be appropriate for someone just beginning to investigate Buddhism or more for those already familiar with the practice? My granddaughters and I are very interested in finding out about the practice. If it would be appropriate for us, Fridays would be great as I work M – Th. Thank you! ~Laurie

  4. BenRiggs says:

    This will be very appropriate.

  5. BenRiggs says:

    You should be able to use the articles and videos as a format for your Mindfulness Club, regardless of the day, huh?.

  6. Love this, Ben. What a great idea. We all appreciate your Ele-energy and Eleinnovation.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  7. char says:

    Wed – Fri late evenings or Sat/Sun morning or eve would work best for me. …Though it will be accessible any time after it's posted, no?

  8. TamingAuthor says:

    Looking forward to this feature. You are an excellent moderator of spiritual conversations. Keep us posted on when this will begin.

  9. BenRiggs says:

    Thanks Greg… This is the project you signed for!

  10. khanti says:

    Perhaps when you have already reached calmness with clarity, a one pointness mind that stay put. Just turn to simply wanting to know question like 'Where is anger hidden when the condition for it to ripen is not there?'
    When you look for the answer always have your heart on the fundalmentals of the Buddha's teachings that iare common in all the three main stream Buddhism. Realization is clear knowing before thinking. You will see the Buddha Dharma in 3D.

  11. Bryan Marley says:

    Sundays work better for me… but as long as it's always accessible, when ever is just fine. Looking forward to hearing more about it and learning. There's always more to learn. Thanks for taking on this task Ben!

  12. Bob Miller says:

    When the philosophy of Buddhism can be put in every day terms, it makes it so much more real and understandable without it becoming too mystical and impractical.
    Thanks for doing this, I look forward to it whatever day you pick.

  13. Stephanie says:

    Great idea! I can be fairly flexible on times. having two wee ones at home may hamper some of my participation though. And…I"m Canadian. Hope that's not going to be a problem! 🙂

  14. BenRiggs says:

    Nope… Just consider it an exploration of Canadian Buddhism!

  15. Nikki says:

    Probably earlier in the week is better …. Mondays? But, like the others here, I assume that this will be accessible through the week, once posted, correct? Looking forward to learning more!

  16. Marc-Aurele says:

    Sounds like a wonderful program you put/ are putting together! Ive enjoyed your approach to the subject in your past writings and look forward to the same coming to surface through this intensive.. I thank you and hope to hear more soon..

  17. Laura says:

    Sounds wonderful. A good day would be hard to comment upon right now : )

  18. Kris says:

    I'm really looking forward to what you bring to this. I've been very interested in understanding buddhism a little bit more. As for the day, it really doesnt matter to me, I'm easy going and will follow along as best I can. Thank you for taking the time for this.

  19. Mae says:

    I'm looking forward to this! Any day is good.

  20. Erin says:

    Hey Ben, i am totally into being a part of this, however i dont have Facebook or Twitter anymore, however i do have access to Elephant journal ( obviously). Any day works for me as well but i was just seeing if i check on here everyday that would suffice as keeping up on the workshop? Thanks!

  21. Susanne Restemayer says:

    Evenings would be my only preference….I am excited and grateful for the opportunity! Thank you.

  22. BenRiggs says:

    Erin I can add you to an e-mail mail out list that would notify you tht I have published the latest article….

  23. […] Click here to learn more about Elephant Journal’s upcoming free online Buddhism in America and… […]

  24. Katrina Gilley-Hall says:

    Thank you for offering this! It's exactly what I've been (subconsciously) looking for :o)

  25. Jill Barth says:

    Yes, I’d be interested. Thank you for this engagement.

  26. BenRiggs says:

    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

  27. BenRiggs says:

    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

  28. BenRiggs says:

    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

  29. BenRiggs says:

    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

  30. BenRiggs says:

    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

  31. BenRiggs says:

    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

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    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

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    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

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    Here is a link to the first post of this series:

  35. We stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page for a second time.

  36. […] pattern of thinking. I wonder, why am I doing this? In the ashram, they talk about spreading the dharma. If your dharma is to be a yoga teacher in this world then be a yoga teacher. Spread the teachings […]

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