3: Ted Meissner

Stephen Schettini talks with Ted Meissner on the question, “Does Buddhism Matter?”

Ted Meissner Contemplates…

Ted Meissner’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, but he is also known as The Secular Buddhist. Ted founded and hosts the Secular Buddhist podcast, where he’s interviewed a broad variety of Buddhists, proto-Buddhist, ex-Buddhists and non-Buddhists, including me. He’s recently inaugurated a second podcast series entitled Present Moment.

Ted interviewed me in 2010 and I immediately felt I was chatting with a friend. Like me, he’s an atheist, more interested in practice than theory, and also like me he’s not antagonistic to organized religion per se, though he is rather suspicious of over-zealous atheists.

In this talk we discuss Ted’s experience at a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction workshop with Jon Kabat-Zinn, his commitment as a practicing Buddhist — notwithstanding his secularism — about religion and Buddhist institutions, about magic and materialism, spirituality and naturalism, fables and myth. Finally we speculate on the migration of Buddhism away from the exclusive monastic environment and into the more eclectic settings of lay life.

Episode 3 – Ted Meissner (46 minutes) RSS

Or, download as MP3:TNM-003: Ted Meissner – 42.29 MB

Sound mixing by Anthony Dominello


The Sound of Viborg by David Kuckherman from his CD The Path of the Metal Turtle

Web Links

The Secular Buddhist Association: www.secularbuddhism.org
The Present Moment: www.presentmomentmindfulness.com


Author: Stephen Schettini

Host of The Naked Monk

5 thoughts on “3: Ted Meissner”

  1. Great discussion! Ted did a very good job of addressing the intersection between the dharma and MBSR.

    I agree that Buddhism still matters, because it is still the most carefully observed and fully explicated presentation we have of the mind’s ability to awaken. It’s important to remember, however, that Buddhism doesn’t own the dharma. Gotama was only able to say “come and see” because there was something already there to be seen.

    1. A very important point Mark. Buddhism began only after the Buddha died. It says a lot more than he did. Some of it good, and some not so good.

  2. Ted Meissner is concise, discerning and stinget as always. He seems brought to his best in your company and I would welcome new episods of this conversation. When I listen I hear the two of you fill your analysis with compassion, deep respect for diversity and curiosity. Thank you.

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