Revamp: writings on secular Buddhism

by Winton Higgins 

A living tradition, Buddhism began as a way of working with the difficulties we all face as mortal, vulnerable, conscious beings. Its founder imbued this practice with an ethic of care, and teachings we can use today to interpret our experience and as a guide to full human flourishing.

Since the Buddha’s death, the dharma has been expressed in many ways in different cultural settings, and often these border crossings enriched it. But when the dharma appeared in religious guise, it became burdened with cosmic beliefs, its practice regimented, and was used as an instrument of social control, stifling the freedom at its heart.

Secularity encourages a search for the good life in today’s circumstances, not as prescribed by timeless myths. As part of the process of the dharma putting down roots in the west, secular Buddhism offers the vitality of the early dharma, free of religious distortions.

In this book, Winton Higgins tracks the emergence of secular Buddhism with a focus on today’s climate emergency and intensifying social injustice that cry out for radical socioeconomic and political change. The ethic of care that underpins a creative dharma practice, he suggests, calls on us to bring our training to bear on these urgent tasks.



Winton Higgins has been a dharma practitioner since 1987, and a teacher of insight meditation since 1995. He has contributed to the development of a secular Buddhism internationally, and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators. He is a member of the editorial board of The Tuwhiri Project, which published his book, After Buddhism, a workbook (2018).

He taught and researched in the politics discipline at Macquarie University until 2000. Since then he has been an associate in international studies at the University of Technology Sydney, while also engaging in creative writing. Winton has written two historical novels – Rule of law and Love death chariot of fire – published by Brandl & Schlesinger in 2016 and 2020 respectively.

He was a board member of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies for 20 years from its inception in 2000, and teaches a course each year at the Aquinas Academy on various ethical, social and political topics.

Winton lives in Sydney with his partner, Lena.



Paperback (New Zealand edition) • NZD $30.00
216 pages – 152mm x 229mm x 8mm
ISBN : 978-0-473-57138-2

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216 pages – 152mm x 229mm x 8mm
ISBN : 978-0-473-57139-9
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