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’Revamp: Writings On Secular Buddhism’, A New Book By Winton Higgins, Due Out 26 April 2021

‘Revamp: writings on secular Buddhism’, is a new book by Winton Higgins, which will be published by Tuwhiri on 26 April 2021. The book 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.

‘A living tradition, Buddhism began as a way of working with the difficulties we all face as mortal, vulnerable, conscious beings,’ said Winton Higgins. ‘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,’ he went on, ‘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,’ said Winton, ‘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.’

Winton Higgins has played a crucial role in helping people understand the meaning and value of a secular dharma. The essays collected in Revamp reveal his ability to provide us with a lucid, nuanced account of the historical roots and key philosophical ideas of secular Buddhism.

At the same time, he insightfully explores the essential practices which promote human flourishing in this world: a non-formulaic approach to insight meditation, the creation of democratic communities of practitioners, and progressive political activism to confront the two great challenges of climate change and economic injustice.

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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.

A board member of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies for 20 years from its inception in 2000, he teaches a course each year at the Aquinas Academy on various ethical, social and political topics. Winton lives in Sydney with his partner, Lena.


’Written with great intelligence, care and wit, Revamp is the most comprehensive account of secular Buddhism currently available. Ranging from the transformative inner experience of mindfulness to the social and political challenges of dharmic citizenship, Winton Higgins weaves the many diverse threads of contemporary Buddhist practice into a compelling whole. Revamp is an inspiring example of critical and creative thinking about the most pressing issues facing humanity in our time.’

– Stephen Batchelor, author After Buddhism: rethinking the dharma for a secular age

Though making careful connections with western and eastern philosophy and psychology, Winton Higgins continually challenges dearly held views that have underpinned much of western Buddhism. Throughout this book Winton reframes and finds new words for the four tasks as ‘the kernel of the Buddha’s teaching’. Each time he languages the tasks a bit differently, I become more resonant with the path I tread. If, like myself, you are not scholarly – hang in there! Reading this book takes effort, but it’s well worth it. Winton’s words are nectar to my heart and mind: I will read them often.

– Nelly Kaufer, lead teacher, Pine Street Sangha, Portland, Oregon


A publishing imprint created by secular Buddhists in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia, Tuwhiri is 100 percent owned by a registered charity, Aotearoa Buddhist Education Trust (ABET). As a social enterprise with no investor shareholders and no need to prioritise profit-making, Tuwhiri is able to focus on its purpose: helping people find meaning in a difficult world.

As well as publishing books on early Buddhism, its retrieval, and secular adaptation to twenty-first century conditions, A recent Tuwhiri initiative has been the newsletter, Creative Dharma. It was also instrumental in creating the online secular Buddhism course that is available through

A word in te reo Maori, ‘tuwhiri’ means to disclose, reveal, divulge, make known, or a clue, a means of discovering or disclosing something lost or hidden, a hint, a tip, a pointer.


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