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Ethics for a Whole World – Book Circle

May 23, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every 2 weeks that begins at 6:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until May 23, 2019

475kr – 715kr

What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics.

  • from “Beyond Religion” by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Beyond religion

This book circle is based on the book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World”. As the quote above says, secular ethics is about values which unite us humankind irrespective of whether we are religious or not.

What is secularism according to Dalai Lama? How can we deal with destructive emotions? What is a happy life? How are compassion and ethics related to happiness? How can we personally contribute to peace and benevolence in the whole world?

If you are curious about such questions, then this book circle is for you! Book circles are fun! We will explore the meaning of secular ethics by reading the book, take part in meaningful discussions and share our experiences and insights with like-minded people.

Per BertilssonAbout Per Bertilsson, the book circle facilitator:
Per has had a long international career working for UN- agencies and other international organizations on developmental issues focusing on environmental and natural resources management and social development. He has lived and worked in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America for close to 30 years. In parallel with his professional career, Per has been a student of Buddhism and Buddhist history and art. He has a particular interest in the historical evolution of Buddhism. Per is committed to promoting secular ethics as an essential part of addressing the challenges of today’s society.

Dates: April 11, April 25, May 9, May 23.
THURSDAYS at 18.00-20.00
There is a break for fika.
The book “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World” is included in the price of the course.

Introduction to the book, “Beyond Religion”, Dalai Lama – by Per Bertilsson
– In Dalai Lama’s book “Beyond Religion”, the concept of “secular ethics” is introduced and promoted. The concept stands for basic human values that all religions subscribe to. In today’s complex and inter-connected world there is a need to go beyond the traditional religions, and agree and adopt a set of common ethics.
– Application of secular ethics addresses many of the challenges that society faces today. It contains valuable and eternal wisdom and guidance that would make our lives better. If I was to recommend one book for people to read, it would be this one.


  1. Introduction and Secular Ethics
  2. Introduction
  3. Rethinking secularism
  4. Our common humanity
  5. The quest for happiness


  1. Compassion and Ethics in Our Shared World
  2. Compassion, the foundation of well-being
  3. Compassion and the question of justice
  4. The role of Discernment
  5. Ethics in a shared world


  1. Educating the heart
  2. Ethical mindfulness in everyday life
  3. Dealing with destructive emotions
  4. Cultivating key inner values


  1. Training the mind
  2. Meditation as mental cultivation
  3. Afterword

Discussion points

Introduction of book circle participants.
What was your motivation to join this book circle?
What are your expectations and what do you hope to get out of it?

Discussion points
Is secular ethics an understandable concept and term?
How is it relevant to ourselves, Sweden and the world?
How can it be shared effectively?
Why is it relevant in today’s society?
What unites us and divides us as human beings?
How can we be happier persons?
Inner values contra external, material aspects of life – how can a balance be achieved?

Are empathy and equality important values and if so, why?
How can we cultivate compassion?
What is the role for discernment?
What are some of the challenges in the world today when it comes to adopting secular ethics, how can they be addressed?

How can we put ethics into our lives?
How can we deal with destructive emotions?
What are some of the key inner values that we need to cultivate and how can we do this?

What is the role of mediation and mental cultivation?
How can mental cultivation lead to spiritual and inner transformation?
Important aspects of mental practice.
What are the benefits of mental training?
What are some formal practices?

Reflections on the book circle
Were your expectations of the book circle met?
What did you get out of the sessions?
What was good and suggestions for improvements.
Do you intend to build on this experience and if so how?

Next steps
What actions could be taken to promote the application and adoption of secular ethics in Sweden? Who are the key actors?


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May 23, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
475kr – 715kr
Event Categories:
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Yeshe Norbu


Yeshe Norbu Mind Training Centre
Roslagsgatan 62
Stockholm, 113 56 Sweden
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