Association of Mindfulness Mediation & Secular Buddhism
Mark W. Gura is president of the nonprofit Association of Mindfulness Meditation and Secular Buddhism (AMMSB.org), formerly the co-host of the original Richard Dawkins Award, former secretary of the board for the Atheist Republic (facebook.com/AtheistRepublic, a 2+ million follower Facebook community), and currently the president of the Atheist Alliance of America (atheistallianceamerica.org)
Mark coined the term “fourth wave atheism” as he is passionate about replacing the four pillars of religion with secular practices. Born in Poland and having immigrated to the USA at an early age, Gura has over 20 years of experience in practicing mindfulness meditation/Vipassana, which he learned from the late S.N. Goenka in India. Mark authored the book “Atheist Meditation: Atheist Spirituality” and “Exploring Your Life,” he is also inspired by travel, sailing, and discovery, having explored almost 100 countries. For more information, see markWgura.com.
Fourth Wave Atheism and Secular Meditation
Atheist Alliance of America and the Association of Mindfulness Meditation (AtheistAllianceAmerica.org) and Secular Buddhism (AMMSB.org) sponsor a presentation at BAHACON 2022 by their president Mark W. Gura on Sunday, August 25, from 9am to 10:00 am to describe the concept of “Fourth Wave Atheism.” Mark will also answer questions and provide secular, mindfulness meditation instruction during the session.
Religion stands on four shaky pillars that seek to convince humanity that faith-based systems are required for human well-being. These pillars include the idea that religion is an essential component in creating a community that unites people. Secondly, that religion is necessary to provide people with an optimistic worldview. Thirdly, that religion is required to define and enforce a system of ethics or morality. In its fourth deliverable, the world’s religions have sought to monopolize psychological techniques that provide inner well-being by spreading the idea that spirituality requires a belief in the supernatural.
These four pillars are now being eroded by the realization that religion is not required to live a good life. In the first wave, atheists provide communities that bring people together from every spectrum, and we now know that religious communities are not required. In the second wave, atheists have realized that we do not need religious worldviews because we can lead meaningful, purpose-driven lives informed by science and reason. In the third wave, we’ve shown that religion is not required to live ethically or altruistically. Finally, fourth-wave atheism indicates that faith in the supernatural is not necessary to practice a system of inner peace and spirituality.
Where once faith-based systems convinced people that religion was an essential requirement for human well-being, these four waves represent the deterioration of the four-pillar-hold that religion has had on humanity.
The unique deliverable that the Atheist Alliance of America brings to the atheist community is its role in specializing in the fourth wave. In 2022-23, the Atheist Alliance of America will be introducing several new programs that empower communities to practice fourth-wave atheism.