Pure Land Diversity

In response to a listener question, we discuss the variety of Pure Land practices outside the Shin and Japanese traditions. We begin by noting that Honen and Shinran set up distinct schools and institutions devoted to a single Pure Land practice (nenbutsu) whereas across the Buddhist world, Pure Land is best understood not as a

Diversity of Buddhist Teaching

Following up on our conversation from last time, we tackle a list of listener questions that we thought would be simple but took us off in really different directions. The first question is whether or not Japanese Buddhist traditions rely on the Pali canon — yes? no? maybe? we don’t know! We (well, really, Scott)

Japanese Buddhism

In response to a bunch of listener questions that we thought would be pretty straightforward, we bring you several episodes to discuss, first, the differences between Japanese Buddhist schools of Jodo Shu, Jodo Shinshu, and Nichiren. What unites these traditions are their founders’ experiences in the Tendai tradition and eventual dedication to a single path

Special episode: good dharma friends and teachers

Reflecting on the sad news of Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno’s passing this past month, we thought we’d do a special short episode to acknowledge his influence in our own lives as well as appreciating our good Dharma friends and teachers. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with full-length episodes answering listener questions. Thanks

Good and Evil

Okay. Some big questions this time around, none of which we’re gonna answer but we have a good time talking around the issues. Does (Shin) Buddhism give us a way to act? Are there guidelines on how to be good and avoid evil? Is it right to even judge persons as good and evil or

Meta episode: podcast about the podcast

We’re doing a post-modern meta show about the show where we talk about the show. It’s been six years, this is episode number eighty, and we want to take stock and talk about what we’ve done and where we’re headed. Actually, we have a really hard time remembering what we talk about once we post

Tariki, Jiriki (Shin and Zen, part three)

Just gonna say it up front: Harry’s on fire in these episodes, saying some profound stuff! In this final installment of our reflections on Shin and Zen practice, we take up the issue of other-power/self-power. We dive right into the deep and complicated issues about the nature of the self, what’s at stake in the

Shin and Zen Practice, part two

We take up the issue from last time, wandering around the historical circumstances of exclusive practice, Kamakura-era Buddhist schools, deal with how the context in which one practices matters, ritual efficacy, heresy, and whether there’s really a difference between zazen and nembutsu. We don’t really answer the question of whether or not one can combine

Shin and Zen Practice, part one

Hey! Check out that new theme song! We finally get around to doing some recording and answering some listener questions, this one about the possibility of combining Shin and Zen Buddhist practice. We dance around the issue for a while, meandering through the minutia of particular ritual styles, before getting to some of the historical

Why Buddhism (and mindfulness) part three: with special guest, Mushim Ikeda

Our third and final episode with special guest Mushim Ikeda from the East Bay Meditation Center. In this show, we use the current popularity of mindfulness based meditation practices (and their secularized off-shoots) to answer the “why Buddhism” question. We discuss what mindfulness means in classic Buddhist terms (satti/smrti as well as Pure Land nenbutsu)