Why Buddhism, part two: with special guest, Mushim Ikeda

Here’s part two of our conversation with Mushim Ikeda of the East Bay Meditation Center. We jump right in from where we left off in the last episode, trying to answer the question of “Why Buddhism?” (Spoiler alert: it’s gotta do with the ego.) A lot of our conversation meanders around different experiences in the

Why Buddhism, part one: with special guest, Mushim Ikeda

Today is part one of a three-part series of episodes featuring our very first special guest star, Mushim Ikeda. Mushim is a Buddhist teacher, author, mentor and the community coordinator and a core teacher of Oakland’s East Bay Meditation Center. Mushim helps us unpack what may seem like a very basic question: why Buddhism? There’s

Buddhism and magic

We’re not talking about magicians, we’re talking about ritual and whether or not there is some efficacious power inherent in Buddhist ritual practice. Ritual is often derided by modern folks or rejected explicitly as not a part of Buddhism, distinct from practice proper. But there’s ritual throughout Buddhist history and practice, and ritual serves an

Social Justice, part two

One of the issues that came up in our last conversation was the idea of “original enlightenment,” or the idea that from an enlightened point of view, everything’s equal. Today we take up some of the consequences of this view; do we use this idea as a way to minimize, dismiss, or disregard the experiences

Social justice, part one

Is the BCA silent on issues of social justice? For many, it might seem like there’s no Shin Buddhist public voice in the American  discourse on Buddhism and social justice. We’ve been asked several times about this, so today is part one of a larger conversation about Shin Buddhism and social justice. We start by

Why do Shin Buddhist practice?

In prepping for our last episode on how to do Shin Buddhist practice, we started thinking about why people do practice and the question of motivations. The conversation starts with a reflection on a conference paper Scott heard early in the summer about Buddhism, the self-help industry, and BCA’s “Zen envy” (hat tip to James

How to do Shin Buddhist practice

We’re back! And we’re taking up a listener question about practicing Buddhism when you’re not near a Shin community, so we’re calling this one “how to do Shin practice?” This is an important question; what is our practice? How do we do the practice? Harry breaks it down into external and internal aspects where the

Read More

Buddhism and music, part three

We round out our conversation about music by focusing on Shin Buddhism, starting with Shinran. It’s clear chanting was an important part of early Shin communities, and many of Shinran’s wasan (poems) have come down to us as songs still sung today. We take a brief detour to talk about Herbie Hancock before getting into

Buddhism and Music, part two

In part two of our discussion of Buddhism and music, we talk (mostly) about the potential genre of “Buddhist music.” Genre is a tricky; it raises all sorts of questions about who gets to define an artist or musician and whether or not it further divides people into camps of musical identity. But we definitely