Live show part two: rants

In the second installment of our Live Show, we start off talking about the distinctiveness of Shin Buddhism and its difference and similarities to other types of Buddhism. This somehow sets us off on a series of rants against, among other things, The Golden Chain and universalistic Buddhism. (Our apologies to Golden Chain or One

First live show: a certain reality

On Friday October 2, we did our first recording before a live studio audience. Setting up in the Kodo of the Jodo Shinshu Center, Harry and I did a little live mixing of our theme music before launching into a regular podcast, this one inspired by a listener question. The question? What’s the Pure Land?

Listener question: where are all the bodhisattvas?

A listener writes in with an extremely interesting question: if Jodo Shinshu claims that when you go to the Pure Land you come back to this world as a bodhisattva, where are all these bodhisattvas?! This begs a lot of questions and raises a lot of issues about Jodo Shinshu Buddhism with the most obvious

Seven Masters (part one): Nagarjuna

Once again, we take our inspiration from you, our listeners! One of our Facebook fans asks about the Seven Pure Land Masters, so we take up the cause with what may be the beginning a seven-part series. In this episode, we talk about Nagarjuna, a seminal figure whose twin concepts, emptiness (shunyata) and the two

Listener question: ordination

A listener posed a two-part question via our Facebook page about why there aren’t monks in the Shin tradition and how one becomes a minister. We tackle this complicated issue by going back to the beginning with a quick overview of Buddhist monastic history from Sakyamuni Buddha through the rest of Asia. Things get a

Listener question: the future

Prompted by a listener who asked us to speculate on the next century of Buddhism in America, this time around we talk about some current trends and social issues that will no doubt have an influence on the direction of Buddhist sanghas. We start, oddly enough, in the past and consider the surprising twists and

Listener question: Shin Buddhist practice

This time around we respond to a listener question about Shin practice, an issue we’ve tried to tackle before, and one that we’re likely to tackle again. Shin practice raises some complex, doctrinal issues. S we begin with a look at Shan Dao’s Five Practices which include, of course, reciting the name of Amida Buddha.

Listener questions: alternative approaches

This episode was inspired by a listener’s question about the relevance of a “Dharma Punx” model to Jodo Shinshu. We start off talking about how Shin Buddhism and the BCA in particular can be seen as “family Buddhism,” a double-edge sword in that it’s great for families but can be a little off-putting for folks

Listener questions: no-self and universal Buddhism

Prompted by another listener question, we start off clearing up some issues about the “no self” or “anatman” doctrine in Buddhism. Does it mean “no soul”? Short answer, yes with an if; long answer, no with a but. In short, there is a world of difference between the question of a soul in a Christian

Listener questions: about us

And we’re back! After a long winter’s break, the DharmaRealm podcast launches its second year “on the air,” so to speak. Prompted by a listener question about why Buddhism “works” for us, we talk about how we each came to discover Buddhism and Shin Buddhism in particular. Harry talks about his experiences growing up in