Suffering: part two

We return to the topic of suffering and start off with the many nuanced meanings of the term. We get into some deep Abhidharma stuff and talk about how all dharmas are marked with impermanence and early Buddhist conceptions of suffering and the nature of samsara. This leads us to a nice little conversation about the relationship between samsara and nirvana which eventually leads us to hearty debate about “basic Buddhism” and what Shinran really knew. We wrap it all up with an insightful commentary on the trap of attachments that cause suffering.

Suffering: part one

We’re back! And we’re talking about suffering! We start with the problem of translation — duhkha as suffering, unrest, un- or dis-satisfactoriness, and so forth. Basically, something’s not quite right. How does this fit in with the Four Noble Truths? What is the cause of suffering? What are the different types of suffering? Today we

september preview
september preview

september preview

September 5 we will return with a new batch of podcasts! For the time being, enjoy this video preview of things to come. Click the following link to see a larger, better quality version of this video: Full quality version. Watch out! It’s a pretty big file and may take some time to open up.

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Karma: bonus!

Surprise! During our “karma sessions,” we had a lot to say. So we’ve got a short little bonus podcast to wrap up our conversation about karma, the Sharon Stone gaffe, and how karma causes earthquakes. No, no, karma doesn’t cause earthquakes! But we do we do talk about whether or not China’s ruling party has

Karma: part two

In the second installment of our conversation on karma, we start with a critique of Sharon Stone’s comments on karma, the Chinese government, and earthquakes, exploring the problems with her essentialist claims. We don’t linger there long, though, and wander off to discuss good versus evil karma and whether or not those who do intentionally

Karma: part one

One of the many words from Indian philosophy that has found its way into modern English, the concept of karma is often equated with a kind of fatalistic good (or bad) fortune. Our conversation today covers a lot of ground, from popular (mis)conceptions of what karma means to the relationship of karma to reincarnation and

the Buddha: part two

Our second conversation on the Buddha, and what “the Buddha” means, we begin by talking about the Buddha in a specifically Pure Land Buddhist context. In particular we talk about Shinran’s take on the Buddha, Dharmakara, and Amida. Shin Buddhist thought is both a part of Mahayana thought and somehow separate. We explore some of

the Buddha: part one

What is the buddha? What are the ways people have conceived of the Buddha? Was he just a person? Teacher? Doctor? Historical figure? A transcendental super-human soteriological reality? All of these and more?! These are but some of the questions we raise in our discussion of the Buddha. Siddhartha Gautama, the eternal Sakyamuni Buddha, Buddha-bodies