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

Interdependence: bonus!

An extra Friday this month gets you an extra episode of the DharmaRealm podcast! In today’s episode, Harry and I wrap up our conversation on interdependence, touching on everything from the complex web of karmic causes and conditions knowable only to Buddhas to the daily lives of our cats. Finally, we place this topic back

Interdependence: part one

In today’s podcast we discuss the concept of interdependence. Beginning with the Sanskrit term pratityasamutpada, or Dependent Coarising, interdependence has played a fairly central role in Buddhist thought, over the centuries influencing Hua-yen philosophy and Buddhist relationships to nature. And because there’s an extra Friday this month (and because we sure can talk a lot!),

American Buddhism: part two

In part two of our episode on American Buddhism, our conversation meanders from such topics as: How does one become a Buddhist? What is the relationship between becoming a Buddhist and intellectual study? How import is taking the three refuges? How important is community? We also discuss the important role that Buddhist art and images

American Buddhism: part one

In our conversation today, we discuss the difficulty of talking about the large, diverse set of practice traditions collectively known as “American Buddhism.” How can you talk meaningfully about such a wide array of Buddhist communities, beliefs, and practices? And how do we engage non-Buddhists and those new on the path who may have their