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

Buddhism and Music, part one

We’ve got a long-standing interest in music; coincidentally, a listener asked us a question about music on Facebook, so we took the subject and ran with it! This is the first of three episodes dedicated to the subject of Buddhism and music. Today’s show is a general overview of the subject, both the question of

Renunciation and Family

“Won’t somebody please think of the children!” This week we take up the tension in Buddhism between the ideal of monasticism, the renunciant, the solo practitioner who goes off in search of awakening versus the reality of home life, laity, and family. Our conversation is inspired, in part, by a post last fall over on

Teachers, Authority, and Community

Let’s pick up where we left off; last time we discussed how contemporary Shin Buddhists can make the teachings and practices applicable to modern life, balancing tradition and change. This raises the important question of how one can determine whether or not a particular interpretation of the Buddha Dharma is in line with traditional or

Tradition and Change

Prompted by a listener who’s interested in how Buddhist teachings and practices change over time, in this episode we take up the tension between maintaining tradition versus adaptation to new circumstances. Whereas one could argue that we should look to Shinran as the final authority on what the orthodox Shinshu teaching or practice should be,

Give us your best shot

Harry and I will be heading back into the recording studio soon (i.e., the kodo at the Jodo Shinshu Center) to record some new episodes to be released in December and January. We’ve got some ideas rolling around our heads for podcast topics, but we really want to know — what’s on your mind? Got

Is compassion possible?

Today we go down the rabbit hole of the Tannisho, the so-called razor text of Shin Buddhism, a text that can cut away misunderstandings, or be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands! Specifically, we’re talking about compassion and the question of whether or not great compassion is even possible. In Chapter Four of the Tannisho,

Media Representations of Buddhism

In this episode, Scott complains about the media! Seriously, though, bouncing from the last episode that dealt with the commodification and commercialization of Buddhism, we now deal with the related issue of media representations of Buddhism and Buddhists. How is Buddhism represented in the media, and what we can learn about Buddhism via these representations?