Buddhism, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness

Hey! This is our fiftieth episode! This week, we take up our conversation from last time about aspects of American culture and their intersection with Buddhism — this time, talking about freedom. What does freedom mean in an American context? And how is this more political understanding different from or similar to soteriological concerns of

America, Buddhism, and Individualism

Inspired by a Dharma Talk at the BCA National Council Meeting, Rev. Harry starts us off by suggesting that individualism is a point of contact between Buddhism and American culture. This seems somewhat counterintuitive given that individuality seems at odds with Buddhist ideas of interdependence, no-self, or non-attachment to the ego. But we think there

A Buddhist view of History

For some reason, we thought we’d start talking about the Seven Masters. But we get immediately sidetracked by Herbert Güenther, a Buddhist scholar who wrote about the Madhyamaka and Yogacara schools of Buddhism. Interestingly, his discussion of the development of these schools isn’t exactly historically accurate from a Western point of view — but it

Ichinen-sanzen (part two)

In this episode, we continue our conversation on ichinen-sanzen, but take the conversation up a notch. We’re wrestling with some difficult issues in Buddhist philosophy; namely, if we understand samsara to be the realm of delusion and defilements and nirvana to be a purified realm, how do we reconcile this dichotomy with a generally non-dualistic

Ichinen-sanzen (part one)

Rev. Harry brings up the complex idea of ichinen sanzen — three thousands things in a single thought moment — from Tendai (Tiantai) Buddhism. In short, ichinen sanzen says that each thought moment contains within it all of existence — wait, what? How does all of existence exist within each thought moment? Whose thought moment?

Buddhism and belief

Inspired by a listener question/discussion on Facebook, we tackle the issue of belief in (Shin) Buddhism, specifically when it comes to Pure Land imagery. Are we expected to believe in it in some substantive, literal sense? Or do we take it as metaphorical? Symbolic? Symbolic of what exactly? We start by suggesting that wrestling with

Buddhism and humanity

In this episode, we wrap up our conversation about humanism and Buddhism and what the two might have to say to one another, starting off with a question about what Buddhism might say regarding the value or importance of humanity. Humanism seems to suggest that humanity is rather important. But in Buddhism we find ourselves,

Individual practice, community practice

Even though this week’s episode isn’t really about humanism per se, we pick up where we left off last time, allowing Scott a moment to clarify what he meant when he said that Buddhism doesn’t care about the individual. This week is really all about individual practice versus community practice, what does it mean to

Buddhism and Humanism

We’re back! Using a couple of related listener questions as a jumping off point, we start a conversation about what Buddhism might have to say about (secular) humanism or what humanism might have to say about Buddhism. Apart from anything humanism may have to say about the rejection of a supernatural or religious foundation for

It’s Summertime

It’s summertime. So here’s an important announcement and a hearty thank you! http://media.blubrry.com/dharmarealm/p/www.dharmarealm.com/podcast/episode_forty-one.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:26 — 1.7MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS