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

Shin Buddhism 101

We’ve been inspired. A listener wrote in asking for the basics of Shin Buddhism? Could we do a sort of Jodo Shinshu 101 episode? And we thought, well, we can try. This is a great question and in an effort to help clear up misconceptions and to help folks know more about Shin Buddhism, we’d

Seven Masters (part three): is Cthulhu one of the seven masters?

Continuing on in our meandering diversion from a conversation about the Shinshu Seven Masters, this episode starts right where we left off last time in a conversation about the promises and pitfalls of “one Buddhism” or a universal religion. The underlying issue here has to do with problems of difference or “otherness,” something that we

Listener question: where is the Vow?

Inspired by a conversation amongst fans on our Facebook page, we take up the issue of vows in Buddhism. Obviously, we need to start with how vows are understood specifically in the Mahayana context, especially Bodhisattva vows. But these aren’t the only types of vows in Buddhism, and we discuss different types of vows. Some

Live show part three: abortion and shinjin

In part of three of the live show series, our first question has to do with Shin Buddhism’s stance on aborted fetuses. Scott cleverly ducks the question but Harry provides some interesting insight into the Japanese ritual of mizuko kuyo (water baby ceremony) and the efficacy of ritual in Shin Buddhist context. Our second question

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

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

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: practice

In our first “listener response” episode, we tackle the question of how to practice Shin Buddhism (or any kind of Buddhism) if you don’t live near a community. Our take on the issue begins, appropriately enough, on the Internet and how the Web can be a great source of information. But, of course, the Web

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