Buddhist Ethics

Picking up where we left off (in our D&D episode), we wrestle again with the questions and challenges of Buddhist ethics. We begin with the assumption that a basic Buddhist ethical framework is based on compassion and informed by the wisdom of seeing the world clearly, as it is. But this clarity of vision is

Ethics (and Dungeons and Dragons)

That title should really be “Dungeons and Dragons (and Ethics).” Or “D&D, Star Wars, and Cats (with some Buddhism sprinkled in).” In our first episode for 2016, we wanted to begin a conversation about social ethics — somehow we got sidetracked by Dungeons and Dragons, the classic role playing game that we both grew up

Good and Evil

Okay. Some big questions this time around, none of which we’re gonna answer but we have a good time talking around the issues. Does (Shin) Buddhism give us a way to act? Are there guidelines on how to be good and avoid evil? Is it right to even judge persons as good and evil or

Why Buddhism (and mindfulness) part three: with special guest, Mushim Ikeda

Our third and final episode with special guest Mushim Ikeda from the East Bay Meditation Center. In this show, we use the current popularity of mindfulness based meditation practices (and their secularized off-shoots) to answer the “why Buddhism” question. We discuss what mindfulness means in classic Buddhist terms (satti/smrti as well as Pure Land nenbutsu)

Why Buddhism, part two: with special guest, Mushim Ikeda

Here’s part two of our conversation with Mushim Ikeda of the East Bay Meditation Center. We jump right in from where we left off in the last episode, trying to answer the question of “Why Buddhism?” (Spoiler alert: it’s gotta do with the ego.) A lot of our conversation meanders around different experiences in the

Social Justice, part two

One of the issues that came up in our last conversation was the idea of “original enlightenment,” or the idea that from an enlightened point of view, everything’s equal. Today we take up some of the consequences of this view; do we use this idea as a way to minimize, dismiss, or disregard the experiences

Social justice, part one

Is the BCA silent on issues of social justice? For many, it might seem like there’s no Shin Buddhist public voice in the American  discourse on Buddhism and social justice. We’ve been asked several times about this, so today is part one of a larger conversation about Shin Buddhism and social justice. We start by

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,

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

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,