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

Today is part one of a three-part series of episodes featuring our very first special guest star, Mushim Ikeda. Mushim is a Buddhist teacher, author, mentor and the community coordinator and a core teacher of Oakland’s East Bay Meditation Center. Mushim helps us unpack what may seem like a very basic question: why Buddhism? There’s …

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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 …

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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, …

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Buddhism and sci-fi (part two)

Picking up from where we left off, this week we ask what does any of this sci-fi stuff have to do with Buddhism?! On the one hand, while there may be parallels between sci-fi and Buddhism, often they deal with similar issues in very different ways. How movies like Alien or Starship Troopers deal with …

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Seven Masters (part two): not really about the seven masters

Some time ago, a listener asked us to talk about the Seven Masters and we dutifully responded with an episode on Nagarjuna. We thought we might take a stab at the other Masters, but this post quickly veers off topic — but the diversion is well worth a listen! The conversation begins with a discussion …

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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 …

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Justice

Our first show of the fall season (recorded earlier this summer) was inspired by a bumper sticker of all things: if you want peace, work for justice. Harry and Scott take up the question of what is justice? And what does justice mean in a Buddhist context? Of course never ones to give you a …

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No self

In this month’s first episode, we decided to take on the difficult Buddhist concept of “no self” or anatman. It can be a frightening prospect to give up the idea that any of us have a permanent self, but don’t be afraid! It’s good to wrestle with these ideas and come to a deeper understanding …

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Karma: bonus!

Surprise! During our “karma sessions,” we had a lot to say. So we’ve got a short little bonus podcast to wrap up our conversation about karma, the Sharon Stone gaffe, and how karma causes earthquakes. No, no, karma doesn’t cause earthquakes! But we do we do talk about whether or not China’s ruling party has …

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