Pure Land Diversity

In response to a listener question, we discuss the variety of Pure Land practices outside the Shin and Japanese traditions. We begin by noting that Honen and Shinran set up distinct schools and institutions devoted to a single Pure Land practice (nenbutsu) whereas across the Buddhist world, Pure Land is best understood not as a

Shin and Zen Practice, part two

We take up the issue from last time, wandering around the historical circumstances of exclusive practice, Kamakura-era Buddhist schools, deal with how the context in which one practices matters, ritual efficacy, heresy, and whether there’s really a difference between zazen and nembutsu. We don’t really answer the question of whether or not one can combine

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,

Live show part two: nembutsu and music

In the second installment of our live show, we answer two listener questions. First, we received a question about Shin Buddhist nembutsu practice and the concern that chanting the nembutsu might be something of a crutch, that while making one more calm it might distract us from very real world social problems. We frame this

Seven Masters (part one): Nagarjuna

Once again, we take our inspiration from you, our listeners! One of our Facebook fans asks about the Seven Pure Land Masters, so we take up the cause with what may be the beginning a seven-part series. In this episode, we talk about Nagarjuna, a seminal figure whose twin concepts, emptiness (shunyata) and the two

Listener question: the future

Prompted by a listener who asked us to speculate on the next century of Buddhism in America, this time around we talk about some current trends and social issues that will no doubt have an influence on the direction of Buddhist sanghas. We start, oddly enough, in the past and consider the surprising twists and

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

Mindfulness: part two

In part two of our inaugural, two-part podcast, we finish our discussion of mindfulness practice not only in Buddhism more generally but how it relates to the nembutsu; nembutsu practice is mindfulness practice in that it “brings to mind” Amida Buddha. Thanks for listening! http://media.blubrry.com/dharmarealm/p/www.dharmarealm.com/podcast/episode_one2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (43.3MB) | EmbedSubscribe: Apple