Study v. Practice

Somewhat in response to a listener question, we dive into the question of practice versus academic study. Is there a difference between academic study and the practice of Buddha? Is one more valuable than the other? Does academic study undermine religious/Buddhist practice? Or can academic study be, in itself, practice? Well, if that’s the case,

Episode 100

Hooray! It’s been ten years since we started this show, and this is our 100th episode! We hit the highlights in this one, themes and topics we’ve touched on several times over the years, including how to practice Shin Buddhism at a distance from a sangha or community. Years ago we tossed out the idea

Shin and Zen Practice, part one

Hey! Check out that new theme song! We finally get around to doing some recording and answering some listener questions, this one about the possibility of combining Shin and Zen Buddhist practice. We dance around the issue for a while, meandering through the minutia of particular ritual styles, before getting to some of the historical

Why do Shin Buddhist practice?

In prepping for our last episode on how to do Shin Buddhist practice, we started thinking about why people do practice and the question of motivations. The conversation starts with a reflection on a conference paper Scott heard early in the summer about Buddhism, the self-help industry, and BCA’s “Zen envy” (hat tip to James

How to do Shin Buddhist practice

We’re back! And we’re taking up a listener question about practicing Buddhism when you’re not near a Shin community, so we’re calling this one “how to do Shin practice?” This is an important question; what is our practice? How do we do the practice? Harry breaks it down into external and internal aspects where the

Read More

Buddhism and music, part three

We round out our conversation about music by focusing on Shin Buddhism, starting with Shinran. It’s clear chanting was an important part of early Shin communities, and many of Shinran’s wasan (poems) have come down to us as songs still sung today. We take a brief detour to talk about Herbie Hancock before getting into

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

Buddhism and Music, part one

We’ve got a long-standing interest in music; coincidentally, a listener asked us a question about music on Facebook, so we took the subject and ran with it! This is the first of three episodes dedicated to the subject of Buddhism and music. Today’s show is a general overview of the subject, both the question of

Teachers, Authority, and Community

Let’s pick up where we left off; last time we discussed how contemporary Shin Buddhists can make the teachings and practices applicable to modern life, balancing tradition and change. This raises the important question of how one can determine whether or not a particular interpretation of the Buddha Dharma is in line with traditional or