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

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: ordination

A listener posed a two-part question via our Facebook page about why there aren’t monks in the Shin tradition and how one becomes a minister. We tackle this complicated issue by going back to the beginning with a quick overview of Buddhist monastic history from Sakyamuni Buddha through the rest of Asia. Things get a

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 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: alternative approaches

This episode was inspired by a listener’s question about the relevance of a “Dharma Punx” model to Jodo Shinshu. We start off talking about how Shin Buddhism and the BCA in particular can be seen as “family Buddhism,” a double-edge sword in that it’s great for families but can be a little off-putting for folks

Heresy

One of the issues that came up for us in our post-modern conversations was the idea that here in the post-modern world, we’re all free to choose whatever religion we want, to choose whatever we want to believe or practice — which raises the specter of heresy! In this episode, we talk about Buddhist heresy

Post-modern Shinshu: part two

It’s been a year since Harry and I started our podcast! But, this episode isn’t really about that — I just thought I’d acknowledge the milestone and take this opportunity to say thank you to all our listeners and fans. In this episode, we continue our discussion of postmodern Shinshu and Buddhism more or less

Post-modern Shinshu: part one

Somewhat related to our last episode on the one thing that unites all Buddhist schools, this week Harry and Scott talk about a post-modern Shin Buddhism. To really talk about post-modernity, of course, we needed to dwell a bit on modernity and how its use of meta-narratives helped explain the world. But the meta-narratives also