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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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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Listener questions: no-self and universal Buddhism

Prompted by another listener question, we start off clearing up some issues about the “no self” or “anatman” doctrine in Buddhism. Does it mean “no soul”? Short answer, yes with an if; long answer, no with a but. In short, there is a world of difference between the question of a soul in a Christian …

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Listener questions: about us

And we’re back! After a long winter’s break, the DharmaRealm podcast launches its second year “on the air,” so to speak. Prompted by a listener question about why Buddhism “works” for us, we talk about how we each came to discover Buddhism and Shin Buddhism in particular. Harry talks about his experiences growing up in …

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