I didn’t want to talk about flat earth or post-truth or aliens! But Harry made me! Anyway. If you listen to this episode, you’ll get an earful of Star Trek, X-Files, aliens, conspiracy theories, multiple interpretations of reality, and even some Buddhism, Shinran, and the Tannisho mixed in as well. Enjoy!
Faith! We’re bouncing off a question about faith in our personal experience with Buddhism. Now, we know that having said faith, half of you said “There’s no faith in Buddhism!” And the other half said, “Well, what do you mean by faith?” We’re gonna tell you what we mean by faith and hopefully the other… Continue reading Experience and Faith
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,… Continue reading Study v. Practice
Picking up where we left off (in our D&D episode), we wrestle again with the questions and challenges of Buddhist ethics. We begin with the assumption that a basic Buddhist ethical framework is based on compassion and informed by the wisdom of seeing the world clearly, as it is. But this clarity of vision is… Continue reading Buddhist Ethics
Okay. Some big questions this time around, none of which we’re gonna answer but we have a good time talking around the issues. Does (Shin) Buddhism give us a way to act? Are there guidelines on how to be good and avoid evil? Is it right to even judge persons as good and evil or… Continue reading Good and Evil
"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… Continue reading Renunciation and Family
Today we go down the rabbit hole of the Tannisho, the so-called razor text of Shin Buddhism, a text that can cut away misunderstandings, or be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands! Specifically, we're talking about compassion and the question of whether or not great compassion is even possible. In Chapter Four of the Tannisho,… Continue reading Is compassion possible?
Inspired by a Dharma Talk at the BCA National Council Meeting, Rev. Harry starts us off by suggesting that individualism is a point of contact between Buddhism and American culture. This seems somewhat counterintuitive given that individuality seems at odds with Buddhist ideas of interdependence, no-self, or non-attachment to the ego. But we think there… Continue reading America, Buddhism, and Individualism
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,… Continue reading Buddhism and humanity
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.… Continue reading Listener question: Shin Buddhist practice