Buddhist Ethics

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

Good and Evil

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

Renunciation and Family

“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

Is compassion possible?

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,

America, Buddhism, and Individualism

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

Buddhism and humanity

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,

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.

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