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Five Ways We Construct Ourselves

Five Ways We Construct Ourselves

We construct our own identities throughout our lives. While these constructs can be useful and healthy at times, often they are not, and in the longer term they can get in our own way. Using a Buddhist understanding of the person we will look at five basic ways we construct our own self identities and […]

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King Asoka: Buddhism’s Great Political Modernist

King Asoka: Buddhism’s Great Political Modernist

King Aśoka was arguably Buddhism’s most important political convert. We’ll look at how his edicts were modern, enlightened, and inclusive, bringing to fruition a Buddhist approach to society and politics. Sutta mentioned: Upāli Sutta (MN 56) Book: N. A. Nikam, Richard McKeon (eds.), Edicts of Asoka Other Texts: Richard Gombrich, “Aśoka — The Great Upāsaka” […]

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Women in Buddhism: an Early History

Women in Buddhism: an Early History

We’ll take a look at the history of women in Buddhism, focusing mainly on the period of the Buddha and his immediate followers. Then we’ll spend a little time looking at later developments, before finishing up with the fascinating story of an early nun who is responsible for one of the most famous analogies in […]

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History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension

History of Zen Buddhism: Paradox and Tension

Many people come to Buddhist belief and practice through Zen, but not many people have an appreciation for its history. In this video we’ll take a look at both its more and less legendary history, as well as the internal strains that led to the development of the two major schools of Zen. Books: Bashō, […]

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Episode 303 :: Bernat Font :: Secular Mindfulness and Buddhism

Episode 303 :: Bernat Font :: Secular Mindfulness and Buddhism

Bernat Font Our friend Bernat Font returns to the podcast to speak about Stream Entry as practice, and the evolution of secular mindfulness and Buddhism. As many of you know, Buddhism is not a monolithic religion with no variation. There are lots of different branches, each with their own further unique interpretations, rituals, and ways […]

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Episode 302 :: Daniel Cozort :: Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics

Episode 302 :: Daniel Cozort :: Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics

Daniel Cozort Dan Cozort joins us to speak about the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics. One of the richest aspects of the study of Buddhism is how its ethical framework resonates or may be a bit discordant with a particular time and place. Far from being a dusty retrospective of what was, Buddhist ethics has […]

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Episode 301 :: Michael Jerryson :: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence

Episode 301 :: Michael Jerryson :: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence

Michael Jerryson Michael Jerryson joins us to speak about his book If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence. Last episode of this podcast we saw how Buddhism helped one man change his worldview to one of compassion and care for his fellow human beings. And, as Buddhists, this can be […]

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Episode 300 :: Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka :: The Gift of Our Wounds

Episode 300 :: Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka :: The Gift of Our Wounds

Dhammapada Verse 5 Kalayakkhini Vatthu Na hi verena verani sammantidha kudacanam averena ca sammanti esa dhammo sanantano. Hatred never ends through hatred. By non-hatred alone does it end. This is an ancient truth. The Dhammapada: Teachings of the Buddha translated from the Pali by Gil Fronsdal 2008 Thank you for joining us for this landmark […]

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10/14 Practice Circle: Clinging and Letting Go

10/14 Practice Circle: Clinging and Letting Go

Several of my MBSR teachers use Mark Nepo’s book, The Book of Awakening, as a source of inspiration and practice guidance.  The book contains 365 contemplations, one for every day of the year, along with practice suggestions to go with each. Over the next few Practice Circle sessions, we’ll be working with chapters from The […]

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Two Important (but Rather Overlooked) Episodes in Human History

Two Important (but Rather Overlooked) Episodes in Human History

I Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta — Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion – Samyutta Nikaya 56.11 The End of the Buddha’s First Sermon The Buddha’s First Sermon is a very important event in human history indeed – but fortunately it cannot be said to have been overlooked. In it the Buddha expounds the Middle Way and […]

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8/26 Practice Circle: Getting Out of Default Mode

8/26 Practice Circle: Getting Out of Default Mode

I have tended to give concentration practice short shrift. To me, devotion to intense concentration – jhana practice, long sesshins, and the like – seemed like spiritual calisthenics, meditation for its own sake, another skill to attach the ego to. Coming out of the vipassana-influenced MBSR tradition, I thought the tangible benefits of exploring the […]

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Of Onions and Anatta

Of Onions and Anatta

Of all the central notions of Buddhism, anatta ‘no self’ is the hardest to understand. At least it is the most counter-intuitive. Of course I have a self! If I tread on someone else’s toe, I may feel apologetic but I do not feel pain. If someone else treads on my toe I do feel […]

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Listen to the Suttas! – Audio Recordings of English Translations of the Pali Canon Suttas

Listen to the Suttas! – Audio Recordings of English Translations of the Pali Canon Suttas

Listen to the Suttas! Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTMiZHe8419vKGsORMb1ow/videos   Example Video: The Sammaditthi Sutta (The Discourse on Right View, MN 9)   For those who have difficulty with written text (or Pali), there are few quality, widely-available audio recordings of English language translations of the Pali Canon Suttas. Our own Community Director, Jennifer Hawkins, who developed […]

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Buddha: The First Humanist?

Buddha: The First Humanist?

Robert Thurman is a noted author on Buddhist topics and Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. In 1990, the Humanist Association of Massachusetts invited Robert Thurman, Professor of Religion at Columbia University to lecture on the similarities and differences between Western philosophical Humanism and Buddhism. His talk was entitled Buddha: The First Humanist? […]

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Online, Together, Meditating, Secular: An Event Announcement from New Zealand!

Online, Together, Meditating, Secular: An Event Announcement from New Zealand!

For those who don’t know, New Zealand has a lively Secular Buddhist community: http://secularbuddhism.org.nz/ http://www.onemindfulbreath.org.nz/ http://abet.nz/   Last month, the prominent Ramsey Margolis announced via his newsletter that he wanted to try to lead a free, online meditation using Zoom similar to SBA US’s Practice Circle. Not only had he gone out of his way to […]

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Practice Circle Live: The Benefactor Body Scan

Practice Circle Live: The Benefactor Body Scan

This guided meditation was recorded live at the SBA Practice Circle on October 22, 2017. If you’d like to learn more about why we developed this practice, and how you can join us at Practice Circle, you can read about it here. Transcription I’m Mark Knickelbine from the Secular Buddhist Association, and this is the […]

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