Hi, everyone. Glad to have you back, and welcome, new listeners!
Before we get to the regularly scheduled episode, I wanted to extend a special thanks to Rodrigo Rodriguez, who has very generously allowed me to use several works from his not-yet-released CD, Shakuhachi Meditations, which should be in stores soon. In the meantime, because the nature of this episode has a few breaks in it, I hope you’ll enjoy a few extra, slightly longer rounds of sounds to whet your appetite for the CD. Something with which to enjoy this episode’s drink of choice — remember to relax, and just…. listen. Shakuhachi was used by the Japanese Fuke sect monks to attain liberation. So, if any of you experience full enlightenment while listening to the podcast, be sure to drop Sensei Rodriguez a note of thanks. Send him a note of thanks anyway, for lending us his talent.
Music :: Cross of Light
Waaaay back in the mists of time, in an age when dragons were real (not really) and magic flowed like rivers through the aether (not really), there was Episode 3 of The Secular Buddhist. It was part one of a recording from an interreligious symposium at Bethel University from Fall of 2009. Well, in the flurry of activity and scheduled interviews, I’d not gotten around to completing part 2. Time to get that off my plate and, well, onto your iPods.
It may seem odd, having a dialogue between a secular buddhist and people of faith in another tradition entirely. But that’s one of the things I think we need to do in our world of ever-present and quickly escalated divisiveness. We’re on this spaceship Earth together, like it or not. And though we should, I believe, challenge ourselves and each other when we see harmful practices, we should also reach out. Find commonalities. Find goals we share. We Buddhists, secular or religious, have a practice that fosters Metta (loving friendliness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (joy at other’s successes), and Upekkha (equanimity).
That’s not meant just for us.
Some of the most rewarding experiences come from my discussions with a devout Baptist friend of mine I’ve mentioned before in the podcast. Not because either of us gets anywhere in convincing the other of our positions, we don’t. But because in the sharing of our views, we’re practicing some things we both find to be of great personal value — love. Understanding. And the knowledge from direct experience that we have these deep differences, which do not in any way interfere with that joy at simply talking together, and even disagreeing. Our intent isn’t to convince one another, it’s to share our point of view, to increase our understanding of the other guy. When we have a better understanding of the other person’s view, we have an understanding of the person with that view.
My apologies for the sound quality, this was recorded with a teeny tiny little hand recorder in a presentation hall. The following segments are from the question and answer part of the symposium. So sit back, relax, have a nice… Orange Aide. That’s orange juice, a bit of water, and sugar to taste.
Music :: Lady of the Snow
Segment One — In the first segment, a question was asked from the audience, Can you meditate, and still be a Christian? Sure. You can even be an atheist.
Music :: Chaniwa
Segment Two — The next question was about, how do Buddhists practice? And this segment will segue into questions you’ll hear from the audience directly, about kinds of Buddhism, external influences in meditation, and then another asking about varieties of people who practice meditation.
Music :: Shinkantaza
Segment Three — The last two questions in the final segment were, Is there community in Buddhism? Followed right away by another question about what motivates us to meditate, read by James Lewis, Director of Religious Studies at Bethel University, answered first by Bhante Seewalie of the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara.
Music for This Episode
The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s upcoming CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:
- Cross of Light
- Lady of the Snow
Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast