What's Your Calling or Purpose in Life?

At the Wisdom 2.0 conference I heard several speakers talk about their life’s calling, and others refer to life’s purpose. Our society speaks about people’s life’s purpose as though it’s a real thing out there to be discovered, to give life your life meaning. In fact, there are books such as A Purpose Driven Life, Finding Your Life’s Purpose.

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Weekly Practice (Clinging & Craving)

Over the past few weeks, we focused on exploring how the feeling of me, mine, and I arise from the five aggregates: body, feeling tone, perceptions, fabrications, and consciousness. Each of these arise as a part of the human condition. In fact, they’ve been necessary to our evolution as a species. Without a feeling of I, you might not bother to feed yourself.

The problems of the aggregates comes from not recognizing them as the processes that go into the making of a perception of self, not recognizing that these are impermanent, and the focus for this week, how we cling to them and crave for more.

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What's Burning in the Fire Sermon?

Perhaps Gotama’s most famous discourse among Westerners is the one we call the Fire Sermon. It is included in most anthologies of “the Buddha’s sayings”; in that quintessential summary of Consensus Buddhism, the PBS documentary The Buddha, it’s one of the few discourses quoted at any length. On the show, professor of Asian cultures D. Max Moerman explicates it this way:

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Report from Wisdom 2.0: Living with Awareness, Wisdom, and Compassion

Ted and I had the opportunity last week to attend the Wisdom 2.0: Living with Awareness, Wisdom, and Compassion conference in Redwood City, California. We listened to speakers who are well known in the Buddhist and Yoga communities, as well as some who are prominent in the technology industry. It was fascinating to hear how mindfulness, compassion, awareness, and empathy are being brought into the workplace through classes, yoga sessions, talks, etc, as well as how digital media are bringing people throughout the globe together to share and discuss these topics.

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Episode 105 :: Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche :: Living Fully: Finding Joy in Every Breath

Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche joins us to speak about his new book, Living Fully: Finding Joy in Every Breath.

Hi, everyone. I’m recording this introduction while attending the Wisdom 2.0 conference in California. This is the second of the “W20” conferences, next month is the tenth annual International Scientific Conference, April is the inaugural International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, and then of course we’re looking forward to attending the second Buddhist Geeks conference in August. All of these are linked on the calendar on the SecularBuddhism.org website of course, but the point is our practice is growing. It’s finding new and vital ways to change people’s lives outside of traditional settings, opening the door for others who may otherwise not find the same wonder of this practice, that we do.

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Weekly Practice (Not Self & Review)

If you’ve been following along each week, first with impermanence, then with mindfulness and concentration, and then with body and feelings, and lastly with mental formations, you may have caught on to the repeated question, “Is this thought, feeling, body sensation, emotional reaction a solid, unchanging self?”

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Food and Fire in Dependent Origination

You wouldn’t know from the title of the sutta — “The Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving” — that this is one of the suttas that gives the most detail on dependent arising (aka dependent origination, interdependent co-arising, etc) but it is one in which the Buddha attempts to put across the concept that was the backbone of all his teachings. He describes it backwards (which is normal) and forwards (used almost as frequently). He covers arising, and he covers cessation (backwards and forwards). And then he describes it in terms of fire, in terms of nutriment, and in terms of one person’s life, as well as pointing out what we should and shouldn’t care about if we properly understand it (we would not, for example, have any reason to be wondering who we were in the past or who we will be in the future).(1)

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Episode 104 :: Rick Heller :: The New Humanism

Rick Heller speaks with us about the intersection of Secular Humanism with mindfulness practice.

Hi, everyone. There’s been a great deal of discussion online recently about how Secular Humanism has very strong alignment with what we’re calling Secular Buddhism. We see very little difference in the ideological propositions about social interaction, and one of the few outlying differences seems to be in the realm of practice. That is, we agree that improving our interactions with others is a positive thing, but what can we do to get better at that on a personal level?

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Happiness, The Great Illusion

Most of us have been raised on various stories that end in “And then they lived happily ever after.” Our media pushes the importance of happiness, as though any other state of mind is repulsive. We tend to gravitate towards people who seem happy, and let’s face it, we all enjoy the feeling of happiness.

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