Episode 233 :: Jundo Cohen :: Religious-Secular Buddhism: The Best of All Worlds

| October 24, 2015 | 2 Comments


Jundo Cohen

Jundo Cohen joins us to speak about concepts of secularity and religiosity in Buddhism.

There is a misperception I sometimes encounter that may be familiar to you. It’s the idea that there is just “Buddhism”, as if it’s just one monolithic thing. Even breaking things down into the main branches of Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, and yes I’m going to be presumptuous enough to consider Secular a new, fourth branch of the Buddhist tree, there are still lots of varieties in each. And yes, that includes Secular Buddhism. There are many ways to this approach, including those which may honor religious aspects more closely.

Jundo Cohen was born in New York in 1960, ordained and received Dharma Transmission from Gudo Wafu Nishijima, and is a member of the American Zen Teachers Association and the Soto Zen Buddhist Association. Jundo began Zen practice in 1980, has lived in Japan for most years since that time, and was for many years a lay student of Azuma Ikuo Roshi at Soji-ji Dai-Honzan. He lives in Tsukuba, Japan with his wife and two small children, working as a translator of Japanese, and thus believes that the hard border between ordained priest and householder have long been vanishing in Soto Zen.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Oyama sake — cold, of course.


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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.

Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jundo Cohen says:


    Thank you again, Ted.

    If anyone is interested in more, I have my little “Manifesto of Religious-Secular Buddhism” 🙂 and a description of our “L-iests” over at our Treeleaf Zendo forum. Come on over and pull up a Zafu.

    Gassho, Jundo

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