Posts by Doug Smith

Constructing a Daily Practice

How should we go about constructing a daily practice? We will look at several aspects that could go into it, including ethics, meditation, and wisdom infused by regular reflection and sutta readings. Book recommendation: Bhikkhu Bodhi, In the Buddha’s Words

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Confronting Illness and Death

How do we confront illness and death? We will all experience them, but often don’t want to contemplate them. I’ll discuss some recent YouTube channels that have dealt with illness and death in deep and profound ways, as well as a little of my own journey. Then I’ll turn to both traditional Buddhist and secular…

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Fake It Till You Make It?

I did an earlier video where I discussed some of the pitfalls of searching for authenticity in our daily lives. One alternative to a direction of authenticity is to pursue a practice of “faking it until you make it”. But is this a good idea? We’ll look at some directions from the early Buddhist texts…

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Early Buddhism on the Internet

It can be difficult to find reliable information about early or secular Buddhism on the Internet. I’ll discuss some places we can look, and find both good translations of early texts and reasoned articles or discussions relating to them. Sites mentioned (besides this one): https://accesstoinsight.org http://suttacentral.net http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbuddhist/ https://integrateddharmainstitute.org https://tricycle.org http://lionsroar.com/ https://www.bodhipaksa.com/ http://www.leighb.com/ https://bodhimonastery.org/a-systematic-study-of-the-majjhima-nikaya.html https://www.baus.org/en/teaching/dharma-stream/a-course-in-the-majjhima-nikaya-with-ven-bhikkhu/ There…

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The Paradox of Greed

We often feel that the more we have, the happier we will be. Is that really so? We will take a look at the paradox of greed using a story from the Buddha’s teaching. Sutta mentioned: Ud. 8.8

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Authenticity: Good and Bad

Many of us feel that being authentic is a life goal. We will look at that claim, and with the help of a recent article, compare the goal of authenticity with another more plainly ethical goal. We will ask if there may be a potential downside to authenticity, and try to find when authenticity might…

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Avoiding Teacher Misconduct

Buddhist teacher misconduct has been in the news recently. We’ll consider some ways the Buddha’s teachings can point us to a more skillful and secure relationship to teachers and to the teachings themselves. Suttas mentioned: Faith in Individuals (AN 5.250) The Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (DN 16) The Siṃsapa Grove (SN 56.31) Justin Whitaker’s blog report. Some…

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The Three Marks of Existence

Buddhism’s three marks of existence are the deepest part of the dharma. We will discuss what they are, and how there are subtle differences between their scope. We’ll then look at how they were emphasized in different ways throughout history, and how they’ve made a strong comeback in the modern world due to one influential…

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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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Chronic Stress: Problems and Solutions

Chronic stress causes us many problems in daily life. We’ll look at seven ways it can impact us, and then turn to nine potential solutions to the syndrome of chronic stress. We’ll find that many of the solutions supported by contemporary research mirror those found in early Buddhism. Check out my Patreon page! If you’re…

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