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Secular Buddhism

Secular Buddhism

A podcast for secular-minded people who are interested in learning about Buddhist philosophy.

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secularbuddhism.com

Episodes

147 - Dharma Cat

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons even amidst circumstances or events that we don't particularly find to be pleasant. In this episode, I will share the story of how we ended up with a 3-legged cat as a pet.
2021-02-18
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146 - The Freedom To Be You

In this episode, I will talk about the idea of "branding". The story we have about ourselves is our personal brand and we do a lot to influence the way others perceive us. Practicing non-attachment to our brand may allow us to experience greater freedom to be ourselves.
2021-02-03
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145 - The Quest For Answers

In our search for answers to life's big questions, what if the question is actually more important than the answer? In this episode, I will talk about the quest for answers and how it may be more beneficial to focus on the quest for understanding the question.
2020-12-22
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144 - The Game Of Emotions

In this podcast episode, I will share some thoughts around the idea that we can change our relationship to our emotions by pretending that we're playing a game where the goal is to experience the full range of possible emotions.
2020-11-23
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143 - Eye Of The Beholder

In this episode, I will talk about perception and the role it plays in how we experience our reality. Reality is in the eye of the beholder. ?Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises...The meeting of the three is contact.? With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives. What one perceives, one thinks about.
2020-10-21
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142 - Wisdom and Fear

"Some see something to fear where there is nothing to fear, and some see nothing to fear where there is something to fear." In this episode, I will talk about fear from a Buddhist perspective. Fear is universal but there are perhaps some fears that are skillful and others that are unskilful.
2020-10-13
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141 - Smarter Not Harder

I'm sure you've heard the expression "work smarter, not harder". In this episode, I will share my throughs regarding Skillful Effort of the Eightfold Path and how it pertains to not only mindfulness practice but to everything we do in life.
2020-10-01
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140 - Mindfulness For Everyday Life

ANNOUNCEMENT...I?m excited to present a new online workshop called "Mindfulness for Everyday Life" available exclusively through Himalaya Learning. Himalaya Learning is a new educational audio platform specializing in audio courses that focus on lifelong learning, business, personal development, and more, featuring courses from some of the world?s greatest minds like Tim Ferriss, Malcolm Gladwell, Elon Musk. You can listen to my full workshop series by visiting www.himalaya.com/mindfulness and entering the code MINDFULNESS for a free 14-day trial. Whether you?re looking for more peace in the workplace or at home, or even just greater peace within the confines of your own mind, mindfulness practice is where it all starts. In this 20-part series, I will present several key concepts, ideas, guided meditations, and exercises centered around mindfulness that will help you to understand how and why this ancient practice can be so useful in our day to day lives.
2020-09-15
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139 - Mindfulness Interview With Dr Sarah Shaw

I recently had the opportunity of interviewing Dr Sarah Shaw about her new book "Mindfulness: Where it comes from and what it means". I hope you enjoy the conversation. To learn more about her book, visit: https://www.shambhala.com/buddhist-mindfulness.html
2020-09-01
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138 - Sticky Hair Monster

In this podcast episode, I will talk about the Buddhist story of Sticky Hair Monster and the prince who tried to battle him. This story points to the battle that often takes place in our minds against our own thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
2020-08-19
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137 - The Beauty Of Nothing

Is nothing something? What happens when we do nothing? In this podcast episode, I will share my thoughts on the concept of nothingness and the beauty of nothing. I will also discuss the koan "every day is a good day".
2020-07-30
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136 - Mountains And Rivers

In this podcast episode, I will share some of my thoughts regarding the Mountains and Rivers Sutra by Zen master Dogen. This teaching reminds me of the simple yet complex nature of reality.
2020-07-16
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135 - Weathering The Storm

One of my favorite Pema quotes is the one where she says, "You are the sky, everything else is the weather". In this podcast episode, I will discuss the concept of mental weather patterns and the way I correlate weather forecasting with understanding my own mental patterns and tendencies.
2020-06-29
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134 - Emotional Enlightenment

In this podcast episode, I will discuss the idea of Emotional Enlightenment and what that means for me. We often find ourselves seeking certain emotions and avoiding other emotions. I've found that by giving all my emotions a sense of equanimity, I've found a tremendous sense of peace.
2020-06-16
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133 - Five Daily Life Guidelines

In this podcast episode, I will share five daily life guidelines that have been beneficial for me in my personal practice. They are: consume mindfully, practice loving kindness, practice gratitude, discover wisdom, and accept constant change.
2020-05-31
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132 - Nowhere To Hide Nothing To Hold

In this podcast episode, I will discuss the koan about the great meaning of the Buddha's teaching. I will also discuss some thoughts about the Buddhist approach of theism vs non-theism and how leaves us with nowhere to hide and nothing to hold.
2020-05-19
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131 - The Truth Of Unsatisfactoriness

The nature of reality is that difficulties will arise, and we?ll experience suffering. We can begin to embrace that fact by recognizing that suffering, in general, is not personal. It?s simply part of the experience of existence. And we will experience suffering, no matter how hard we try to avoid it. In this episode, I will discuss the pervasive suffering that sometimes affects how we see our relationships, jobs, and parenting. Koan Discussed: What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?
2020-05-04
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130 - Three Approaches for Doubt and Mistrust

In Buddhism, doubt is beneficial because it is the first step in weakening our wrong views. The wonderful thing about doubt is that it can propel us in the direction of more skillful views. There is a strong emphasis in Buddhism to avoid ?believing in? Buddhist teachings, instead, we are encouraged to evaluate them and to understand them and ultimately, to test them against our own experience. Koan Discussed: One day Chao-chou fell down in the snow, and called out, ?Help me up! Help me up!? A monk came and lay down beside him. Chao-chou got up and went away. Koan Shared: What is the sound of one hand clapping? Book Mentioned: ?Mind in Tibetan Buddhism? by Lati Rinbochay. Available at: https://amzn.to/3ezRfZa
2020-04-20
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129 - The HALT Method

In this podcast episode, I will discuss the HALT Method and share my thoughts on the koan shared in the last episode: "What is your original face before you were born?". I will also leave you with this new koan to explore: "One day Chao-chou fell down in the snow, and called out, ?Help me up! Help me up!? A monk came and lay down beside him. Chao-chou got up and went away."
2020-04-14
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128 - No Going Back

A key Buddhist principle is a recognition that things are always changing. Life is transient. When we have the feeling of wanting things to return back to normal, we need to remember that normal was always relative, there is no going back.
2020-04-05
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127 - Becoming Nobody

"Good concepts are like a gold chain, bad concepts are like an iron chain, they all equally bind you in the end." The concept we have about who we are is binding. What if instead of trying to become somebody, we practiced becoming nobody. In this podcast episode, I will discuss the idea of becoming nobody.
2020-03-30
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126 - Finding Peace Amidst Chaos

How do we experience more peace in the midst of chaos? In this podcast episode, I will discuss the koan of the waiving mind and also discuss the idea of expanding our perspective to experience more peace amidst the chaos.
2020-03-21
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125 - Keep Calm And Carry On Skillfully

In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, I wanted to share some thoughts about skillful action. In this episode, I will also share my thoughts about the koan "There is Nothing I Dislike".
2020-03-15
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124 - Dealing With People You Dislike

We all deal with people or situations we dislike from time to time. In this podcast episode, I will talk about dealing with people we dislike. For me, the recognition of disliking someone is always an invitation to look inward and to learn something about myself.
2020-03-08
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123 - The Art Of Diving In

In this podcast episode, I will discuss my thoughts on the idea of the art of diving in. Life is a lot like a pool and we are learning to dive in, we dive into new relationships, jobs, and countless other experiences but how do we do the actual diving in?
2020-02-23
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122 - Stop Trying to Eliminate Suffering

What if the problem with suffering is the idea we have that we shouldn't suffer? Suffering is a word that has become synonymous with the core Buddhist teachings of the 4 Noble Truths. What if our understanding of those teachings has been tainted because of our views of what it means to suffer? In this episode, I will talk about suffering and unsatisfactoriness and how the latter makes more sense to me in terms of Buddhist practice.
2020-02-09
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121 - Just Enough To Be Dangerous

Sometimes we know something but we haven't mastered it. We only know just enough to be dangerous with what we know. This applies to many aspects of life but also applies to our process of learning to live more mindfully. The key to mastering something is to practice it for a very long time.
2020-02-04
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120 - Unconditional Joy

We normally think of joy as a reaction. Something happens and it causes joy to arise. That type of joy is conditioned. In Buddhism, unconditional joy is always there, covered or hidden by our conditioned mind (ideas and beliefs). We can uncover it through practicing awareness and asking ourselves, what did it take for this moment to arise?
2020-01-17
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119 - Endings And Beginnings

As we approach the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, I thought I would share some thoughts regarding endings and beginnings from a Buddhist perspective and how these teachings can minimize our fear of pain.
2019-12-30
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118 - Revisiting The Parable Of The Raft

The Buddha said, "I will teach you the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto." Everything in Buddhism, including Buddhism itself is a tool, a means to an end, but not the end itself. In this episode, I will revisit the parable of the raft and share my thoughts about what this teaching means to me.
2019-12-15
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117 - Noble Silence

Noble Silence is a term attributed to the Buddha for his response to certain questions about reality. When it came to the big unanswerable questions, the Buddha was notably silent. In this podcast episode, I will discuss what Noble Silence is, how we can practice it, and what benefits we may see from such a practice.
2019-12-08
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116 - People Who Don't Exist

We all have the tendency to make a picture of reality and of other people. It's like we paint a portrait and then believe that this portrait is a 100% accurate depiction of the real person we painted and we don't realize that they are not the same. In this episode, I will talk about the idea of people who don't exist (the portraits in our minds).
2019-12-02
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115 - Unhooking Habitual Patterns

What are the things that hook us? In our quest to understand ourselves and to become a better whatever we already are, it?s extremely beneficial to be capable of recognizing our attachments and knowing what it is that hooks us.
2019-11-10
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114 - Beware Of Falling Rocks

In this podcast episode, I will discuss the idea of attachment in relation to the Buddhist notion of groundlessness. I will discuss how our strong attachment to things can often cause more discomfort than the comfort we thought we were getting from the thing in the first place.
2019-11-03
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113 - Right Speech

How can we communicate more skillfully? In this podcast episode, I will discuss "right speech", one of the points on the eightfold path. I will discuss three different communication styles: passive, aggressive, and assertive and share a communication formula that has helped me to communicate more skillfully with my loved ones.
2019-10-28
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112 - The Importance Of Community

In this podcast episode, I will discuss the Buddhist teaching of "taking refuge" and talk about the teaching of the three jewels. I will discuss in greater detail how I hope to build an online community where we can practice together and continue our discussions about each podcast episode.
2019-10-21
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111 - Resisting Our Demons

In this podcast episode, I will discuss the Zen Koan titled "The Real Miracle". I will also share the story/teaching of Milarepa and the Demons he resisted in his cave and how that story can help us with our own demons. I also share a new Zen koan at the end of the episode for you to work with this week.
2019-10-13
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110 - Unhappily Headed Towards Happiness

Often we find ourselves unhappily headed towards happiness. Thinking that once we arrive, we will suddenly not be how we've been all along. In this podcast episode, I will talk about Bodhidharma's beard and the koan that invites us to look closer at ourselves and others.
2019-09-29
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109 - Finding Your True Self

What happens when we break through the conceptual fog that often blinds us from seeing ourselves as we really are? In this podcast episode, I will talk about the idea of finding your true self. I will also discuss a few more zen koans including "MU" and "Temper".
2019-09-12
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108 - Important Things To Think About Often

The Buddha taught that there are five important things we should think about often. These are commonly referred to as the Five Remembrances. In this episode, I will talk about the five remembrances and how remembering these important things often can lead to a more mindful and fulfilling life.
2019-09-01
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107 - Learning To Be Silent

In this podcast episode, I discuss three more Zen Koans: Joshu's Zen, The Gates of Paradise, and Learning to be Silent. I will share what these koans mean to me and how I interpret the lessons of these koans in my own day-to-day life.
2019-08-25
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106 - Everything Is Best

In this episode, I share three more Zen koans and what they mean to me. Calling card, Everything is Best, and Inch Time Foot Gem. Thank you for listening and for being a part of this journey with me. Until next time!
2019-08-15
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105 - Open Your Own Treasure House

We generally value answers more than we do questions but what if the bigger treasure in the pursuit of answers is to be found in the question itself? In this podcast episode I will share my thoughts regarding the koan: Open Your Own Treasure House.
2019-08-07
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104 - A Limited View

In this episode, I will discuss the Buddhist teaching of the Elephant and the blind men and how my understanding of having a limited view affects the type of questions I ask about myself, others, and life in general. I will also talk about how I use Facebook as a place to practice mindfulness.
2019-07-29
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103 - Making Time For Nothing

Is nothing something? What happens when we make time for nothing? In this episode, I will explore the idea of boredom and how mastering boredom could be one of the great benefits of mindfulness practice.
2019-07-15
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102 - Never Lost

"Having no destination, I am never lost." In this podcast episode, I will share some of my favorite quotes by Ikkyu Shojun. I will also explain one of my new favorite quotes that's been floating in my head..."Having no certainty, I am never wrong."
2019-07-03
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101 - What's Your Sideshow?

A sideshow is a diverting incident or issue that distracts attention from something more important, the real show. In Buddhist practice, we strive to understand the sideshows we are often presenting to ourselves and to the world. What's the real show behind the sideshow?
2019-06-25
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100 - Keep Going

100 episodes! What an exciting milestone! In this podcast episode, I will talk about one of my favorite expressions/teachings from Sensei Kubose. "Keep Going" has become one of my go-to reminders about life in general.
2019-05-31
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99 - Presence Podcast Interview

Audio from a recent interview I did on Presence Podcast about Life Lessons. Are the stories you tell yourself real? How do you deal with your most sensitive emotions? Is there such a thing as good and bad? How do you define love? If you enjoy this episode, check out the Presence Podcast at: http://presencepodcast.com/
2019-05-22
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98 - The Rascal Behind The Curtain

Sometimes when we peek behind the curtain, we discover something that we wish we didn't know. Imagine what it would be like to peek behind the curtain of the mind only to see yourself peeking behind the curtain of the mind. Discovering that what you have been searching for is who is searching. In this episode, I will discuss the idea of the rascal behind the curtain.
2019-05-06
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