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Toni Bernhard

Toni Bernhard joins us to speak about the updated and revised edition of her book How To Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers.

Hi, everyone. Before we begin today’s episode, I would like to mention that this podcast and the supporting website, discussion forums, our live, online Practice Circle and other services provided by the Secular Buddhist Association are supported by you. If you find this episode or any other offerings helpful to you in some way, I ask that you take a moment and visit secularbuddhism.org, and click on the Contributions button. There are many ways you can help which are listed on that page, and if you make a donation, it’s tax deductible and it helps ensure the SBA is able to continue the exploration of secular Buddhism. Thank you; we’re glad to have you join us in the conversation.

One of the difficulties I have when teaching loving kindness or doing the practice myself through traditional recitations is about being well, or being healthy. That aspiration, even when it’s about cultivating a mind state, falls flat because it’s so very alien to my actual, lived experience. Many of us have daily pain and chronic illness, so “may I be well” can elicit not just a little cognitive dissonance, but can even be emotionally traumatic. That doesn’t mean metta is bad or that Buddhism isn’t for us, but that there may be different ways folks who are suffering in this way can meet the dhamma.

Toni Bernhard has been a longtime meditator, going on long meditation retreats and spending many hours rigorously practicing, but soon discovered that she simply could no longer engage in those difficult and taxing forms. She had to learn ways to make ‘being sick’ the heart of her spiritual practice — and through truly learning how to be sick, she learned how, even with many physical and energetic limitations, to live a life of equanimity, compassion, and joy.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Lemon Zinger tea.

Books
Web Links 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.

The post Episode 309 :: Toni Bernhard :: How To Be Sick Revised and Updated appeared first on Secular Buddhist Association.

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The Secular Buddhist by Ted Meissner, The Secular Buddhist .. - 1M ago
Blair Hurley

Blair Hurley joins us to speak about her new Buddhist fiction book, The Devoted.

I know that many of you listening are avid readers, and have sometimes asked about Buddhist fiction. We’ve not had a lot of those interviews on the podcast because it’s not a particularly large portion of fiction writing, but today we do have a conversation about a new book you may be interested in.

Blair Hurley received her A.B. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from NYU. Her stories are published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, West Branch, Mid-American Review, Washington Square, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. She received a 2018 Pushcart Prize and scholarships from Bread Loaf and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Literary Lemongrass tea.

Books
Web Links 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.

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The Secular Buddhist by Ted Meissner, The Secular Buddhist .. - 2M ago

Eve Ekman

Eve Ekman joins us to speak about the program Cultivating Emotional Balance.

In quite a few conversations lately, I’ve noticed a trend to encourage the perspective of emotions as transitory. Which has merit, of course thoughts, sensations, and emotions arise and fade. But I’ve seen this attitude sometimes cross over into dismissing both the strength and power emotions can have, in an unhelpful encouragement to spiritually bypass emotions rather than engage with them — or as they engage with us. Even difficult emotions can be extremely helpful, revealing needed information about our external and internal environment.

Eve Ekman received her Ph.D in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley in 2014. Her dissertation case study focused on juvenile detention center guards and the relationship between meaning in work, burnout, and empathy. She also tailored a CEB-based pilot training to support these workers. Currently at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Eve continues to refine the conceptual framework, research and training around the areas of meaning, empathy and burnout. She is focusing on a population of residents-in-training with a long-term goal of pioneering interpersonal training for medical education to support empathic skills, experience of meaning, and managing burning out. Additionally, Eve’s research interest includes technology that fosters emotion regulation and mindfulness, developing a dynamic measurement for empathy, and assessing the impact of provider empathy on the quality of patient care.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Ku Cha Balance tea.

Web Links

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.

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Cameron Conaway

Cameron Conaway joins us to speak about how Buddhist practice has helped the healing process of childhood trauma.

If you have a history of childhood trauma of some kind, know that in today’s episode we explore this topic from the inside. Our guest openly discusses the pain he’s endured, how it influenced his life, and how the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh has helped move his heart closer to peace.

Cameron Conaway is the Director of Marketing Communications at Solace and the author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet, Man Box, Poems. He is a recipient of the 2016 Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative Fellowship, an honor given to one journalist each year, and his work has appeared in publications such as Newsweek, ESPN, The Guardian, Reuters, NPR, Forbes, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Rattle, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. Cameron has received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the International Reporting Project, nominations for a National Magazine Award and a Pushcart Prize, and writing residencies from Penn State University, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of Arizona.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Camellia tea.

Books

Web Links

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.

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Ann Gleig

Ann Gleig joins us to speak about her new book, American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity.

It was just a few years ago that secular Buddhism was an unknown term, and in many contemporary Buddhist circles, unwelcome. Though there are still those who have difficulty with it, the fact is secular Buddhism has attained a tipping point as people now routinely refer to themselves as Secular Buddhists. But this isn’t the only way in which the teachings and practices handed down through the ages have come to grips with *this* age and in America. The Secular Buddhist Association features prominently in our guest’s new book, along with many other fascinating ways in which people engage with the dharma.

Ann Gleig is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Central Florida. She is co-editor of Homegrown Gurus: From Hinduism in America to American Hinduism, and has published widely on contemporary Buddhism.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Moderni-tea. I’m not kidding, that’s a real thing.

Books
Web Links 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.
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Jay Forrest Jay Forrest joins us to speak about a contemporary fusion of Buddhism with Daoism from his book, Spirituality Without God: An Introduction to Bodhidaoism.

One of the many aspects of Buddhism I find fascinating is how it connects with and even complements other world views. I expect much of that is rooted in how the sasana is based in what people experience in life; it’s less about the ideology and more about the process of living in the world, at least to me.

Today’s guest, Jay Forrest, is an atheist meditation teacher with a doctorate degree in religion. He has been trained in both Zen and Vipassana meditation.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Midnight Oolong tea.

Books

Web Links   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.
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Our friend Bernat Font returns to the podcast to speak about Stream Entry as practice, and the evolution of secular mindfulness and Buddhism.

As many of you know, Buddhism is not a monolithic religion with no variation. There are lots of different branches, each with their own further unique interpretations, rituals, and ways the sasana has merged with different cultures and people. So it’s always a fascinating inquiry when those from one heritage suggest we secularists can’t do what their own forebears have done in merging Buddhism with our own world view and culture.

Bernat Font leads a sitting group in Barcelona, and recently finished his MA in Buddhist Studies. He is mentored by Stephen Batchelor in the Community Dharma Leadership training at Bodhi College, and he blogs at budismosecular.org.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Ginger Peach tea.

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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.
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Daniel Cozort Dan Cozort joins us to speak about the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics.

One of the richest aspects of the study of Buddhism is how its ethical framework resonates or may be a bit discordant with a particular time and place. Far from being a dusty retrospective of what was, Buddhist ethics has a great deal to say about how people live their lives today in a variety of cultural contexts. As we’ve seen from continued problems with teacher abuse of their relations with students, the codes of conduct and even what one should have in one’s heart and mind remain a choice that comes alive when studied and practiced in the world.

Dan Cozort grew up in North Dakota, where he ran cross-country and track and was a successful debater and extemporaneous speaker. At Brown University he majored in religious studies, specializing in Christian theology and ethics. At the graduate school of the University of Virginia, he specialized in Buddhism, learned Tibetan and Sanskrit, and began his collaboration with Tibetan lamas. He did a year of fieldwork in India, traveling broadly and staying in Tibetan monasteries. His teaching career began with a two-year appointment at Bates College in Maine. Coming to Dickinson in 1988, he proposed that the College join the South India Term Abroad consortium, which he directed in Madurai, south India, in 1992-93. In 2000 he began to teach in the Norwich Humanities Programme in England and in 2003-2005 he was its resident director. Dan’s teaching is principally in the area of comparative religion, where he offers courses on Buddhism and Hinduism. However, he has also taught about Native American religions, about love and sex in relation to religion, about happiness, and has taught a variety of courses in the theory of religious studies. Since 2006, he has been the Editor of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics, and he is currently editing the Oxford Handbook of Buddhist Ethics.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice orange ginger tea.

Books

Web Links   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.
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Michael Jerryson

Michael Jerryson joins us to speak about his book If You Meet the Buddha on the Road: Buddhism, Politics, and Violence.

Last episode of this podcast we saw how Buddhism helped one man change his worldview to one of compassion and care for his fellow human beings. And, as Buddhists, this can be reassuring about the validity of what is, for many of us, a chosen religion or secular practice. But don’t get too comfortable; Buddhism is just as prone to abuse as other traditions much as some of us may make another choice — to ignore that reality, or make justifications for horrific behavior that they don’t accept when it happens in other religions.

Michael Jerryson regularly delivers lectures on Buddhism, religion and violence, and the conflicts in South and Southeast Asia (most recently the violence against the Rohingya). He is professor of religious studies at Youngstown State University. Jerryson is co-founder and co-chair of the Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence through the American Academy of Religion and serves as a consultant on Southeast Asian conflicts. After serving in the United States Peace Corps in Mongolia, Jerryson has spent over 20 years investigating the relationship between religion and violence and under-explored Asian practices and beliefs.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Dirty Deeds tea.

Books
Web Links 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.

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Dhammapada Verse 5
Kalayakkhini Vatthu

Na hi verena verani
sammantidha kudacanam
averena ca sammanti
esa dhammo sanantano.

Hatred never ends through hatred.
By non-hatred alone does it end.
This is an ancient truth.

The Dhammapada: Teachings of the Buddha translated from the Pali by Gil Fronsdal 2008

Thank you for joining us for this landmark episode of The Secular Buddhist podcast. As of this recording we are nearing two million downloads of all the episodes of this, the longest continuously running Buddhist interview podcast. You wouldn’t be listening right now if not for the generous donations of others like you, supporting our ability to bring you quality content, a wide variety of guests giving their time and sharing their experiences, articles and even videos about Buddhism, and even a regular chance to meditate and learn from others live online in our Practice Circle.

We are a completely volunteer organization. Because we’re a non-profit 501(c)(3), when you contribute it’s tax deductible and goes to supporting the work, no one is paid for the time put into offering these services. Special thanks to those who contribute on a monthly basis; you are what really keeps this alive and thriving. So if you haven’t yet, please take a moment and visit secularbuddhism.org to make your donation, and show you want these opportunities for learning and connection to continue. Thank you, we’re glad to have you join us and others in the conversation.

And today that conversation is about suffering, and the extinguishing of it. Not the kind you may be thinking of, I’ve seen a great deal of spiritual bypassing just this past week, as ideological purity of Buddhism is held more highly than the very real and demonstrable suffering in our society, in our world. It’s insidiously easy to accept the notion that one’s meditative practice is enough. Turning a blind eye to starvation, war, bigotry, and a host of other ills in a hurting world becomes so seductive that seeing them as “less important” than enlightenment becomes key in the defense of that avoidance of dukkha.

I’m going to suggest that’s a pervasive and perverse ignorance. Suffering is not limited to the realm of ideals; it’s real, it’s here, and Buddhist practice can change hearts and minds. Today’s episode is about the positive influence Buddhism has had in that turning of one man’s life into one of love and compassion, away from hate.

In August 2012, Wade Michael Page, a white supremacist, opened fire in a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI. He murdered six people and wounded four more. One of the men killed that day was Satwant Singh Kaleka, a proud American immigrant and devout Sikh. At the time of the attack, the founder of one of the world’s largest skinhead organizations, had left his racist life behind. When he learned Page came from the same skinhead world he used to live in, he felt a wave of guilt and an immediate need to take action. One of today’s guests, Pardeep, devastated by his father Satwant’s death and infuriated by the attack, was trying to make sense of what happened. His search for answers led him to email Arno, our other guest and former white supremacist. The two men met and connected on a deep level. That first meeting planted a powerful seed, as Arno puts it, “A brown Sikh and a former racist skinhead, together, talking about unity and oneness.” Arno and Pardeep went on to form Serve2Unite, an organization that works to create inclusive, compassionate, and nonviolent climates in schools and communities.

Arno Michaelis

Arno Michaelis is now a speaker, author of My Life After Hate, and works with Serve2Unite. He has appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”, the BBC, and MSNBC and in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post, and most recently, “The View”.

Pardeep Singh Kaleka

Pardeep Singh Kaleka has become a powerful voice against hate crime and violence. Pardeep helped found the organization Serve2Unite, which brings together people from different religions and cultural backgrounds. He has appeared on NBC, FOX, CNN, “Democracy Now”, NPR, and Voices on Antisemitism, a podcast series from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with four young children.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Togetherness tea.

Books
Web Links 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.

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