An ancient Indian Sanskrit term for the world, in which all beings were subject to the Cycle of Transmigration (and therefore doomed to face loss, illness, old age, and death over and over and over).
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- 23 - How Buddhists Should Behave: Evolution of the Buddhist Precepts Part 2In this episode, I continue with the story of the Theravadin precepts (see Part 1 for the first part of the story) - particularly how the Vinaya has affected the ordination of monks and nuns, and how lay people participate in precept practice. Then we move on to China, and I talk about how the Chinese dealt with the question of how to establish an authentic Buddhist lineage while adapting the Vinaya to China, and avoiding the trap of "hinayana" practice that Mahayana sutras warned about (was the Vinaya "hinayana" practice?). They responded by creating additional Mahayana precepts, and elaborate sets of monastic regulations.
- 25 – Work as Spiritual Practice According to Dogen's “Instructions to the Cook” – Part 1Zen demands that we engage our everyday activities, particularly work, as spiritual practice. Few writings describe Zen work practice as well as Zen master Dogen’s “Tenzokyokun,” or “Instructions to the Tenzo” (a tenzo being the head cook in a monastery), so I’ll use this short text to frame my presentation. Although the Tenzokyokun describes the work of a specialized role within a Zen monastery, its teachings about taking care, serving others, appreciating everything, and becoming one with your work are relevant to everyone, no matter what their work or life circumstances.
- 28 - Q&A: The Teaching of Rebirth and Too Much Thinking During ZazenThis week’s episode is a Q&A session, based on listener’s questions I’ve received by email. I’ll start out with a series of questions about the Buddhist teaching of rebirth, and end with a question about how to deal with a busy mind during zazen, or seated Zen meditation.
- 29 - Six Realms of Existence Part 1: Introduction and the Heaven RealmIn this episode, part 1 of 3, I explain the Buddhist teaching of the Six Realms of Existence, also known as the Wheel of Life, or the Wheel of Samsara. I share the rich mythology and imagery of this teaching while explaining how it can be a useful teaching for everyday life independent of a belief in literal rebirth. In this first episode I introduce the overall teaching and talk about the Heaven Realm.
- 1 - How Does Zen Buddhism Fit Within the Context of Buddhism as a Whole?Zen is a type of Buddhism, which is a 2,500-year-old tradition. When and how did Zen arise, and what is unique about it?