The Zen Studies Podcast

Buddhist Study Subjects

Buddhist Practice


The Nature of Practice

What Is “Zen Practice” Anyway?
What Zen “Acceptance” and “Non-Attachment” Really Are
To Study Buddhism Is to Study the Self (and Why That’s Not Selfish)
The Practice of Not-Knowing: Relief, Intimacy, and Ground for Effective Action
The Two Sides of Practice: Samadhi Power and Karma Relationship
Taking Care of Our Lives: More About the Karma Relationship Side of Practice
Spiritual Inquiry Part 1: What Spiritual Questions Are and Why They Matter
Spiritual Inquiry Part 2: Resistance to Questions and Karma Work Versus Awakening
Spiritual Inquiry Part 3: Identifying our Karmic Issues
Spiritual Inquiry Part 4: Investigating and Resolving Karmic Issues
Spiritual Inquiry Part 5: Koans and Awakening
Practice is How You Live Each and Every Moment
Do Your Own Practice: Spiritual Translation Versus Transformation


Attitude & Effort

I Shouldn’t Feel Like This: A Practitioner’s Conundrum
Why Is Self-Esteem Essential When the Self is Empty?
No Matter What Happens to You, You Have Choice in the Matter
You Don’t Need to Improve or Get Anything to Fulfill the Buddha Way
Sustainable Buddhist Practice: Creating Form But Keeping It Flexible
Ebb and Flow in Buddhist Practice: Cycles of Energy, Inspiration, and Focus
Am I a Good Buddhist?
If You’re Not Making Mistakes, You’re Not Practicing
Is My Practice Languishing? If So, What Can I Do About It?
Motivation for Practice: What Do You Love Most Deeply?
We Will Die Soon: Contemplating Impermanence to Motivate Practice
Skillful Self-Discipline Part 1: Balancing Discipline and Gentleness
Skillful Self-Discipline Part 2: Clarity of Purpose and Patient Determination
The Importance of Bodhi-Mind, or Way-Seeking Mind
What Does It Mean to Waste Time?​


Practice in Daily Life

Work as Spiritual Practice According to Dogen’s “Instructions to the Cook”
Being the Only Buddhist in Your Family
Looking to Buddhism to Support Values and Beliefs We Already Hold
Five Requirements for Effective Practice with Any Issue
The Profound and Difficult Practice of Putting Everything Down
Integrating Insights
Nyoho: Making Even Our Smallest, Mundane Actions Accord with the Dharma
How to Relate to Worldly Pleasure as a Buddhist
Are the Buddha’s Teachings on Renunciation Relevant for Householders?
The Value, Care, and Feeding of Dharma Friendships


Domyo’s Story

A Story of My Spiritual Journey Part 1: Conveyor Belt to Death
A Story of My Spiritual Journey Part 2: Why I Think Buddhism Is Awesome
A Story of My Spiritual Journey Part 3: A Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of Despair
A Story of My Spiritual Journey Part 4: Enlightenments
A Story of My Spiritual Journey Part 5: Finding What I Was Looking For


Zazen & Meditation



A Zazen Pamphlet: Essential (and Brief) Instructions for the Practice of Zazen
In Zazen We Stop Imposing Ourselves on the World and Meet It Instead
Mini Episode – A Four “S” Approach to Shikantaza: Sit Upright, Still, Silent, Simply Be
Zazen (Seated Meditation) Part 1: What Zazen Is and How to Do It
Zazen Part 2: How to Deal with Thinking, Stay Engaged, and Maintain a Practice
The Soto Zen Goal of Goallessness: How to Awaken Without Trying
Deepen Your Zazen by Not Getting Stuck in Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction
Book Review: Issho Fujita’s “Polishing a Tile”
How Do You DO Zazen, Anyway?



Meditation Is NOT About Stopping Thoughts
14 Ways to Enliven Your Zazen
Pain in Meditation 1: Why the Seated Posture?
Pain in Meditation 2: Adjustments to Posture and When to Tolerate Discomfort
The Profound and Difficult Practice of Putting Everything Down
How to Guide Your Own Meditation Part 1: Do Something, Don’t Just Fall Asleep
How to Guide Your Own Meditation Part 2: First-Person Stories


Celebration/Exploration of Zazen

Zazen as a Religious Act
Zazen as the Dharma Gate of Joyful Ease
Active Receptivity in Zazen: Surrounded by a Symphony
Dogen’s Bendowa Part 1: What’s the Big Deal about Zazen?
Shikantaza: Having the Guts to Just Sit and Let Go of Doing Anything
Buddha’s Teachings 10: The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Four Foundations of Mindfulness Practice and Similarities in Zen
Two Paths to Meditative Concentration: Directed Effort Versus Letting Go



Sesshin: 24-7 Silent Meditation Retreats
Collecting the Heart-Mind: A Celebration of Sesshin – Part 1
Clarification: It’s Okay to Use Multiple Types of Meditation


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