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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

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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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97 - Dependent Origination

To understand dependent origination is to understand that nothing has independent, permanent, or absolute existence. Everything is part of a web of countless interconnections and the web is always changing. Everything arises from complex causes and conditions, and in turn, combines with other things to produce countless effects. If we learn to pause the chain of reactivity at certain key points, the course of existence can be altered and effects prevented by eliminating their causes.
2019-04-25
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96 - What If The Problem Is The Problem?

Pema Chodron says: "The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.? What does that mean? How do we give ourselves difficult times? And perhaps more importantly, how could we be giving ourselves difficult times and not even know that we are doing it?
2019-04-14
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95 - Levels Of Morality

What does it mean to be moral? Is morality just a form of obedience? In this episode, I will talk about the concept of levels of morality and how at a certain level, it's no longer about obeying the rules, it's about doing what seems right given the entire set of circumstances.
2019-04-02
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94 - Obstacles on the Path - The Five Hindrances

The Buddha taught that there are five hindrances or obstacles to realizing enlightenment. These obstacles are commonly referred to in Buddhist teachings as ?The Five Hindrances? of desire, aversion, disinterest, agitation, and indecision. These mental states are considered to be obstacles because they keep us from being mindful.
2019-03-21
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93 - Stepping Into Groundlessness

Buddhist teachings and concepts often challenge us to think differently about life. They challenge us to question the stories we?ve come to believe about ourselves and about reality but perhaps none more than the idea of stepping into groundlessness.
2019-03-06
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92 - Your Inner Compass

Buddhist teachings are always pointing inward. When we put these teachings into practice, we are learning to look inside ourselves and to understand ourselves a little bit better than before. In this episode, I will discuss an experience I had last week where I ended up having to trust my own inner compass over the advice of my GPS.
2019-02-20
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91 - The Three Poisons

The three poisons of hatred, greed, and ignorance, can be thought of as the root source from which all unskillful actions arise. In this podcast episode, I will discuss the Buddhist teaching of the three poisons and how we can use this teaching to develop a more skilfull relationship with the greed, hatred, and ignorance we encounter in our own lives.
2019-02-04
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90 - Ultimate Authority

The ultimate authority in your life is YOU. If you're familiar with the Kalama Sutta, you're aware of the teaching to analyze things against your own experience and to be cautious about relying on external sources for authority. Knowing this, why do we still care so much about external authority? In this podcast episode, I will talk about the idea of ultimate authority.
2019-01-29
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89 - Killing The Buddha

There is a famous quote in the Zen tradition that says ?If you meet the Buddha, kill him?. This quote is attributed to Linji a prominent zen master. What does it mean? How can this teaching help us in our day to day lives as we seek to be less habitually reactive? In this episode, I will discuss this koan and dig deeper to see if we can all apply this teaching to our own lives.
2019-01-11
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88 - Radical Okayness

What is the state of radical okayness? There is a very clear message that seems to permeate through many of the Buddha?s teachings, that is, the importance of getting to know yourself, knowing your own mind. I believe that when we learn to look past our own stories and narratives we have about ourselves, others, and life, we begin to experience a state of radical okayness.
2018-12-30
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87 - Mindful Parenting | An Interview With Shirin Peykar

This is the audio recording of an interview I did with Shirin Peykar where we discussed the topic of mindful parenting. Shirin works with parents who are trying to be more mindful. Parenting is difficult at times and it's easy to find ourselves reacting habitually in the midst of the chaos. In this episode, Shirin will share some fantastic ideas and insight about mindful parenting.
2018-12-23
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86 - Listening To Understand

We seem to really struggle when it comes to having conversations about difficult topics. Are we listening with the intent to understand the other person or are we simply assessing to determine what team the other person is on? Are they team "us" or team "them". In this episode I will discuss the idea of listening to understand.
2018-12-18
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85 - Sometimes We Try Too Hard

Sometimes we fail because we try too hard, other times because don't try hard enough. The trick is to find the right balance, the space in between, the space that is often referred to in Buddhism as The Middle Way. In this podcast episode, I will discuss the idea of the Middle way in terms of space and time.
2018-12-02
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84 - How To Practice Mindfulness Daily

In this podcast episode, I will discuss some of the exercises and introspective questions that I believe can lead to a more mindful way of living. These are exercises that are published in the new book "The 5-Minute Mindfulness Journal."
2018-11-18
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83 - The Eightfold Path

The essence of many of the Buddha's discourses and teachings can be found in the Eightfold Path, often referred to as the Path of Liberation. It is not a path we walk only once or in a particular order. It's meant to be a guide for specific areas of life in which we can experience and discover the nature of reality.
2018-11-11
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82 - Dealing With Dissatisfaction In Life

If Buddhism were to be summarized in one key teaching, that teaching would be about the nature of dukkha (suffering/dissatisfaction) and the cessation of dukkha. There is a fundamental unsatisfactoriness and stress that we all deal with in life. In the next 3 episodes, I will discuss the core Buddhist teaching of the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and some helpful practices we can all work with to deal with the dissatisfaction that arises from time to time in life. This is part 1 of 3.
2018-11-06
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81 - The Tale Of Many Tales

The tale of many tales is the story we have about ourselves and the story we try to ensure that others have of us too. What are some of the stories you have about yourself? How attached are you to these stories? Does that attachment cause any self-inflicted suffering to arise?
2018-10-17
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80 - Life Is Not Fair

Life is not fair, it's true! But is that really a problem? In this podcast episode, I will discuss the monkey reward experiment where one monkey was given cucumbers and another was given grapes and the result of that decision. I will also discuss the idea of sitting with discomfort. If you can sit with discomfort, you can do anything?
2018-09-18
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79 - The Blind Leading The Blind

In a reality that is continually changing, our views are limited in space and time. The result is that we are essentially the blind leading the blind. In this episode, I will discuss the teaching of the blind men and the elephant and share 5 tips for people who are in mixed-belief relationships (we all are).
2018-09-05
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78 - No Hope No Fear

Suffering arises when we want things to be other than how they are. Where there is hope, there is fear and where there is fear there is hope. They are like two sides of the same coin. When we feel uneasy, we get restless, we want to change something about ourselves or others, we hope things could be another way. Having no hope can be the start of a radical form of acceptance.
2018-08-18
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77 - Embracing Rebellion

"I think of mindfulness meditation as almost a rebellion against natural selection...Natural selection sets our agenda, and Buddhism says, 'We don't have to play this game." In this episode, I will discuss the concept of embracing rebellion as a form of living more mindfully. I will also clarify a couple of things from last week's episode. I hope you enjoy this topic!
2018-07-29
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76 - Patience With Ourselves, Others, And Life

What does it mean to be patient with ourselves, others, and life? How do we practice patience? Is Mindfulness practice for everyone? These are a few of the questions and ideas I will explore in this podcast episode. I hope you enjoy this topic and I hope some of this information may be beneficial to you in your day to day lives.
2018-07-20
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75 - Everyday Buddhism Interview

This podcast episode is the audio of a recent interview I did on the Everyday Buddhism podcast with my friend Wendy. If you enjoy this podcast episode, check out the Everyday Buddhism Podcast on your favorite podcasting app or visit everyday-buddhism.com
2018-07-09
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74 - Goals, Relationships, and Non-Attachment

If we're practicing non-attachment, how should we approach things like goals and relationships? Should we avoid such things? I don't think so. Goals are great and so are relationships. So how should we approach goals and relationships in the context of non-attachment? These are the ideas I will explore in this podcast episode.
2018-06-11
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73 - What Moves Us? The 5 Core Social Motives

What Moves Us? Why do we fear rejection? Why are we so motivated to want to belong? In this episode, I will discuss the 5 core social motives of Belonging, Understanding, Control, Enhancing Self, and Trust as presented by Susan Fiske. I will also correlate the idea of the core social motives with some Buddhist concepts and ideas.
2018-06-04
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72 - Yanny Or Laurel? - A Lesson in Mindful Communication

In this episode, I will share an audio clip that's gone viral where some people hear the word "yanny" and others hear the word "laurel". I will also discuss 6 tips to help us be more mindful of how we communicate.
2018-05-16
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71 - Breaking The Chain Of Reactivity

At any given moment, we?re all acting upon what has been set in motion by others. A central teaching of Buddhism is that we can pause and break the cycle of reactivity. We can learn to be more skillful in how we contribute to the never-ending web of causes and effects going on all around us. In this episode, I will discuss the notion of breaking the chain or reactivity.
2018-05-01
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70 - Beware Of The Guru Mind

In this episode, I will discuss my personal views about having a Guru/teacher. In order to learn something new or to develop a new skill, it can be helpful and wise to have the guidance and advice of a teacher but it can also become detrimental when we create a dependency on that teacher. The Buddha compared his own teachings to a raft that when no longer needed, should be left behind.
2018-04-22
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69 - Sitting With Sadness

Buddhist teachings often talk about "being with our emotions" or learning to "sit with an emotion" but what does that really mean? What does that look like in our day to day lives? In this episode, I will discuss a recent experience I had with sitting with sadness.
2018-04-09
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68 - Questions About Buddhism

In this podcast episode, I will discuss my newest book and I will share some of the specific Q&A's directly from the book. Presented in a practical Q&A format, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners is the most clear-cut introductory guide to understanding the essential concepts of Buddhism and how they relate to your daily life.
2018-04-03
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67 - Never Enough

In this podcast episode, I will discuss how the attitude of "never enough" can lead to a form emotional abuse that we inflict on our selves. I will discuss the idea of how letting go of the unhealthy views, ideas, and beliefs we have of ourselves can lead to a form of liberation where we are finally vulnerable and free to fly.
2018-03-26
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66 - The Joy & Pain Of Sharing Experiences

Have you ever felt the strong urge to capture the experience you're having and then to share it with others? We do this with movies, books, restaurants, and of course ideas, opinions, and beliefs. In this episode, I will discuss the joy and pain that often arise when we try to share our experiences and how that joy/pain doesn't have to take away from the original experience itself.
2018-03-19
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65 - What Does it Mean to Forgive?

The Buddhist approach to forgiveness is about changing our relationship with the reactive patterns that run our lives. It?s a form of introspection that allows me to understand my reactive patterns and then, more importantly to change my relationship with those patterns.
2018-02-15
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64 - We Don't Need To Change Ourselves

In this episode, I will discuss the concept of inherent perfection and how from the Buddhist perspective, that implies that we don't need to change ourselves. The idea of "perfection" from the Buddhist perspective is not a moral qualification. There is no "should" or compelling in ethical or moral behavior because your inherent nature is kindness and goodness.
2018-01-30
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63 - Mindful Eating - A Discussion With Paige Smathers

Like breathing, eating is one of the most common things we do, but how mindful are we of this process? How mindful are we of our relationship with food? In this podcast episode, I will discuss the topic of mindful eating with Paige Smathers, host of the Nutrition Matters podcast. We talk about mindful eating, our relationship with food, and how we can gain insight and wisdom by becoming more mindful about eating. I hope you enjoy this podcast episode.
2018-01-16
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62 - What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

In this episode, I discuss the topic of death with Frank Ostaseski, author of "The Five Invitations: What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully". Death is perhaps our greatest teacher, a close encounter with death can forever change our perspectives and priorities. Awareness of death is the secret to living more mindfully.
2017-12-22
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61 - Mindful Relationships, Social Justice & More - Yael Shy

In this podcast episode, I am sharing the audio of an interview with Yael Shy. Yael offers expert guidance on beginning a meditation practice and explores how to bring that practice to relationships, social justice, and the general ups and downs of everyday life.
2017-12-15
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60 - "Happiness" - A discussion with Ellen Petry Leanse

This is the audio recording of an interview with Ellen Petry Leanse (TEDx: Happiness by Design) and author of "The Happiness Hack: a brain-aware guide to life satisfaction". I hope you enjoy listening to our discussion on the topic of happiness.
2017-11-29
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59 - "Escape Into Discomfort" - A discussion with Shinzen Young

In this episode, I am sharing the audio from an interview/discussion I had with Shinzen Young on the topic of "Escaping into Discomfort". This interview was streamed live on November 16th, 2017.
2017-11-20
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58 - The Art of Stopping & Seeing

The Buddha told Angulimala (the murderer), "I stopped long ago, it's you that hasn't stopped". The art of learning to stop?.is about having the ability to pause for a moment and to shine some light on the hidden agendas that often determine why we say what we say, do what we do, and think what we think.
2017-11-08
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57 - Why Do We Experience All-Pervasive Suffering?

Why is it common to have that nagging feeling that things aren't how they're supposed to be? Do you ever feel like life is not how it's supposed to be, others are not how they're supposed to be or that you yourself are not how you're supposed to be? In this episode, I will talk about the 3 types of suffering and specifically the 3rd type: all-pervasive suffering. I will talk about where it comes from and how we can begin to understand it better and work with it.
2017-10-30
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56 - What Makes You You?

According to classical Buddhist thought, "self" is a view...It is a product of our perception?and perception is always happening. What if perception is an event that occurs rather than a thing that exists? In this episode, I will talk about the 5 Skandhas / Aggregates and how this teaching can help us to loosen our grip on the sense of self we all experience.
2017-10-24
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55 - The Four Foundations Of Mindfulness

Developing the four foundations of mindfulness helps us to remove the conceptual constructs that often blind us from seeing reality as it is. Imagine being able to see things as they really are, free from our ideas and concepts. This is the very liberation we refer to as "enlightenment". In this episode, I will discuss the four foundations of mindfulness and how each foundation can help us to gain more clarity and understanding about the nature of reality.
2017-10-10
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54 - Guided Meditation: Fostering Kindness And Compassion

This is a 10-minute guided meditation aimed at fostering kindness and compassion. Revisit this meditation anytime you feel the need to foster feelings of kindness and compassion.
2017-10-02
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53 - Freedom From The Bonds Of Anger & Hatred

In order to be free from the bonds of anger and hatred, we have to practice. We cannot simply pray or ask for anger or hatred to be removed from us. In this episode, I will discuss how we can use mindfulness practice as a tool to transform the craving, anger, and delusion within us and instead experience transformation and healing.
2017-10-02
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52 - The Sound Of Silence

What is the sound of silence? Listen to find out...In this episode, I will discuss the ideas of emptiness, signlessness, and aimlessness, known as the 3 doors of liberation.
2017-09-19
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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