Learn about traditional Zen and Buddhist teachings, practices, and history through episodes recorded specifically for podcast listeners. Host Domyo Burk is a Soto Zen priest and teacher.
The Eight Worldly Winds: Gain, Loss, Status, Disgrace, Praise, Censure, Pleasure, Pain
According to one of the foundational Buddhist teachings, we are doomed to be “blown about” by Eight Worldly Winds unless we engage in spiritual practice: Gain and loss, success and failure, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Personally, I find this a vivid and useful metaphor for the human experience. I share an excerpt from a Pali sutta about the Eight Worldly Winds, and then explore what it means to be “blown about” by them, and what we can do about it.
Contemplating the Future: The Middle Way Between Dread and Hope
When we contemplate the future, it may seem like we have only two options: dread, or hope. If we can’t summon hope, we may avoid thinking about the future at all in order to escape dread. Fortunately, the Buddhist Middle Way offers an alternative. Instead of getting stuck in dread or clinging desperately to hope, we refuse to get caught in either extreme. We can walk a dynamic path of practice, facing the future with eyes open while remaining responsive and free.
Leaping Beyond Fear of Rejection: Giving the Gift of Self
The gift of self - such as our time, attention, energy, enthusiasm, perspective, sympathy, and creativity brightens the lives of everyone around us. Although the self is "empty" of inherent, enduring self-essence, it is all we have to offer the world. Unfortunately, many of us are very inhibited when it comes to sharing ourselves. Fortunately, we can make a practice of offering ourselves open-handedly, setting aside the need for affirmation as we do so.
Collecting the Heart-Mind: A Celebration of Sesshin – Part 1
Sesshin - a silent, residential, Zen meditation retreat involving a 24-hour communal schedule - is an extremely valuable way to deepen your Zen practice. I discuss why I strongly encourage you to participate in sesshin, but also why - if you can't do so - it isn't necessary. Then I talk about several of the benefits and Dharma lessons of sesshin. I have many more such benefits and lessons to share, but I'll cover them in Celebration of Sesshin Part 2.
What Does Practice Look Like When Your Country Is Broken?
When our country - or global community - is broken, how do we practice? Faced with incomprehensible violence, injustice, lies, greed, and destruction, how do we cope, let alone respond in accord with our bodhisattva vows? Our first responses are usually anger, fear, judgment, and an effort to assign blame. Then may come a desire to check out - to ignore what's happening because we feel powerless to do anything about it. I discuss how our Buddhist practice can help us remain open, strong, and responsive.
Lotus Sutra 5: Step Right Up to Get YOUR Prediction of Buddhahood
In the Lotus Sutra, thousands of the Buddha's disciples line up, each requesting their own, personal prediction of buddhahood. What is this about? Shouldn't advanced practitioners of the Buddha way be beyond any concern about themselves? I share the stories from the Lotus Sutra and discuss the teaching contained in them - namely, that we all have self-doubt, and that spiritual liberation is about transcending the self but only manifests through unique, individual sentient beings.
A well thought out way to present the many aspects of Zen Buddhism for podcast listeners.