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Everyday Buddhism: Making Everyday Better
83 minutes | May 26, 2021
Everyday Buddhism 58: Allow Joy - Chan Practice for Uncertain Times
Join me for a conversation—and a gentle teaching—with one of the most clear and inspiring teachers I've met. Rebecca Li, the author of Allow Joy into Our Hearts: Chan Practice in Uncertain Times, talks with me about her new book and the inspiration behind it. I used her book—and will continue to use it—to help pull myself from falling into a dark world in my mind and a heart, as a response to the suffering of the pandemic and all the fear and mistrust that came with it. When suffering arises, Rebecca teaches us "how to suffer better." She teaches us to use a practice of total clear awareness to suffer better by knowing that we're suffering. It is the remembering to come back to practice, for the mind to come back to the body, that allows fear or sadness to move through you and not bury itself in you. And she teaches us not to focus just on the positive as a way to flee from the pain of suffering. That, she says, is a "form of violence to ourselves." Listen to an easy conversation with Rebecca Li, who provides insight into practicing with an "unbiased view of everything that comes before you."
26 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Everyday Buddhism 57 - Dharma for Trauma
It seems, sometimes, that when Buddhist and other religious teachers, and serious practitioners get deeper into practice, the more they seem capable of deluding themselves—either in a performative way, posing and positioning for others, or because they have completely deluded themselves about what is really happening within them. They hide their humanness behind the beauty and strength of their words, or their teacher's words, and they hide their brokenness. They hide so well they begin to believe they aren't broken. In this episode, I talk about my brokenness and about how, like the Japanese art of kintsugi, expressing the philosophy of wabi-sabi, we must embrace the flawed and imperfect to honor our whole self—in all its brokenness—rather than hide what is broken. We need to illuminate those broken parts.
39 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
Everyday Buddhism 56 - Can You Lament And Still Be A Buddhist?
Buddhist sutras and teachings speak of lamenting only in ways that highlight how it is to be avoided and transcended, so as not to fall victim to the second arrow of suffering. The Buddha's teaching that there is dukkha, or unsatisfactoriness, but suffering is optional through one's internal relationship to that dukkha. He teaches that is enough. But is it? I bet, at some time during the last year, you have cried out in your heart to restore life to how it used to be. We look around and everyone is suffering and nothing is the same. Why not cry out? A prayer of lament and grief can be a necessary expression of sorrow, as a crucial part of the experience of living in a broken world. The broken world the Buddha warned us about. When we lament the darkest moments of life, we are at are most humble. And it is from that place, true compassion for yourself and others—and true acceptance—is born.
60 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Everyday Buddhism 55 - Introducing Where The Light Meets
Join us for this introduction of an Everyday Buddhism spin-off podcast! Follow the conversation of 4 friends: Holly Rockwell, a spiritual director and Ignatian prayer guide; Levi Shinyo Walbert Sensei, a Buddhist Lay Minister and seminary student pursuing chaplaincy and a Master of Divinity; Christopher Kakuyo Ross-Leibow Sensei, a Buddhist Lay Minister and sangha leader of the Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship; and me, Wendy Shinyo Haylett, a Buddhist Lay Minister and your host of both podcasts. Listen as we will continue to talk about how you can enlighten your Buddhist practice through Christianity or how you can enlighten your Christian practice through Buddhism. This is where the light meets.
27 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Everyday Buddhism 54 - Same Crap, Different Year?
Join me as I share my struggle finding some peace in the midst of the uncertainties that have chased us from 2020 into 2021. Despite our urge to run, hide, strike out, or curl up in a ball, as Buddhists we need to remember that the Buddha never promised a rose garden. The Buddha never promised an ordered universe. He said life is suffering because we grasp to life being something other than it is. There's a post-modern paradigm that life keeps getting better and better due to technological and scientific progress. In some ways it does. But not without a little disorder. We need ways to navigate the disorder to some sense of reorder, without running back to the old order ... to our old "normal." We can do that with our minds. The Buddha made that promise through the first of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right View or Right Understanding.
89 minutes | Dec 12, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 53 - Lessons for Covid Living From Those With Long-Term Health Challenges
In this episode we are continuing our "How I'm Coping" series but with a bit of a different twist. I've brought together two podcast listeners who expressed a different perspective on how they are coping with the pandemic. Both of them come to their current coping abilities through previous "practice" as people with serious long-term health issues. We share many of the challenges, frustrations, fear, and daily uncertainties that come with serious chronic and/or progressive diseases and injury. This is just the sort of uncertainty and lack of control that we have all felt during the pandemic. We are still trying to understand how to cope with this uncertainty the pandemic has thrust upon us but our guests, Dr. Kelly Lockwood and William Seiyo Shehan Sensei, have navigated these challenges for many years due to their illness and injuries. Those with disabilities and chronic illnesses are easily overlooked in our "power-through" culture. This pandemic has highlighted how easily forgotten the aged and those with chronic illness and disabilities have become while the rest of the world rushes to get back to a "normal" that those with chronic illness will never regain.
24 minutes | Nov 26, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 52 - How To Be Thankful in the Midst of Sadness
In this podcast, we'll explore finding ways to say "thank you" in this time of loss, fear, despair, and uncertainty. I take some time reflecting on the Buddhist teachings of the gift of our "precious human life." Our lives are a gift. We did not plan, arrange, or have any control in making our births happen. We were gifted them. And, for that gift, despite how rocky our lives sometimes seem, we say "thank you!" Listen to how you can use mindful awareness to shift your focus to what's in front of you ... to "just this". Sitting in "just this", you are relieved of your endless wants, worries, dramas, AND sadness. From that place, you can connect to a place of freedom where your heart softens around your fears and joys, and you can relax in the whole of life—if only for a few minutes.
71 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 51 - Steady, Calm and Brave with Kimberly Brown
Join me in conversation with Kimberly Brown as we discuss her new book, Steady, Calm and Brave, a handbook of healing tools to help us through the fraught times of 2020—and beyond. In a delightfully honest and personal conversation, Kimberly shares how seeing students, friends, neighbors, and family afraid, disheartened, and sad, at the beginning of the pandemic was the motivation for writing the book. Kimberly shares her personal experience with trauma and how metta, body-based, and self-compassion Buddhist and pyschotherapeutic practices helped heal her and formed the intention for her to become a teacher of these practices. The practices Kimberly shares are a true Bodhisattva offering. She explains her motivation to not only reduce stress, deal with difficult emotions, and care for yourself and your loved ones, but to help recognize your gifts of deep wisdom, compassion, and courage. And these gifts will animate "your words, actions, and presence...to help reveal our healthy and equitable world. Remember, only everyone can save us—and we're everyone."
25 minutes | Oct 17, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 50 - The Social Dilemma and Otherness
"When you look around you it feels like the world is going crazy.... Is this normal or have we all fallen under some spell?" ~Tristan Harris In this episode I take a Buddhist view on the spell we've fallen under—and it is the spell of a self-involved culture, swallowed by social media and focused on the hatred of "the other." We are largely living in a world of the extremes of ignorance and false certainty. "The more fixed we get about things, the more confusion, emotional disturbance, and conflict we experience," according to Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel. Nothing or no one is a fixed, discrete thing. Everything is empty of inherent existence. When you fix a difficult person, a political side, or sociopolitical view, you are creating something that doesn't actually exist. Shantideva said: "Thus, when enemies of friends are seen to act improperly, be calm and call to mind that everything arises from conditions."
61 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 49 - A Missing Future with David Farley
Join me for the first of a series of interviews with podcast listeners on how they are coping with the pandemic. In this episode, David Farley, a travel and food writer who lives in New York City, joins me for a conversation. David wrote a blog post where he mused about our seeming missing future. He wrote: We can't envision what life is going to be like in, say, a year or what we'll be doing.... It's seriously anxiety-producing for many of us.... The only way we can maneuver, even survive without eventually imploding, is to change our outlook on life and the world. And reality. Listen for more of this thoughtful conversation with David where he shares his understanding of Buddhist teachings and his refuge in them. And listen for how you can share what you've learned as an upcoming podcast guest!
17 minutes | Sep 26, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 48 - Announcing the Everyday Buddhism Lecture Series on Mindful Writing
Announcing a new Everyday Buddhism feature for the Membership Community: A lecture series/workshop on mindful writing! In this series I hope to introduce you to a new way of practicing mindfulness through writing. As Gary Snyder wrote, meditation can put you totally into the world even as it takes you out of it. Mindfulness and meditation are practices of deliberate attention that can create a spacious awareness of what is and help us escape the narrow box in our heads where the thinker lives. Focusing in on what is at any one moment doesn’t narrow our awareness but, instead, opens us up to what is outside our concepts of self and what we ‘think’ we are seeing. This will not be ‘writing course’ but a practice of engaged seeing, hearing, and feeling with the objective of capturing moments and expressing them through writing. This does not mean you need to be a poet, nor a writer. If you would like to join the Everyday Buddhism Membership Community and continue your participation in this virtual workshop on mindful writing, you can do so at this link: https://www.everyday-buddhism.com/join-community-or-sangha.html
27 minutes | Sep 20, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 47 - Building a Resilience Bank Account
Join me as I share some insights from an article by Tara Haelle, Your Surge Capacity is Depleted—It's Why You Feel Awful, and some insights of my own, that may help you find new attitudes and practices to help you keep going. Help you go the distance of this pandemic, even though we don't know how long that distance is—or what's at the end. This time of ambiguous loss can cause feelings of helplessness and hopelessness because our solution-oriented culture is actually destructive when faced with a problem that has no solution. Instead we need to look at things differently and do things differently. The end isn't in sight but that doesn't mean we give up. We just need to find new ways to keep going. This podcast should help...PLUS keep listening to find ways YOU, as a podcast listener, can share some of the ways you are coping through these troubled times.
97 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 46 - 6 Steps for Coping with Uncertainty with Gregg Krech
We're currently faced with a global pandemic, which reminds us how uncertain life really is. So what do we do? How do we cope? Join me in conversation with Gregg Krech, who uses the concepts of acceptance—active acceptance—to understand how we can't take effective action until we've accepted the reality of the situation we're in. Gregg talks about how a large portion of the population has not accepted the situation and others whose impatience pushes them to make bad decisions. Is there another way? We talk about 6 action steps we can take to reach deep within ourselves to find capabilities that may have been sleeping for a long time. They are: - Waking up to our faith or true entrusting - Working with our attention - Sharpening our skills of reflecting on ourselves - Recognizing the blessings that we encounter throughout the day - Act constructively and compassionately in the face of fear - Find something purposeful and meaningful to live for each day
16 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 45 - We're All in the Same Storm But Not in the Same Boat
Join me for a short episode check-in and sharing of how I am taking personal action despite living in our current reality of uncertainty. Awakening to the fact that I was spending too much time anxiously looking "out there" at what was or could be coming ... or focusing on the horrible feelings inside me, I decided to turn my personal boat around. As Gregg Krech of the ToDo Institute reminds us "Everyone is dealing with losses but ultimately it's an individual thing.... It's not a mass issue. It's your personal situation and attachment." How are you doing as the navigator and pilot of your own boat? Listen for some questions for reflection. And if you have questions about how to cope with these uncertain times email them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Question for Gregg" and Gregg Krech, one of the leading authorities of Japanese Psychology will do his best to answer them in an upcoming podcast episode.
29 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 44 - Chaos and Order: Personal Reflections, Poetry, and Chaos Theory
Join me for an episode that is part autobiographical, part solidarity with Pride and Black Lives matter, part poetry, part science, and part Buddhism. Sounds a bit chaotic, doesn't it? Yet I hope you find some relevant order. Sharing a recent experience with my own revisiting of internal trauma sparked by the external trauma of pandemic politics and social unrest, I tried to find order in the chaos through poetry and, of course, Buddhism. Every life has some chaos because as the poet Gregory Orr writes, "there is a great deal of disorder in experience." Or stated through a Buddhist lens, "the unenlightened life is suffering." Yet, in the suffering and chaos there may be a new heartbeat; the birth of a new order, if we lean in and keep going with strong back and soft front.
101 minutes | May 28, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 43 - Awakening to the Ordinary with Dr. Christiane Michelberger
Join me for a special guest episode with Dr. Christiane Michelberger, a retired physician, psychoanalyst, and past spiritual seeker who currently mentors seekers in their quest to awaken. Christiane talks about how more than 10,000 hours of meditation and 40 years of studying Buddhist scriptures didn’t help her deal with debilitating fear when she was faced with the reality of breast cancer. It was then that she took steps to escape from a habit of "spiritual sleepwalking" and find a way to see through the 'me' that it is at the heart of our dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and suffering. Christiane and I share a wide-ranging conversation about the importance of seeing through the 'me' … embracing the ordinary … why meditation may not be enough … shifting from spiritual illusions to simple reality ... spiritual bypassing … brainwashing and guru worship … and dealing with the stages of grief we might be going through during the new pandemic reality we find ourselves in.
33 minutes | May 11, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 42 - How Not to Feel Like a Victim
In this episode, I reflect on our responses when we find ourselves in life situations that don't make sense and that are out of our control. As we make our way through the global Covid-19 pandemic we see humbling examples of courage and compassion. And we also see examples of people responding in fear and anger. The symptoms of fight, flight, or freeze—our natural responses to perceived threats—are everywhere you look. We have been smacked in our collective and previously comfortable faces with the need to find ways of accepting what is happening to us. And many of us aren't doing so well. Yet, the pandemic is teaching us about interdependence, change, and impermanence in a profound way. Our choice is to respond like victims or like the brave front-line workers, with a noble response to suffering.
63 minutes | Apr 16, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 41 - American Sutra with Duncan Williams
Join me for a special guest episode with Duncan Ryuken Williams, the author of American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War. 125,000+ Japanese-Americans we rounded up and placed in internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Many of these were Buddhists who persevered despite their imprisonment. Circumstances that were no fault of their own but because of their "Japanese faces" and their faith in a non-Christian religion seen as anti-American. And they kept going because of that faith. The lessons shared in this episode can help us, too, find faith and freedom during this time of separation and community during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
23 minutes | Mar 28, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 40 - Covid-19 Mind Protection
The whole world is afraid. A tiny piece of biological stuff—this virus—brought the world to its knees. A contagion or plague of this level is not new to the world but new to most of us living today. We have very little experience dealing with this level of uncertainty. This makes protecting the health of our minds and hearts as important as protecting the health of our bodies. There has never been a better time to develop a practice of finding a healthy balance between being informed and tormenting yourself. Listen as I share mantra, breathing, awareness, and mindful writing practices that might help.
28 minutes | Feb 16, 2020
Everyday Buddhism 39 - Let's Not Talk About Politics
There is a view of Buddhism that is idealistic. That it's all about meditating and chanting in an incense-filled room, hidden away from the world. That the peace promised in Buddhism comes from being away from, above, or different from, the troubles of the world. If your mind is full of what you think Buddhism or spirituality "should" be, no matter what teaching is placed at your feet, the grip of your expectations will prevent you from absorbing it or finding a new perspective that might bring you peace. The Buddha was soaked in the troubles and suffering of the world and it is what drove him to find out what suffering was made of. The peace the Buddha promised is found in a personal understanding of ignorance and the practice to overcome it. The peace you seek is not an escape from the world but an understanding of it.
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