5 Minute Dharma Podcast
Summary: 5 Minute Dharma is a weekly five minute podcast that seeks to give people practical Buddhist wisdom for everyday life. The podcast is designed to be a simple, non-scholarly introduction to Buddhism. Therefore technical words are kept to a minimum, and when they are used they are explained in everyday English. This goal of keeping it simple matches the goal of keeping it practical. Released every Friday morning.
Living in the here and now is the topic of this episode. Where are you? Let me be a little more specific. Where are you mentally? Where is your mind? Where are your thoughts? What are you thinking about? We have the ability to travel through time and space with our minds. The problem is, that we live our lives everywhere but here and now. I want to spend the next few minute talking to you about living in the here and now. Outline: Introduction I. Our Appointment with Reality II. Be Where We Are III. The Present Moment Conclusion
I want to start by saying how much I appreciate the outpouring of love and support I have received since I announced I was ending the podcast. I never knew how much the podcast meant to you. I am not sure I can adequately express how your messages moved me. It is because of this that I have decided to return to doing the 5 Minute Dharma podcast. As an old preacher once said, “No one should be afraid to change his views, his language, or his practices in conformity with increasing light.” The podcast has always been a labor of love, so I am bringing the love back.
I have good news and bad news. Let’s begin with the bad news. 5 Minute Dharma Podcast is coming to an end. I want to thank you for listening and for your emails of encouragement. Now let’s get to the good news. I am starting up another podcast, called the Wisdom Podcast.. So here is what I need you to do. If you really liked 5 Minute Dharma I think you will like Wisdom Podcast. The first thing you should do is go over to www.WisdomPodcast.com and bookmark the site. Then I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast. so you never miss an episode. Currently you can subscribe by RSS Feed and, YouTube. I am working on getting the podcast in iTunes, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Spreaker, TuneIn, Blubrry Network, and Miro. I should be in most of these within a week or so.
Accepting responsibility for our failures and mistakes is the topic of this episode. Responsibility means being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power or control. Responsibility is the ability to respond, rather than react. It is saying that, if it’s going to be, it’s up to me. And if it doesn't happen, I take full responsibility. I want to spend the next few minute talking to you about taking responsibility for your life. Outline: Introduction I. For the Way Your Life Is II. For Your Actions and Reactions III. For Your Personal, Mental, and Spiritual Development Conclusion
Buddhism as psychology is the topic of this episode. In his book The Universe in a Single Atom, the Dalai Lama stated, "if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims." As Western culture engages Buddhism, a convergence is taking place. The secularism and democracy of Western culture is changing Buddhism, evolving it. In the next few minutes I want plot out a path for the continuing evolution of Buddhism in the West. Outline: Introduction I. First, We Need to Separate Psychology from the Metaphysics. II. Second, Interpret Metaphysical Ideas in a Psychological Way. III. Third, Fully Embrace the Research and Findings of Neuroscience and Scientific Psychology. Conclusion
The hindrance of doubt is the topic of this episode. There are two kinds of doubt. There is investigative doubt and paralyzing doubt. Investigative doubt is not a mood, but a method. It is the inquisitive mind researching the evidence. Paralyzing doubt is more of a mood, an wavering and indecisive mindset that paralyzes. It is this paralyzing kind of doubt that the Buddha called a hindrance. I want to spend the next few minutes discussing three areas where is doubt manifests. Outline: Introduction I. Doubt Concerning the Teaching. II. Doubt Concerning the Practice. III. Doubt Concerning our Ability. IV. How Do We to Deal with Doubt. Conclusion
The art of listening is the topic of this episode. Listening is loving. Listening demonstrates love and is, in fact, love in action. When a person invests the time and energy in truly listening to us, we know that they truly care for us. And if they truly care for us, we feel free to open our hearts and share ourselves at a deep level. In the next few minutes I want to give you three steps in the art of listening. Outline: Introduction I. A Desire to Listen II. Be Fully Present III. Be Compassionately Receptive Conclusion
Seeking liberation and not happiness is the topic of this episode. In the last episode I talked about how to be happy. By happiness I meant a stable sense of serenity and contentment. But there are several mistakes that we can easily make. The biggest mistake is pursuing happiness instead of liberation. I want to spend a few minutes helping you avoid these pitfalls. Outline: Introduction I. Pursuing Happiness Instead of Liberation II. Thinking the Buddha Taught People to Be Happy. III. Not Making Effort to Be Liberated. Conclusion
How to be happy is the topic of this episode. Happiness is one of those words that means many things to many people. To some people happiness is a pleasant or enjoyable feeling. That kind of happiness is impermanent and not worth pursuing. No, the happiness I will be talking about is a state of mind, it is a stable sense of serenity and contentment. I want to teach you four ways to help you find this stable sense of serenity and contentment. Outline: Introduction I. Let Go of Our Need to Control II. Realize All Things are Impermanent III. Be Compassionate and Less Self-Preoccupied IV. Be Free of Unwholesome Attachments Conclusion
Saving yourself is the topic of this episode. As our Sutra says, you are to be your own refuge, with the Dharma as your guide. Buddhism teaches that, if you are going to be saved, you are going to have to save yourself. Of course, salvation here means being delivered from suffering and dissatisfaction. I prefer to use the word liberation rather than salvation, because in Buddhism, there is no Savior. You must liberate yourself from attachment, and hence from suffering and dissatisfaction. Sutra: "Bhikkhus, dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no other refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge." - SN 22.43 Outline: Introduction I. Not from an Outside Agency. II. Not from Deluded Thinking and action III. From Seeing Clearly. Conclusion
Walking meditation is the topic of this episode. If you do sitting meditation for about an hour, you know that the legs get stiff. In order to continue your meditation practice, you need to learn to do walking meditation. It allows us to extend our mindfulness practice for many hours. Walking meditation is taught both in the Zen and Vipassana movements. In the Zen tradition this walking meditation is called Kinhin. I want to spend the next few minutes teaching you how to do walking meditation within the insight meditation tradition. Text: "Bhikkhus, there are these five benefits of walking meditation. What five? One becomes capable of journeys; one becomes capable of striving; one becomes healthy; what one has eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted is properly digested; the concentration attained through walking meditation is long lasting. These are the five benefits of walking meditation.” - AN 5.29 Outline: Introduction I. Benefits of Walking Meditation II. Instructions for Walking Meditation III. Some Final Thoughts Conclusion
Why Buddhism is provable is the topic of this episode. There are two things a lot of people avoid talking about, and that is politics and religion. My background and education is in Religion, so I talk about it a lot. All religions have things that they assert that cannot be proven, they must be taken by faith. The difference with Buddhism is that these unprovable things are nonessential. By nonessential things I am referring specifically to such things as reincarnation and the after-life. What is essential is meditation and that is subject to proof or disproof. Text: "But when you know for yourselves: 'These things are wholesome; these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if accepted and undertaken, lead to welfare and happiness,' then you should live in accordance with them.” - AN 3.65 Outline: Introduction I. The difference between belief and knowledge II. The scientific evidence supporting the benefits of mindfulness meditation III. Conduct your own personal experiment with Buddhist meditation Conclusion
Practicing mindfulness in order to perform mindfully is the topic of this episode. One of the reasons we meditate every day is to develop mindfulness. Meditation is called a practice, because it is something we repeatedly do so that we become better at being mindful. We want to learn to be mindful not only during meditation, but throughout the day as we work, eat, and interact with society. In other words, we want to practice mindfulness during our meditation time so that we can perform mindfully in everyday life. Text: "Mindfulness that 'there is a body' is established in one to the extent necessary for bare knowledge and continuous mindfulness." - MN 10 Outline: Introduction I. Like playing an instrument II. Like training an animal III. Like an actor practicing for theatre Conclusion
Becoming your own best friend is the topic of this episode. As the Buddha taught, no one is dearer to you than yourself. We should extend the love we already have for ourselves, toward others. Why? Because they are just as valuable and worthy of loving-kindness as we ourselves are. We should love others no more or no less than we love ourselves. The problem is that we love ourselves with attachment, clinging to what we like about ourselves and adverse to what we don’t like. In order to make any real progress in loving others, we need to learn to love ourselves with no attachments. Text: “On traversing all directions with the mind, one finds no one anywhere dearer than oneself. Likewise everyone holds himself most dear, hence one who loves himself should not harm another.” - Ud 5.1 Outline: Introduction I. Being honest with yourself. II. Having compassion for yourself. III. Having a sense of humor toward yourself. IV. Respecting yourself. Conclusion
The four wishes of loving-kindness meditation is the topic of this episode. In the last episode I taught you how to do loving-kindness meditation using four phrases. This meditation will both build up your concentration and help you develop loving-kindness. But in order to really get the most out of the the four phrases or four wishes, you have to really understand what you are wishing for. Understand is the fuel that will power the four wishes, helping them to become meaningful and empowering. In this episode I want to delve into the meaning of the words: safe, happy, healthy, and content. Text: “(Then he should cultivate his thoughts thus:) May all beings be happy and secure; may their minds be contented.” - Sn 1.8 Outline: Introduction I. The First wish is the wish that one be safe. II. The Second wish is the wish that one be happy. III. The Third wish is the wish that one be healthy. IV. The Fourth wish is the wish that one be content. V. Add loving-kindness meditation to your regular mindfulness practice Conclusion