108 It Is What It Is

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Today I want to talk about the saying, “It is What It Is.” Life is hard. Life is unfair. Life sucks sometimes. Buddhism doesn’t change the circumstances of life for you. But it can help you relate differently to them. The slogan, “It Is What It Is” can help us. It can remind us to have a balanced and peaceful mind that accepts those things that cannot be changed. Here are three steps in the process.

  1. Introduction
  2. The First step is to recognize what can and can’t be changed.
  3. The Second step is to realize that extending energy on unchangeables is wasteful.
  4. The Third step is to learn to accept with openness and compassion that which is.
  5. Conclusion
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107 The Secrets of Mind Surfing

MindSurfing

Learning to mind surf is the topic of this episode. Meditation can be like mind surfing. The thoughts are the waves; mindfulness is your surfboard. The key is to stay above the waves and not drop into them. How to stay above the waves is the secret to mind surfing. Mind surfing is about taking the surfboard of mindfulness and riding the waves of thought that arise, peak, and fade in our minds. You will learn to see the wave through awareness. You will learn to catch the wave through staying in the present moment. And you will learn to ride the wave by not identify with the thoughts, not taking your thoughts seriously, and not believing them.

  1. Introduction
  2. First, you have to see the wave.
  3. Second, you have to catch the wave.
  4. Third, you have to ride the wave.
  5. Conclusion
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106 Moment by Moment Re-Becoming

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Reinterpreting rebirth psychologically is the topic of this episode. Rebirth is a teaching without scientific evidence. But before we throw the baby out with the bathwater, is there a nugget of truth here? The Pali word translated as “rebirth” literally means “re-becoming” (Pali: punabbhava). Can we keep the concept of repeated becoming, if we limit it to this one life? I think we can, let me explain. A number of Insight Meditation teachers have taught that we can look at rebirth in the light of the mind remaking itself moment to moment.

  1. Introduction
  2. First, there is the agnostic approach to rebirth.
  3. Second, we can reinterpret rebirth psychologically.
  4. Third, we can see a sort of re-becoming in our actions.
  5. Conclusion
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105 Buddhism Without Rebirth

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Buddhism without rebirth is the topic of this episode. You can be a Buddhist without believing in reincarnation or rebirth. You don’t have to kiss your brains goodbye when you become a Buddhist. You don’t have to buy into a 2,500 year old cosmology which includes heavens, hells, and a host of mythological places and beings. To paraphrase the Buddha from the Kalama Sutta, “Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations…. or simply because it is written in Sacred Texts…. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it.” Let’s do this with the teaching of rebirth.

  1. Introduction
  2. First, there is no evidence for rebirth.
  3. Second, there no question that the Buddha taught rebirth.
  4. Third, Dharma, if it is alive, will change, adapt, and evolve.
  5. Conclusion
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104 Secular Buddhism

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Secular Buddhism is the topic of this episode. I share a little about my personal journey back to Buddhism. I introduce you to Secular Buddhism as a legitimate form of Buddhism. Secular Buddhism is not a religion but a spiritual path centered in practice. It is skeptical of any teachings that are not supported by scientific and psychological evidence. It views the Sutras as a mix of tradition and authentic teachings of the Buddha, and should be studied critically.

  1. Introduction
  2. First, I want to share a little of my personal journey since we last talked.
  3. Second, I rediscovered a scientifically legitimate form of Buddhism.
  4. Third, so what am I then?
  5. Conclusion
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