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Episode 131 - Harmlessness

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 03/07/2022

Episode 143 - Right Thinking show art Episode 143 - Right Thinking

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode is the last of a three part series on the ten nonvirtuous actions, and the focus is on actions of mind. Actions of mind you say! Yes, actions of mind do create karma. In fact, mental actions are continuously creating our reality. Our mind can create a heaven or a hell right on earth. Our mind can also create a happy life—or at least 80% happier.   Nonvirtuous actions of mind: covetousness ill will Wrong view   Finding fault in what’s not at fault  And seeing no fault in what is,  Those who take up wrong views  Go to a bad rebirth. (318)   ...

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Episode 142 - Mindful Speech show art Episode 142 - Mindful Speech

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

  When the Buddha explained the ten nonvirtuous actions to abandon, four are devoted to our speech. Our words are an incredibly powerful tool; they can build ourselves and others up. Or they can tear ourselves and others down. In a sentence they can destroy a relationship, friendship, or employment; such is the power of our speech. In fact, a mindfulness practice of purifying our speech is one that can change our lives completely.    The Four Nonvirtous Action of Speech Lying Divisive speech Harsh speech  Idle chatter    5 Factors of Right Speech: Is it true?...

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Episode 141 - Body Karma show art Episode 141 - Body Karma

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Buddha explained the Ten Nonvirtuous Actions as a way to guide our actions of body, speech, and mind. "Nonvirtuous" means that it brings suffering to us in the future by way of negative karmic results. Yet it is easy to be confused about what is nonvirtuous if everyone around us is doing it or if our society sanctions it. That is why we are encouraged in Buddhism to bring the light of awareness to our actions. To see, in the light of our own wisdom, if our actions are helpful or harmful. The daily mindfulness practice JoAnn Fox suggests begins by contemplating what unskillful actions of body...

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Episode 140 - Happiness Training show art Episode 140 - Happiness Training

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Where we place our thoughts is how we produce happiness, calm, and peace. The real trap we're all in is believing that we will be happy when_______. Think about how many times we've said this: "I'll be happy when I get my own room. I'll be happy when I can drive. I'll be happy when I can move out. I'll be happy when I can move back in. When I graduate college, I'll be happy, and when I get that great job. I'll be happy when I get married. I'll be happy when I get divorced. I'll be happy when I have kids. I'll be happy when these kids finally leave. I'll be happy when I retire." We're always...

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Episode 139 - How To Purify Bad Karma show art Episode 139 - How To Purify Bad Karma

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

There is a way to purify negative karma! Phew. Buddha taught the Four Powers of Purification. The first power is healthy regret. This type of regret stands in contrast to guilt. Healthy regrets teaches us that we should try to not be angry or unkind to ourselves when we experience regret. Regret makes us naturally desire not to repeat that action and the harm we caused. The second power of purification is applying remedies. In this episode, JoAnn Fox shares a traditional method for applying remedies, reciting the mantra of Vajrasattva, Buddha of Purification (see the mantra below.) The third...

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Episode 138  - How To Change show art Episode 138 - How To Change

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

From two stories told by the Buddha referencing people who didn’t think their actions of harm were any big deal, we see that the results of karma can be powerful and that the practice of restraint is wise for our present and future happiness. In this episode, we look at both the law of karma and the practice of ethical discipline. In particular, we look at the power of restraint to change our behavior in our lives for the better!    Better to eat a flaming red-hot iron ball  Than to be an immoral and unrestrained person  Feeding on the alms-food of the people....

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Episode 137 - Being Tender with Our Anger show art Episode 137 - Being Tender with Our Anger

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

When Buddha was accused of sexual relations with a young, beautiful woman named Sundari, and his followers were accused of murdering her, Buddha remained unphased. Buddha merely used it as an opportunity to teach about karma. If only we could remain so calm amidst the storms of life! In this episode, we learn about a practice to help us let go of anger taught by Thich Nhat Hanh. This meditation involves a mindfulness of anger: breathing in, I recognize my own anger; breathing out, I smile at my anger.    The Story of Sundari the Wandering Female Ascetic   While residing at the...

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Episode 136 - Taming The Mind show art Episode 136 - Taming The Mind

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Dharma often refers to the teachings of Buddha, but the specific meaning of dharma is that which holds us back from suffering. If we say we are a Buddhist or a dharma practitioner, it means we are making an effort to hold ourselves back from suffering by putting the teachings into practice. In other words, we are trying to tame our own mind. At the moment, our mind is like a wild horse, going anywhere it wishes. If our feelings get hurt, the mind may race off in anger and speech that is destructive to a relationship with someone. We might regret it later, but the damage has been done....

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Episode 135 - Buddha-Nature show art Episode 135 - Buddha-Nature

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Buddha asserted that all living beings have Buddha-nature, a consciousness that is the seed of enlightenment. No matter how deluded someone is at this moment, they have within them the potential to become a fully enlightened being. Our nature is essentially pure and good (and empty of inherent existence). Even when it is raining, and clouds completely cover the sun, the clouds do not change the essential light-giving power of the sun. In the same way, the clouds of delusions like anger, greed, and ignorance do not change the pure nature of living beings.    If we are not yet...

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Episode 134 - Good Karma show art Episode 134 - Good Karma

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Have you ever wondered how to practice karma? In this episode, we look at how to practice karma by maintaining mindfulness of the law of karma and acting in accordance with it. The word karma literally means action. Every action is like a seed planted in the field of our mind. Virtuous actions, like those actions coming from the intention of compassion, generosity, love, understanding and so on, plant a seed in our mind that will eventually give rise to happiness in the future. In this way karma shapes our world. The world we are experiencing today has been shaped by our actions of the past....

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More Episodes
The Buddha spoke many times of the importance of practicing harmlessness. The most harmful mind is the mind of anger. The nature of anger is that it wishes to harm its object. Just as the nature of fire is to burn, the nature of anger is to harm. In this episode, we look at the causes of anger and conflict in our hearts. Sometimes we are at war with someone, a family member, a person at work, with society, our government, or a political party. We can understand and touch the war within ourselves. We can lay our conflicts down and experience peace where there was pain and turmoil. 

 

How does anger arise? Anger observes an object it finds unpleasant, dwells with inappropriate attention on the faults of that object. Then anger arises when the mind has become unpeaceful and uncontrolled. The great Buddhist Master Shantideva said there are two reasons we get angry: when we don’t get what we want and when we have to put up with things we don’t want.

 

Edict of ancient Rome was: “If you want peace, you must prepare for war.” The result of this traditional way of thinking: 2,000 years of war, misery, destruction and annihilation. Millions of serious casualties. In the atomic age it is now high time we reversed this motto: “If you want peace, you must prepare for peace.” This means disarming instead of rearming.”

—Dalai Lama 

 

Inner peace in the minds of human beings is the only foundation upon which a last outer peace--a world without war--is possible. The way to heal ourselves and society is the same. Loving-kindness and compassion are the antidotes to anger and hatred. A powerful antidote to anger is to accept people as they are. Another is having compassion for their struggles and personality quirks. We all have a personality quirk or two…Thich Nhat Hanh says that "We are challenged to apply an antidote as soon as anger arises, because of the far-reaching social effects of individual anger." 

 

A profound understanding of interdependence arises when we see others with compassion and take universal responsibility for the correlation between our inner peace and outer, or world peace. The vast web of life is such that the action of one person reverberates across the entire web. Do we have a universal responsibility to end the war within ourselves as an act of nonviolence and peace for the whole world?

 

Always wide awake 

Are the disciples of Gotama 

Whose minds constantly, day and night, 

Delight in harmlessness.

-Buddha, The Dhammapada

 

If you are interested in learning how you can work with JoAnn Fox as a Life/Spiritual Coach, visit https://buddhismforeveryone.com/coaching

 

References and Links

 

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 75-76

 

Dalai Lama. Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World Kindle Edition. Disarming instead of rearming. pp. 87