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Episode 1 How to Create a Happy Reality

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 11/02/2018

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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Episode 133 - A Simple Happiness Practice show art Episode 133 - A Simple Happiness Practice

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

It could be said that all of the Buddha's teachings are about suffering and how to end suffering. In this episode, we hear the story of a monk who, standing alone in his monastery while the rest of his city celebrated the festival of the constellations, thought: "There can be no one whose lot is worse than mine." Haven't we all had a similar thought before when we were down, thinking our situation was just the worse! To the monk, the Buddha said that everyone suffers. Buddha says it is hard to be a monk; it is hard to be married with a family; it is hard just to live with other people....

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Episode 132: Cherishing Others, The Basis of All Good Qualities show art Episode 132: Cherishing Others, The Basis of All Good Qualities

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The Buddha said that the minds of his followers should “constantly, day and night, delight in spiritual practice.” What practice can we weave through our days and use our own life as a spiritual path? What practice can we do at work, at home, with strangers, children, parents, and our partner? Cherishing others is a practice we can do whenever we have an intention; in other words, wherever we are awake. Cherishing others directly opposes our own selfishness, also known as self-cherishing. Cherishing another means that we have the intention: your happiness is important. I myself will work...

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Episode 131 - Harmlessness show art Episode 131 - Harmlessness

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

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.   ...

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Episode 130 - Mindful of The Body show art Episode 130 - Mindful of The Body

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode we explore mindfulness of the body. Many of us spend our work days sitting in front of a computer, disconnected from our bodies. Sometimes we are in a beautiful place but not really present. Mindfulness of the body can help us become present in our bodies. We can learn how to release tension and stress or remind ourselves be kind to our body.    Buddha taught several types of mindfulness of the body: Mindfulness of the breath Mindfulness of the postures Activities  Impurities  Real nature  4 elements Charnel grounds   Always wide awake  Are...

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Buddha taught that our mind creates our reality. Our mind creates our life and whether we are happy or unhappy. In this episode, we delve deep into HOW our minds create our reality.

Here we begin the study of the Dhammapada, the oldest text in the Buddhist canon. It is a collection of things Buddha actually said 2600 years ago, written down by his followers.

The mechanics of the creation of every moment of your consciousness involve the five all- accompanying mental factors.

  • Contact - making contact with an object
  • Feeling - a mental factor that experiences a pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral feeling. * Feeling functions to experience OUR karma
  • Discrimination - identifies the object
  • Intention - Moves our mind to the object. Function to CREATE karma
  • Attention - Focuses on specific attributes of an object. We either focus on something with "appropriate attention" that gives rise to peace, or inappropriate attention that gives rise to suffering.

An example of the creation of a moment of suffering is this: We experience an unpleasant feeling (due to our karma), but we discriminate the person in front of us as the cause of the pain and as "bad". Then we focus on the faults of the person with inappropriate attention, which generates our anger. Anger causes us to have the intention to harm that person because we are feeling upset.  If we continue to dwell on the faults of the person (aka inappropriate attention) will continue to be angry and feel bad. No fun!

We also learned three methods to create a happier reality for ourselves, particularly in a very difficult situation or in regards to a person that cause us pain or frustration. The meditation and daily practice is as follows.

Step 1: Bring to mind a situation that regularly causes you pain. Or bring to mind a person that causes you pain, irritation, or frustration.

Step 2: Try to think about this situation or person with gratitude for a few minutes. What are you grateful for? Try to think of at least five things you are grateful for.

Step 3: Are there good qualities about this situation or person? Please contemplate at least a few good qualities you sincerely observe.

Step 4: Try to generate compassion for the person, or for yourself. Compassion is a mind that really sees the suffering that is there, and, out of love, Wishes to take that suffering away so happiness remains. Remember that happy people don't go around making other people unhappy. Unhappy people inadvertently cause other people to suffer. 

Step 5: Choose which of these three methods (gratitude, contemplating their good quailiteis, or compassion) that most moved your mind toward peace. Determine toput this method into practice in the coming week; let it be like a swaord of mindfulness, cutting through pain.

Step 6: Make a strong determination that, whenever unpleasant feelings start to arise in this partilcar situation, you will put your chosen method into practice. Generate this determination and hold it in your heart for a few moments.

Daily Mindfullnes Practice: Whenever unpleasant feelings start to arise about this partilcar situation, remember the method you chose and put it into practice. Feel compassion for the person, contemplate their good qualities, or try to feel gratitude. You can do it! Let me know how it goes...Leave a message, question, or comment and I'll try to respond via:

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In this episode we study Chapter One, Verse 1 - 2 of the Dhammapada:

“All experience is created by mind

Led by mind,

Made by mind.

Speak or act with a corrupted mind

And suffering follows,

As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of an ox.

 

All experience is created by mind

Led by mind,

Made by mind.

Speak or act with a peaceful mind,

And happiness follows

Like a never-departing shadow.”

       -Buddha, The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations, by Gil Fronsdale

 Other References: 

Abhidharmasamuccaya (The Compendium of Higher Training) by Asanga. Originally translated into French by Warhol Rahula; translated from French into English by Sara Boin-Webb