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Episode 1 How to Create a Happy Reality

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 11/02/2018

Episode 108: One Who Harms No Living Being show art Episode 108: One Who Harms No Living Being

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode, we explore non-harmfulness. Non-harm is so central to Buddhism, the two can not be separated from each other. Our own inner peace is dependent upon lessening and eventually eliminating the harm we do to others. Inner peace is the great victory and prize for removing this harm from our actions of body, speech and mind.    ----------------------------------------- While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (270) of this book, with reference to a fisherman named Ariya.   Once, there was a fisherman who lived near the north gate of Savatthi....

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107 - Merit Making  show art 107 - Merit Making

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode, we look at creating merit by intentionally engaging in activities that are good karma. Merit, or good karma, propels our spiritual practice forward. Thus accumulating merit is a central activity of a bodhisattva, one striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, as well as those who believe in the law of karma.    Ten merit-making activities    Giving (dāna ) Observing the moral precepts (sīla ) Meditation (bhāvanā ) Showing respect to one's superiors (apacāyana ) Attending to their needs (veyyāvacca ) Transferring merit (pattidāna )...

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Episode 106 - Creating Happiness and Peace show art Episode 106 - Creating Happiness and Peace

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

  “Renunciation is not the same as giving up pleasure or denying ourselves happiness. It means giving up our unreal expectations about ordinary pleasures. These expectations themselves are what turn pleasure into pain.” —Lama Yeshe   Is it is real cause of happiness? Does it cause unwanted side effects? Every time we turn to it for pleasure does it make us happy? Does it bring peace Does it set us up for disappointment or pain? If you answer yes to 1 and 4 or no to 2 and 3, it can’t be a real cause of happiness.    Not by means of shaven head...

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Episode 105: Using Mindfulness To Build Character  show art Episode 105: Using Mindfulness To Build Character

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

  I’m this episode we look at what the Buddha said about character. The English word for character comes from the Greek word chisel. A sculptor uses a chisel to mold a piece of stone into a work of art, or to cut away what is unnecessary. We chisel our character like a sculptor transforms stone into beauty. How? By our choices and intentions. Strengthening character can be a conscious, active process. We can also create our character through the intentions we have. We can choose to be generous. We can set the intention to rejoice in others happiness and good fortune rather than being...

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Episode 104 - Ethical Discipline of Restraint show art Episode 104 - Ethical Discipline of Restraint

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Gray hair      Does not make one an elder. Someone ripe only in years      Is called “an old fool.” It is through truth,      Dharma, harmlessness, restraint, and self-control, That the wise one, purged of impurities      Is called “an elder.” (Verse 260-261)   The Eightfold Path consists of eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness   As a person who generates the spirit of enlightenment and then...

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Episode 103 - Being an Upholder of The Dharma  show art Episode 103 - Being an Upholder of The Dharma

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode we look at what it means to be an “Upholder of the Dharma” according to Buddha, and how we can, in a practical way, be one. In particular, we try to lessen the harm we do.   One does not uphold the Dharma     Only because one speaks a lot. Having heard even a little,     If one perceives the Dharma with one’s own body And is never negligent of the Dharma,     Then one is indeed an upholder of the Dharma. (Verse 259) --Buddha, The Dhammapada   Doing no harm,  Practice what’s skillful,  Purify...

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Episode 102 - What makes one wise? (According to Buddha) show art Episode 102 - What makes one wise? (According to Buddha)

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

What truly makes a person wise? Buddha answered this succinctly in the verse from the Dhammapada we examine during this episode. It is not merely one who talks about the dharma, he says, or that can wax philosophical on the teachings. Rather, it is a person that embodies three attributes…   He is not just if he decides a case arbitrarily; the wise man should decide after considering both what is right and what is wrong.   The wise man who decides not arbitrarily but in accordance with the law is one who safeguards the law; he is to be called 'one who abides by the law...

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Episode 101 - There Is No Footprint In The Sky show art Episode 101 - There Is No Footprint In The Sky

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Buddha taught that the door to enlightenment depends on realizing the correct view of emptiness. The wisdom of emptiness realizes the way phenomena exist as opposed to the way it naturally appears to us. This wisdom cuts away ego grasping and gives us real freedom from disturbances of mind like anger, attachment, and jealousy. In this episode, we look specifically at the union of the two truths, emptiness and conventual truth.    There is no footprint in the sky, no ascetic on the outside, folk delight in impediments, the Realised are free of them.   There is no footprint in the...

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Episode 100 - Looking in their garden or their garbage? show art Episode 100 - Looking in their garden or their garbage?

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

If we want to live in a beautiful world, we must give up the fault-finding mind. The more we give up faulting-finding, the happier we will be. Our relationships will also be more harmonious. We can decide what kind of world we want to live in-- a beautiful world or a world full of faults and problems.   To celebrate the 100th episode, I am giving away a 30 minute phone call with me to talk about your practice (or anything you would like) and a mala I made and blessed. For a chance to win, go to and enter your email between March 14th -  March 21, 2021. Winner will be announced on...

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Episode 99:- 3 Poisons, 3 Virtuous Roots  show art Episode 99:- 3 Poisons, 3 Virtuous Roots

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The slogan ‘Three objects, three poisons, and three seeds of virtue.   Some feelings are painful, like hate, but we often don’t recognize that feelings are suffering. We are busy focusing on an object that appears to be causing the hate or the lust, rather than understanding that feelings are manifestations of our karma. Positive feelings like happiness are the product of good karma. Feelings can be endured, transformed into virtue, or be a trigger to react in a way that causes more negative karma. The three poisons are anger, attachment, and ignorance, the delusions- or uncontrolled...

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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