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Episode 115 - Right View

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 09/29/2021

Episode 149 - Friendship and Buddhism show art Episode 149 - Friendship and Buddhism

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

With stories of yogis who spent years practicing alone in isolated mountain caves, it might seem like Buddhism promotes a solitary path. But in reality, Buddha spoke many times of the importance of good friends. Friends that are a good influence on us are essential to our well-being and spiritual development. Once, Ananda said to the Buddha that good friends are half the Holy Life. Buddha replied, “No, Ananda, having good friends isn’t half of the Holy Life. Having good friends is the whole of the Holy Life.”    Buddha also said, “it is better to go alone” than to have...

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Episode 148 - Mindfulness for a Happy Life show art Episode 148 - Mindfulness for a Happy Life

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Mindfulness can be used to train the mind: to make the mind more peaceful and see your world differently. Mindfulness, in this way, is used to remember things we’ve learned and intend to put into practice. For example, we may have heard the teaching to gather all blame into one--our mental afflictions. We might agree that there are no external problems or enemies; our problems come from our mental afflictions, such as anger, attachment, ignorance, pride, or greed. To practice mindfulness, we could then determine to recall this wisdom when we start to get angry or upset. Mindfulness is used...

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Episode 147 - Be Grateful To Everyone show art Episode 147 - Be Grateful To Everyone

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The practice of Lojong has the literal translation of “mind training.” The great Buddhist master Atisha taught mind training over 1,000 years ago in the form of slogans. These 59 slogans are designed to be practiced in the hustle and bustle of daily life to retrain our minds in the ways of peace, compassion, wisdom, and bodhicitta (the wish to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.) In this episode, JoAnn Fox focuses on the 13th slogan, “Be grateful to everyone.”   Be grateful to everyone. Who does everyone include?  Grateful to those who lift us up Grateful...

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Episode 146 - Caring For Our Parents show art Episode 146 - Caring For Our Parents

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The Buddha taught that certain factors strengthen the karmic results of our actions. One example is that the effects of actions we do toward certain types of people are intensified because of their special relationship to us and the benefits we receive from them. Our parents are one of these types of people, since we have received so much help from them in the past. Buddha, therefore, advised that we try to take care of our parents and cherish them as much as we can. In this episode, JoAnn Fox relates the teachings on this subject in a way that can also begin to heal our experience of our...

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Episode 145 - The Nature of The Mind show art Episode 145 - The Nature of The Mind

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The word enlightenment is a translation of two Pali words that mean “awakened” and “freed from all fetters.” To become enlightened then means we wake to the true nature of reality, and we free our mind from all the shackles of the delusions, like ignorance, anger, and attachment. The basic nature of the mind is purity. No matter how troubled or deluded someone’s mind is currently, their basic nature is purity. In this episode, we try to get an understanding and an experience of the basic nature of the mind: purity, clarity, and awareness.    “The deep, peaceful clarity of...

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Episode 144 - How To Turn The Other Cheek show art Episode 144 - How To Turn The Other Cheek

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Many of the great religious leaders have asked us to practice non-retaliation, to turn the other cheek, and practice nonviolence. The Buddha explained that non-retaliation is not only important for the person who harms us, but for the protection of our self. Buddha once said that if you throw burning coal at someone, you will definitely get burnt. In the same way, when we retaliate in our mind by harboring resentment, we experience that harm by drawing out the suffering we experience. If we retaliate verbally or physically, we create negative karma that will cause us to suffer again in the...

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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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In this episode, we explore Right View connoting the realization of emptiness. Right View is part of the Noble Eightfold Path, laid out by Buddha as the gradual path to enlightenment. All eight parts of the path are practiced concurrently as we move along our spiritual journey. The eight parts are not sequential or practiced one-at-a-time, but you could say that the realization of emptiness is what directly leads to enlightenment. All the other parts are absolutely necessary to prepare and purify the mind until it can realize the true nature of reality, emptiness. Emptiness describes how reality actually exists as opposed to the way it appears. Emptiness does not mean nothingness. When you say your glass is empty and you want a refill, it means your glass is empty of something. Similarly, when Buddha says reality is empty, it means reality is empty of something specific: reality is empty of inherent existence. A chair is empty of existing inherently as a chair, for example. You are empty of existing as “I” (there are countless other beings also perceiving themselves as “I”). We are empty of existing inherently as old, young, a painter, a lawyer, smart, dumb, or any other label we have accepted. These are just mere labels, mere appearances to mind. To explain how conventional reality does exist, Buddha explained that all things are mere labels or mere appearance to mind. Right View then has two parts: the ultimate truth that all things are empty and conventional truth, that all things are mere name, mere label, mere appearance, and impermanent. Conventional and Ultimate Truth are two sides of the same coin. They are the two ways that reality does exist, and not the way things normally appear to us. 

 

We grasp at things as inherently attractive; if we didn’t, we would never get attached. We grasp at things as inherently unattractive; if we didn’t, we would never get upset. We believe our mind’s projections of beauty and ugliness. A traditional analogy to help us understand how conventional reality exists is the magician’s illusion. A magician might conjure the illusion of a ferocious tiger lunging into the audience, and the audience is frightened and crying. The magician, however, is unmoved because he knows it is an illusion. We are like a magician casting an illusion of the reality of our personal world, but believing the illusion we created. We chase attractive illusions and run from unpleasant illusions. 

 

Why does our reality appear the way it does?

Our karma causes appearances to be attractive or unpleasant, not the things themselves. The karmic appearances that come from good karma are beautiful or pleasant. Karmic appearances from negative karma are unpleasant or frightening. But these appearances are all just like magician’s illusions--things are not inherently beautiful or unpleasant. Realizing the conventional truth of reality, that things are mere appearances to mind, is like the magician knowing his illusion isn’t real. This knowing magician remains at peace in the midst of illusion.  Similarly, when we understand conventional and ultimate truth, even a little, we have more flexibility of mind to change the way we see things. We can choose to see a difficult situation differently. We can even come to see that challenging situation in a way that we will feel grateful for it. When we understand that reality is empty of existing inherently, it becomes infinitely full of possibilities. 

 

“All created things are suffering.” 

Seeing this with insight, 

One becomes disenchanted with suffering. 

This is the path to purity. (278)*

 

“All things are not-self.” 

Seeing this with insight, 

One becomes disenchanted with suffering. 

This is the path to purity. (279)*

 

Links and References

 

Her Daughter Was Kidnapped by Traffickers. So She Trafficked Herself. Vice World News.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/5dbv4a/mother-rescue-trafficked-daughter-bangladesh-india

 

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 72 (Link)

 

Yeshe, Thubten. Introduction to Tantra. Wisdom Publications; Revised ed. edition (June 10, 2005). (Kindle). Link