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Episode 124 - Mindful of Our Own Impermanence

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 12/20/2021

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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Our modern culture tends to make us turn away from thoughts about death and even our own aging. Yet death is something that all of us, without exception, will experience. In Buddhism, there is a focus on coming to terms with our own death ans impermanence. This world is not our home,  it is said. We are a traveler destined for other worlds, other lives. By becoming mindful of our own mortality, that the time of our death is uncertain, and even that we might die today, we develop a great urgency for spiritual practice. In this episode we look at the many benefits of and do a meditation on a death. Paradoxically, this meditation gives us a great zest for life, and we can do it quite joyfully.

 

Benefits of mindfulness of death

 

  1. Our spiritual practice becomes powerful and pure
  2. We engage in spiritual peace 
  3. Buddha said that people would never fight or argue if they fully realized they were going to die.
  4. Reduced attachment 
  5. Gratitude for each moment of our precious human life 
  6. An appreciation of human vulnerability that leads to greater compassion for self and others 
  7. A diminished anxiety about death, the death of our loved ones, and dying in the world around us. This helps us to support others during their dying process and friends and family who are grieving 
  8. A reduced fear of our own death, which can help us die in a state of peace rather agitation 
  9. Greater zest for life 

 

Atisha's contemplations on death:

 

Death is inevitable.

Our life span is decreasing continuously.

Death will come, whether or not we are prepared for it.

Human life expectancy is uncertain.

There are many causes of death.

The human body is fragile and vulnerable.

At the time of death, our material resources are not of use to us.

Our loved ones cannot keep us from death.

Our own body cannot help us at the time of our death.

Only spiritual practice will help us at the time of death. 

 

“Here I will live during the rainy season, 

And here during the winter and summer.” 

So the fool ponders

Unaware of the danger.

Intoxicated by children and cattle,

That addict

Is swept away by Death,

As a sleeping village is by a great flood. (Verse 286-287)

 

Children, parents, and relatives 

           Are not a protection

For someone seized by Death,

           Relatives are no protection

Knowing this, 

           The wise person, Restrained by virtue,

Should quickly clear the path 

            To Nirvana, (288-289)

 

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To apply for a complimentary 30-minute life coaching session with JoAnn Fox (for the first 5 that apply in December) visit https://buddhismforeveryone.com/coaching 

References and Links

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 73 (Link)