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Episode 129 - Ultimate Refuge

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 02/21/2022

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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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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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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In this episode, we look at the meaning of going for refuge. Typically when we think of refuge, it means a source of protection. Refuge is comfort and safety in the storm. The way a person becomes a Buddhist is by going for refuge to the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Someone enters into Buddhism by seeking a solution to their pain or problems in the Dharma, or the teachings. The refuge we speak of is actually the experience of finding a solution to our suffering through the practice of a teaching. The other two Jewels of Refuge are Buddha--the source of the teachings--and Sangha, the spiritual community that supports our practice. 

 

We have been seeking temporary refuge since we first cried in pain or hunger. The first thing we turned to for refuge was our mother. When we were suffering and could not yet speak, she tried to discover the source of our pain and solve it for us. Since then, we have adopted so many sources of refuge. Some things we have come to turn to in an effort to alleviate our pain may even cause us more confusion and pain. 

We can distinguish between temporary refuge and ultimate refuge. Ultimate refuge meets certain criteria:

  1. It doesn’t cause any unwanted side effects or more problems
  2. It makes us feel peaceful 
  3. It predictably makes us feel peaceful everytime we turn to it
  4. It addresses the real cause of the problem

We can check whether something is temporary refuge by examining how we are trying to solve a certain problem or feel better in a situation. For example, if someone is uncomfortable in a social situation and drinks a lot of alcohol to quell their anxiety-- it may cause a lot of unwanted side effects, from a hangover to some regrettable behavior. By contrast, ultimate refuge is when we turn to wisdom to help us solve our problem or feel better. For example, if a close family member irritates us, we might try to look at the situation differently and develop compassion for them. Everytime we feel compassion for them in a circumstance that would normally annoy us, and our mind remains peaceful rather than upset, we have sought an ultimate refuge. Ultimate refuge, life Refuge in the Three Jewels, is turning inward to solve our problems. We become an inner being, with the tools to transform any external situation. 

Always wide awake 

Are the disciples of Gotama 

Who constantly, day and night, 

Are mindful of the Buddha. (296)

 

 Always wide awake 

Are the disciples of Gotama 

Who constantly, day and night, 

Are mindful of the Dharma. (297) 

 

Always wide awake 

Are the disciples of Gotama 

Who constantly, day and night, 

Are mindful of the Sangha.

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