loader from loading.io

Episode 155 - The Heart of Awakening

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 11/17/2022

Episode 185 - How to Transform through Buddha's Teachings show art Episode 185 - How to Transform through Buddha's Teachings

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Learning how to listen to teachings and having respect for the teacher create the right conditions for your mind to change. In this episode, we explore Je Tsongkhapa’s instructions on “How to listen to the teachings by relying on the Six Ideas. Your mind opens when you feel the teaching is medicine that can cure your specific suffering or difficulty. Buddhist Teacher JoAnn Fox explains how to put these instructions into practice with some struggle you're currently experiencing.  When you receive Buddhist teachings in a formal setting and see the teacher being prostrated before or...

Episode 184: The Art of Ethical Living show art Episode 184: The Art of Ethical Living

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode explores the art of ethical living, guided by the practice of restraint. Restraint involves intentionally moderating and controlling one's actions, speech, and thoughts. We cultivate restraint to minimize the harm we cause and to build the foundation for spiritual development. A good guide for our practice of restraint is the Five Precepts. The Five Precepts were given to his lay (not ordained) followers as ethical guidelines that include the vow to abstain from killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, lying, and becoming intoxicated.  How to practice the ethical...

Episode 183 - How to prevent anger show art Episode 183 - How to prevent anger

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

This episode explores the question “Where does anger come from?” Buddhist teacher, JoAnn Fox, also provides several practical ways to prevent anger from arising (when it typically would)!  Anger doesn’t come from another person or a situation. Anger comes from our thoughts. Specifically, when we pay inappropriate attention to an unpleasant object and dwell on its faults, we work ourselves up until anger arises. That point at which anger is manifest is when the mind is unpeaceful and uncontrolled.  A very sad aspect of anger is that this mental state has the wish to harm. The...

Episode 181 - Radiating Compassion show art Episode 181 - Radiating Compassion

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The primary motivation behind wanting to become a Buddha for the sake of all living beings is boundless compassion. This unconditional love and concern for the well-being and liberation of all sentient beings, without exception, takes effort to cultivate.   A bodhisattva is someone who, out of compassion, vows to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. The wish itself is called "bodhicitta." What marks becoming a bodhisattva is that their intention to become a Buddha is unmovable (meaning they've developed bodhicitta).  While the Bodhisattva Vow is central to the Mahayana...

Episode 180 - Practicing Kindness Toward Ourselves show art Episode 180 - Practicing Kindness Toward Ourselves

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Metta meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is a fundamental practice in Buddhism that cultivates feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others. The word "Metta" is a Pali term that translates to "loving-kindness" or "benevolence." In this meditation, practitioners typically sit in a comfortable position and focus on generating feelings of love and kindness. The practice involves silently repeating phrases or affirmations that express well-wishes, such as "May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you live with ease."   The...

Episode 179 - Work with your greatest afflictions first show art Episode 179 - Work with your greatest afflictions first

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The Lojong slogan "Work with your greatest defilements first" emphasizes the importance of addressing the negative habit that is most deeply disturbing our inner peace and happiness. Lojong, which means "mind training" in Tibetan, is a set of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism aimed at developing compassion, wisdom, and the ability to transform adverse circumstances into opportunities for spiritual growth. Central to Lojong are short, pithy instructions called "slogans," like "Work with your greatest defilements first." By working with the habit that causes us the most problems first, we can make...

Episode 178 -  Seeking The True Nature of Reality show art Episode 178 - Seeking The True Nature of Reality

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

In this episode we look at the practice of wisdom. In particular, this refers to wisdom realizing the true nature of reality. Little by little we touch reality as we gain wisdom. We come to understand why we suffer, where our problems truly come from, and how to solve our problems inwardly. Buddha's guidance remains as practical for his followers today as it was when he first shared it. This is a journey of finding peace and understanding, accessible to all who seek it.   The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths to provide a clear framework for understanding the nature of our suffering and...

Episode 177 - Thirst show art Episode 177 - Thirst

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

"The rain could turn to gold and still your thirst would not be slaked' the Buddha said. In this episode we explore the connection between the Buddhist teachings of emptiness and craving. Understanding this connection is fundamental to understanding the nature of suffering and the path to liberation. Emptiness (Shunyata) Emptiness refers to the fundamental nature of reality, which is devoid of inherent, fixed, or independent existence. The empty nature of all things is the opposite of how we normally perceive reality. If we see something as beautiful, we do not think our mind has anything to...

Episode 176 - Light up this world like a moon set free show art Episode 176 - Light up this world like a moon set free

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The Buddha said that an earnest practitioner, even when just beginning the path to enlightenment, "lights up this world like the moon set free from a cloud." This episode explores how to relate to being this light in our world, specifically through the practice of metta, or loving-kindness.  Metta practice involves cultivating a heartfelt attitude of unconditional love, benevolence, and goodwill towards oneself and all sentient beings. Metta meditation is a practical way to strengthen these qualities. It can be done in formal meditation or "off the cushion" with the simple recitation of a...

Episode 175 - Make Your Own Destiny show art Episode 175 - Make Your Own Destiny

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

The mind is the creator of everything—all happiness and suffering. Thus, gaining control over the mind is the only real and reliable way to live a happy, peaceful life. Buddha said that "we make our destiny, “therefore, control yourself.”   To tame the mind, a practitioner relies on mindfulness. Although "mindfulness" is a broadly used term, its original meaning in Buddhist texts means remembering the right actions and avoiding the wrong ones. During meditation, this involves remembering and remaining on the meditation objective you’ve chosen. For example, when doing a...

More Episodes

When we’re being selfish, our actions are motivated by attachment to our happiness, reputation, opinion, expectations being met, etc. As we practiced after the last episode, we again practice cherishing others as an opponent to attachment. This time, however, we try to motivate our practice of cherishing others by a wish for all living beings to be happy and free from suffering. The following story and accompanying verses of the Buddha illustrate how living beings are trapped in a cycle of suffering and uncontrolled rebirth. The escape route is enlightenment. So the motivation for our practice of cherishing others can go as deep as the wish to become enlightened yourself. For who else can point to the escape route?


The Story of a Young Sow


“While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (338) to (343) of this book, with reference to a young sow.


On one occasion, while the Buddha was on an alms-round at Rajagaha, he saw a young dirty sow and smiled. When asked by the Venerable Ananda, the Buddha replied, "Ananda, this young sow was a hen during the time of Kakusandha Buddha. As she was then staying near a refectory in a monastery she used to hear the recitation of the sacred text and the discourses on the Dhamma. When she died she was reborn as a princess. On one occasion, while going to the latrine, the princess noticed the maggots and she became mindful of the loathsomeness of the body, etc. When she died she was reborn in the Brahma realm as a puthujjana brahma but later due to some evil kamma, she was reborn as a sow. Ananda! Look, on account of good and evil kamma there is no end of the round of existences." (Translated by 

Daw Mya Tin, M.A.)


The following verses were spoken by Buddha after this discussion with Ananda.


Verse 341: In beings, there flows happiness that is smeared with craving; those beings attached to pleasure and seeking pleasure are, indeed, subject to birth and ageing.


Verse 342: People beset with craving are terrified like a hare caught in a snare; held fast by fetters and bonds they undergo dukkha (round of rebirths) again and again, for a long time.


Verse 343: People beset with craving are terrified like a hare caught in a snare. Therefore, One who wishes to free himself from craving should eradicate craving.


-Buddha, The Dhammapada


May I be a protector for the protectorless 

A guide for those on the path

A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood

May I be

a light in the darkness

A resting place for the weary

A healing medicine for all who are sick

A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles

And for the boundless multitudes of living beings

May I bring sustenance and awakening

Enduring like the earth and sky

Until all beings are freed from sorrow

And all are awaken

—by Shantideva, Buddhist sage 700 A.D., India


We take a practical step in that direction and make the intention to cherish others. With the mantra “May you be happy”, may you be free of suffering” 

References with Links


Buddha (1986).The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories. Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A. (Website). Edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association Rangoon. Courtesy of Nibbana.com. For free distribution only, as a gift of dhamma.


Find us at the links below: 


Join our private group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sanghatalk/