Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn FoxBuddhism

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox


Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Episode 122 - Non-attachment

Mon, 22 Nov 2021

In this episode, we explore attachment and some simple ways to practice non-attachment. The concept of non-attachment is often misunderstood. For example, we still love people even while practicing non-attachment. We still have homes, jobs, and goals even as we lesson our attachment. Non-attachment does not mean being separated from people or things, but changing the way we relate to them. Lessened worry and anxiety, peace of mind, and more enjoyment are only a few of the innumerable benefits that come from non-attachment,

 

Benefits of non-attachment 

  • Less worry
  • Less anxiety 
  • Greater enjoyment in relationships
  • Contentment and satisfaction 
  • Better mood
  • Less stress 
  • A more peaceful mind

 

What is attachment?

Attachment arises from: Focusing on an object we find desirable, dwelling on it with inappropriate attention until our mind becomes glued to it, such that we feel we can’t be happy without it. Attachment is not desire. We desire many things in a positive, non-attached way, like brushing our teeth. What attachment involves is “sticky desire.” This type of desire is like sticking duct tape to a hairy arm; when it is ripped away it is VERY painful  (like when we are ripped away from our object of attachment). 

 

We experience attachment to:

  • Things
  • Status 
  • People
  • Relationships
  • Children
  • Past 
  • Future 
  • Situations in the present being other than they are
  • And much more…

 

Cut down the forest of craving, not the real tree; 

the forest of craving breeds danger (of rebirth). 

Cut down the forest of craving 

as well as its undergrowth 

and be free from craving.

 

So long as craving of man for woman is not cut down 

and the slightest trace of it remains, 

so long is his mind in bondage 

as the calf is bound to its mother.

—Buddha, The Dhammapada

 

References with links

 

Buddha. The Dhammapada:Verses and Stories. https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=283



Right Concentration

Mon, 15 Nov 2021

In this episode we look at Right Concentration, one part of the Noble Eightfold Path. In general, concentration in meditation is single-pointedness on the object of meditation. Like a laser, concentration eliminates distraction. When one attains a state of single-pointed concentration a unique feeling of tranquility accompanies it. Thus, there are two features of concentration: unbroken attentiveness on an object and a feeling of peace that arises with this absorption. When training in concentration, this feeling makes you very clearly aware that your consciousness has become more subtle. It is a beautiful experience, but generally it doesn’t happen every time you meditate. Enjoy it when it does! 

 

Right Concentration is a particular kind of one-pointedness. A sommelier tasting fine wine, a sniper taking aim—both act with superior concentration, but theirs cannot be characterized as Right Concentration.Buddha used the term “Samadhi” to describe the type of concentration he taught. It is exclusively one-pointedness on virtuous objects with the intention to raise the mind to a higher, more pure state of awareness. 

 

The ability to stay with a task without distraction improves study, work, sports, relationships…nearly everything. Buddha compared a mind untrained in concentration as like a fish taken out of water: it flaps about uncontrollably. Bhikku Bodhi said, “Such a distracted mind is also a deluded mind. Overwhelmed by worries and concerns, a constant prey to the defilements, it sees things only in fragments, distorted by the ripples of random thoughts. But the mind that has been trained in concentration, in contrast, can remain focused on its object without distraction. This freedom from distraction further induces a softness and serenity.” 

 

Wisdom arises from [spiritual] practice; 

Without practice it decays. 

Knowing this two-way path for gain and loss, 

Conduct yourself so that wisdom grows. (282)

-Buddha, The Dhammapada 

 

References and Links

 

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

 

Bodhi, Bhikku. The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhist Publication Society, 1999, pp 86-90. BuddhaNet. http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/noble8path6.pdf




Episode 120 - Right Mindfulness

Mon, 08 Nov 2021

In this episode we explore Right Mindfulness, one of the Noble Eightfold Path. In general, mindfulness means awareness, presence of mind, or attentiveness. What sets Right Mindfulness apart from secular mindfulness is that it is taught as a skill that supports the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Mindfulness in this context is part of the eightfold path that leads to the realization of the four noble truths and the end suffering. In Pali, the phrase referring to Buddhist mindfulness is samma sati, which translates as “wise mindfulness.”Mindfulness as a factor of concentration helps us stay on our objects of concentration and penetrate the wisdom of reality, emptiness.

Mindfulness also helps us to notice and maintain our daily life intentions to be kind, compassionate, and avoid harming others. Mindfulness helps us notice when we stray from Right Speech, Right Action, or Right Livelihood. Wise mindfulness has these particular goals and therefore helps us progress along the spiritual path. 

Wisdom arises from [spiritual] practice; 

Without practice it decays. 

Knowing this two-way path for gain and loss, 

Conduct yourself so that wisdom grows. (282)

-Buddha, The Dhammapada 

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

References and Links

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

Bodhi, Bhikku. The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhist Publication Society, 1999, pp 70-85. BuddhaNet. http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/noble8path6.pdf

https://buddhismforeveryone.com/coaching/



Episode 119 - Right Livelihood

Mon, 25 Oct 2021

This episode dives deep into Right Livelihood, one of the Noble Eightfold Path as laid out by the Buddha. The Eightfold Path is a spiritual path that leads us to deeper and deeper levels of peace and happiness. Ultimately, following all eight of the Eightfold Path until our mind is purified of ignorance, attachment, and selfishness, leads us to enlightenment. When we talk about a path, it signifies a way that leads us somewhere. For anyone who has ever been given the wrong directions to a destination, we know there are things that lead us in the right direction and also in the wrong direction. When we talk about Right Action, Speech, or Livelihood, Right is meant not as a judgement, but pointing to behavior that leads us toward peace and enlightenment.  Right Livelihood speaks of how we can acquire wealth and work that still leads us toward inner peace and Buddhahood. 

 

Right Livelihood also addresses a deep and pressing question: how do we integrate our spiritual practice with our everyday life? We spend ⅓ of our days at work, and, if we could make our work part of our practice, we would see progress so much more quickly. We would also lessen the stress we often feel at work. Right Livelihood can also increase our sense of curiosity and purpose at work.

 

First, Buddha explains ways of acquiring wealth that directly lead away from enlightenment and serenity. In the Vanijja Sutta (from the Tripitaka), the Buddha said, "A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. 

  • business in weapons, 
  • business in human beings,
  • business in meat,
  • business in intoxicants, 
  • and business in poison."

 

Ultimately, Right Livelihood means we try not to avoid causing suffering through our means of obtaining money.  The Buddha mentions five specific kinds of livelihood that cause suffering to others and are therefore to be avoided: dealing in weapons, in human beingsa (slave trade and prostitution), animals (including raising animals for slaughter and meat production) in poisons, and in intoxicants. 

 

The Thai treatise discusses the positive aspects of right livelihood. Rightness regarding:

  • actions
  • persons
  • objects.

 

  “Rightness regarding actions” means that we should fulfill our responsibilities conscientiously, not claiming to have worked longer hours than we did, pocketing what belongs to the company, or idling away time. “Rightness regarding persons” means that we are kind, honest, and respectful to people as we work: to employers, coworkers, employees, and customers.

An employer, for example, should pay employees adequately, not overwork them, promote them when they deserve it, and give them adequate rest and vacation. Colleagues should try to help each other rather than compete, and speak kindly to one another and about each other. We should be honest and fair in dealing with customers. “Rightness regarding objects” means that objects being sold should be represented without deceit. With mindfulness, we can check how our work affects our mind. Though most of us have many jobs throughout our life, our mind goes with us to each one. I think it is more important to practice mindfulness and kindness at work than it is to “get ahead.” Our heart and mind will dictate whether we are happy or unhappy. We will not always be at the job we are at currently, but, wherever we go, there we are. 

 

“Our vocation can nourish our understanding and compassion, or erode them. We should be awake to the consequences, far and near, of the way we earn our living." (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching [Parallax Press, 1998], p. 104) —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Watchful in speech and well-restrained in mind,

Do nothing unskillful with your body. 

Purify these three courses of action; 

Fulfill the path taught by the sages. (281) 

—Buddha, The Dhammapada

 

References and Links

 

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

 

Bodhi, Bhikku. The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhist Publication Society, 1999, pp  -56.  BuddhaNet. http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/noble8path6.pdf





Episode 118 - Right Action

Mon, 18 Oct 2021

In this episode we take a deep dive into what Buddha meant by Right Action or conduct. Right Action is part of the Noble Eightfold Path, which lays out the gradual path to enlightenment. Right action means a abstains from non-virtuous actions of body, principally:

  • Killing
  • Stealing
  • Sexual misconduct

Abandoning taking life

This refers not just to killing human beings, but to refrain from intentionally killing any living, specifically sentient beings means humans, animals and insects. 

 

The positive aspect of abandoning killing is having compassion and kindness toward all living beings. We not only avoid taking life, we have heartfelt concern for the welfare of all living beings. The highest aspect of this is the Bodhisattvas path, with a commitment to attaining enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings so you can have the greatest capacity to help others. 

 

Abandoning stealing

(1) stealing

(2) fraudulence

(3) deceitfulness

 

Stealing refers to taking what is not one’s own through deceitful actions, cheating, or fraud.  Honesty is the positive counterpart of this, as well as contentment. The most eminent opposite virtue is generosity, giving away one’s own wealth and possessions in order to benefit others.

 

Abandoning sexual misconduct 

To refrain from sexual activity with:

  • Anyone who has a partner
  • Anyone other than your partner of you have one
  • Someone with a vow of celibacy like a monk, nun or priest
  • Someone who haven’t given consent 
  • Someone inappropriate due to convention like a close relative 
  • Someone still under the of their parents, someone too young to give consent 

 

The essential purpose, as was said, is to prevent sexual relations which are hurtful to others. 

 

“The holy life at its highest aims at complete purity in thought, word, and deed, and this requires turning back the tide of sexual desire.” --Bhikku Bodhi

 

Watchful in speech and well-restrained in mind,

Do nothing unskillful with your body. 

Purify these three courses of action; 

Fulfill the path taught by the sages. (281) 

—Buddha, The Dhammapada

 

References and Links

 

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

 

Bodhi, Bhikku. The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhist Publication Society, 1999, pp 49-54.  BuddhaNet. http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/noble8path6.pdf







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