Episodi

  • Today's episode is a conversation with psychologist Elizabeth Merrick about anxiety, therapy, Buddhism, and how they all connect. Sometimes it helps to examine what Buddhability looks like from different perspectives, identifying parallels between the work of experts in different fields and how Buddhism views the potential of human beings.

    Elizabeth's insights are unique because she has experience counseling young adults, training mental health professionals and being in therapy herself, all while practicing Buddhism.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:27 How Elizabeth started practicing Buddhism

    5:23 Context about her professional background as a psychologist

    8:34 The most common mental health challenges she sees young adults struggle with today

    11:22 Natural questions during different developmental stages

    14:21 When you think something is wrong with you

    21:16 Connections between Buddhism and psychology on our potential for change

    27:58 What anxiety is and why we experience it

    32:47 Overcoming anxiety

    38:52 Why the core elements of Buddhist practice are effective

    44:16 Chanting vs. mindfulness

    47:00 The biggest change she’s experienced through chanting

    54:49 The value of having a community

    1:00 A favorite Buddhist quote

    1:03:20 The difference between human revolution and self-improvement

    1:08:01 Advice for anyone who is struggling with anxiety

    References

    Discussions on Youth, p. 5“Letter to Niike,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1027
  • This week’s conversation is the perfect refresher for anyone who might be feeling like they could use a little fire or motivation right now.

    Our guest is Shawn Lewis, of New Orleans, who tells us the story of a period in his life when he found himself coasting, and after losing a job, also financially struggling with no sense of direction. By solidifying his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he dug deep to rediscover a childhood dream to work in the video game industry that opened up a most unexpected journey, and ultimately led to him building and selling a social media channel to create his dream career.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:07 Introduction to Shawn

    1:39 When and how he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    5:24 The circumstances that led him back to his childhood dream

    9:11 How he began to build his channel

    11:16 What the internal battle felt like as he balanced three jobs

    12:44 How he developed a habit of winning

    15:18 An unexpected opportunity

    19:38 The impact of striving to encourage other people

    25:27 His favorite Buddhist quote

    30:48 The biggest internal change he experienced

    32:34 Advice for anyone who feels like they are coasting or unhappy with their circumstances

    References

    “The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 1000–01Discussions on Youth, p. 22
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  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. This episode originally aired May 2021.

    Today we are covering one of our most highly requested topics: boundaries and self-care.

    Our guest is Jessica Riley, a mental health specialist in Florida, who most recently was a military psychologist. After struggling deeply with setting boundaries, an overwhelming workload and an inability to really take care of herself, she started chanting about her situation and came to a major realization about herself that changed everything. We’ll cover how she navigated her own experience and why caring for others doesn’t have to require sacrifice.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:28 Jessica's journey to become a military psychologist

    6:31 Why she turned to chanting

    15:08 What the daily workload felt like

    25:36 Two Buddhist concepts that shifted her perspective

    27:45 How she found time to chant

    31:12 What she realized about herself

    41:36 What happened after she decided to prioritize self-care and boundaries

    41:15 What believing in yourself looks like in practice

    50:22 Advice for anyone struggling with self-worth or burnout

  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. This episode originally aired November 2021.

    Today we speak with Los Angeles-based actor Luca Manganaro, who shares his intertwined journey with acting and Buddhism and the lessons he learned along the way.

    Key takeaway: what you do, especially if you’re currently pursuing a big dream or goal that seems far away, isn’t who you are. Who you are is based on what you practice every day, how you show up in relationships, how you treat the people around you and what you base your self-worth on.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:46 How Luca started practicing Buddhism

    6:03 How chanting helped him transform a lifelong health challenge

    13:27 How he decided to pursue acting in New York

    21:05 What Buddhism taught him about dealing with the ups and downs of the business

    30:25 Why he believes in having a Buddhist mentor

    36:02 How he developed a foundation for his life through community

    42:41 What caring for other people has to do with our own growth

    51:27 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism who wants to feel fulfilled

    Mentioned references:

    A Buddhability Guide to Self-Love

  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. This episode originally aired August 2021.

    Today we’re talking about work and more specifically, how to deal with feeling stuck. If you’re feeling trapped by your job or routine, or if you have a secret dream that you haven’t yet had the courage to pursue, this episode is for you.

    Our guest is Clara Kitongo, a young woman who started practicing Buddhism at a time when she was really feeling stuck in her career and life. Her journey with chanting opened up an entirely new perspective on what a creative life means, and now she’s living the life she always wanted.

    Cheat Sheet

    1:04 Introduction to Clara

    3:27 How she got stuck in a “treadmill type existence”

    6:04 What her dreams had been before she got stuck

    7:44 When and why she started practicing Buddhism

    11:36 How to become free from the chains of your own mind

    17:45 How she found her place in the workforce after school

    33:39 How she dealt with her pain along the journey

    35:36 What Buddhism says about opening the door to your life

    42:18 What a creative life really means

    44:49 How to deal with the opinions of others

    49:55 Advice for anyone feeling afraid to open the door to their own life

  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. Today we’re playing an episode that originally aired November 2020 but feels more relevant than ever.

    We speak with Abe Uccello about working for change in Florida’s prison system, even when he couldn’t see any forward movement. He explains how chanting can help you build trust and respect with anyone, and what unity actually means. Hint: You have to unlock your own wisdom and compassion first.

    Cheat Sheet

    1:50 What we’re trying to understand today

    4:02 Introduction to Abe

    5:02 How chanting helped him feel like he had control over his life again

    10:54 His experiences working with the prison system

    16:20 How chanting helped him figure out what to do

    17:20 What a tenacious effort to build trust helped him achieve

    25:10 Why he didn’t give up

    28:32 How to maintain hope even when you see the darkest parts of humanity

    32:33 What the end goal in Buddhism is

    35:46 Advice to anyone feeling stuck or overwhelmed by uncertainty

    38:02 What “happiness for self and others” means

    45:39 What else to read on Buddhability about feeling stuck and making change

  • “Tips & Insights” new episode series in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life!

    Today’s is: karma.

    References:

    Outshining Our Karma With the “Sun of Wisdom”For more in-depth study of the karma, check out An Introduction to Buddhism, second edition, p. 40
  • Today’s episode is about learning to live your truth. Chris, of Detroit, shares the incredibly moving journey to affirm himself and how his Buddhist practice helped him find the courage to come out as a trans man. A foundational element of Chris’s experience was learning to believe that his life has unlimited value and worth, upon which he has been able to build a foundation for new dreams.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:18 How Chris encountered Buddhism and why he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    8:29 The experiences that lead to Chris affirming himself

    17:53 How Buddhism helped him find the courage to pursue happiness

    25:14 What it was like to come out

    30:10 What it took to break out of lifelong limitations

    33:16 Continually reaffirming himself through chanting

    36:17 Chris’s favorite Buddhist concept

    42:17 Building a foundation upon valuing your life

    45:05 Advice for anyone struggling with self-conflict

    References:

    December 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 40Soka Education: For the Happiness of the Individual, pp. 209-10
  • Today’s topic is pessimism, which can be defined as a lack of hope or confidence in the future. At different times in our lives, all of us might experience pessimism, especially if our future is uncertain or we find ourselves in a situation where the odds seem stacked against us. This can be compounded by societal conflicts and current affairs, and increasingly, teens and young adults feel a sense of worry, anxiety or futility about the future. Today, we'll unpack the Buddhist perspective on optimism. Our guest is Stuart Adams, a firefighter in California who shares the story of how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped him transform pessimism into a life of confidence and action.


    CHEAT SHEET

    1:47 Why Stewart started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    6:17 How he discovered his dream to become a firefighter

    9:56 What it took to challenge his fear

    16:52 What faith means in Buddhism

    23:32 How chanting helped him take initiative

    32:05 Addressing mistakes without hesitation

    36:33 The role of Buddhist friends

    40:28 The Buddhist perspective on optimism

    45:53 Advice for anyone who struggles with pessimism

  • Today we’re talking about self-trust, which, if you’re the type of person who is constantly berating themselves internally, can feel really hard to build. Our guest is Anivat Chanachanchai, of Hawaii, who shares how taking his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo seriously helped him finally let go of a cycle of toxic relationships and environments. Once he tapped into his Buddhability, he finally began to trust himself and take the steps to respect his life.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:18 Why Anivat started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    5:17 Having a dialogue with yourself

    9:11 His experiences with bullying and coming out

    21:03 The challenges he faced in Hawaii

    30:05 What it means to take full responsibility for your life

    35:26 How chanting helped him through the hard days

    45:39 Advice for anyone new to chanting

    References:

    Discussions on Youth, p. 9Discussions on Youth, p. 291
  • "Tips & Insights” is a new episode series in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life! Today’s is: the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds.

    References:

    The Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds Every Situation is the Best Situation for Elevating Our LivesWhat do I do about the parts of myself I don’t like?
  • Today we are discussing limiting beliefs and self-doubt. Whatever form they take for you, whether it’s your own negative self-talk, the way you see yourself or limitations others have placed on you that you’ve internalized, transforming limiting beliefs can be hard. Fortunately, the essence of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is to do exactly this. By strengthening our Buddhability, we can transform our limitations.

    Our guest is Rachel Mundus, who practices Buddhism in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today she shares the many self-doubts she has had to challenge on the long journey toward her dream of becoming a dentist for the people.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:29 Why Rachel began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    3:09 Where her dream to provide dental care came from

    5:28 The difference she felt once she started chanting

    9:20 What her work is now

    11:43 Her greatest challenge along the way

    16:13 Key turning points in challenging her limiting beliefs

    24:19 What it looks like to strengthen your determination daily

    30:10 The impact of learning to enjoy the journey

    35:02 How she decided to tackle school again

    41:02 How she uprooted her “tree of self-doubt”

    43:53 Advice for anyone struggling with limiting beliefs or self-doubt

    References

    The New Human Revolution, vol. 26, p. 149.The New Human Revolution, vol. 9, p. 153.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, p. 363.

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  • Today we are talking about what it takes to become unshakable. Our guest is Brittany Jones, who recently became the youngest elementary school principal in the country's second largest school district. She shares her journey into education, and how, at a crucial turning point in her career as an educational leader, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her challenge her own insecurities and win each day.

    This episode is especially relevant for anyone who struggles with limiting themselves or easing their anxiety by trying to control their schedule a little too much. It’s also an incredible illustration of how sometimes, letting go and focusing on the present is the greatest strength of all.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:50 Why Brittany started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    8:58 How she became interested in education

    13:01 Her journey to become an elementary school principal

    29:28 Finding the courage to stay the course

    34:17 How her Buddhist practice helps her identify her priorities

    37:54 Supporting the Buddhability of children

    39:19 The importance of winning in the morning

    45:44 How Brittany learned to let go of the need for control

    50:00 The impact of chanting on becoming unshakable

    53:05 Brittany’s favorite Buddhist quote

    55:09 How she defines her Buddhability

    57:13 Her vision for what’s next

    59:40 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism

    References

    The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, p. 53.April 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 49.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, vol. 1, p. 70. How to start chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo
  • Today we’re about talking about how to find your path forward during a period of uncertainty. We’re joined by Shota Okajima, of New Jersey, who shares how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped him overcome tremendous anxiety about his path forward after college. Until then, Shota’s identity had been entirely tied to his ice hockey career, but once he started chanting, he discovered so much more of himself.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:23 Why Shota started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    4:05 Letting go of his ice hockey career

    10:02 What shifted once he began chanting about his situation

    15:25 How he discovered a new career path

    20:53 What it means to win where you are by transforming your life condition

    24:17 Thinking about Buddhism as a sport

    25:21 The power of having a community or team

    29:06 What daily effort in Buddhist practice looks like

    33:06 The Buddhist quote that kept Shota going

    40:57 How Shota defines his own Buddhability

    43:41 Advice to anyone who feels stuck about their future

    References:

    The New Human Revolution, vol. 24, p. 117.Hope is Life’s Treasure
  • Today we’re talking about identity and relationships. Briana Boche, of Seattle, shares her story of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and how she developed confidence in the practice of human revolution, that is, the process of continually chanting to reveal our Buddhability—courage, wisdom and compassion for ourselves and others.

    One aspect of Briana’s life where her Buddhist practice carried her through was exploring her own relationship with sexuality and eventually realizing that she is ace, short for asexual.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:40 How Briana started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    7:06 How a setback after college helped her find a new path

    11:19 Getting connected to the Buddhist community in Seattle

    20:20 Briana’s journey of exploring her sexuality and identity

    27:53 What happened when she started chanting to find a partner

    31:44 Coming to terms with a big realization

    40:21 What it took to challenge her own insecurities

    44:06 How she’s chanting about the future

    47:45 Her favorite Buddhist quote

    50:37 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism

    References mentioned:

    “On the Buddha’s Prophecy,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 402.Discussions on Youth, p. 27.Discussions on Youth, p. 8.
  • Today we’re talking about the impact our environment has on us. In Buddhism, a crucial concept called “the oneness of life and environment” teaches that our environment is simply a reflection of our own life. Because they are interconnected, when we change internally, it’s reflected in our environment. For an explainer on the topic, check out this video.

    To unpack this idea, we’re speaking with Nile Ross, of Santa Monica, California, about how his practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has enabled him to become someone whose internal sense of confidence and self-love outweighs any negativity he experiences from his environment. Based on this shift, he has created a life and career he truly loves.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:24 Nile’s early experiences with chanting Nam-myoho-reng-kyo

    15:51 The turning point he experienced in 2018

    25:28 How he came to redefine happiness for himself

    30:51 The impact of making chanting a priority

    37:08 How he transformed early experiences with bullying and racism into a sense of purpose

    44:08 Becoming a better person by overcoming struggles

    49:04 Nile’s favorite Buddhist quotes about revolution

    52:29 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism

    References:

    Video: Oneness of Life and Environment Explained The New Human Revolution, vol. 2, p. 39The New Human Revolution, vol. 26, p. 110

    Correction: It was mentioned that the 50k Lions of Justice Festival took place in 3 cities, but it actually took place in 9.

  • Today we’re speaking with Asia Harvey-Wright, who goes by Harvey, about their first steps practicing Buddhism after encountering the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in 2020, during one of the darkest periods of their life.


    This episode is all about the courage it takes to be open to one's Buddhability. Harvey shares how, in the face of addiction and mental health challenges, they unearthed their own hope, creativity and desire to move forward.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:35 How Harvey encountered Buddhism

    4:45 What their initial experience of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was like

    7:10 The struggles they were facing at the time

    12:58 Initial steps they took to begin their practice

    15:58 The difference they saw through chanting

    22:30 A Buddhist concept that stuck with them

    25:39 Their experience with the Buddhist community

    27:55 How chanting is helping them navigate mental health challenges

    34:21 Their goals for the future

    36:58 Advice for anyone who is new to chanting

    References:

    Discussions on Youth, p. xLearning From the Writings: The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 107
  • Today we’re talking with journalist Melissa Hirsch about how her Buddhist practice helped her navigate her career journey. This episode is especially relevant for anyone who may have a dream they are pursuing but is finding the path to get there a bit more winding than they expected. Melissa explains how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her transform her childhood dream of becoming a journalist into a deep desire to use her voice for justice.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:04 How Melissa started practicing Buddhism

    6:46 Why she wanted to pursue journalism

    9:05 Her first steps on her career path

    15:03 The tension between survival and purpose

    18:08 The challenges she faced in graduate school

    22:35 How chanting helped her succeed in her investigative work

    25:54 Overcoming social anxiety and imposter syndrome

    32:40 Melissa’s favorite Buddhist quote

    37:35 How her growing sense of purpose allowed her to open a new career path

    45:48 What she does now

    49:05 The role that the Buddhist community played in her journey

    51:20 What true confidence is

    53:10 Advice for anyone navigating their career

    References:

    The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, volume 6, p. 244Discussions on Youth, p. 73
  • Today we’re talking about the startup journey, though this episode is filled with lessons for anyone starting anything, be it a company, a project or just a fresh path in life. Creating something new, especially together with other people, requires tremendous wisdom, courage and compassion, which are the very qualities of our Buddhability.

    Tushar Dadlani, of Dublin, California, shares his journey of moving to Silicon Valley to start a company, and exactly how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped him navigate the rollercoaster.

    CHEAT SHEET

    1:10 How Tushar started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    3:11 The perspective on world peace that intrigued him

    5:07 Why he came to the U.S. to pursue his dreams of working in tech

    8:04 How he decided to start a company

    12:33 How his Buddhist practice helped him manifest courage

    15:55 The key turning points in his journey as an entrepreneur

    18:56 How he learned not to be swayed

    22:44 Mastering the art of dialogue

    28:27 How he battled his own arrogance

    33:12 Applying the Buddhist concept “many in body, one in mind” to work

    38:46 Nine takeaways on the abilities entrepreneurs need

    40:13 The importance of staying true to himself

    43:58 How he thinks about peace now

    46:56 Advice for anyone on a journey to create something

    References

    Discussions on Youth, pp. 101–102
  • Today we’re talking about how to persevere on a career path when the odds are stacked against you. Mardi Tan, of Long Beach, California, shares her incredible journey to pursue a career in aviation, an industry in which less than 5% of pilots are women. Her Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her navigate being a woman, being out, and overcoming every obstacle that came her way in order to open a path for other female pilots.

    CHEAT SHEET

    0:47 How Mardi starting practicing Buddhism

    6:45 Discovering her dream to become a pilot

    14:25 How chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her navigate fear

    18:26 What it took for her to bring her authentic self to a male-dominated industry

    21:22 How she dealt with discrimination

    28:04 The Buddhist concept that helped her persevere

    30:44 The ups and downs that almost made her give up

    38:17 How lifting up others helped her keep going

    40:19 Her vision for the future of aviation

    41:46 Advice for anyone struggling to pursue their dream

    References:

    Discussions on Youth, p. 105