We are back with part 2 of last week’s episode, which is all about the Buddhist community. In the SGI we meet in local neighborhood groups (these days over Zoom) to figure out how to apply Buddhism to our daily lives, together.
We have a two-part episode for you today, all about the Buddhist community. In the SGI we meet in local neighborhood groups (these days over zoom) to figure out how to apply Buddhism to our daily lives, together.
After all, research shows that giving help to others by listening and providing empathy and encouragement, gives us positive emotional and cognitive benefits in return.
On this episode, Caitlin, Jahmela and Karina walk us through their own experience doing just that. Part 1 covers what to expect at Buddhist meetings, what the purpose of the community is and how Caitlin and Jahmela were able to give and gain support in their own local communities. And next week, we’ll be back with part 2 about Karina's story of facing and transforming her past with support from her Buddhist friends, as well as advice for anyone who has just finished the 28-Day Buddhability Journey. If you would like to connect to a local Buddhability community virtually in your area, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, we wanted to check in with everyone who is currently doing the 28 Day Buddhability Journey. (Remember, it’s not too late to jump in. Even a week of chanting can feel amazing!)
Tell us how it’s going! If you’ve been chanting this month, send us a brief voice memo to email@example.com sharing 1 thing you have learned or noticed so far during the chanting challenge. If you want to share your story with us in greater depth, put that in the email too and we might reach out to interview you! In March, we’ll do an episode recapping the challenge and we’ll play your messages on it.
Today we’re answering listener questions about love and relationships. We called up 3 people from our Buddhist community who have been chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for a while now—Abby from Oakland, Rah'mad from Washington, D.C., and Erika from New Jersey—and asked them their honest answers to your questions. The episode covers everything from what it takes to leave a bad relationship and how to move on when you do, to how to find your life partner and know if they are the one. You can listen all the way through or use the cheat sheet below to skip to specific questions.
Today we are covering some of the basics of Buddhism for anyone who might be new to chanting or simply wants a refresher. We speak with Ryan Hayashi, who starting chanting in high school, when he was going through some pretty serious challenges. Now, over 10 years later, he’s an amazing high school math teacher in Arizona and also really active in the local Buddhist community there.
If you’re new, we recommend listening to this episode all the way through, but if you just want to skip around for answers to your questions, see the cheat sheet below for timestamps.
We are excited to announce something special today—the 28 Day Buddhability Journey—which we’re kicking off on February 1. It’s a monthlong challenge to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo every day for however long you'd like, and it’s open to anyone, whether you’re brand new to chanting or just want a reason to refresh your practice.
Sign up at buddhability.org/journey for all the details!
Before we start the journey together, we thought it would helpful to talk to someone who is currently on this journey herself. So we called up Shannon Griffin, 26, of Philadelphia, who started chanting in March, right at the beginning of the pandemic.
Feeling like you fit in is hard, especially when you have many different identities. If you’ve ever felt like you put on a different mask every place you go, this episode is for you. We speak with Falcon Sang, a young artist from L.A., about how practicing Buddhism helped him find himself.
Key takeaway: If you’re willing to dig deeper, you’ll find that Buddhability is universal, and it can help you connect with anyone.
In our first conversation of 2021, we speak with designer and architect James Ludwig, VP of Global Design and Product Engineering for Steelcase Inc., the world’s leading designer of office furniture. He’s also been practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism for a very long time.
Happy New Year from the team at Buddhability! As promised, today we are answering 3 listener questions about your Buddhability, which were submitted to us by voicemail over the last couple of weeks.
2:20 How to get over the guilt of chanting for things you want
8:12 How to help your loved ones become happy
13:25 What if I don’t chant everyday?
We’re taking a short break for the holidays but our year-end episode will feature answers to a few listener-submitted questions about anything you want to ask about your own Buddhability. All you have to do is email a voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org of no more than two minutes, sharing your name, where you’re located, what your question is and any context you want to share. A few selected voice memos will be included in the podcast, so please only submit if you’re comfortable having it shared! Deadline: December 27.
As we enter into a most unusual holiday season, we’re thinking a lot about what family means and how tapping into your Buddhability can impact your loved ones. If you’ve ever felt unsure of your place in your family, or like you wish you could connect with them better, this story is worth a listen. Priya Gunaseharan shares the story of how she found her own voice by helping her grandmother find hers, entirely through a series of phone calls. Key takeaway: If you try your best to accept others the way they are, you’ll find you can finally do the same for yourself.
This week’s episode is about how to build the confidence to pursue a big dream. Seon Yeop Jung shares how he using chanting and goal-setting to rebuild the confidence he lost due to bullying. By pursuing one small goal after another, he discovered his dream of being a scientist and educator. Key takeaway: If you don’t believe in yourself right now because of whatever you may have faced in the past, it’s OK. Just start wherever you are with one small goal and you’ll discover your purpose along the way.
This week, we’re talking about love. Well, specifically what it takes to be in a committed relationship for the long haul. Ian and Audrey McIlraith, who are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year, tell us the story of how they overcame their own fears of being alone and of being good enough, to create a happy family. Here are their secrets: if you want to find a life partner and stay together through life’s storms, you need to be willing to confront your fears, see yourself honestly and strive for a shared goal.
This week, we speak with Rory Arnaud about what a daily Buddhist practice in the morning can do for you. The fact is, most of us haven’t even scratched the surface of what we are capable of accomplishing, learning and giving in this lifetime. Today’s key lesson is that if you can consistently win over yourself in the morning through chanting, you can unearth a treasure trove of wisdom, energy and courage and completely transform how you see yourself and the world.
This week, 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.
1:14 What we’re trying to understand today
3:26 Introduction to Abe
5:26 How chanting helped him feel like he had control over his life again
10:18 His experiences working with the prison system
15:44 How chanting helped him figure out what to do
19:44 What a tenacious effort to build trust helped him achieve
24:34 Why he didn’t give up
27:56 How to maintain hope even when you see the darkest parts of humanity
31:57 What the end goal in Buddhism is
35:10 Advice to anyone feeling stuck or overwhelmed by uncertainty
37:26 What “happiness for self and others” means
45:03 What else to read on Buddhability about feeling stuck and making change
Great artists are authentic. It’s how they are able to connect to enormous audiences, yet each person experiencing the music, or art, feels directly spoken to. What would you do if you could go through life with this kind of genuine, inspiring power?
Being yourself, truly yourself, is hard. Today, we speak with legendary Grammy-winning jazz musicians Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding about how Buddhism has helped them become their most authentic selves.
P.S. The book mentioned in the episode is called Reaching Beyond: Improvisations on Jazz, Buddhism, and a Joyful Life.
1:25 Introduction to Wayne & Esperanza
2:41 How Esperanza discovered Buddhism
5:22 Why Wayne started chanting
7:11 How Wayne discovered a deeper purpose to playing music
8:10 How chanting helped Wayne see himself more clearly
12:23 Esperanza on authenticity as a musician
17:35 Wayne on how Buddhism can help you check yourself
19:25 Esperanza on how to unlock your own capacity
20:34 Some notes on Esperanza’s “life force”
21:48 On Wayne & Esperanza’s friendship
23:33 Wayne’s advice to anyone who feels stuck with their art or work
24:57 A key lesson from today’s conversation
Deciding on your career is hard. If you’ve ever felt like what you’re passionate about and what you do for work don’t align, this episode is for you. Climate activist Roberta Giordano shares how she found the courage to make the bold decision of committing full time to fight climate change and how, through chanting, you can do the same, whatever your passion or cause might be.
1:22 Episode Intro
2:14 Intro to Roberta Giordano
4:15 How her childhood fears influenced her career
7:08 How she started practicing Buddhism in college
12:00 The first steps she took to fight climate change
15:21 How chanting helped her decide what impact she could make
18:35 The difference between actually believing in yourself vs. telling yourself to
19:50 How chanting can help you process your feelings and take action
22:11 How Roberta found the courage to choose a career in climate finance
27:00 What to do when you feel small or overwhelmed along your way
31:00 Key takeaways from Roberta’s story
This week, we speak with psychotherapist Sean Grover about how therapy works, what its limits are, and what it takes to actually change yourself for the better. He also shares insights from his own Buddhist practice and what chanting can offer in the journey of self-transformation.
Key takeaway: Human beings heal through relationships, so how you show up in relationships matters … a lot. If you want to be really, truly happy, you have to learn to care for yourself well, to be yourself around other people, and also learn to care for other people well. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and having a supportive community can help you do all of the above.
1:14 Episode Intro
2:12 Introduction to Sean
2:36 Why he started practicing Buddhism
6:16 What brings people to therapy
8:14 The difference between temporary and sustainable happiness
11:05 The growth of self-awareness practices
16:15 The limits of therapy and mindfulness
18:23 How Buddhism can tackle the ego
20:27 Why changing yourself is so hard
22:19 What the Bodhisattva vow is, in plain English
25:42 Why mastering human relationships is the key to most problems
26:25 Creating a culture of caring for others
29:43 How not to get drained by giving to others
33:14 How therapy and Buddhism can work together
37:08 Next week’s show
This episode is a masterclass in how to get the world to see you the way you see yourself.
We speak with trans rights activist, actress (you might recognize her as Candy from FX's Pose) and founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, Angelica Ross. She constantly shares about Buddhism in interviews, but today we’re talking about a deeply personal part of her life that chanting helped her transform: her relationship with her mom.
For more from Angelica, also see our recent IGTV video.
0:00 Welcome to Buddhability
0:34 Intro to Angelica Ross
1:20 How Angelica transformed her relationship with her mom
7:06 What chanting allowed her to bring out of her own life despite the hurt
15:19 How chanting helps her navigate so many projects and relationships
19:46 Angelica explains Nichiren Buddhism for new listeners
21:26 What Angelica’s chanting (and daily) routine looks like
24:03 Angelica’s dream for the rest of the 21st century
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Welcome to Buddhability, a new weekly podcast about the amazing ability people have to change their lives and the world. On this episode, we welcome you to the show and Buddhability universe, and speak with Cynthia McCright about what Buddhability is and how you can tap into it.
0:00 Welcome to Buddhability
1:38 Basics of Buddhism
3:45 How and why Cynthia started chanting
6:53 What she was able to tap into by chanting
10:25 What believing in yourself actually means
13:52 How chanting can help you transform your biggest fears
19:35 Why working hard at the thing in front of you can impact all parts of your life
22:42 How chanting gets deeper over time, and chanting vs. mindfulness
27:11 Cynthia’s big takeaway for everyone listening
28:16 Recap of today’s discussion