Tomorrow, we are kicking off our 31-Day Chanting Journey so today’s episode is filled with practical tips and advice on how to make the most of it, especially if one of your reasons for doing it is to address negative self-talk.
Out guest is Erin Harris, who grew up practicing Buddhism in the Bay Area. Erin’s own story is so moving. She grew up with a stutter and at a young age, realized that the only time she felt she could really be her authentic self and not stutter was while chanting. Today, she breaks down how chanting works, and how it can help address questions of self-esteem, inner negativity and making every day a quality one.
If you’re listening to this in August, join the chanting journey by signing up for our daily newsletter at www.buddhability.org.
You’ll get daily prompts that you can combine with your chanting to fuel your growth, a downloadable calendar, as well as inspiration from others in the Buddhability community.
1:47 How Erin started practicing Buddhism
3:15 Her experience with stuttering and how chanting helped
6:18 How to chant and what it means
9:02 The purpose of the Gohonzon and your altar
10:47 What you can chant about
15:02 Some tips on intention-setting if you are just starting out
18:28 The role of the Buddhist community
22:25 How to address negative self-talk
26:35 Erin's own experiences overcoming negative self-talk through a chanting challenge
32:18 Where to start if your struggle with self-esteem feels overwhelming
39:01 Why it is important to be consistent with chanting
42:16 One piece of advice for anyone starting the chanting journey
Just a short announcement today to share that starting August 1 we are doing another 31-Day Buddhability Journey where we invite you to try chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for the month of August! Sign up at www.buddhability.org/journey
Zijn er afleveringen die ontbreken?
Today we are addressing how to navigate the loss of a loved one or support them through serious illness. While everyone's experience and circumstances are different, our guest, Jonathan Teran, shares his family's story, and the takeaways feel truly universal.
In August 2020, Jonathan lost his father to pulmonary fibrosis, and today he shares how his family used their Buddhist practice to navigate the journey, from finding him care, to supporting him during hospice, to dealing with the grief that came afterward.
On top of all of this, his father’s battle took place during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas, all while Jonathan himself was in his first few months as a resident physician.
1:30 How Jonathan started practicing Buddhism
4:16 Why he decided to pursue a career in medicine
10:29 His father's battle with illness
17:30 How his family used their Buddhist practice to navigate the experience
24:15 What they learned by studying Buddhism together
30:04 What his darker moments felt like and how chanting helped
35:06 How he is navigating grief
38:52 The impact it had on his work as a doctor
45:54 How chanting can help you bring out your best self
49:42 What his dream is for the future
51:38 Advice for anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one
Today we are talking about relationships and specifically addressing a few questions that we’ve received from listeners, which are: How do I decide if the person I’m with is the one? What does Buddhism say about creating a healthy long-term relationship? And how can I support my partner while also supporting myself?
Our guest is Faith Jones, a young woman whose journey with Buddhism is intertwined with her relationship experience. Practicing Buddhism helped her identify a tendency to seek happiness based on external validation, not only in relationships but also at work and in other situations. She shares her story today, which is filled with so many practical insights, applicable to relationships of all kinds.
2:17 How Faith encountered Buddhism through her partner
6:28 Why she started chanting
8:19 Her pattern of seeking validation through relationships
12:48 The story of her relationship with Cole
22:14 What it was like to support his transition and go through her own transformation
25:25 How she chanted through the process
28:48 How to support your partner without controlling them
35:10 How to decide to be with someone for the long term
41:24 Navigating feeling erased by someone else’s story
43:58 Her favorite Buddhist concept
48:10 Advice to anyone who might be feeling insecure in their relationship
Today we’re discussing creative work, but the lessons apply to virtually anything in your life that brings out feelings of resistance, fear or self-doubt.
Our guest is Monica Ong, a Connecticut-based visual poet and designer. She’s been practicing Buddhism ever since discovering it on study abroad in high school and our conversation today is filled with practical insights on how to navigate a creative career as a Buddhist.
Monica’s own story is about identity and paving her own way as a visual poet. In 2015, her book, Silent Anatomies, was selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo as the winner of the Kore Press First Book Award in poetry.
On this episode, she shares about her journey as a Buddhist and a creative, as well as how chanting helped her navigate the pandemic, when she struggled deeply with sleep issues and health.
Key takeaway: Chanting and taking small, consistent steps to tackle our self-doubt can help us create the life and work we are proudest of, no matter what others might think.
1:32 Introduction to Monica's work
2:44 How she became a visual poet
6:53 When and why she started practicing Buddhism
11:08 How chanting impacted her creative work and path
15:36 Dealing with insomnia during the pandemic
23:55 How she has challenged self-doubt and resistance
33:18 Balancing work, art and family all at once
40:35 Navigating the desire for validation as an artist
47:47 Her favorite Buddhist teaching
50:03 What she's working on now, and a poem about Vera Rubin
Note: In the poem about Vera Rubin that Monica reads at the end of the show, she refers to an excerpt from this article.
Six years ago today, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ratified same-sex marriage, a monumental achievement after a more than 25-year battle across the country.
Recently, journalist Sasha Issenberg published a riveting, comprehensive history of that struggle, titled The Engagement: America’s Quarter Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage, tracing it back to 1990, when the political movement took off with a case in the Hawaii Supreme Court.
At that point, Issenberg explains, no significant gay rights group had endorsed marriage as an objective. But, in 1990, when three same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Honolulu and were denied, they turned to a lawyer named Dan Foley. Less than three years later, the Hawaii Supreme Court became the first court in the world to conclude that queer couples’ freedom to marry was a basic civil right. The rest is a fascinating and groundbreaking history of the national journey toward June 26, 2015.
Today we are speaking with that lawyer, Dan Foley, who practices SGI Nichiren Buddhism. He shares his journey through the case, and how Buddhism can you help you win, no matter what your fight is.
3:20 Dan’s work as a lawyer and judge
6:13 When and why he started practicing Buddhism
9:25 A short history of the same-sex marriage case in Hawaii
17:01 The impact it had on the rest of the country
21:28 The role that chanting played in his work
26:17 Why he didn’t give up
30:46 The growth he had to go through along the way
37:00 How anyone can tap into their Buddhability and make a difference
38:27 How to summon compassion and respect in a system that is unjust
45:18 Advice to anyone struggling to believe they can make a real difference
Today’s episode is an inspiring story about how to navigate life after receiving a diagnosis, especially if unexpected and related to mental health.
Our guest is Dylan Parnell, a young man who practices Buddhism in Arizona. About 1 year after getting divorced at a young age, Dylan faced an unexpected health challenge that lead to him being hospitalized with psychosis, and then diagnosed with bipolar disorder and admitted to mental health facility for three weeks.
After getting out, he had to rebuild both his life and self-worth, almost from scratch. Today, he shares how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studying Buddhism throughout this process helped him keep moving forward, step by step, in his words, to not be tied down by the cards he was dealt.
1:16 Meet Dylan
1:51 How he encountered Buddhism and why he started chanting
6:18 The unexpected health challenge he faced
9:55 How he used Buddhism while in a mental health facility
11:53 What enabled him to keep chanting
13:38 The small victories that came from doing his best
16:28 The steps he took to rebuild his self-worth after getting out
23:30 Three Buddhist concepts that helped him
29:52 How he stopped feeling like a burden to his family
35:07 What he is working towards now
37:04 How he learned to appreciate his mental health journey
41:30 Advice for anyone dealing with a diagnosis or unexpected challenge
Today’s episode is about imposter syndrome, or feeling like you don’t deserve success or happiness.
Technically, imposter syndrome is not a psychiatric disorder but studies show that imposter feelings are experienced by 70% of people at some point in their life. These feelings can be caused by internal factors, like personality traits, and external factors, such as the environments we experience, as well as institutionalized discrimination.
However it shows up in your life, feeling like you don’t belong or don’t deserve success or happiness is something Buddhism directly addresses. Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the ultimate affirmation of the dignity of each person’s life, and the purpose of practicing Buddhism is to develop a state of genuine happiness, both for ourselves and others.
Today’s episode addresses all this and more, through the story of Aide Aguirre, a young woman who started practicing Buddhism at 24, simply to generate hope for her own life.
2:20 Aide’s experience growing up undocumented
10:35 What she had resigned herself to
15:17 The feelings of imposter syndrome she experienced in college
22:55 Why Buddhism resonated with her
27:15 How she started chanting
32:58 How her vision for her life started to change
36:45 How getting COVID-19 pushed her to pursue her dreams
43:14 Her journey to graduate school
51:29 Advice to anyone struggling with the feeling that they don’t deserve success or happiness
Today we're talking about how not to give up on your dream.
Even if we discover our dream job or purpose at a young age, on the path to pursuing it, we often have to grapple with our own self-doubt, tough decisions, and at times, challenging and unexpected obstacles.
Today we’re talking to Michael Cornell, a 5th-grade teacher in New York City. After struggling with anxiety and depression during graduate school, and then facing the realities of education in NYC, his journey in education became more and more challenging. But when he discovered Buddhism along the way, chanting helped him expand his own vision for education and develop the spirit to do his best at every task in front of him.
Key takeaway: Our environment doesn’t need to dictate whether we feel we are on the right path or not. Rather, by tapping into our Buddhability through chanting, we can create the conditions to advance toward our dreams, no matter what’s happening around us.
CHEAT SHEET1:24 How Michael discovered his passion for education4:21 Why he was drawn to Buddhism10:58 What his vision for education was14:23 How chanting impacted his daily life32:41 What a value-creation based vision for education looks like39:01 How to create the conditions for trust and success46:20 The award Michael is currently up for
Today we’re talking to Lorenna Garcia-Bochas, a young woman in Georgia who grew up around the Buddhist community and chanting. Her own practice developed when she started college and faced some major challenges in her family and with her own mental health, which drove her to dig deep into her own heart to find a way forward.
We cover a lot today: how to grapple with multiple identities and feeling like you don’t fit anywhere; how to take care of your family when they are struggling; and how to find the courage to seek help for your mental health, if that’s what you need.
Ultimately, Lorenna’s story is an amazing example of how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can be fuel for taking steady steps to respect your own life, which includes resolving doubt and pain, establishing a dream for the future and taking great care of yourself.
(Note: No information on this episode should be considered medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for any questions related to treatment for mental health issues.)
1:30 How Lorenna grew up
6:50 Why she started practicing Buddhism
8:30 The family challenges that drove her practice
11:59 What her day-to-day struggle looked like
21:46 How her expectations for herself started to change
25:25 How she changed her experience of school
30:28 What it took to believe in herself
33:46 How she found her dream career path
40:24 The challenges she faced being mixed-race
43:17 Transforming shame
45:34 Her favorite Buddhist concept
48:41 What it took to ask for help for her mental health
56:52 Advice for her younger self and anyone listening
Today we have a short announcement about Buddhability’s upcoming 7 Day Refresh, starting Monday, May 17. Sign up at www.buddhability.org.
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.
Also, an announcement: For anyone struggling with well-being, self-care or burnout, starting Monday May 17 join us for a 7-Day Refresh on Buddhability! For a whole week, you’ll get daily newsletters with prompts, tips and advice on how to refresh yourself to protect your health, from a Buddhist perspective. To join, just sign up for our newsletter.
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
Today we’re speaking with Beau Lancaster, a historian-in-training in Brooklyn, New York, who runs a YouTube channel and podcast called the Shady Historian. Beau’s dream is to be a historian who works in media spaces and he’s currently in grad school. But his journey there wasn't easy. It all started with a very challenging environment.
We’re going to hear his story today from the perspective of a very universal question: Why am I in the environment I’m in? And what can I do to change it?
0:31 Beau's search for safety
3:27 Why he started chanting
9:40 What Buddhism says about changing our environment
16:14 How he decided to change his own
19:59 The role chanting played in discerning his true worth
23:33 The steps he took to develop his career
30:09 Why chanting is like fuel
34:02 How he stopped struggling with his past
37:15 How to change your own environment
Today we're talking about careers, a topic that we plan to cover from many different perspectives on future episodes.
Our guest is Louise Ocasion, who started practicing Buddhism when she was in college and struggling with a deep sense of confusion about what to do with her life. Today, she’s a corporate executive who has worked at some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, but the journey to get here was filled with twists and turns. In short, it’s all about how to develop true confidence in your own voice, and true humility if you do achieve success, especially in a competitive environment.
Key Takeaway: Inner transformation is a never-ending process, and along with being relentless in your efforts to achieve your goals, truly believing in yourself means looking honestly at what’s holding you back on the inside, as much as on the outside.
1:24 Louise’s childhood as an immigrant
4:20 Why she started chanting in college
12:45 What it feels like to compare yourself to other people
13:59 How chanting helped her get through school
16:20 How she found her way to marketing
20:52 The concept of beauty, benefit and good
31:31 How she dealt with negative feedback
44:33 Advice for anyone who is trying to build their career right now
Instead of an episode this week, we have an announcement! Based on your requests, we just published a video explainer on enlightenment. Find it on Buddhability's YouTube or Instagram, or at this link.
Today’s episode is about a key Buddhist concept, which teaches that where you are right now is exactly the place you need to be to fulfill your purpose, as long as you're willing to dig deep into your heart and let the courage out.
We speak with Dori Colly, a young mother in North Carolina. On the surface, hers is a story about the challenges she went through to buy a house. But what's most incredible about her experience practicing Buddhism is how she courageously opened her heart, despite many traumatic experiences, to put down roots in a community that she never wanted to stay in the first place, because of how volatile and unsafe it felt.
Today, many of her family members live on the same block and are working together to transform the community in which they live.
0:19 Introduction to today’s topic
2:16 Dori’s story
5:53 What made her decide to start practicing Buddhism consistently
7:40 Her journey to buy a house
14:13 How winning in the morning became the key to transforming her disbelief
16:50 What chanting can do
18:42 How she’s been able to support a child with autism
24:49 How chanting helped her transform family discord
26:46 How chanting helped her transform how she felt towards the world
30:58 How she reunited with her dad and moved him in next door
32:46 What her dream became after purchasing the house
40:16 The role that having supportive friends has played
40:41 Advice for anyone who feels beat down by their environment right now
42:55 The moment Dori’s heart shifted from not wanting to stay in North Carolina to taking full responsibility for her community
Today we are discussing a question that comes up a lot: How do I stop comparing myself to other people? It can be a real struggle, especially if you feel like the people around you are better or farther ahead than you in some way. Here’s an article we did on the subject, called Feel like you're falling behind?
Our guest today is Harrison Tsao, who started practicing Buddhism in high school because he was deeply struggling with anxiety and depression, stemming from the fact that he found school really challenging, and was constantly being compared to his twin brother. It’s a really inspiring story: Once he started chanting, he took steady steps to find his own path forward and discovered his dream of becoming a chef. Then Covid-19 happened. Still, he never gave up. (You're gonna wanna to listen to the end on this one.)
00:13 Introduction to today’s topic
2:17 Why Harrison started practicing Buddhism
6:45 What it was like growing up as a twin
9:41 His journey toward college and finding his dream
15:41 How Covid-19 impacted his path
18:32 How having a Buddhist community helped him navigate his path forward
22:28 The quote that changed his life
24:38 How he started setting goals for himself
29:59 Advice for anyone who feels like other people are farther ahead in life
31:59 Where Harrison is now
Appreciate the Buddhability content but want to hear from people actually practicing Buddhism? We teamed up with members of our Buddhist community to present a new online series hosted by Buddhability. The first one is this Friday and we're talking about how to refresh yourself when you feel burned out.
Join us Friday, March 26 at 9 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. CT, 12 p.m. ET.
Register here: https://buddhability.org/practice/live/
On this episode, we discuss living with chronic health challenges, be it physical or mental health. Jenny Ohrstrom, who has been seeking treatment for Lyme disease for nearly 8 years, shares her story of learning how to find happiness despite living with painful, unpredictable symptoms.
While everyone's experience with illness is different, for chronic illness, the battle is as much about managing the symptoms and seeking treatment as it about finding a way to value your life on daily basis, especially when you feel no hope.
Key takeaway: Tapping into Buddhability can simply mean tapping into real, deep, courageous happiness, in the face of pain. Unlike positivity, sustainable happiness comes from cultivating a life state that enables us to never give up or give in to hopelessness.
1:38 Introduction to Jenny and her Buddhist practice
4:28 How she found out she had Lyme
14:40 Why it was so bad
17:07 How chanting helped her navigate the journey
23:32 What the doctors told her
24:38 How she defines recovery
27:18 What happiness means on a daily basis
33:02 Advice for anyone feeling defeated by chronic or long-term illness
Today we are talking about being new parents, which is a topic that's been requested by many listeners. Savini and Piper, college sweethearts from India who moved to New York City in their 20’s, share the story of having their first child in September 2019, just 6 months before the pandemic began.
They've had to navigate a lot: not only grappling with a new identity and sense of responsibility, but also navigating covid and some unexpected health challenges their son was born with.
Key takeaway: If you’re a new parent or thinking of becoming one, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can help you build emotional and spiritual muscle to take on anything life throws your way.
00:19 Today’s topic
1:38 Introduction to Savini and Piper
6:48 Navigating fear of parenthood
10:25 The story of Maadhav’s birth
13:40 How they chanted while pregnant
18:25 How they navigated unexpected health challenges
24:58 What it means to build resilience and confidence over time
39:18 The hardest parts of parenting
42:48 An amazing analogy for your capacity as a person
47:19 Advice for new parents
49:14 What chanting just 5 minutes can do
53:20 Guest appearance by Maadhav