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Episodes

  • 103 Buddhist Counseling

    Sep 12, 2014 | 7 min
    Buddhist counseling is the topic of this episode. Becoming a Buddhist doesn’t solve all your problems. We all struggle with personal issues and personality flaws. Buddhist counseling is the process of helping another person do two things: Apply the principles of Buddhism and experience them to their lives. In the next few minute I want to briefly talk about Buddhist counseling.
  • 102 Love and Non-Attachment

    Sep 5, 2014 | 6 min
    Love and non-attachment is the topic of this episode. The second Noble Truth of Buddhism teaches that attachment is the cause of suffering. But does that mean that we shouldn't be attached to our spouse, our parents, our children, our country, our friends, or our job? Doesn't being unattachment mean that we don’t love them or really care about them? If you have ever wondered about this, you are not alone. It seems hard to reconcile non-attachment with truly caring about others. In the next few minute I want to talk about love and non-attachment.
  • 101 Just Do It

    Aug 29, 2014 | 6 min
    Overcoming aversion, procrastination, and the feeling of being overwhelmed is the topic of this episode. Buddhism teaches that attachment and aversion are the cause of suffering. Many of us don’t like doing homework, chores, or even our jobs. These things have to be done, but our minds add suffering to the tasks before us. The more we think about what we have to do, the worse we feel about it. In the next few minutes I want to teach you a little slogan to help you do what needs to be done. That slogan is really simple, it is, “Just Do It.”
  • 100 I Am Your Guru

    Aug 22, 2014 | 6 min
    Teachers and gurus is the topic of this episode. Welcome to episode 100. The 5 Minute Dharma launched on December 3, 2012 and has seen tremendous growth. 5 Minute Dharma is one of the fastest growing Buddhist podcasts. But I wouldn't be here without you, you literally saved the podcast from ending. Thank you. Today I want to take a few minute to talk about teachers and gurus, beginning with myself.
  • 099 Center and Anchor

    Aug 15, 2014 | 6 min
    Centering and anchoring is the topic of this episode. In the Dhammapada, verse 33, we read that, “The mind is wandering and unsteady, difficult to guard, hard to restrain.” I am sure you have experienced this yourself, if you have been meditating for any length of time. We get lost in the drama of daily life and easily become unmindful. It sometimes seems so difficult to stay calm and peaceful. In the next few minute I want to talk about a technique to help you center and anchor yourself in the present moment.
  • 098 Sexual Misconduct

    Aug 8, 2014 | 6 min
    Sex and lust is the topic of this episode. First, you have to understand that the ideal in Buddhism regarding sex is complete abstinence. That’s why Buddhist monks are forbidden from sexual relations of any kind. But lay Buddhist are permitted to have sex with a partner they are committed to. The only restriction is laid out in the third precept of the Five Precepts of Buddhism. The precept says, "I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct." In the next few minute I want to discuss refraining from sexual misconduct.
  • 097 Alcohol and Addiction

    Aug 1, 2014 | 6 min
    Alcohol and addiction is the topic of this episode. By the time I was 17, I had already had four father and three mothers. The pain of rejection led me to start drinking. The CDC reports that “At least 38 million adults in the US drink too much.” So I am not the only person to turn to alcohol to drown out their pain. I want to spend the next few minutes talking about alcohol and addiction.
  • 096 Thoughts Create Feelings

    Jul 25, 2014 | 6 min
    Thoughts creating how we feel is the topic of this episode. The Buddha said in the Dhammapada: “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.” Many times we don’t realize how much our thoughts affect our emotions. Once you start becoming aware of your mind, you learn a little secret. What you think creates how you feel. I want to spend the next few minutes talking about how thoughts produce feelings.
  • 095 Buddhist Marriage

    Jul 18, 2014 | 6 min
    Guidelines and advice for having a Buddhist marriage is the topic of this episode. In Buddhism, marriage is considered a personal and individual concern. Therefore it is not considered a religious duty or a sacrament. Rather, it is a considered a secular affair, a social convention designed to promote family life. Buddhists follow the civil laws of their government regarding marriage. I want to spend the next few minutes talking Buddhist marriage.
  • 5MD0094

    Jul 11, 2014 | 6 min
    Letting go of ideas and expectations in meditation is the topic of this episode. As one meditation teacher points out, “Meditation ought to decrease the drivenness of our lives, not make it worse.” But many times, how we approach meditation actually hinders our meditation. We need to learn to let go of these ideas and expectations that hinder our ability to just truly be in meditation. They harass us like an angry swarm of bees. In the next few minutes I want to share with you four things to let go of so you can meditate freely and joyfully.
  • 093 Independence to Interdependence

    Jul 4, 2014 | 6 min
    Growing from independence to interdependence is the topic of this episode. Every year in the United States, on the 4th of July, we celebrate Independence Day. It is a day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. It is commemorates the transition from dependence to independence. In our personal life we also go through this process. We grow from dependence on our parents and others to independence. I want to spend the next few minutes talking about the path of maturity that takes us from dependence to independence, and then finally to interdependence.
  • 092 Two Ways of Relating

    Jun 25, 2014 | 6 min
    The two ways of relating to the circumstances of life is the topic of this episode. Situations and events happen to us all the time. We have two basic ways of relating to them. We can be reactive or observant. The Buddha way is the way of observation and deep looking. I want to spend the next few minutes talking about the difference of these two ways of relating to events and situations.
  • 091 Growing Old Gracefully

    Jun 20, 2014 | 6 min
    Growing older gracefully is the topic of this episode. This weekend I will turn 50 years old. In 5 years I will be able to get the senior discount at IHOP. Am I old? I don’t feel old. In a society that looks at old age with disdain and disrespect, we don’t want to grow old. In the next few minutes I want to talk about growing old gracefully.
  • 090 Here and Now

    Jun 13, 2014 | 6 min
    Living in the here and now is the topic of this episode. Where are you? Let me be a little more specific. Where are you mentally? Where is your mind? Where are your thoughts? What are you thinking about? We have the ability to travel through time and space with our minds. The problem is, that we live our lives everywhere but here and now. I want to spend the next few minute talking to you about living in the here and now.
  • 089 Podcast Returning

    Jun 6, 2014 | 5 min
    I want to start by saying how much I appreciate the outpouring of love and support I have received since I announced I was ending the podcast. I never knew how much the podcast meant to you. I am not sure I can adequately express how your messages moved me. It is because of this that I have decided to return to doing the 5 Minute Dharma podcast. As an old preacher once said, “No one should be afraid to change his views, his language, or his practices in conformity with increasing light.” The podcast has always been a labor of love, so I am bringing the love back.
  • 088 Podcast Ending

    May 16, 2014 | 3 min
    have good news and bad news. Let’s begin with the bad news. 5 Minute Dharma Podcast is coming to an end. I want to thank you for listening and for your emails of encouragement. Now let’s get to the good news. I am starting up another podcast, called the Wisdom Podcast.. So here is what I need you to do. If you really liked 5 Minute Dharma I think you will like Wisdom Podcast. The first thing you should do is go over to www.WisdomPodcast.com and bookmark the site. Then I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast. so you never miss an episode. Currently you can subscribe by RSS Feed and, YouTube. I am working on getting the podcast in iTunes, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Spreaker, TuneIn, Blubrry N...
  • 087 Accepting Responsibility

    May 9, 2014 | 6 min
    Accepting responsibility for our failures and mistakes is the topic of this episode. Responsibility means being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one's power or control. Responsibility is the ability to respond, rather than react. It is saying that, if it’s going to be, it’s up to me. And if it doesn't happen, I take full responsibility. I want to spend the next few minute talking to you about taking responsibility for your life.
  • 086 Buddhism As Psychology

    May 2, 2014 | 6 min
    Buddhism as psychology is the topic of this episode. In his book The Universe in a Single Atom, the Dalai Lama stated, "if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims." As Western culture engages Buddhism, a convergence is taking place. The secularism and democracy of Western culture is changing Buddhism, evolving it. In the next few minutes I want plot out a path for the continuing evolution of Buddhism in the West.
  • 085 The Hindrance of Doubt

    Apr 25, 2014 | 6 min
    The hindrance of doubt is the topic of this episode. There are two kinds of doubt. There is investigative doubt and paralyzing doubt. Investigative doubt is not a mood, but a method. It is the inquisitive mind researching the evidence. Paralyzing doubt is more of a mood, an wavering and indecisive mindset that paralyzes. It is this paralyzing kind of doubt that the Buddha called a hindrance. I want to spend the next few minutes discussing three areas where is doubt manifests.
  • 084 The Art of Listening

    Apr 18, 2014 | 7 min
    The art of listening is the topic of this episode. Listening is loving. Listening demonstrates love and is, in fact, love in action. When a person invests the time and energy in truly listening to us, we know that they truly care for us. And if they truly care for us, we feel free to open our hearts and share ourselves at a deep level. In the next few minutes I want to give you three steps in the art of listening.
  • 083 Liberation Not Happiness

    Apr 11, 2014 | 6 min
    Seeking liberation and not happiness is the topic of this episode. In the last episode I talked about how to be happy. By happiness I meant a stable sense of serenity and contentment. But there are several mistakes that we can easily make. The biggest mistake is pursuing happiness instead of liberation. I want to spend a few minutes helping you avoid these pitfalls.
  • 082 How to Be Happy

    Apr 4, 2014 | 7 min
    How to be happy is the topic of this episode. Happiness is one of those words that means many things to many people. To some people happiness is a pleasant or enjoyable feeling. That kind of happiness is impermanent and not worth pursuing. No, the happiness I will be talking about is a state of mind, it is a stable sense of serenity and contentment. I want to teach you four ways to help you find this stable sense of serenity and contentment.
  • 081 Save Yourself

    Mar 28, 2014 | 7 min
    Saving yourself is the topic of this episode. As our Sutra says, you are to be your own refuge, with the Dharma as your guide. Buddhism teaches that, if you are going to be saved, you are going to have to save yourself. Of course, salvation here means being delivered from suffering and dissatisfaction. I prefer to use the word liberation rather than salvation, because in Buddhism, there is no Savior. You must liberate yourself from attachment, and hence from suffering and dissatisfaction.
  • 080 Walking Meditation

    Mar 21, 2014 | 6 min
    Walking meditation is the topic of this episode. If you do sitting meditation for about an hour, you know that the legs get stiff. In order to continue your meditation practice, you need to learn to do walking meditation. It allows us to extend our mindfulness practice for many hours. Walking meditation is taught both in the Zen and Vipassana movements. In the Zen tradition this walking meditation is called Kinhin. I want to spend the next few minutes teaching you how to do walking meditation within the insight meditation tradition.
  • 079 Proving Buddhism

    Mar 14, 2014 | 7 min
    Why Buddhism is provable is the topic of this episode. There are two things a lot of people avoid talking about, and that is politics and religion. My background and education is in Religion, so I talk about it a lot. All religions have things that they assert that cannot be proven, they must be taken by faith. The difference with Buddhism is that these unprovable things are nonessential. By nonessential things I am referring specifically to such things as reincarnation and the after-life. What is essential is meditation and that is subject to proof or disproof.
  • 078 Practicing to Perform

    Mar 7, 2014 | 6 min
    Practicing mindfulness in order to perform mindfully is the topic of this episode. One of the reasons we meditate every day is to develop mindfulness. Meditation is called a practice, because it is something we repeatedly do so that we become better at being mindful. We want to learn to be mindful not only during meditation, but throughout the day as we work, eat, and interact with society. In other words, we want to practice mindfulness during our meditation time so that we can perform mindfully in everyday life.
  • 077 Befriending Yourself

    Feb 28, 2014 | 7 min
    Becoming your own best friend is the topic of this episode. As the Buddha taught, no one is dearer to you than yourself. We should extend the love we already have for ourselves, toward others. Why? Because they are just as valuable and worthy of loving-kindness as we ourselves are. We should love others no more or no less than we love ourselves. The problem is that we love ourselves with attachment, clinging to what we like about ourselves and adverse to what we don’t like. In order to make any real progress in loving others, we need to learn to love ourselves with no attachments.
  • 076 The Four Wishes

    Feb 21, 2014 | 6 min
    The four wishes of loving-kindness meditation is the topic of this episode. In the last episode I taught you how to do loving-kindness meditation using four phrases. This meditation will both build up your concentration and help you develop loving-kindness. But in order to really get the most out of the the four phrases or four wishes, you have to really understand what you are wishing for. Understand is the fuel that will power the four wishes, helping them to become meaningful and empowering. In this episode I want to delve into the meaning of the words: safe, happy, healthy, and content.
  • 075 Loving-kindness Meditation

    Feb 14, 2014 | 7 min
    Loving-kindness meditation is the topic of this episode. Metta is the Pali word that is here translated as Loving-kindness. There is no one word that catches the fullness of the Pali word. Metta has two root meanings, one means “gentle” and the other means “friend”. Becoming the gentle friend of all living beings catches the general idea. I want to spend a few minute teaching you loving-kindness meditation.
  • 074 Why I Chose Buddhism

    Feb 7, 2014 | 7 min
    Why I chose Buddhism is the topic of this episode. As you probably know, I used to be a Christian minister. After being a Christian for over two decades, I came to the conclusion that Jesus was just a man and just a teacher. The Buddha was also just a man and just a teacher. But, for me, there really was no comparison. The Buddha was the better teacher.
  • 073 The Mindful Revolution

    Jan 31, 2014 | 7 min
    The Mindful Revolution is the cover title of the latest issue of Time Magazine, and it is the topic of this episode. Time reports that “we’re in the midst of a popular obsession with mindfulness as the secret to health and happiness.” We can see signs of this all around, from Google “Search Inside Yourself” program to the new magazine entitled Mindful. I want to take a few minute to talk about the reasons for the popularity of mindfulness meditation and deal with some questions about separating mindfulness from Buddhism.
  • 072 Original Goodness

    Jan 24, 2014 | 6 min
    Original goodness is the topic of this episode. The first principle of Buddhist psychology is seeing the inner nobility and beauty of all human beings. Christianity begins with original sin, while Buddhism begins with original goodness. The very possibility of enlightenment is based on the fact that craving, aversion, and delusion are not inherently a part of the fundamental nature of mind. I want to spend a few minute discussing this original goodness or inner nobility.
  • 071 Food As Medicine

    Jan 17, 2014 | 6 min
    Viewing food as medicine is the topic of this episode. To regard food as medicine has deep roots in Buddhism. Not only is it mentioned in the Mahayana Sutra I just quoted, but it has a long history in monasticism. It is the fourth contemplation of the Five Contemplations recited before meals. To quote it directly, the monk is to, “consider the food as medicine and as nourishment for the body.” A version of this is still a part of the Five Contemplations used by the Soto Zen Sect of Buddhism. I want to take a few minute to examine what it means to view food as medicine.
  • 070 Mindful Eating

    Jan 10, 2014 | 6 min
    Eating mindfully is the topic of this episode. Here we have the Buddha’s weight loss plan, eat mindfully and in moderation. He explains that mindful eating has the benefits of better health and longer life. But mindful eating also has the advantage of awakening us. An awakened life is a mindful life, and mindful eating is a part of this. I want to explain how to eat mindfully in the next few minutes.
  • 069 Resistance to Meditating

    Jan 3, 2014 | 6 min
    Resistance to meditating is the topic of this episode. Meditation and ethical behavior is so valuable, that a single day so lived, outweighs a hundred years without it. Meditation is the central practice of Buddhism, and it one of its greatest gifts to humanity. But, believe it or not, not all Buddhists meditate. Meditating is simple, but its not easy. If you are like me, you have felt the mind’s resistance to meditating. I want to talk about this inner resistance and how to overcome it.
  • 068 Dealing with Difficult People

    Dec 27, 2013 | 6 min
    Dealing with difficult people is the topic of this episode. You can’t live in this world very long, before you run across difficult people. Difficult people tend to produce annoyance in others by their words or actions. But as Buddhists, we can entirely remove this annoyance. The Buddha gives us five ways of doing this.
  • 067 The Benefits of Being Alone

    Dec 20, 2013 | 6 min
    The benefits of being alone is the topic of this episode. Loneliness is not the same as being alone. For many, the holiday season can be a lonely time of the year. While everyone seems to be getting together with loved ones, many are alone. They just feel so empty inside, like there life has no meaning. They may feel like giving and sharing, but there's no one to share with. You ask yourself, "Why am I always alone? Is there something wrong with me?"
  • 066 Gift Giving

    Dec 13, 2013 | 6 min
    Gift giving is the topic of this episode. Christmas time is usually seen as a time of giving. The reality is, that it is more about exchanging gifts, than it is about giving them. This is easily seen when someone doesn’t receive a gift, they are usually quite upset, hurt, and sad. They were not giving a gift, they were exchanging one gift for another. The Buddha actually taught us five ways to give. I want to look at them briefly today.
  • 065 Living the Dharma

    Dec 6, 2013 | 6 min
    Living the Dharma is the topic of this episode. Living the Dharma simply means walking the Eightfold Noble Path, which can be summed up in the Three Trainings, Ethical Conduct, Mental Discipline, and Wisdom. But the practical application is where we need help and guidance, especially as lay people. Of course I can’t be exhaustive, but I would like to give you some practical ways to put the Dharma into practice in your everyday life.
  • 064 An Attitude of Gratitude

    Nov 29, 2013 | 6 min
    An attitude of gratitude is the topic of this episode. It’s hard to imagine, two days that are next to each other, that are so different in spirit than Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Thanksgiving we gather with family and friends and give thanks for all that we have. And then, the very next day, Black Friday, we continue the mad pursuit of more, more, more. This consumeristic binge, culminates in Christmas, where we exchange gifts with those who have very few real needs.
  • 063 Responding to Stress

    Nov 22, 2013 | 6 min
    Learning to respond instead of reacting to stress is the topic of this episode. Some of the most stressful times of the year are Thanksgiving and Christmas. They combine the stresses of money, people, and deadlines. But researchers have actually pinpointed January 4 as the most stressful day of the year. It’s the perfect storm of cold weather, economic gloom, and the end of Christmas cheer. But stress is a year round reality for many.
  • 062 The Freedom of Simplicity

    Nov 20, 2013 | 7 min
    The Freedom of Simplicity is the topic of this episode. A complicated life is like a prison, it makes us slaves to the unimportant and the trivial. More and more people are feeling overwhelmed by the consumerism of our modern society. The fact is that this possession obsession has fueled even greater suffering. We have been conditioned into believing that we need more. But all that we have left is more clutter and less space for what’s really important.
  • 061 The Way of Nonviolence

    Nov 20, 2013 | 7 min
    The Way of Nonviolence is the topic of this episode. We live in a world that seems bent on war and violence. Violence is not only tolerated, but it is encouraged. The pain and misery that such violence causes is beyond description. There is violence among nations, among races, and within families. But there is another way, another path we can take.
  • 060 Education or Entertainment?

    Nov 20, 2013 | 5 min
    Education and entertainment are the topic of this episode. There are two basic orientations in life, those who seek truth and those who seek pleasure. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are going to do either of these very well, you are going to have to dedicate your life to one. They really are mutually exclusive, if you want to do either very well.
  • 059 Ignorance and Apathy

    Nov 20, 2013 | 6 min
    Ignorance and apathy is the topic of this episode. “In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.” Although we need more than just information to really wake up. The world as we know it is changing, and at an increasing pace. There are three kinds of people in the world, those that make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened. Which are you?
  • 058 Just 3 Breaths

    Nov 20, 2013 | 5 min
    Explaining to you how to do a simple breathing meditation is the topic of this episode. You know about the benefits of meditation, but do you meditate? What excuses do you use? I don’t have enough time. I’m uncomfortable sitting for too long. I can’t stop my mind from thinking. With this simple meditation practice, your excuses are gone.
  • 057 What is Right View?

    Nov 20, 2013 | 7 min
    Explaining the meaning of Right View is the topic of this episode. Right View is the view that is conducive to awakening. Right View is one of the steps in the Noble Eightfold Path. But it’s important to realize that the steps are not sequential, they are interconnected. This is most evident in Right View, which is both a starting point and an arrival point.
  • 056 Spiritual Growth

    Nov 20, 2013 | 6 min
    Spiritual growth and spiritual maturity is the topic of this episode. By spiritual growth I am talking about one’s personal and spiritual evolution. Spiritual growth is much like physical growth. We start off dependent and unskilled, and grow to be independent and skilled. But the path to spiritual maturity is not a straight line. Many lessons in life can only be learned by experience, in the school of hard knocks.
  • 055 Accepting Yourself

    Nov 20, 2013 | 6 min
    Knowing and accepting yourself is the topic of this episode. Accepting yourself sounds like good advice. But you may find it much harder than you may first realize. Accepting yourself requires that you first know yourself. You can’t accept yourself as you are unless you know yourself as you are.
  • 054 Dealing With Pain

    Nov 20, 2013 | 6 min
    Dealing with pain through meditation is the topic of this episode. The wise say that pain in life is inevitable, but suffering is not. Pain is caused by what happens to you, suffering is your mind’s response to it. Your mind adds to the pain, causing further tension and constriction in the mind and body. I have had several opportunities to work with pain, from migraine headaches to toothaches.
  • 053 Do Not Judge

    Nov 20, 2013 | 6 min
    Not judging others and not judging yourself is the topic of this episode. Not judging sounds like pretty good advice. bet you can name a number of friends and relatives that you wish would stop judging you. But this message is not for them, it’s for you and you alone. Let’s be honest, it’s a message everybody wants to give, but too few want to hear.
  • 052 Buddhist Parenting

    Nov 20, 2013 | 6 min
    In this episode we want to talk about what is means to be a Buddhist parent. Parenting is not a task or a duty, it should be looked on as a spiritual discipline. a practical way to practice the Dharma. Parenthood can be a path of spiritual grown, if we approach it with the right attitude. As you teach them Buddhism, focus on the practical teachings of the Dharma. Focus on developing in them compassion, patience, and simplicity of life.