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Buddhability

English, Buddhism, 2 seasons, 169 episodes, 4 days, 7 hours, 58 minutes
About
The reality is, we’re already enlightened. It’s only as we face obstacles, stress and our own messiness that we start to forget it. This is a show about how to believe in yourself again, told by a community of Buddhists doing it everyday, and changing the world along the way. Hosted by journalist Jihii Jolly, who you might know from the popular SGI-USA podcast Buddhist Solutions for Life’s Problems, each week you’ll hear an honest conversation about real life and how to tap into your Buddhability. From relationships and dream jobs to lessons from psychology and activism, subscribe to Buddhability on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts so you never miss an episode. For more stories, tips on practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism, and our newsletter, visit www.buddhability.org.
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Buddhability Short: Cultivating wisdom in an age of misinformation

Buddhability Shorts is a series where we break down a Buddhist concept or common life challenge we’ve touched on in an interview. Today, we’re talking about the Buddhist perspective on wisdom and what it means to use knowledge with wisdom. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] References:My Dear Friends in America, fourth edition, pp. 369-71.The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol. 2, p. 33.
7/5/202410 minutes, 32 seconds
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Buddhability Short: How to make the most of your time

Buddhability Shorts is a series where we break down a Buddhist concept or common life challenge we’ve touched on in an interview. Today, we’re talking about how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can help us maximize every moment and use our time wisely. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] Episodes Mentioned:How To Do It All, with Dr. Gitima SharmaWhy I Appreciate My College Rejections References:The Victorious Teen, p. 28.“On Prolonging One’s Life Span,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 955.Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death, p. 109.Jan. 1, 2016, World Tribune, p. 8.The Heart of the Lotus Sutra, p. 26.The New Human Revolution, vol. 4, revised edition, pp. 149–50.The Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings, p. 214.My Dear Friends in America, fourth edition, p. 354.
6/28/202414 minutes, 36 seconds
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Buddhability Short: Looking at yourself with fresh eyes

Buddhability Shorts is a series where we break down a Buddhist concept or common life challenge we’ve touched on in an interview. Today, we’re talking about the principle of the cherry, plum, peach and damson blossoms. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] Episodes Mentioned:Daniel: Breaking Free from Self-Imposed LimitationsMegan: Living Based on My Inherent Worth vs. People’s OpinionsJoshua: Learning to Love Myself References:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, pp. 198.
6/21/202412 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Strength to Challenge Every Limitation

Keiko Brunson, of Denver, entered the world with a bang and continued to challenge every perceived limitation placed on her. Today she shares how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo gave her the confidence to live authentically and with deep gratitude for those who support her. References: “Letter to Niike,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p.1027.“The Difficult of Sustaining Faith” WND-1 p. 471.Discussions on Youth, p. 74. Cheat Sheet:02:07 Keiko’s Memories Growing up in a Buddhist family10:05 Getting accepted into college was the easy part24:40 Learning to persist in her exams33:38 Repaying her gratitude by supporting others
6/7/202442 minutes, 54 seconds
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My Problems Remind Me of My Potential

It isn’t always easy to believe you can make a change. Immaculate Mutebi, of New York City, has challenged that disbelief many times. In today’s episode, we discuss how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her use obstacles in her family, workplace and housing to deepen her conviction in the power of her life. References:On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, p. 38.A Foundation for Your Life: Essentials of Nichiren's Writings for Young Women, p.198.Discussions on Youth, pp. 298–99. Cheat Sheet:03:58 Immaculate joins her first Buddhist meeting09:41 Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for an impossible family goal19:28 Feeling dis-empowered to change her work environment27:45 A Buddhist friend reminds Immaculate of her potential36:48 Finding her dream apartment
5/31/202446 minutes, 42 seconds
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How Connecting with People Enhanced My Self-Care

Cam Morose, a Boston school psychologist, found Buddhism at a crucial time. He was struggling with anxiety that felt impossible to challenge. In today’s episode, Cam shares how Buddhism gave him the roadmap and energy to connect with others, challenge his inner critic and find deeper happiness.References:July, 2019, Living Buddhism, pp.56–57“The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1000. The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, pp. 104Cheat Sheet:03:40 A friend’s life state inspires Cam to try chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo08:57 His anxiety reaches a breaking point17:16 How connecting with others made him rethink self-care29:00 Finding purpose in his career based on his struggles40:58 A clear guide for living a happy and fulfilling life
5/24/202452 minutes, 10 seconds
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Buddhability Short: How to find your power in a chaotic world

Buddhability Short: How to Find Your Power in a Chaotic WorldBuddhability Shorts is a series where we break down a Buddhist concept or common life challenge we’ve touched on in an interview. Today, we’re talking about how Buddhist practice empowers us to move the world in a positive direction. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] Episodes Referenced:Abe: “How to make progress, even when you can’t see eye to eye”Dori: “How to turn your circumstances into your purpose” References:“King Rinda,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 989. A Piece of Mirror and Other Essays, pp. 98–99. Sept. 28, 2007, World Tribune, p. 2.
5/17/202412 minutes, 34 seconds
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Finding Purpose in My First Year of Buddhist Practice

Daylen Heidt, of Houston, grew up labeled as a “bad kid.” Everything changed when they started practicing Buddhism just over a year ago. Buddhism teaches that we’re the protagonists of our lives and have the power to write, perform and direct our dream script. Today, Daylen shares their journey from being directionless and hopeless to living with courage and purpose.  Reference:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 165–66 Cheat Sheet:06:40 Daylen finds Buddhism at a time of uncertainty11:05 Connecting with their local Buddhist community18:27 Finding the courage to repair relationships24:25 Defying their “bad student” label30:40 Seeing yourself as the protagonist of your life36:30 How Buddhism has changed their life
5/10/202444 minutes, 42 seconds
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Why I Appreciate My College Rejections

When Ashley Park didn’t get into the colleges she applied to, she was stuck in New York City balancing a jam-packed schedule. Buddhism teaches that everything moves in the direction of our happiness when we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.  With that in mind, Ashley knew there must be a reason and used her Buddhist practice to discover it. Today, we discuss how winning in every area of your life leads to your ultimate growth and happiness.  References:Discussions on YouthAug. 14, 1998, World Tribune, p. 9. Cheat Sheet:03:55 Why Ashley started practicing Buddhism at age 1616:29 Tackling doubt after college rejections 35:27 Buddhism is about winning40:00 How she landed the perfect job47:37 Why her path was exactly what she needed to become happy
5/3/202453 minutes, 18 seconds
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Winning Over Perfectionism

Buddhism teaches us that our lives are precious just as they are. This can be hard to believe if we struggle with self-criticism and strive for flawlessness. Fortunately, each time we chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we tap into our limitless wisdom, courage, and compassion and challenge our inner critic head-on. Today, Clark Harrell, of Seattle, Washington, shares how fighting perfectionism helped him enjoy his Buddhist practice, musical pursuits and everyday life.  References: Discussions on Youth, p. 171The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition,  p. 102 Cheat Sheet:10:10 Clark discovers Buddhism through jazz15:45 First steps in Buddhist practice25:21 Placing self-worth in achievements29:43 Getting support from his Buddhist community41:09 Chanting without self-criticism54:18 Community is the key to never giving up
4/26/202457 minutes, 38 seconds
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Buddhability Short: Uncertainty after graduation

Buddhability Shorts is a series where we break down a Buddhist concept or common life challenge we’ve touched on in an interview. Today, we’re talking about navigating life after graduation and finding your unique path. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] Referenced:Josef: "Finding Your Purpose in College"Louise: "Building a Career You Love"Luca: "What you do isn't who you are"References:Discussions on Youth, pp. 71-73, 26 
4/19/202415 minutes, 34 seconds
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Learning to Love Myself

It can be hard to embrace ourselves when society often makes us feel otherwise. In this episode, we’re talking about how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo empowers us to appreciate and treasure every part of who we are.Today’s guest, Joshua Thomas, of Portland, Oregon, shares how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped him to live authentically, love his life and encourage others to do the same.References:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, p. 207.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 335–36.October 11, 2013, World Tribune, p. 9.
4/12/202451 minutes, 14 seconds
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Happiness That Can’t Be Destroyed

Daily life can feel like a roller coaster where we’re tossed around by the ups and downs of our health, school, family relationships and so on. Through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, we can strengthen our life force and become people unswayed by our circumstances. Today’s guest, Koda Jordet, of Fargo, North Dakota, shares how prioritizing his Buddhist practice, mental health and addiction recovery, helped him develop indestructible happiness. References:“Happiness in This World,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 681.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, pp. 5–6.
4/5/202436 minutes, 33 seconds
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Buddhability Short: Making meaningful friendships

Buddhability Shorts is a series where we break down a Buddhist concept that we’ve touched on in an interview. Today, we’re talking about how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo brings out the characteristics needed to make authentic relationships that last. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] References:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, revised edition, pp. 106–07.Discussions on Youth, pp. 39–40, 117–18, 283–84.https://www.worldtribune.org/2023/overcoming-loneliness/ <accessed on March 28, 2024>. 
3/29/202413 minutes, 1 second
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Facing the Fear of Death

It’s natural to want to look away from the inevitable reality of death but Buddhism teaches that death is an alternate phase of life and makes up a larger universal cycle. To understand death is to deepen our understanding of and appreciation for life. Today’s guest, John Plummer, of Cold Spring, NY, shares how facing his fear of loss improved his relationships and deepened his work as a film and TV writer.  References:The New Human Revolution, vol. 24, pp. 177–78A Piece of Mirror and Other Essays, pp. 79, 83–84.Leave of Grass by Walt Whitman.“Like the Sun Rising,” Journey of Life: Selected Poems of Daisaku IkedaUnlocking the Mysteries of Unlocking Birth and Death, p. 104.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition.
3/22/202444 minutes, 32 seconds
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Buddhability Short: How to Increase Your Life Force

Buddhability Shorts is a monthly series where we break down a Buddhist concept that we’ve touched on in an interview. This month, we’re talking about how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo elevates the inner state of life and brings forth the life force we need to accomplish our goals. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected] References:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, p. 35.Discussions on Youth, p. 411.https://www.worldtribune.org/2021/each-instant-contains-incredible-possibilities/ 
3/15/202411 minutes, 41 seconds
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Overcoming Loneliness

Experts say the U.S. is dealing with a serious “loneliness epidemic” as adults feel more isolated and alone than ever. How can Buddhism help us break out of our shell and find meaningful connection with others? Today’s guest, Apoorvee Sawhney, of Denver, shares how studying Buddhism and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her to overcome self-pity in order to graduate a Ph.D. program and start a career in academia. References:“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 3–4https://www.worldtribune.org/2021/challenging-times-are-opportunities-for-human-revolution/
3/8/202440 minutes, 9 seconds
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How I Beat Burnout

Our daily lives can be a challenge and we might be asking ourselves, “is there anything more to life that sleeping, eating and going to a job I don’t like?” If you’re feeling burnt out, you’re not alone. But Buddhist practice can refresh us and help us lead fulfilling lives. Today’s guest, Kyle Maharlika-Roper, of Miami, shares how he went from burnt out in an unfulfilling job to finally pursing his childhood dream of art. References:The New Human Revolution, vol. 16.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 392–393.
3/1/202454 minutes, 22 seconds
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Breaking Through Stagnation

Do you ever feel like you’re not making any progress even though you’ve been trying to reach a goal for what feels like forever? Today’s guest, Hannah Doherty, of Los Angeles, shares how she broke through self-doubt and stagnation to find a job in her dream field, foster friendships and reach new heights as a dancer.References:The Light of Learning, p. 130.July 11, 1997, World Tribune, p. 14.
2/23/202454 minutes, 56 seconds
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Buddhability Short: Finding Your Purpose

Buddhability Shorts is a monthly series where we break down a Buddhist concept that we’ve touched on in an interview. This month, we’re talking about how Buddhist practice helps us to value our unique qualities and lead a purposeful life. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected]. References:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, p. 335.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, pp. 212–214.
2/16/202410 minutes, 57 seconds
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What It Took to Make My Dreams a Reality

Buddhism helps us to build a solid inner life that isn’t swayed by our circumstances. That strength is the key to having the confidence needed to take action toward our dreams. Today’s guest, Christopher Robin Donaldson, of Denver, Colorado, shares how he went from passively waiting for his dreams to becoming a father, professional actor, husband, college graduate and homeowner. References:The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 794Faith Into Action, p. 140The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, pp. 165–66
2/9/202456 minutes, 22 seconds
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A Skeptic's Approach to Buddhism

It’s natural to have doubt. The key, however, is whether we use our questions as fuel to seek out answers. Confidence in the power of Buddhist practices grows with time as you see actual proof of change in your life.Today’s guest, Devesh Kumar, a medical student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shares how he tested Buddhism to see whether her could really make his impossible dreams a reality.References:Jan. 2, 1998, World Tribune, p. 11Hope Is a Decision, p. 5The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition, p. 126The Buddha in Your Mirror, pp. 207–10
2/2/202443 minutes, 9 seconds
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How Living True to Myself Improved My Relationships

Whether we like it or not, we don’t exist in isolation. The interconnection of life means that when we change, our environment changes as well.  Today’s guest, Heidi Hayashi, of Stratford, Conn., shares how finding the courage to live true to herself improved and deepened her family relationships. References:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition p. 270Buddhism Day by Day: Wisdom for Modern Life, p. 315The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol. 4, p. 20Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth & DeathThe Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, revised edition
1/26/202449 minutes, 22 seconds
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Buddhability Short: Caring for Ourselves and Others

Buddhability Shorts are monthly episodes where we break down a Buddhist concept that we’ve touched on in an interview. This month, we’re talking about why Buddhist practice is neither simple altruism nor is it focused solely on ourselves. To ask a question about the basics of Buddhism, you can email us at [email protected]:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 239–241The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 229–230The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 227–229
1/19/202413 minutes, 51 seconds
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Anatomy of a Dream

This week we’re talking about dreams. How do we dream? How do we find purpose in our dreams? And if we have a clear dream, how do we pursue it? We’re speaking with two young Buddhists. One who learned how to open her life up to new possibilities and another who discovered deeper meaning in his dreams. Samantha Collins of St. Paul, Minnesota and Grady Tesch of New York City share how they discovered and followed their dreams. References: Writings of Nichiren Daishonin - 1, p. 835The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, revised edition, pp. 173Discussions on Youth, pp. 76-77The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, revised edition, pp. 112-113Writings of Nichiren Daishonin - 1, p. 279
1/12/202453 minutes, 52 seconds
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Your stories of gratitude

As we head into the final stretch of the year, we bring you the voices of several Buddhability listeners sharing appreciation for someone in their life. References mentioned:The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 1, pp. 66-68
12/22/202314 minutes, 29 seconds
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Breaking free from self-imposed limitations

Believing that we each possess limitless wisdom, courage and compassion—what we call Buddhability—can be a daily battle. Many of us impose limitations on ourselves, believing that we’re not capable of accomplishing our dreams and becoming happy. Today’s guest, Daniel Sun, of Boston, shares how he used Buddhism to overcome his limiting beliefs and become an accomplished Harvard scientist and scholar. We discuss the key role chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and studying Buddhism played in his ability to shift his mindset.Cheat Sheet:7:20 Daniel tries Buddhism to get through graduate school11:05 Dreaming of a research career in the U.S.21:03 What Buddhism says about self-doubt33:56 Fresh confidence to apply for a large grant43:46 How studying maximizes the effects of Buddhist chanting References mentioned:The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 3–4The Light of Learning, pp. 130
12/15/202349 minutes, 56 seconds
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How Sasha Lee learned to view her problems as opportunities

Struggles are an unavoidable part of life. While it may seem counterintuitive to view them as opportunities, Buddhism teaches that we can use each problem in our life as fuel for our happiness. Today we’re discussing how overcoming challenges builds an unshakable and undefeated self.Today’s guest, Sasha Lee, and influencer and TV personality in Hawaii, shares how she started to see that obstacles were opportunities for her growth and the powerful role a friend’s encouragement can play.References mentionedThe Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, Part 1, p. 170
12/8/202342 minutes, 18 seconds
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Listener Episode: Send us your stories on gratitude!

We’re creating a special episode about gratitude with stories from listeners. To submit, send a voice memo of no more than 1 minute to [email protected] sharing a quick story about someone you appreciate. It can be a small interaction with a stranger on the bus to a family member who’s been with you all your life. We want to showcase the variety of ways one person can make an impact. So, there’s no moment to share that is too big or too small. No need to share names in your voice memo—you can submit anonymously. We’ll select a small assortment to share on an upcoming episode, so please submit only if you are comfortable having it shared on the podcast.
12/1/20231 minute, 35 seconds
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SGI President Daisaku Ikeda Passes Away

Today we share the news of Buddhist philosopher and Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda’s passing and the impacts of his life and work.
11/22/20233 minutes, 7 seconds
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How I stopped letting anger and fear control me

Fear and anger can be overpowering. Especially when they’re grounded in past and deeply personal experience. While our fears may feel justified they can also hold us back from accomplishing our goals and living a happy life. Today we’re talking about how to uproot those tendencies in our lives and transform them for our happiness. Today’s guest, Krithi Byadgi, of San Francisco, shares how she used her Buddhist practice to transform her deep anger and fear into the courage and joy needed to strive for a harmonious family and her dream career.References mentionedDiscussions on Youth, p. 410“On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 4
11/17/202339 minutes, 13 seconds
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Honoring My Parents by Fighting for My Dreams

Amid a painful reality that can’t be changed, like a family member’s terminal disease, how can we still create hope? Today we’re discussing how tapping into our Buddhability—the limitless wisdom, courage, and compassion we each possess—can help us transform our attitude, create a beautiful life, and accomplish our dreams amid a difficult reality.Our guest is Jonathan Cheng, of New York City, who shares how he is courageously accomplishing his dreams as a filmmaker to honor his parents and fight for their eternal happiness. Cheat Sheet:7:52 Why Jonathan decided to start chanting10:26 Developing confidence in college and finding your place13:30 Starting your first post-college job25:28 Navigating grief at the height of COVID31:48 Finding meaning in our struggles39:31 Finding courage to fight for your dreamsReferences mentioned:Discussions on Youth, p. 26“Letter to the Brothers,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 499Hope is a Decision, p. 6
11/10/202348 minutes, 43 seconds
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Season Finale: New Beginnings

Today, we have for you the season finale of Buddhability Season 1, and we’re so excited to share some big updates about the show. We’ve just passed the three-year anniversary of launching Buddhability, and with it, a huge milestone, surpassing 1 million podcast downloads, and well over 100 episodes. Thank you for your support and dedication to sharing the show all this time.Alongside this milestone, we’re welcoming a brand-new host who you’ll meet on today’s episode. Cassidy Bradford shares a little of her story and we discuss what we’ve loved about the podcast so far. Thank you for joining us along this journey and we’re looking forward to seeing you again later this fall.
10/12/202328 minutes, 31 seconds
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Announcement: Season Finale

Today, October 2nd, marks the three year anniversary since our launch! We are also celebrating a milestone- hitting 1 million downloads! To commemorate this, we're going to be closing out with an exciting season finale next week. Stay tuned. 
10/3/202350 seconds
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How to deal with the stress of living with chronic pain?

Here's today's question: How can Buddhism help me with this stress caused by chronic physical pain?  How can I be happy living with chronic illness? Buddhism teaches that falling to illness is not a form of failure or defeat. In fact illness can be an inspiration to bring out our best, most resilient selves.References: https://www.worldtribune.org/2021/key-ways-to-view-and-overcome-the-suffering-of-illness/ https://www.worldtribune.org/2022/my-chronic-illness-sometimes-makes-me-feel-hopeless-can-my-buddhist-practice-help/ 
9/23/20237 minutes, 29 seconds
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Do I have to believe in chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for it to work?

Here’s today’s question: Do I have to believe in chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for it to work?This is a question nearly every person who starts to chant has in the back of their mind. Unless spirituality or a chanting-like practice has already been part of your life for a while, it can feel very new and hard to believe in.We want to approach this question from a few angles but first, to answer it directly: no, when you first start chanting, you do not have to believe in it or understand it for it to work. References: https://buddhability.org/practice/dont-know-much-about-buddhism/  https://www.worldtribune.org/2023/buddhism-is-the-clear-mirror-that-reflects-our-lives/ “On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 3
9/15/20237 minutes, 16 seconds
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A Buddhist Take on Setting Boundaries

Here's today's question: How can I set healthy boundaries that honor myself and others? One listener asked: “How can Buddhism help me and my family with setting boundaries? Setting boundaries at work seems easier than with family stuff.” Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo about our situation ensures that we make our decisions based on wisdom, courage and compassion, rather than trends or emotion.References: https://buddhability.org/practice/how-buddhists-set-healthy-boundaries/ https://buddhability.org/practice/supporting-others-doesnt-have-to-come-at-a-personal-cost/ 
9/7/20239 minutes, 25 seconds
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What does Buddhism say about dealing with grief?

Here’s today’s question: What does Buddhism say about dealing with grief? Grief is something we all experience at some point in life.  One listener asked, “I've recently had a few folks die and I am trying to give myself space to have this new emotional experience but also be strong, move forward, help others and be happy. What should I do?”  Another listener wrote in, “What does Buddhism teach about grieving about sudden death and the trauma that comes with it?”   Today we’ll discuss the Buddhist view that life and death are one.References: https://www.worldtribune.org/2020/toward-a-century-of-health-4/ https://buddhability.org/purpose/life-and-death-are-one/ https://www.worldtribune.org/2021/a-revolutionary-view-of-life-and-death/ 
8/25/202310 minutes, 53 seconds
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Can I be angry when I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?

Here’s today's question, ”Can I be angry when I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo?” It’s actually a combination of a few questions we received. One person asked, “Some days I feel powerful and determined. Some days I feel sad and cry. But lately, I've been furious and angry. Is it okay to be furious and angry in front of my Gohonzon?” And another person asked, “Is there a way I can use my anger for good?” So let's talk about anger and chanting.References: https://buddhability.org/practice/what-should-i-think-about-when-im-chanting/ https://buddhability.org/purpose/how-to-transform-your-anger-into-positive-action/  https://www.worldtribune.org/2022/resolving-conflicts-as-buddhists/ 
8/18/20237 minutes, 39 seconds
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Going through a stressful transition at work?

Here’s today’s question, “I’m starting a new job soon and I’m wondering if you could talk a little bit about stressful transitions in life?”  We actually got quite a lot of questions about work stress or challenging professional situations. We’ll answer the question and touch on what Buddhism says about work.
8/9/20239 minutes, 3 seconds
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Dealing with a stressful relationship?

Here’s today’s question: I’m dealing with a really stressful relationship with someone close to me. Do you have any advice on what to do when someone just keeps getting under your skin?Well first of all, who can’t relate to this one? Stress is an inevitable part of daily life, but when it manifests through a person, it tends to bring with it a whole host of other emotions – anger, frustration, blame, hopelessness, and feeling stuck in a cycle.But Buddhism does offer some great perspective on relationships like this. Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda writes, “Our human relationships are like a mirror. So if you’re thinking to yourself, ‘If only so-and-so were a little nicer to me, I could talk to them about anything,’ then that person is probably thinking, ‘If only such-and-such would open up to me, I would be nicer to them.’ ... Therefore, you should make the first move to open the channels of communication.”References: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKeAERp90-o&embeds_referring_euri=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.worldtribune.org%2F&feature=emb_imp_woyt https://www.worldtribune.org/2023/buddhism-is-the-clear-mirror-that-reflects-our-lives/  https://buddhability.org/purpose/10-ways-to-improve-our-relationships-in-2022/ 
7/26/20238 minutes, 25 seconds
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A New Summer Series! Send us your questions

Today we have two exciting announcements. First, we’re launching a new 7-day series called “Change Your Relationship with Stress.” From July 24 to August 1, you'll receive inspiration in your inbox each day about how to transform stress in nearly every area of your life from relationship stress and financial stress to work and family stress. Visit us at Buddhability.org and sign up for our email newsletter to be a part of it. Our second announcement: We’re launching a new summer podcast series, where we’ll answer your questions about Buddhism and life in mini podcast episodes. If you'd like to ask a question, just email us at [email protected], or message us on Instagram. Feel free to send us a voice memo too! We might anonymously include it on the show. We'll kick off the series with this question, which inspired the stress series too: How can Buddhism help me deal with stressful relationships?
7/18/20231 minute, 49 seconds
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Tips & Insights: 4 Ways to Look at Suffering

“Tips & Insights” is an episode series in which we introduce one Buddhist concept each month and share how it can be applied to your life!Today’s episode is about suffering, an inescapable fact of life for all living beings, but one that Buddhism offers a refreshing and concrete perspective on.References: https://www.daisakuikeda.org/main/philos/essays-on-buddhism/buddhist-view-of-life-and-death.html https://www.worldtribune.org/2023/faith-is-the-compass-for-victory-in-life/ https://www.worldtribune.org/2021/chanting-in-both-suffering-and-joy/ 
7/7/20239 minutes, 23 seconds
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Love wins, A Buddhist lawyer and the fight for marriage equality [June 2021]

This week we're airing a rerun of one of our most popular episodes from June, 2021 with lawyer Dan Foley. 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.
6/27/202347 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to find the wisdom to move forward

Today, we’re talking about how Buddhism can help you find the wisdom to overcome anything in life. In particular, the challenges that sometimes come with love and relationships. Our guest is Bryant Ríos-Niño, of Connecticut. He shares his parallel journeys of developing his Buddhist practice and learning what love, relationships and supporting your family truly takes. 
6/14/202346 minutes, 41 seconds
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How to tap into the potential you always knew you had

oday we are talking about how to tap into your potential, even when you can’t see it and even when your circumstances make you feel incapable.Our guest is Lance Powell, of Georgia, who shares how he encountered Buddhism at a time when hope for the future was hard to find, and how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo allowed him to finally tap into the potential he knew he had, but had never quite been able to access before.
6/8/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 27 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Winning in the morning

“Tips & Insights” is a miniseries in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life.Today’s is: Winning in the morning.
5/23/20238 minutes, 37 seconds
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How I Stopped Letting Anger Control My Life

Today, we’re talking about what winning over yourself really takes: an honest look at what is causing you to suffer and the courage to transform it deep within. Our guest is Jamie Bautista from Davis, California, who shares her journey using her Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to battle her own anger, which manifested at a young age. In the process, she discovered a beautiful person within.
5/12/202351 minutes, 43 seconds
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How I changed the one thing that was holding me back

Today we’re talking about what inner transformation or human revolution looks like through a consistent practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Our guest is Judy Juanita from Oakland, California. A writer and lecturer, she shares her incredible journey of many decades practicing Buddhism and how it helped her find the courage to change the things that held her back. SHOW NOTES: 1:33 Judy discovers Buddhism 9:05 Identifying the thing that was holding her back 20:56 Transforming a part of behavior she didn’t like25:50 Her writing career opens up 37:51 Moving to Oakland to support her family 43:13 Her Buddhist practice gets deeper and deeper over decades
5/3/202352 minutes, 27 seconds
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How my daily ups and downs led to overall growth

Today, we’re talking about what it really takes to build a foundation for your life. It’s a theme we’ve explored before on the show but one that looks different for all of us. Our guest is George Wong, of San Francisco, California, who shares how his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has allowed him to turn his difficulties with school and self-worth into a career creating value from every experience.SHOW NOTES: 2:44 Getting rejected from college inspires George to start practicing Buddhism10:44 Previous setback turns into a great breakthrough16:55 Struggling with impostor syndrome 25:48 Importance of never giving up, even if you’re not sure where you’re headed 32:13 Seeing long-term growth despite daily ups and downs35:43 Each experience has deep meaning 
4/20/202345 minutes, 51 seconds
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Announcement: Buddhability Beginner Course

The teachings of Buddhism are vast and profound, that's why Buddhist study is a crucial part of deepening our practice. We're excited to announce our first ever Buddhability Beginner Email Course.  So if you're new or just need a little refresher, you can go to https://buddhability.org/practice/emailcourse/ to sign up for seven short lessons, which will be delivered to your inbox over the course of four weeks. 
4/11/20231 minute, 49 seconds
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What it really takes to face your reality

Today, we're talking about what it really takes to face your reality, especially when that requires taking a hard look at yourself. Our guest is Miho Saito, of Long Beach, California who shares the ups and downs of a journey in which she continually left home in search of herself in an effort to avoid things that felt too difficult to face.Eventually, through her Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Miho found the courage to come home to herself.SHOW NOTES: 1:37 How Miho started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo7:10 Miho lives on the road, looking to find herself18:15 Decides to move back home29:10 Miho finds her passion 38:19 Finding the courage to face her problems and deeply respect her life. 50:16 The biggest benefit of practicing Buddhism is the intangible stuff 
4/3/202354 minutes, 5 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Buddhism and the real world

“Tips & Insights” is a miniseries in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life.Today’s is: Buddhism and the real world.References: “The Kalpa of Decrease,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1121 The Power to Win Each Day The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, p. 88 My Dear Friends in America, third edition, p. 83 Discussions on Youth, p. 71
3/24/20239 minutes, 17 seconds
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I overcame my biggest setback, now anything is possible

Today, we're talking about how Buddhism sees obstacles in particular, those big challenges, life throws your way when you're least expecting it. Our guest is Brian Lindgren of Virginia who shares about how his buddhist practice helped him challenge his circumstances with fresh energy, helped him find a life in music and understand the deeper meaning of his problems. SHOW NOTES: 1:30 How Brian encountered Buddhism 10:40 Trying to create a life as a musician in New York and facing financial setbacks20:00 Re-imagining his dream and going back to school. 30:30 The bike accident that changes everything. 40:40 In recovery, Brian brings out his grit and determination like never before. 58:50 Getting into his PhD program and solidifying a life in music. 1:03:25 Now that he overcame his biggest setback, he fells like anything is possible. 
3/17/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 39 seconds
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How I Learned to Never Give Up on Myself

Our guest is James, of New York, who shares how a consistent practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helps him navigate some of the toughest moments of his life from dealing with addiction to finding his place and purpose. Note: Buddhism does not contradict medical science. If anything, for Buddhists, seeking out professional advice and support is an important step toward caring for ourselves. If you or a friend is struggling with addiction, please seek out professional help. SHOW NOTES: 3:11- James discovers Buddhism one day while working at a thrift shop. 5:00- Changes he notices after chanting. 11:11- Not showing up for others and himself the way he wanted to. 15:50- Telling friends about his challenges and finding ways to be accountable 19:17- Moving back home to upstate New York. 23:42- How Buddhism changed his family. 27:56- Realizing that coming back home was the best move he could have made. 31:06- How Buddhism taught him to never give up. 37:03- Advice to anyone that wants to try chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. 
3/9/202339 minutes, 47 seconds
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Living Based on My Inherent Worth vs. People’s Opinions 

Today we are talking about one of the most difficult but universal tendencies we experience—people-pleasing. Our guest is Megan Weinstein, of Chicago, who shares about her journey practicing Buddhism and how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her identify and tackle the feelings that, for too long, led her to live her life based on other people’s opinions. For anyone who has ever felt like they are supposed to show up in a certain way, rather than as your true precious self, this episode is for you.SHOW NOTES3:43 Megan’s first breakthrough from practicing Buddhism 8:36 The need to please everyone in her environment 19:31 A Buddhist friend gives Megan advice21:42 Rooting out the need for validation through chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 32:46 Caring for others while caring for herself 35:00 Everything starts to change 46:53 Advice for those just starting to give Buddhism a try 
3/1/202348 minutes, 59 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Bodhisattvas of the Earth

“Tips & Insights” is a miniseries in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life.Today’s is: Bodhisattvas of the Earth.References: Nichiren Buddhist Library: Bodhisattva The Bodhisattva Opens the Way to Happiness for All The Mission and Practice of the Bodhisattvas of the Earth Illuminate the World With the Sun of Your Youthful Vow
2/21/20239 minutes, 24 seconds
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How I Found (and then Re-Found) the One

Today we are talking about relationships—especially the long and complicated kind, the ones that provide us with the greatest lessons about life and love. Our guest is Mónica Lladó-Ortega, of Puerto Rico, who shares the most beautiful story of her relationship with her husband, which endured a significant breakup right in the beginning. But most encouraging of all is the story of her relationship with herself and how Buddhism helped her see her own worth.CHEAT SHEET4:29 How Mónica encountered Buddhism15:35 An unexpected reunion20:42 How a daily Buddhist practice leads to inner transformation36:31 Entering a relationship leading with self-worth50:52 Advice on being in love, finding love or experiencing a breakupReferencesThe Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, Part 1
2/14/20231 hour, 1 minute, 59 seconds
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Changing My Relationship With My Parents

Today, we’re talking about how to orient our lives onto a happy, healthy path, no matter what kind of circumstances we begin with.Our guest is Melanie Santiago, of Denver, who shares how she encountered Buddhism at the young age of 13 when she was going through a tumultuous time and how learning to apply Buddhist philosophy to her life helped her shift her life state from one of suffering and victimhood to one of agency and happiness.Trigger Warning: This episode mentions attempted suicide.CHEAT SHEET5:30 Why Melanie started practicing Buddhism 22:30 How Melanie shifted the relationship with her mom 24:50 Caring for others help us to care for ourselves 28:27 Having the courage to establish a relationship with her dad 35:16 Meeting her dad41:40 Where we start from doesn’t determine how far we can goReference: What can I do to improve my complicated relationship with my parentsWhat can I do to improve my complicated relationship with my parents?
2/10/202347 minutes, 7 seconds
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Winning with friends vs. Winning alone

Today we're talking about what it takes to pursue a dream that forces you to battle your own ego or hopelessness. Key takeaway: Practice for self and others is the key to breaking through our own limitations. Our guest is model, Masamichi Nyunoya, of New York, who shares the story of how his parents helped him start his Buddhist practice at a crucial crossroads in his life and how he has turned to that practice again and again on his journey toward the career of his dreams. CHEAT SHEET1:52 How Masa started practicing Buddhism10:40 Where his dream of becoming a model came from14:57 The year that changed his life20:34 What brought him to New York City to pursue his dreams27:12 How Buddhist study changed his practice31:58 Learning to care for others 35:59 His favorite Buddhist quote about art38:09 Advice for anyone striving to pursue a big dreamReferences mentioned: “To the Next Generation of Artists” by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter Discussions on Youth, pp. 29-30
1/31/202343 minutes, 9 seconds
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Mastering your daily rhythm

Today we’re unpacking the question: what does it mean to win every day when sometimes things take time to resolve? Our guest is Yoko Ambulo, of Chicago, who shares her journey learning Buddhist lessons about what happiness actually is, what a winning daily rhythm looks like, and why it's so important to create an arena in which you give yourself a chance to win.CHEAT SHEAT1:11 Why Yoko started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo4:47 The law of cause and effect7:30 What a winning daily rhythm looks like in Buddhist practice11:36 How Yoko learned that happiness comes from within15:10 A step-by-step approach to creating value from unhappiness21:45 What winning means28:14 One of Yoko’s favorite Buddhist quotes29:35 How Yoko found her purpose32:33 Her goals for 202338:08 Advice on how to get the most out of this yearReferences Kosen-Rufu: Our Mission, p. 241 The New Human Revolution, vol. 16, pp. 201–02 The New Human Revolution, vol. 25, pp. 73–74
1/20/202341 minutes, 43 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Approaching the new year one day at a time

“Tips & Insights” is a miniseries in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life.Today’s is: winning in the present.References: True Cause: The Spirit of Always Moving Forward From the Present Moment 4 Points to Master Time The Power to Win Each Day
1/12/20238 minutes, 2 seconds
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Healing family rifts when you don’t share beliefs [October 2021]

Today we’re talking about family and what to do if you just can’t reconcile differences with them.Our guests are sisters Lauren and Molly Leebove from Michigan, whose intertwined stories of beginning their Buddhist practice and transforming their relationship with their parents are rich with lessons on what Buddhability looks like in a family setting.CHEAT SHEET1:22 Quote from Daisaku Ikeda in The New Human Revolution, vol. 26 p. 203–4.2:04 Introduction to Molly and Lauren2:54 How Molly started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism5:45 What Lauren’s reaction was to her sister’s practice and why she started her own7:37 What it was like growing up eight years apart12:08 Lauren’s struggle with her mental health in college17:28 How they both ended up back home in Michigan19:37 How Molly decided to challenge her struggle with being home21:44 The Buddhist concept “transforming karma into mission”24:12 How Lauren’s life changed when she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo26:43 Why caring for others can be so healing30:42 What it takes to set aside political or social differences39:31 How Lauren transformed rejection into shared love44:56 How starting fresh in every moment can change relationship dynamics51:58 What uniting for family harmony looks like56:31 How Buddhism changed my sister61:06 Advice for anyone struggling with a family rift
12/22/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 30 seconds
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Transforming my family through my own agency

Today we're addressing how Buddhism can help us tackle family dynamics. Our guest is Brian Angulo, of New York, who shares how, in just a few years, his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo enabled him to transform a family dynamic that seemed impossible to change. Based on finding his own agency, courage and wisdom, he learned to lead with his heart and take responsibility for strengthening bonds in a way that was true to him.CHEAT SHEET1:18 How Brian starting chanting Nam-myoho-rengekyo6:22 What changed after he began his practice7:31 The family dynamic he wanted to change11:56 How he started approaching change17:53 The transformation of his own behavior23:28 What he specifically chanted about33:19 The power of the present moment40:45 How he experiences family now47:32 Advice for anyone who wants to transform a family relationshipReferences:The Ultimate Key to Victory in Life is Accumulating the Treasures of the Heart
12/16/202251 minutes, 49 seconds
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Navigating Career Setbacks

Today we’re talking about navigating job challenges, an aspect of life that be universal difficult, whether you are facing job loss, trying to find a job, navigating a tough industry or having a hard time believing in yourself at work. Our guest is Mehul Anand, of Georgia, who shares the ups and downs of her career in tech, and the profound lessons her Buddhist practice helped her learn along the way.CHEAT SHEET2:39 Why Mehul started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo6:24 An overview of her career trajectory, which didn’t go as planned10:55 How she learned to use her Buddhist practice to navigate finding work15:54 What protection means in Buddhism21:52 The inner transformation she experienced through a long period of unemployment28:29 Practical action to take when facing a difficult situation33:50 Mehul’s turning point38:13 What mission means in Buddhism41:34 Mehul’s favorite Buddhist quotes48:57 Advice for anyone who is currently facing a job-related struggleReferences: “Letter to the Brothers,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 502 “On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 17 How to Make Things Work
12/8/202252 minutes, 16 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Human Revolution

“Tips & Insights” is a miniseries in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life.Today’s is: human revolution.References: Human Revolution What Does Human Revolution Look Like? Can my human revolution really change the world? How can I be sure that I’m progressing in my human revolution? The Wisdom of Buddhist Humanism
11/30/202211 minutes, 13 seconds
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How To Do It All, With Dr. Gitima Sharma

Today we’re talking about how to do it all when you have a full plate. Whether you are an overwhelmed parent or caregiver aspiring to build a career you love, or lacking the support you wish you had to care for yourself and everything else in your life, doing it all can be tough. And amid the chaos, we tend to be hardest on ourselves.Dr. Gitima Sharma, of California State University, talks us through how she approaches this subject as a counselor educator, and also as a Buddhist practitioner and working mom with two young children. CHEAT SHEET1:34 How Gitima started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo13:11 Her own experience with “doing it all”19:22 The challenges of self-doubt, self-comparison and perfectionism28:04 What having a sense of purpose means in Buddhism32:02 What research says about having a sense of purpose45:46 How to increase your sense of purpose53:31 A favorite Buddhist quote about time and enlightenment56:27 Advice for anyone who is struggling to do it allReferences: The Time Is Now! Let’s Create a Whirlwind of Dialogue! Live Life to the Fullest With Clear Purpose
11/16/20221 hour, 18 seconds
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On Buddhism and Appreciation

Today we're talking about appreciation, which is central to Buddhism in so many ways and yet, easier to talk about than truly practice, especially when it comes to the tougher circumstances in our lives. Our guest is Doris Edwards, of Philadelphia, who has been chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for many years. We discuss the Buddhist perspective on appreciation and her own journey toward it.CHEAT SHEET2:18 How Doris encountered Nam-myoho-renge-kyo6:16 What shifted within her when she started chanting11:14 Why appreciation is so important in Buddhism14:36 Having appreciation when you’re struggling19:35 What it means to pursue true happiness23:08 The turning point in her own journey toward appreciation29:19 Why Doris treasures human revolution35:47 A few favorite Buddhist quotes40:54 Advice for anyone new to BuddhismReferences: Appreciation Enriches Our Lives “The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life”—Humanity is Awaiting Your Growth The Gohonzon, Explained
11/10/202242 minutes, 54 seconds
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Overcoming the need for approval

Today we're talking about how to stop seeking the approval of other people, which, on the one hand, is a normal human desire, and on the other, can cause us the deepest suffering when we don't receive it. It can be especially worse when the approval or praise we seek is from our loved ones. Our guest is Dave Drake, who practices Buddhism in New York City, and shares his journey with this very struggle, both in his personal life and as a musician, The episode is filled with practical insights about how to apply the practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to transform the desire for approval into of a life state of humility, appreciation, forward momentum and true confidence. CHEAT SHEET1:20 How Dave encountered Buddhism and decided to try chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo3:23 The feeling that made him want to continue7:26 The struggle of constantly seeking approval from others12:35 How he approached chanting about this pattern in his life19:42 The Buddhist quotes he loves22:28 How his relationship with his father changed31:06 What applying Buddhist philosophy to daily life looks like40:35 Advice for anyone feeling stuck in a situation where they don’t feel seenReferences mentioned: Learning From Nichiren’s Writings: The Teachings for Victory, vol. 4, p. 28 Lecture: Everything Begins With Prayer Infused With the Shared Vow of Mentor and Disciple Discussions on Youth, p. 8
11/3/202244 minutes, 34 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Earthly Desires are Enlightenment

“Tips & Insights” is a miniseries in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life.Today’s is: earthly desires are enlightenment.References: The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part one, revised edition, pp. 170–71 My Dear Friends in America, p. 92
10/27/20226 minutes, 30 seconds
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How I Found My Purpose: Nuclear Abolition Edition

Today we're talking about unlocking our own agency when it comes to peace-building efforts and protecting our planet. Our guest is Emma Pike, of Boston, who is an activist in the field of nuclear abolition, an issue that is key to SGI Nichiren Buddhists because nuclear war represents the exact opposite of what Buddhism strives to protect: the dignity of all life. Emma shares her own inspiring journey of unlocking the courage to pursue work in this field, which began from her practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The lessons she shares are applicable to any fight you might be currently engaged in, whether it's personal or global.CHEAT SHEET2:10 Why Emma started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo7:42: How she came to pursue a career path in nuclear abolition17:14 A brief primer on the issues27:03 How she found her place as an activist33:54 A pivotal turning point in her own confidence and hope50:23 Buddhism and nuclear abolition54:57 Advice for anyone who wants to unlock their agency when it comes to big global issuesReferences Choose Hope  Nuclear Disarmament Proposal (2009) Nothing is More Precious than Life
10/20/20221 hour, 5 seconds
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Tips on starting your Buddhist practice … and why we chant for the impossible

Today’s episode is for beginners, though the takeaways are refreshing and valuable for even seasoned chanters. Our guest is Crystal Fraser, of Colorado, who shares some basics about SGI Nichiren Buddhism and its core practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, as well as her own journey with it. We then dig into a popular question: What should we chant about and why do people talk so much about turning the impossible into possible?CHEAT SHEET0:49 How Crystal encountered Buddhism and why she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo7:35 The basic philosophy and practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism13:09 What changed when Crystal started chanting27:21 Why we chant about things that feel impossible46:35 The concept of human revolution48:49 Advice for anyone new to BuddhismReferences: What is Human Revolution? Sign up for 10 Days to Get Unstuck 
10/12/202252 minutes, 39 seconds
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Reflections on Music, Tina Turner and Overcoming Obstacles

Today we’re speaking with Yuri Yamashita, of New York, about her career as a percussionist and how her Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her beat the odds and her own self-doubt to pave her own path in the industry. She was most recently the percussionist for the Tina Turner musical on Broadway, a remarkable coincidence because during moments of her own personal struggles, Tina Turner’s story and Buddhist practice was a great source of inspiration for Yuri.CHEAT SHEET1:08 How Yuri started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo4:32 What brought her to New York12:03 How chanting impacted her daily life 16:16 The challenges of being a freelance musician22:05 Why Tina Turner’s story inspired her so much32:11 Yuri’s favorite Buddhist concepts39:12 Advice for young musicians or freelancersReferences Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good, p. 107
10/6/202243 minutes, 15 seconds
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Caring for People vs. The Idea of People

Today we’re talking about effective activism and how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can allow us to tap into the internal resources we need to truly help other people. Our guest is Alex Boling, of Los Angeles, who honestly shares the insights he has gained by applying his Buddhist practice to his experiences as an activist and volunteer. Key takeaway: Sometimes we have to do the internal work to be able to truly care for the people in front of us, rather than just the idea of caring for people. CHEAT SHEET1:42 How Alex was inspired to start chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo9:42 The immediate impact he saw in his life11:18 The shift he experienced in his relationship with his father18:00 The formula he learned to apply to all future challenges21:06 How his Buddhist practice began to change his attitude toward volunteering32:58 The difference between caring for people vs. the idea of people37:44 Why Alex shares Buddhism41:54 How his family and friends saw him change47:32 The concept of the Ten Worlds52:28 Learning to hear other people58:53 Advice for anyone who is struggling in their efforts to effect positive changeReferences: One by One: The World is Yours to Change, p. 60
9/28/20221 hour, 1 minute, 46 seconds
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Tips and Insights: The Oneness of Life and its Environment

“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: the oneness of life and its environment.References: Winning Over Ourselves Brings Victory in All Other Realms Video: Oneness of Life and Environment Explained
9/21/20229 minutes, 11 seconds
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Survival vs. Happiness

Today we’re talking about what it takes to believe that you can be happy, even when you’re facing the most difficult circumstances. Our guest is Christina Moran, of El Paso, Texas, who shares her own journey of pursuing happiness after experiencing a series of very challenging events that made her feel like she had hit rock bottom. CHEAT SHEET2:29 How Christina encountered Buddhism7:30 The grief and postpartum depression she was experiencing at the time10:13 The Buddhist book that turned things around for her14:38 What changed in her first month of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo17:02 Her initial goals for herself22:35 Survival vs. Happiness29:48 What it took to reconnect to happiness39:54 The role of the Buddhist community41:46 Her favorite Buddhist quotes43:51 Advice for anyone who feels like happiness isn’t an option for themReferences mentioned:  Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death  “The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 149 “To My Friends,” from the June 23, 2020, Seikyo Shimbun
9/14/202247 minutes, 17 seconds
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What wellness really means

Today we're talking about what wellness really means from a Buddhist perspective. Our guest is Erica Stein, L.A.-based co-host of the podcast Courageous Wellness, and Buddhist practitioner. We cover everything from the powerful experiences that led to Erica beginning her own practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, to what she’s learned about wellness through producing her podcast.CHEAT SHEET1:55 How Erica started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo3:01 The family struggles that taught her the value of Buddhism9:16 Erica’s own struggle with weight that led to a wellness journey20:03 What it means to treasure your life22:11 Overcoming body dysmorphia 27:22 The power of community30:07 How to learn how to take care of yourself33:08 Helping others is self-care34:02 How her wellness journey inspires her work42:07 Connections between wellness and Buddhism45:03 Turning poison into medicine50:22 Advice for anyone who is struggling with their wellness journeyReferences Changing Poison into Medicine Discussions on Youth, p. 16
9/7/202252 minutes, 51 seconds
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How I Beat the Odds: Doctor Edition

Today we're talking with Bobby Eppsteiner, a surgeon in Massachusetts, who shares the story of how he used his Buddhist practice to beat the odds and become a doctor, even when he was told he wouldn't make it. Key takeaway: Never give up.CHEAT SHEET1:31 How Bobby started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo2:15 What inspired his dream of going into medicine3:53 The challenges he faced getting into medical school8:44 How he used his Buddhist practice to counter being discouraged 11:15 The day-to-day life of a surgeon17:48 How he developed the strength to deal with high-stress situations27:10 The role of the Buddhist community in his victory31:07 Bobby’s favorite Buddhist quote33:50 Advice for anyone who feels they are pursuing something impossible References: “General Stone Tiger,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 953 The Never-Give-Up Queen
8/31/202236 minutes, 53 seconds
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Tips and Insights: The Oneness of Body and Mind

“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: the oneness of body and mind.References: We Are Connected to Everyone, Everything Our Resolve is Everything Is the Mind-Body Connection Real? Mindfulness and Buddhism
8/24/202210 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to bring main character energy to your life

Today we're talking about what it takes to live your life as the main character or protagonist. Our guest is Nadia Ullah Morin, of Texas, who shares her journey practicing Buddhism after an unexpected series of events took her off the life path she had envisioned for herself. Through consistently chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, she found the courage to create a new path for herself.CHEAT SHEET1:10 How Nadia encountered Buddhism3:50 Why it felt hard for her to continue practicing12:26 How becoming a young mom impacted her life and self-worth14:12 What drove her to begin chanting consistently20:28 The role the Buddhist community played in her life24:08 The turning point that transformed her marriage37:00 How she came to love her life39:54 Living life as the main character45:27 Her favorite Buddhist concept49:52 Why community is so important52:41 Advice for anyone who feels like they’ve lost their wayReferences Daisaku Ikeda Mindfulness and Buddhism
8/17/202257 minutes, 28 seconds
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Anxiety, Self-Trust and Psychology

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 SHEET1:27 How Elizabeth started practicing Buddhism5:23 Context about her professional background as a psychologist8:34 The most common mental health challenges she sees young adults struggle with today11:22 Natural questions during different developmental stages14:21 When you think something is wrong with you21:16 Connections between Buddhism and psychology on our potential for change27:58 What anxiety is and why we experience it32:47 Overcoming anxiety38:52 Why the core elements of Buddhist practice are effective44:16 Chanting vs. mindfulness47:00 The biggest change she’s experienced through chanting54:49 The value of having a community1:00 A favorite Buddhist quote1:03:20 The difference between human revolution and self-improvement1:08:01 Advice for anyone who is struggling with anxietyReferences Discussions on Youth, p. 5 “Letter to Niike,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1027
8/10/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 6 seconds
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Coasting vs. Winning: Dream Job Edition

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 SHEET1:07 Introduction to Shawn1:39 When and how he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo5:24 The circumstances that led him back to his childhood dream 9:11 How he began to build his channel11:16 What the internal battle felt like as he balanced three jobs12:44 How he developed a habit of winning15:18 An unexpected opportunity19:38 The impact of striving to encourage other people25:27 His favorite Buddhist quote30:48 The biggest internal change he experienced32:34 Advice for anyone who feels like they are coasting or unhappy with their circumstancesReferences “The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 1000–01 Discussions on Youth, p. 22
8/3/202236 minutes, 26 seconds
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On Boundaries and True Self-Care [May 2021]

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 SHEET1:28 Jessica's journey to become a military psychologist6:31 Why she turned to chanting15:08 What the daily workload felt like25:36 Two Buddhist concepts that shifted her perspective27:45 How she found time to chant31:12 What she realized about herself41:36 What happened after she decided to prioritize self-care and boundaries41:15 What believing in yourself looks like in practice50:22 Advice for anyone struggling with self-worth or burnout
7/27/202252 minutes, 48 seconds
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What you do isn’t who you are [November 2021]

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 SHEET1:46 How Luca started practicing Buddhism6:03 How chanting helped him transform a lifelong health challenge13:27 How he decided to pursue acting in New York21:05 What Buddhism taught him about dealing with the ups and downs of the business30:25 Why he believes in having a Buddhist mentor36:02 How he developed a foundation for his life through community42:41 What caring for other people has to do with our own growth51:27 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism who wants to feel fulfilled Mentioned references:A Buddhability Guide to Self-Love
7/20/202256 minutes, 26 seconds
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How to get unstuck from a monotonous daily life [August 2021]

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 Sheet1:04 Introduction to Clara3:27 How she got stuck in a “treadmill type existence”6:04 What her dreams had been before she got stuck7:44 When and why she started practicing Buddhism11:36 How to become free from the chains of your own mind17:45 How she found her place in the workforce after school33:39 How she dealt with her pain along the journey35:36 What Buddhism says about opening the door to your life42:18 What a creative life really means44:49 How to deal with the opinions of others49:55 Advice for anyone feeling afraid to open the door to their own life
7/13/202253 minutes, 52 seconds
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How to make progress, even when you can’t see eye to eye [November 2020]

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 Sheet1:50 What we’re trying to understand today4:02 Introduction to Abe5:02 How chanting helped him feel like he had control over his life again10:54 His experiences working with the prison system16:20 How chanting helped him figure out what to do17:20 What a tenacious effort to build trust helped him achieve25:10 Why he didn’t give up28:32 How to maintain hope even when you see the darkest parts of humanity32:33 What the end goal in Buddhism is35:46 Advice to anyone feeling stuck or overwhelmed by uncertainty38:02 What “happiness for self and others” means45:39 What else to read on Buddhability about feeling stuck and making change
7/6/202246 minutes, 17 seconds
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Tips & Insights: Yes, you can change your karma

“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
6/29/20227 minutes, 35 seconds
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Learning to Live My Truth, A Coming Out Story

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 SHEET1:18 How Chris encountered Buddhism and why he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo8:29 The experiences that lead to Chris affirming himself17:53 How Buddhism helped him find the courage to pursue happiness25:14 What it was like to come out 30:10 What it took to break out of lifelong limitations 33:16 Continually reaffirming himself through chanting36:17 Chris’s favorite Buddhist concept42:17 Building a foundation upon valuing your life45:05 Advice for anyone struggling with self-conflictReferences:  December 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 40 Soka Education: For the Happiness of the Individual, pp. 209-10
6/23/202249 minutes, 34 seconds
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Overcoming pessimism through action

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 SHEET1:47 Why Stewart started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo6:17 How he discovered his dream to become a firefighter9:56 What it took to challenge his fear 16:52 What faith means in Buddhism23:32 How chanting helped him take initiative32:05 Addressing mistakes without hesitation36:33 The role of Buddhist friends 40:28 The Buddhist perspective on optimism45:53 Advice for anyone who struggles with pessimism
6/15/202249 minutes, 41 seconds
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Self-Doubt vs. Self-Trust

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 SHEET1:18 Why Anivat started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo5:17 Having a dialogue with yourself9:11 His experiences with bullying and coming out21:03 The challenges he faced in Hawaii30:05 What it means to take full responsibility for your life35:26 How chanting helped him through the hard days45:39 Advice for anyone new to chantingReferences: Discussions on Youth, p. 9 Discussions on Youth, p. 291
6/8/202249 minutes, 22 seconds
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Tips & Insights: What you feel isn’t who you are

"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 Lives What do I do about the parts of myself I don’t like?
6/1/20229 minutes, 23 seconds
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Overcoming Limiting Beliefs

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 SHEET1:29 Why Rachel began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo3:09 Where her dream to provide dental care came from5:28 The difference she felt once she started chanting9:20 What her work is now11:43 Her greatest challenge along the way16:13 Key turning points in challenging her limiting beliefs24:19 What it looks like to strengthen your determination daily30:10 The impact of learning to enjoy the journey35:02 How she decided to tackle school again41:02 How she uprooted her “tree of self-doubt”43:53 Advice for anyone struggling with limiting beliefs or self-doubtReferences 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. Sign up for our newsletter (and this week’s life hacks) here. 
5/25/202247 minutes, 33 seconds
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Conviction vs. Control: How to become an unshakable leader

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 SHEET1:50 Why Brittany started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo 8:58 How she became interested in education13:01 Her journey to become an elementary school principal29:28 Finding the courage to stay the course34:17 How her Buddhist practice helps her identify her priorities37:54 Supporting the Buddhability of children39:19 The importance of winning in the morning45:44 How Brittany learned to let go of the need for control50:00 The impact of chanting on becoming unshakable53:05 Brittany’s favorite Buddhist quote55:09 How she defines her Buddhability57:13 Her vision for what’s next59:40 Advice for anyone new to BuddhismReferences 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
5/18/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 1 second
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Buddhism is a team sport

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 SHEET1:23 Why Shota started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo4:05 Letting go of his ice hockey career10:02 What shifted once he began chanting about his situation15:25 How he discovered a new career path20:53 What it means to win where you are by transforming your life condition24:17 Thinking about Buddhism as a sport25:21 The power of having a community or team29:06 What daily effort in Buddhist practice looks like33:06 The Buddhist quote that kept Shota going 40:57 How Shota defines his own Buddhability43:41 Advice to anyone who feels stuck about their futureReferences: The New Human Revolution, vol. 24, p. 117. Hope is Life’s Treasure
5/10/202246 minutes, 38 seconds
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Finding my own path in relationships

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 SHEET1:40 How Briana started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo7:06 How a setback after college helped her find a new path11:19 Getting connected to the Buddhist community in Seattle20:20 Briana’s journey of exploring her sexuality and identity27:53 What happened when she started chanting to find a partner31:44 Coming to terms with a big realization40:21 What it took to challenge her own insecurities44:06 How she’s chanting about the future47:45 Her favorite Buddhist quote50:37 Advice for anyone new to BuddhismReferences 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.
4/26/202253 minutes, 54 seconds
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How I stopped letting my environment control me

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 SHEET1:24 Nile’s early experiences with chanting Nam-myoho-reng-kyo15:51 The turning point he experienced in 201825:28 How he came to redefine happiness for himself30:51 The impact of making chanting a priority37:08 How he transformed early experiences with bullying and racism into a sense of purpose44:08 Becoming a better person by overcoming struggles49:04 Nile’s favorite Buddhist quotes about revolution52:29 Advice for anyone new to BuddhismReferences: Video: Oneness of Life and Environment Explained  The New Human Revolution, vol. 2, p. 39 The 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.
4/19/202254 minutes, 53 seconds
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Finding the courage to change my life

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 SHEET1:35 How Harvey encountered Buddhism4:45 What their initial experience of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo was like7:10 The struggles they were facing at the time12:58 Initial steps they took to begin their practice15:58 The difference they saw through chanting22:30 A Buddhist concept that stuck with them25:39 Their experience with the Buddhist community27:55 How chanting is helping them navigate mental health challenges34:21 Their goals for the future36:58 Advice for anyone who is new to chantingReferences: Discussions on Youth, p. x Learning From the Writings: The Hope-filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 107
4/13/202239 minutes, 38 seconds
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Finding my purpose as a journalist

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 SHEET1:04 How Melissa started practicing Buddhism6:46 Why she wanted to pursue journalism9:05 Her first steps on her career path15:03 The tension between survival and purpose18:08 The challenges she faced in graduate school22:35 How chanting helped her succeed in her investigative work25:54 Overcoming social anxiety and imposter syndrome32:40 Melissa’s favorite Buddhist quote37:35 How her growing sense of purpose allowed her to open a new career path45:48 What she does now49:05 The role that the Buddhist community played in her journey51:20 What true confidence is53:10 Advice for anyone navigating their careerReferences: The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, volume 6, p. 244 Discussions on Youth, p. 73
3/29/202256 minutes, 24 seconds
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Buddhism and the startup journey

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 SHEET1:10 How Tushar started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo3:11 The perspective on world peace that intrigued him5:07 Why he came to the U.S. to pursue his dreams of working in tech8:04 How he decided to start a company12:33 How his Buddhist practice helped him manifest courage15:55 The key turning points in his journey as an entrepreneur 18:56 How he learned not to be swayed22:44 Mastering the art of dialogue28:27 How he battled his own arrogance33:12 Applying the Buddhist concept “many in body, one in mind” to work38:46 Nine takeaways on the abilities entrepreneurs need40:13 The importance of staying true to himself43:58 How he thinks about peace now46:56 Advice for anyone on a journey to create somethingReferences Discussions on Youth, pp. 101–102
3/22/202249 minutes, 8 seconds
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How a young female pilot found the courage to fly

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 SHEET0:47 How Mardi starting practicing Buddhism6:45 Discovering her dream to become a pilot14:25 How chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her navigate fear18:26 What it took for her to bring her authentic self to a male-dominated industry21:22 How she dealt with discrimination28:04 The Buddhist concept that helped her persevere30:44 The ups and downs that almost made her give up38:17 How lifting up others helped her keep going40:19 Her vision for the future of aviation41:46 Advice for anyone struggling to pursue their dreamReferences: Discussions on Youth, p. 105
3/16/202244 minutes, 59 seconds
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Moving on after experiencing loss

Today we’re talking how to move on after experiencing loss. Our guest is Hannah Jones, of Ohio, who shares how she encountered SGI Nichiren Buddhism while in high school, and how it helped her navigate the loss of her best friend—her older brother—and ultimately find her way back to her dreams.CHEAT SHEET1:03 How Hannah started practicing Buddhism as a teenager5:05 Her first experience chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo10:00 The family dynamics she chanted about15:53 How Buddhism helped her deal with the loss of her brother28:09 The shift in their relationship32:01 How having Buddhist friends helped at the darkest time37:59 Hannah’s favorite Buddhist quote41:06 The internal breakthrough she experienced47:07 Her dream to go into psychology48:43 Advice for anyone grappling with lossReferences: Discussions on Youth, p. 69 A Piece of Mirror and Other Essays, p. 83
3/8/202251 minutes, 47 seconds
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How to let your walls down and show up as your true self

Today we’re talking about what it takes to tear down your walls if you have trouble showing up as your authentic self. Jermira Trapp, of Chicago, shares how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has enabled her to transform painful family dynamics into fuel to show up as her most authentic self. This shift has impacted every aspect of her life, especially her work in law enforcement, where it can be difficult to be vulnerable and transcend differences. Still, she has learned to do both.CHEAT SHEET0:55 Introduction to Jermira2:24 Why she wanted to join the police force3:28 What happened when she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo12:33 Her dream to create a harmonious family17:13 How Jermira healed from the loss of her mother 24:20 How she learned to be vulnerable27:47 The impact this inner transformation has had on her work in law enforcement32:13 Jermira’s favorite Buddhist concepts35:48 How she sees her purpose41:39 How she defines her own Buddhability42:41 Advice for anyone who struggles to show up authentically in a challenging environment 
3/1/202246 minutes, 16 seconds
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Send us a voice memo!

Congratulations to everyone who completed the 31-day chanting challenge on Friday! We'd love to hear how it went, especially if you are new to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. To submit, just send a voice memo of no more than 2 minutes to [email protected] sharing your name, where you’re located, and what you feel you learned or changed through the chanting challenge. We're also always open to questions about Buddhism, which we'll try to address on future episodes. Selected voice memos might be included on future episodes, so please only submit if you are comfortable having it shared on the podcast.
2/22/20221 minute, 34 seconds
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My first steps chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

On this episode, we’re speaking with Nikolas Spayne, of Chicago, who started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo just last year, when he remembered having heard about Buddhism and decided to look it up. Like many of us, the stress of the pandemic, the constant stream of negative news and big questions about his own life and future had him seeking a fresh path forward. Today he walks us step-by-step through his first year of Buddhist practice. CHEAT SHEET00:54 How Nikolas encountered Buddhism8:02 Why he decided to start chanting on his own10:41 How his mornings transformed when he started chanting15:13 His approach to goal-setting17:37 When he decided to reach out to the Buddhist community21:18 What his first Buddhist meeting was like29:39 How bringing all three elements of Buddhist practice together impacted his life34:38 The biggest change he has experienced38:12 His favorite Buddhist concepts42:20 How he developed a sense of mission47:57 How he defines his Buddhability50:19 Advice for anyone new to chantingReferences: You Were Born to Win, pp. 10-12
2/15/202252 minutes, 43 seconds
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Buddhism, relativity and science

Today we’re speaking with two friends and scientists, Tee Ponsukcharoen and Siraput Jongaramrungruang, about their intertwined journeys from studying science to practicing Buddhism together. Originally from Thailand, they both came to California to complete their doctorates, but along the way, they discovered a far greater sense of purpose than they could have imagined.We cover everything from how and why they were attracted to Buddhism, how they navigated their own attachments to logic, and how concepts from physics, like relativity and string theory, connect to Buddhism.CHEAT SHEET1:00 Introduction to Tee and Siraput2:34 Why Siraput started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo5:23 How he introduced Tee to chanting10:31 The dilemma Tee faced after completing his Ph.D.18:11 Siraput’s experience encouraging his friend20:58 What changed after Tee started practicing Buddhism27:16 How Buddhism enables us to see ourselves clearly32:17 Two concepts that Buddhism and science have in common42:25 Siraput’s favorite Buddhist quote46:53 Tee’s favorite Buddhist quote49:31 How Tee views his work as a scientist now52:08 Advice for anyone who values logic over spirituality56:35 Key takeaways from today’s episodeReferences Mentioned: The Third Stage of Life: Aging in Contemporary Society by Daisaku Ikeda Discussions on Youth,  p. 16 The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, vol. 1, p. 23
2/8/202258 minutes, 3 seconds
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Defeating the doubt within

Today we’re talking about the battle with our own inner negativity, whatever form it may take: self-doubt, self-hatred, regret, worry or anything else.Jimmy Anicet, of Boston, shares about the significant personal journey he went on during 2019. Jimmy decided to tackle his own sense of regret and self-doubt once and for all by digging deeply into his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Then, just a month after he arrived at a significant epiphany and things started looking up, he experienced a profound family tragedy. But this time, he decided he would use it as a catalyst for his truest happiness.CHEAT SHEET 1:14 Why Jimmy started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo  5:56 What changed for him and his comedy work 7:15 His turning point in 2019 11:51 How he decided to tackle his inner negativity for once and for all 17:18 How his Buddhist practice helped him cope with the loss of his brother 22:37 Jimmy’s favorite Buddhist quote 27:51 What his transformation allowed him to tackle next 29:46 How he gained the courage to be a leader 32:26 How he sees comedy now 33:45 Advice for anyone struggling with their own self-doubt or inner negativity  References Mentioned: On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime: SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, pp. 30-31 Discussions on Youth,  p. 327 To join this month’s chanting journey, sign up for our newsletter here.
2/1/202236 minutes, 51 seconds
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How to open a new path if you’re feeling stuck where you are

Today we are talking about how to open a new path if you’re feeling stuck where you are, whether at work or in any other situation.Our guest is Fernanda Kelly, actress, entrepreneur and TV and radio host. While her career in media has been successful, Fernanda’s childhood dream was always to be an actress. Today, she opens up about what it took for her to grapple with that dream not coming true in the way she hoped, and how she used her Buddhist practice to deepen her faith in herself and become a person of action.CHEAT SHEET0:57 How and why Fernanda starting chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo3:13 The first benefits she saw from her practice6:39 The internal shift she began to experience naturally10:24 Where her dream of acting was born12:29 How she dealt with the struggle of achieving this dream18:36 What steps she took to open a new path for herself21:45 What winning means23:54 Her favorite Buddhist concept25:20 What she’s working on now27:00 Her “why”28:49 Advice for anyone who might be feeling stuck right now29:53 How having a sense of purpose helps us unlock our BuddhabilityReferences mentioned: Discussions on Youth,  p. 10To join this month’s chanting journey, sign up for our newsletter here.
1/25/202231 minutes, 9 seconds
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What it means to value your life

Today we’re talking about the amazing difference that a month of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can make in your life, told through the story of Alex McClintock, of Hawaii. Alex is currently a diver in the Coast Guard, one of the hardest careers to train for, but his story starts in his early 20s when he felt completely stagnant. After dropping out of college and feeling increasingly lost, Alex decided to try chanting for one month, just to see what happened. He quickly realized that he didn’t value his own life, and as he took the steps to build his confidence, he changed everything.Note: To join our 31-day chanting journey beginning January 18, 2022, sign up here.CHEAT SHEET1:13 Introduction to Alex1:24 Why Alex decided to try chanting for a month5:08 Two things that changed right away10:04 How he decided to join the Coast Guard12:46 What the struggle to value his life looked like17:00 Alex’s journey through dive school23:25 How his Buddhist practice turned him into a person of action29:23 The struggle to pass exams after dive school34:37 The role of the Buddhist community in his transformation38:27 His favorite Buddhist quote40:34 Advice for anyone who wants to value their life more greatlyReferences: “On Rebuking Slander of the Law,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 444 The New Human Revolution, vol. 16, p. 28
1/18/202242 minutes, 55 seconds
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How to make chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo a habit

As we kick off our 31-day chanting Journey on January 18, today we are discussing how and why to make chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo a daily habit. Celize Christy, of Iowa, shares her own process of recommitting to her daily Buddhist practice over the last two years, as well as tips for chanting every day and what happens when you do.Here’s the key point: In a world that can feel increasingly overwhelming and negative, it’s important to have ways we can refresh our spirit. That’s precisely what chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which Celiz calls the ultimate self-care, is for. It allows us to tap into the boundless reserves of courage, compassion and wisdom that we all have within us (in other words, Buddhability) to navigate life with confidence and self-belief. This, in turn, allows us to show up for other people as our best self. And in community, we can build a more hopeful world. Note: To join our 31-day chanting journey beginning January 18, 2022, sign up here.CHEAT SHEET1:50 Introduction to Celize5:25 Why she decided to recommit to her Buddhist practice10:49 What chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo does14:15 Why she decided to make it a daily habit24:25 What an average morning chanting routine looks like30:05 What sustainable happiness looks like33:36 The importance of feeling worthy and capable41:03 What it takes to be the protagonist of your own life44:39 Celize's favorite Buddhist quote46:02 Practical tips for making chanting a habitReferences Hope Is a Decision, pp. 3–5
1/12/202254 minutes, 18 seconds
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Overcoming the need to control things

Today we’re exploring what the power of a daily practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can really do for you, specifically if you struggle with feelings of helplessness, anxiety or a need to control things. Will Moody, of New Orleans, shares his story of what Buddhism calls “human revolution,” or inner transformation, the process of tapping into your Buddhability on a daily basis to change your life and environment. After struggling with anxiety and a tendency to micromanage everyone in his environment, including himself, Will learned to replace his fear with belief in himself. Step by step, he saw his environment change profoundly.CHEAT SHEET1:31 Introduction to Will1:56 How he was introduced to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and why he started3:56 The early experiences that contributed to his anxiety9:28 What changed when he started chanting13:32 How he feels now16:25 What his anxiety and need for control used to look like22:57 How Buddhist study helped him transform his tendency32:52 What change looked like for him38:56 On setting intentions for relationships45:02 What an average day looks like when you chant50:46 Advice for anyone who is struggling with anxiety or feeling out of controlReferences Will mentioned: “Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1000 Learning From the Writings: The Hope-Filled Teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, p. 141 A Foundation for Your Life, p. 65 To hear about this month's chanting journey, sign up for our newsletter here. 
1/5/202254 minutes, 19 seconds
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A short thank you from Buddhability!

A short message to thank all of our amazing listeners and guests for a fantastic year! We’re taking a break for the holidays and will be back with a new episode on Monday, January 3. In the meantime, to sign-up for our weekly newsletter visit: https://buddhability.org/connect/
12/22/20211 minute, 15 seconds
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On Self-Love and Relationships

Today we’re talking about self-love and relationships, and, specifically, how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can empower you to become the protagonist in all your relationships, whether they are romantic or family-oriented, or you just want to better how you interact with other people.Marilena Ward, of Queens, New York, shares her story today, which begins with one of the toughest periods of her life, when she moved from Panama to New York by herself to learn English and begin a new life. On a deeper level, however, she was running away from a number of challenging relationships, including with her then-boyfriend and her family.This is when she decided to start her Buddhist practice and quickly realized that she was the common denominator in all her relationships, and her tendency toward pessimism and anger was driving her unhappiness. So began a journey of profound inner transformation in which she used chanting to heal her own toxic relationship with herself, which caused ripple effects in all her other relationships.Cheat Sheet1:30 Introduction to Marilena2:05 When and why she began practicing Buddhism4:35 The hope that emerged from chanting8:32 Her experience in a toxic relationship10:50 How her journey of self-love began13:03 The role the Buddhist community played in her transformation16:32 How she changed on the inside24:20 The Buddhist concept that took a huge weight off her shoulders25:49 What karma into mission means32:49 Three steps anyone can take to begin to tackle self-love41:26 What Marilena’s vision for the future is43:32 Advice for anyone struggling with self-love or relationships right nowReferences:How you can practice self-love every day
12/13/202145 minutes, 38 seconds
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How to stop seeking approval from others

Consider any situation you’ve found yourself in where you felt like you couldn’t truly be yourself. Have you ever changed your behavior to fit in or impress others?On this episode, we’re talking with Brandon Poythress, of Dallas, who struggled with exactly that from a young age. When he started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism, he quickly discovered he was seeking approval from other people, which, in Buddhism, means you are seeking happiness outside yourself. Today we’ll cover how to flip that script and turn inward to find yourself instead.CHEAT SHEET1:21 Introduction to Brandon1:51 Why he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo as a teenager 4:21 How it helped him stop seeking approval from other people7:42 What it took for him to make good friends8:38 How he applied Buddhist philosophy to his situation12:22 How he became comfortable with himself18:36 What he decided to challenge next27:34 Brandon’s vision for his 30s, 40s and 50s32:55 What uncovering your Buddhability really means37:48 Advice for anyone who feels stuck in a cycle of seeking approval from others
12/6/202141 minutes, 40 seconds
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Caring for someone who struggles to care for themself

Today we are addressing a topic that’s universally challenging in close human relationships: How do you care for someone who struggles to care for themself? What if your belief in them is greater than their belief in themself?To address these questions, we are speaking with Katie Thornber, of Los Angeles, who bravely shares a very personal journey she went through with her late father, and how she used her Buddhist practice to support him through the toughest time of his life.This story is an incredible example of the Buddhist principle of the oneness of life and its environment.CHEAT SHEET1:09 Introduction to Katie and how she started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism4:13 A little bit about her family and their experience with the financial crisis6:05 How she decided to approach the situation 10:30 What her dad was going through11:45 Why she turned to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo at this time14:58 How she saw herself and her environment begin to change19:25 Her dad’s health challenges and what it took to get him to a doctor24:41 How he opened up to her27:03 Why change always begins within27:54 What Katie came to believe in30:56 What freedom means in Buddhism41:53 What the experience was like for Katie’s mom45:50 How this experience impacted other aspects of her life49:31 Advice to anyone who is struggling to support someone they care for51:02 Words from Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda that Katie holds on to References: Video: The oneness of life and environment explained Quote: Discussions on Youth, p. 27
11/29/202152 minutes, 24 seconds
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Advice from Buddhist teens on social anxiety

Today we're tackling social anxiety, which feels like it has become ubiquitous since the pandemic began. Social interactions seem to take more energy after being physically distanced for so long. The world feels more polarized and therefore, a bit more intimidating. And then there's the real fear of social interaction. Given all of this, the approaching holiday season and the fact that many Americans are still adjusting to in-person school and work, we reached out to a few Buddhist teenagers to ask for their advice on how to deal with social anxiety.CHEAT SHEET0:55 What is social anxiety?3:18 Meet Nico, Kimmy and Sudha3:57 How they started practicing Buddhism9:14 Their favorite Buddhist concepts11:34 What it’s been like to go back to school 19:30 Their best advice for social anxietyReferences: ADAA: The COVID-19 Cycle: Social Anxiety and Withrdrawal in School-Aged KidsADAA: Social Anxiety During COVID-19Buddhability: Why Buddhist Don’t Sweat MistakesGirls Night In: Questions to Ask a New Person
11/22/202125 minutes, 31 seconds
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What you do isn’t who you are

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 SHEET1:46 How Luca started practicing Buddhism6:03 How chanting helped him transform a lifelong health challenge13:27 How he decided to pursue acting in New York21:05 What Buddhism taught him about dealing with the ups and downs of the business30:25 Why he believes in having a Buddhist mentor36:02 How he developed a foundation for his life through community42:41 What caring for other people has to do with our own growth51:27 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism who wants to feel fulfilled Mentioned references:A Buddhability Guide to Self-Love
11/8/202156 minutes, 14 seconds
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Overcoming trauma and finding the will to live

Trigger Warning: This episode discusses trauma and attempted suicide.Today’s episode is about mental health. Our guest is Tanushree Salvi of Boise, Idaho, who started her practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism when she came to the U.S. for school and was introduced to chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo by a college roommate. Tanushree shares the story of how she was able to take the steps to take care of her own mental health through a combination of professional support and her Buddhist practice, as well as how she learned to value her own life and unique beauty.CHEAT SHEET1:02 Introduction to Tanushree2:18 How she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo6:18 The first changes she witnessed in herself13:09 Tanushree’s struggle with her mental health15:10 The steps she took after being hospitalized17:28 How she found the right therapist20:01 How her inner determination to heal impacted her environment 21:54 What “kosen-rufu” means and how it helps us give meaning to our struggles27:18 How she used Buddhism and therapy to heal32:32 What it takes to have compassion for yourself34:49 How she’s doing now41:28 Her favorite Buddhist concept (see: The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 2, pg. 125-6)43:46 Advice for anyone currently struggling with their mental health45:40 A closing quote from Ikeda References mentioned: Buddhist Solutions for Life’s Problems Podcast: A Buddhist Perspective on Mental Health Buddhability Community Talk: A Conversation on Mental and Spiritual Well-being
11/1/202146 minutes, 38 seconds
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Finding your purpose in college

Today we’re talking about college: how hard it can be to decide where to go and what to pursue, and how to find your purpose while there.Our guest is Josef Gaudiesus, a football coach and high school teacher in Texas, who shares his own journey of getting into college and how beginning his Buddhist practice while there helped him find confidence, a winning attitude and a sense of purpose. CHEAT SHEET1:32 How Josef got introduced to Buddhism2:17 How he decided to become a teacher and football coach5:25 What his own struggles in high school and college were12:34 The goals he set when he starting chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo in college24:06 How he accomplished all three goals26:45 What it means to win in Buddhism29:31 What his vision is for the young people he is teaching38:43 How he sees his purpose46:28 Advice for anyone who is feeling unsure about what steps to take to move their life forward
10/25/202149 minutes, 34 seconds
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Healing family rifts when you don’t share beliefs

Today we’re talking about family and what to do if you just can’t reconcile differences with them.Our guests are sisters Lauren and Molly Leebove from Michigan, whose intertwined stories of beginning their Buddhist practice and transforming their relationship with their parents are rich with lessons on what Buddhability looks like in a family setting.CHEAT SHEET1:22 Quote from Daisaku Ikeda in The New Human Revolution, vol. 26 p. 203–4.2:04 Introduction to Molly and Lauren2:54 How Molly started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism5:45 What Lauren’s reaction was to her sister’s practice and why she started her own7:37 What it was like growing up eight years apart12:08 Lauren’s struggle with her mental health in college17:28 How they both ended up back home in Michigan19:37 How Molly decided to challenge her struggle with being home21:44 The Buddhist concept “transforming karma into mission”24:12 How Lauren’s life changed when she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo26:43 Why caring for others can be so healing30:42 What it takes to set aside political or social differences39:31 How Lauren transformed rejection into shared love44:56 How starting fresh in every moment can change relationship dynamics51:58 What uniting for family harmony looks like56:31 How Buddhism changed my sister61:06 Advice for anyone struggling with a family rift
10/18/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 56 seconds
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Trailer: Oneness of Life and Environment Explained

Today we have a trailer for a new video that we just released: Oneness of Life and Environment Explained. Can I actually influence what’s happening around me for the better? Do I really have control over my circumstances? At times it may seem like we don’t have much say in how our lives will go. But Buddhism teaches that people and their surroundings are interconnected. This is a key concept to understand on your Buddhability journey, in order to realize that we are the protagonists of our lives, not bystanders.
10/11/20211 minute, 48 seconds
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Four reminders if you’re looking for a fresh start

To celebrate our 40th episode and one year since we launched Buddhability, we’re looking back at highlights from past episodes. Reflecting on the feelings described by social psychologist Amy Cuddy and writer JillEllyn Riley in their recent article about “pandemic flux syndrome” we consider 4 tips on how to refresh yourself if you’re feeling worn out or anxious.Episodes referenced:Episode 7: Winning morning, winning lifeEpisode 24: On boundaries and true self-careEpisode 32: Navigating death and illnessEpisode 3: Buddhism, therapy and how people actually change
10/4/202117 minutes, 3 seconds
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How to make an internal shift when you’re feeling disconnected

Today we’re addressing a feeling that can be experienced universally: feeling disconnected from yourself. Sometimes, our life looks pretty good on paper and we’re lucky enough to have meaningful work and relationships, but still, deep inside, we feel…nothing.Our guest is Rodrigo Carvalhedo, an animator and writer based in Los Angeles who started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism a few years ago, when he moved to the U.S. from Brazil to pursue an artistic career.Ever since then, he has been taking steps forward in his career, but halfway through the pandemic, he started to feel a deep sense of inertia. You know, that feeling that you’re going through the motions, and while you look okay, inside, you’re really struggling?We discuss how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, the essential practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism, can help you reconnect with yourself and find a sense of purpose again.CHEAT SHEET2:40 How Rodrigo discovered Buddhism through Instagram4:40 What motivated him to dive into the practice7:27 How he saw himself change once he started chanting10:45 The roots of his dream to become a writer and animator15:06 How the daily practice of chanting affected his work, both internally and externally20:32 When the inertia and emptiness set in during the pandemic23:23 What he did to address his feelings26:27 What happiness means in Buddhism30:32 How he reconnected with his practice35:36 A Buddhist quote that captures his experience37:12 How making an internal shift translated to a shift in his environment39:28 Advice for anyone who is feeling disconnected or empty right now
9/27/202144 minutes, 9 seconds
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Becoming proud of where you’re from

Today we’re speaking with Krystal Kalima, a 22-year-old college student from Hawai’i who started practicing SGI Nichiren Buddhism when she was in high school.Krystal’s story is a lesson in what it takes to overcome shame and become proud of where you’re from. Growing up, she and her mom experienced extreme financial hardship, which led her to feel ashamed about sharing her circumstances with other people.Around this time, she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo to address the deeper feelings she held about her circumstances, and one by one, she tackled each thing that made her feel less than, turning each one into fuel for her dreams.CHEAT SHEET1:28 Introduction to Krystal2:07 How she started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo5:48 The financial challenges she faced growing up12:58 The epiphany that helped her change her perspective15:48 How she began to tackle feelings of shame through her Buddhist practice21:14 How her family’s situation started to change24:55 What it means to transform family karma26:08 How she decided what to challenge next30:29 Battling her own self-doubt35:05 Battling stigma in her environment 42:58 How being part of a Buddhist community has helped her become who she is47:46 Advice for anyone struggling with feelings of shame or powerlessness about their background
9/21/202150 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture on Buddhism, music and collaboration

Today we’re talking about music and creativity with special guest Nikolai Fraiture, who is best known for being the bassist of The Strokes.He also created a new theme song for Buddhability, which we’re so excited for you to hear!Nikolai started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, which is the core practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism, just a few years ago. Today he shares how he has seen his Buddhist practice impact his life and his work.Plus, this year, which is the 20th anniversary of their breakout album, Is This It, The Strokes won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for their newest album titled The New Abnormal. Nikolai discusses his experience recording the album, as well as his journey with the band from the age of 19.CHEAT SHEET0:35 Buddhability’s new theme song by Nikolai Fraiture2:13 How Nikolai started practicing Buddhism5:03 How chanting first felt to him6:49 The changes he noticed in himself10:33 How Nikolai got into music as a teenager15:02 The first two years of being The Strokes18:38 What the hardest part of the creative process is22:35 How he dealt with his health challenges30:03 How Buddhism helped him change preconceived notions and judgments 33:47 When his bandmates noticed he 37:21 The evolution of his creative process as a musician43:12 How Buddhism resonates with what he learned from one of his first bass teachers48:25 What went into recording The New Abnormal52:20 Key concepts from Buddhism and basketball56:36 Advice for aspiring young musicians59:30 How Nikolai’s relationship with his brother changed due to Buddhism1:07:28 Where to check out Arts Elektra
9/13/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 54 seconds
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How to be yourself when you’re put in a box

Today’s episode is about the power of believing in yourself, even if the people around you don’t. Having the courage to pursue the life you want isn’t easy, and it’s especially hard when the people around you put you in a box, or limit what they believe you can do. But Buddhism teaches us how to live a life of unlimited courage. Our guest is Jenny Ye, of Michigan who started her practice of SGI Nichiren Buddhism as a teenager in South Korea.After being given little choice about her career options because of her gender, she decided to chant to transform her relationship with her family and believe in her own dreams. Today, she shares that journey and how, after conquering her fears back home, she was able to navigate entering a male-dominated industry in the United States, where she faced similar disbelief. Still, she won over it all.CHEAT SHEET2:07 Why Jenny started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo4:08 How she knew chanting worked 5:13 How her relationship with her father changed10:40 What it took to begin a new career-path on her own terms17:35 How she dealt with feeling like an outsider in the U.S.19:55 How she learned to believe in herself24:20 Her favorite Buddhist concept about individuality28:37 Her dream for the future30:37 How her dad feels about her Buddhist practice now33:32 Advice for anyone who feels limited by their environment or circumstances 
9/4/202136 minutes, 47 seconds
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Join us Saturday for a Buddhability Talk!

You’re invited to a conversation hosted by Buddhability on how to overcome negative self-talk. We teamed up with Celebrity Makeup Artist Janice Kinjo, Former NFL Player Josh Scobey and Learning Behavior Specialist Jennifer Cook who will share their stories of overcoming self-doubt and negative self talk. When: Saturday, August 28, 2021 @ 11am PT / 1pm CT / 2pm ETRegister here: https://buddhability.org/practice/buddhability-talk-how-to-overcome-negative-self-talk/
8/25/20211 minute, 11 seconds
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How to get unstuck from a monotonous daily life

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 SHEET1:04 Introduction to Clara3:27 How she got stuck in a "treadmill type existence"6:04 What her dreams had been before she got stuck7:44 When and why she started practicing Buddhism11:36 How to become free from the chains of your own mind17:45 How she found her place in the workforce after school33:39 How she dealt with her pain along the journey35:36 What Buddhism says about opening the door to your life42:18 What a creative life really means44:49 How to deal with the opinions of others 49:55 Advice for anyone feeling afraid to open the door to their own life
8/14/202153 minutes, 38 seconds
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Vinessa Shaw on acting, perfectionism and success

Today’s episode is an in-depth conversation with actor Vinessa Shaw, who is known for her success as a child actor in movies such as Ladybugs and Hocus Pocus and then, as an adult, in Eyes Wide Shut and most recently, 12 Mighty Orphans, which is in theaters.Vinessa has been practicing Buddhism since childhood, and today she shares her honest experience dealing with success at a young age, struggling with perfectionism and finding true self-worth.She also shares advice on auditioning and rejection for actors, and her three favorite Buddhist quotes.CHEAT SHEET1:59 Why Vinessa started practicing Buddhism7:06 How she got into acting and the challenges of success as a child actor24:28 The role that chanting played in dealing with depression and anxiety33:45 What is self-esteem when you’re in the spotlight?40:07 How Buddhism helped her navigate taking a break from acting47:30 How she feels about acting now51:38 How chanting helped her battle negative self-talk57:32 Advice on rejection, especially for actors64:01 Being in rhythm and how she got 12 Mighty Orphans66:58 Three Buddhist quotes on believing in yourself
8/7/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 11 seconds
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Overcoming negative self-talk… and other chanting tips

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.CHEAT SHEET1:47 How Erin started practicing Buddhism3:15 Her experience with stuttering and how chanting helped6:18 How to chant and what it means9:02 The purpose of the Gohonzon and your altar10:47 What you can chant about15:02 Some tips on intention-setting if you are just starting out18:28 The role of the Buddhist community22:25 How to address negative self-talk26:35 Erin's own experiences overcoming negative self-talk through a chanting challenge32:18 Where to start if your struggle with self-esteem feels overwhelming39:01 Why it is important to be consistent with chanting42:16 One piece of advice for anyone starting the chanting journey
7/31/202144 minutes, 15 seconds
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A 31-Day Buddhability 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
7/25/20212 minutes, 23 seconds
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Navigating Death and Illness

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.CHEAT SHEET1:30 How Jonathan started practicing Buddhism4:16 Why he decided to pursue a career in medicine10:29 His father's battle with illness17:30 How his family used their Buddhist practice to navigate the experience24:15 What they learned by studying Buddhism together30:04 What his darker moments felt like and how chanting helped35:06 How he is navigating grief38:52 The impact it had on his work as a doctor45:54 How chanting can help you bring out your best self49:42 What his dream is for the future51:38 Advice for anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one
7/17/202154 minutes, 18 seconds
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On self-respect and love in relationships

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.CHEAT SHEET2:17 How Faith encountered Buddhism through her partner6:28 Why she started chanting8:19 Her pattern of seeking validation through relationships12:48 The story of her relationship with Cole22:14 What it was like to support his transition and go through her own transformation25:25 How she chanted through the process28:48 How to support your partner without controlling them35:10 How to decide to be with someone for the long term41:24 Navigating feeling erased by someone else’s story43:58 Her favorite Buddhist concept48:10 Advice to anyone who might be feeling insecure in their relationship
7/10/202150 minutes, 39 seconds
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How to overcome resistance in creative work

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.CHEAT SHEET1:32 Introduction to Monica's work2:44 How she became a visual poet6:53 When and why she started practicing Buddhism11:08 How chanting impacted her creative work and path15:36 Dealing with insomnia during the pandemic 23:55 How she has challenged self-doubt and resistance33:18 Balancing work, art and family all at once40:35 Navigating the desire for validation as an artist47:47 Her favorite Buddhist teaching50:03 What she's working on now, and a poem about Vera RubinNote: In the poem about Vera Rubin that Monica reads at the end of the show, she refers to an excerpt from this article. 
7/2/202156 minutes, 38 seconds
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Love wins, A Buddhist lawyer and the fight for marriage equality

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.CHEAT SHEET3:20 Dan’s work as a lawyer and judge6:13 When and why he started practicing Buddhism9:25 A short history of the same-sex marriage case in Hawaii17:01 The impact it had on the rest of the country21:28 The role that chanting played in his work26:17 Why he didn’t give up30:46 The growth he had to go through along the way37:00 How anyone can tap into their Buddhability and make a difference38:27 How to summon compassion and respect in a system that is unjust45:18 Advice to anyone struggling to believe they can make a real difference
6/26/202147 minutes, 7 seconds
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On imposter syndrome, deserving success and finding happiness

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.CHEAT SHEET2:20 Aide’s experience growing up undocumented10:35 What she had resigned herself to15:17 The feelings of imposter syndrome she experienced in college22:55 Why Buddhism resonated with her27:15 How she started chanting32:58 How her vision for her life started to change36:45 How getting COVID-19 pushed her to pursue her dreams43:14 Her journey to graduate school51:29 Advice to anyone struggling with the feeling that they don’t deserve success or happiness 
6/5/202155 minutes, 15 seconds
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Never giving up on your dream

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 SHEET 1:24 How Michael discovered his passion for education 4:21 Why he was drawn to Buddhism 10:58  What his vision for education was 14:23 How chanting impacted his daily life 32:41 What a value-creation based vision for education looks like 39:01 How to create the conditions for trust and success 46:20 The award Michael is currently up for
5/28/202149 minutes, 55 seconds
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Taking the steps to respect your own life

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.)CHEAT SHEET1:30 How Lorenna grew up6:50 Why she started practicing Buddhism8:30 The family challenges that drove her practice11:59 What her day-to-day struggle looked like21:46 How her expectations for herself started to change25:25 How she changed her experience of school30:28 What it took to believe in herself33:46 How she found her dream career path40:24 The challenges she faced being mixed-race43:17 Transforming shame45:34 Her favorite Buddhist concept48:41 What it took to ask for help for her mental health56:52 Advice for her younger self and anyone listening
5/22/202159 minutes, 57 seconds
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Join Us for a 7 Day Refresh!

Today we have a short announcement about Buddhability’s upcoming 7 Day Refresh, starting Monday, May 17. Sign up at www.buddhability.org.
5/15/20211 minute, 36 seconds
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On Boundaries and True Self-Care

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. CHEAT SHEET1:28 Jessica's journey to become a military psychologist6:31 Why she turned to chanting15:08 What the daily workload felt like25:36 Two Buddhist concepts that shifted her perspective27:45 How she found time to chant31:12 What she realized about herself41:36 What happened after she decided to prioritize self-care and boundaries41:15 What believing in yourself looks like in practice50:22 Advice for anyone struggling with self-worth or burnout
5/9/202153 minutes, 24 seconds
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Building a career you love

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.Cheat Sheet1:24 Louise’s childhood as an immigrant4:20 Why she started chanting in college12:45 What it feels like to compare yourself to other people13:59 How chanting helped her get through school16:20 How she found her way to marketing20:52 The concept of beauty, benefit and good31:31 How she dealt with negative feedback44:33 Advice for anyone who is trying to build their career right now
4/24/202147 minutes, 21 seconds
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Trailer: What is enlightenment?

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.
4/16/20211 minute, 46 seconds
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How to turn your circumstances into your purpose

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.CHEAT SHEET0:19 Introduction to today’s topic2:16 Dori’s story5:53 What made her decide to start practicing Buddhism consistently 7:40 Her journey to buy a house14:13 How winning in the morning became the key to transforming her disbelief 16:50 What chanting can do18:42 How she’s been able to support a child with autism24:49 How chanting helped her transform family discord26:46 How chanting helped her transform how she felt towards the world30:58 How she reunited with her dad and moved him in next door32:46 What her dream became after purchasing the house40:16 The role that having supportive friends has played40:41 Advice for anyone who feels beat down by their environment right now42:55 The moment Dori’s heart shifted from not wanting to stay in North Carolina to taking full responsibility for her community
4/9/202147 minutes, 30 seconds
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How to stop comparing yourself to others

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.)Cheat Sheet00:13 Introduction to today’s topic2:17 Why Harrison started practicing Buddhism6:45 What it was like growing up as a twin9:41 His journey toward college and finding his dream15:41 How Covid-19 impacted his path18:32 How having a Buddhist community helped him navigate his path forward22:28 The quote that changed his life24:38 How he started setting goals for himself29:59 Advice for anyone who feels like other people are farther ahead in life31:59 Where Harrison is now
4/3/202133 minutes
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Join Us Friday for a Buddhability Community Talk!

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/
3/24/20211 minute, 56 seconds
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Finding happiness while living with chronic illness

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.CHEAT SHEET1:38 Introduction to Jenny and her Buddhist practice4:28 How she found out she had Lyme14:40 Why it was so bad17:07 How chanting helped her navigate the journey23:32 What the doctors told her24:38 How she defines recovery27:18 What happiness means on a daily basis33:02 Advice for anyone feeling defeated by chronic or long-term illness
3/19/202135 minutes, 59 seconds
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Being new parents (in a pandemic)

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.CHEAT SHEET00:19 Today’s topic1:38 Introduction to Savini and Piper6:48 Navigating fear of parenthood10:25 The story of Maadhav’s birth13:40 How they chanted while pregnant18:25 How they navigated unexpected health challenges24:58 What it means to build resilience and confidence over time39:18 The hardest parts of parenting42:48 An amazing analogy for your capacity as a person47:19 Advice for new parents49:14 What chanting just 5 minutes can do53:20 Guest appearance by Maadhav
3/12/202154 minutes, 7 seconds
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Buddhist Friends for Life (Part 2)

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.In part 2, we share 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 Buddhist community virtually in your area, email us! And to subscribe to our newsletter, sign up here.Cheat Sheet0:29 Voicemails and messages from listeners who completed the 28-day journey6:35 Karina’s Story31:19 Advice on what to do after you’ve started chanting
3/3/202147 minutes, 30 seconds
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Buddhist Friends for Life (Part 1) #struggleictory

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 Buddhist community virtually in your area, email us at [email protected]. Cheat Sheet1:36 Introduction to Caitlin, Jahmela and Karina12:26 What to expect when you go to a Buddhist meeting17:04 Caitlin's Story32:28 Jahmela’s Story40:53 Coming up on Part 2
2/27/202141 minutes, 42 seconds
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How’s chanting going? (Journey Check-in)

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 protected] 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.
2/19/20212 minutes, 20 seconds
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Six Questions About Love

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.Cheat Sheet1:36 Introduction to Abby3:53 How can I get myself to leave a relationship that I know isn’t healthy?19:32 How do I move on after a relationship ends?24:56 Introduction to Rah'mad28:26 How can I deal with unreciprocated love? 37:25 Help, I keep running into my ex.41:32 What Buddhist idea or teaching should I base my relationships on?44:59 Introduction to Erika47:31 How should I chant about finding a life partner, and how will I know if they are the one?
2/13/20211 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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Everything you need to know about chanting

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.Cheat Sheet0:16 On how to join the February Buddhability Journey2:41 The basics of chanting Nam-myoho-renge kyo: how, when, for how long4:24 Should I be thinking about something while chanting?7:15 Is chanting the same as meditation?9:01 How does chanting make you feel? What changes will I see?11:36 How chanting impacted Ryan’s day-to-day life as a teacher14:54 Why chant in the first place?17:22 What is Buddhability? What are we trying to tap into by chanting?20:33 How is SGI Nichiren Buddhism different from other forms of Buddhism?25:50 What’s the point of having a Buddhist community?30:39 How does my daily practice connect to changing the world?30:04 What if I chant and don’t feel or see any changes?16:20 Tips for those trying chanting for the first time
2/4/202142 minutes, 45 seconds
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My First Days Chanting, A Buddhability Journey

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.Cheat Sheet0:22 Introducing The Buddhability Journey1:58 The first time Shannon ever chanted2:55 Why she decided to try chanting every day 6:36 What the initial days felt like11:13 How she decided what to chant about13:56 The changes she started seeing in her daily life17:49 A Buddhist concept that stood out to her21:20 How Shannon came to define her own Buddhability23:43 How she set goals for 202126:47 Advice for anyone who is thinking about doing the Buddhability Journey
1/29/202130 minutes, 15 seconds
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When you feel like you don’t belong anywhere

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.Cheat sheet:00:30 Announcement: Send us your questions about love1:13 Introduction to the episode2:02 A little bit about Falcon’s childhood6:26 Why it’s important to know who you are7:26 How his childhood made him feel9:58 Where he went looking for answers18:07 Why Buddhism clicked for him22:38 How loneliness can be turned into a source of strength23:27 How Falcon’s anger started changing27:28 How he found a sense of purpose32:16 The passage that changed his life37:32 His dream for the future
1/19/202141 minutes, 36 seconds
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What Buddhism and Design Have in Common

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.We discussed what design and Buddhism have in common, which is a lot, and how, at the beginning of a new year and new decade, we can think about designing our lives and solving big problems.Cheatsheet1:52 The design he's most proud of3:42 What he does day to day5:46 Growing up in a farm town 7:41 How he started practicing Buddhism8:53 How he found a path to industrial design10:03 What industrial design is11:22 Uncovering problems to solve through design13:46 Design example: reducing medical error15:35 How pain points can become opportunities16:27 What design and Buddhism have in common18:01 Iterating your way toward big goals19:09 How to work with other people better20:29 What "human revolution" means in Buddhism21:10 The three keys to breaking through in life and design23:24 How to think about "the now, the near and the far" 25:58 Designing for the future when the present is stressful29:11 James' experience developing a team through care35:35 Curiosity is more valuable than knowledge in approaching life37:40 How to generate options in your life through your own transformation38:49 Advice for anyone who feels like they haven't tapped into their full potential yet40:48 The difference between being bold and courageous42:22 How to set intentions or goals at the beginning of a year43:50 Envisioning yourself as one part of an ecosystem45:57 Advice for anyone who is ready to design their life47:10 A final thought on creating what's never been created before
1/12/202149 minutes, 18 seconds
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You Asked, We Answered: 3 Tips for Starting or Continuing Your Practice

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.Cheatsheet:2:20 How to get over the guilt of chanting for things you want8:12 How to help your loved ones become happy13:25 What if I don’t chant everyday?
1/5/202121 minutes, 15 seconds
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Have a question for Buddhability? Send us a voice memo!

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 [email protected] 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.
12/18/20202 minutes, 23 seconds
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How to find your place within your family

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.Cheat sheet:00:35 Introduction to the episode3:25 How Priya started chanting5:17 Why she struggled to express herself within her family9:18 How she decided to start calling her grandma14:47 What to do when you love someone who can be also hurtful18:03 What Priya chanted about24:46 What her dream for her family is28:04 What she learned about her grandmother29:58 How Priya feels in her family now 
12/11/202032 minutes, 44 seconds
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How small goals add up to big dreams

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.Cheatsheet:0:35 Introduction to Seon4:30 How bullying affected his childhood8:29 What he realized when he started chanting11:59 Why he set a goal of studying for 10 hours13:50 How achieving minor goals can build your confidence 16:58 How to apply chanting to specific goals19:08 What if you get stuck?23:16 How having supportive friends can help24:53 What Seon’s dream is now27:24 3 keys to never giving up29:46 Seon’s advice to anyone pursuing a dream30:44 Today’s key takeaway
12/4/202031 minutes, 50 seconds
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What It Takes, A Love Story

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.0:39 Introduction to today’s topic2:01 Introduction to Ian, Audrey and how they met4:15 How they each starting practicing Buddhism6:30 What their mindsets toward relationships were before they met16:23 How they challenged fears of being alone, and being good enough18:30 How chanting helped them overcome an accident and a long journey to have kids 21:56 Why self-transformation and respect are so key to relationships27:11 Their advice to anyone struggling with a relationship (or finding a partner)
11/20/202031 minutes, 38 seconds
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Winning Morning, Winning Life

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.0:37 Introduction to today’s topic 1:52 Rory’s story 7:00 What losing a friend taught him about life 8:50 What his mornings used to feel like 10:00 How they changed after he started chanting 11:57 How he decided to start a company 17:12 What winning in the morning means 19:20 What he’s up against each morning 22:56 The question that keeps him motivated every single day 27:04 Advice for Rory’s younger self (or anyone listening) 
11/13/202031 minutes, 18 seconds
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How to make progress, even when you can’t see eye to eye

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. Cheatsheet: 1:50 What we’re trying to understand today 4:02 Introduction to Abe5:02 How chanting helped him feel like he had control over his life again10:54 His experiences working with the prison system16:20 How chanting helped him figure out what to do17:20 What a tenacious effort to build trust helped him achieve25:10 Why he didn’t give up28:32 How to maintain hope even when you see the darkest parts of humanity32:33 What the end goal in Buddhism is35:46 Advice to anyone feeling stuck or overwhelmed by uncertainty38:02 What “happiness for self and others” means45:39 What else to read on Buddhability about feeling stuck and making change 
11/4/202045 minutes, 46 seconds
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Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding on what it takes to be authentic

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. Cheatsheet: 1:25 Introduction to Wayne & Esperanza2:41 How Esperanza discovered Buddhism5:22 Why Wayne started chanting7:11 How Wayne discovered a deeper purpose to playing music8:10 How chanting helped Wayne see himself more clearly12:23 Esperanza on authenticity as a musician17:35 Wayne on how Buddhism can help you check yourself19:25 Esperanza on how to unlock your own capacity20:34 Some notes on Esperanza’s “life force”21:48 On Wayne & Esperanza’s friendship23:33 Wayne’s advice to anyone who feels stuck with their art or work24:57 A key lesson from today’s conversation
10/29/202027 minutes, 4 seconds
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Dream Job, How I Fight Climate Change

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.Cheatsheet:1:22 Episode Intro2:14 Intro to Roberta Giordano4:15 How her childhood fears influenced her career7:08 How she started practicing Buddhism in college12:00 The first steps she took to fight climate change15:21 How chanting helped her decide what impact she could make18:35 The difference between actually believing in yourself vs. telling yourself to19:50 How chanting can help you process your feelings and take action22:11 How Roberta found the courage to choose a career in climate finance27:00 What to do when you feel small or overwhelmed along your way31:00 Key takeaways from Roberta’s story
10/22/202032 minutes, 14 seconds
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Buddhism, therapy and how people actually change

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. Cheatsheet: 1:14 Episode Intro2:12 Introduction to Sean2:36 Why he started practicing Buddhism6:16 What brings people to therapy8:14 The difference between temporary and sustainable happiness11:05 The growth of self-awareness practices16:15 The limits of therapy and mindfulness18:23 How Buddhism can tackle the ego20:27 Why changing yourself is so hard22:19 What the Bodhisattva vow is, in plain English25:42 Why mastering human relationships is the key to most problems26:25 Creating a culture of caring for others29:43 How not to get drained by giving to others33:14 How therapy and Buddhism can work together37:08 Next week’s show 
10/15/202037 minutes, 49 seconds
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Angelica Ross on How to Get the World to See You as YOU

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. Cheatsheet: 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 centuryYou can also subscribe to Buddhability on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get podcasts. 
10/8/202029 minutes, 54 seconds
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What is Buddhability and how can I tap into it?

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.You can also subscribe to Buddhability on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.Cheatsheet:0:00 Welcome to Buddhability1:38 Basics of Buddhism3:39 How and why Cynthia started chanting6:58 What she was able to tap into by chanting10:25 What believing in yourself actually means14:35 How chanting can help you transform your biggest fears20:11 Why working hard at the thing in front of you can impact all parts of your life23:14 How chanting gets deeper over time, and chanting vs. mindfulness28:11 Cynthia’s big takeaway for everyone listening28:49 Recap of today’s discussion
10/1/202029 minutes, 32 seconds
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Trailer: Introducing Buddhability

Buddhability is a new weekly podcast about how to believe in yourself, told by a community of Buddhists doing it every day.Hosted by journalist Jihii Jolly, who you might know from the popular SGI-USA podcast Buddhist Solutions for Life’s Problems, each week you’ll hear an honest conversation about real life and how to tap into your Buddhability. From relationships and dream jobs to lessons from psychology and activism, subscribe to Buddhability on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts so you never miss an episode.
9/29/20203 minutes, 47 seconds