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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox is a weekly podcast that shares how to put the teachings of Buddhism into practice to be happier, more peaceful, or to become the spiritual warrior this world so desperately needs. JoAnn Fox has been teaching Buddhism for 17 years and does so with kindness and humor.
 
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In this episode, we look at a three-step process to lessen attachment. The first step is to notice the craving mind and examine it. The craving mind focuses on its object of desire, exaggerates its good qualities, and fixates on it until it feels it can not be happy without it: it is at this stage that attachment has arisen. We might be attached to…
 
Once Buddha was staying near the Himalayas in a place where the people were being very poorly treated by three cruel and ruthless kings. Buddha had the thought, ‘I wonder if there is a way to get the kings to treat people better and to rule wisely?’ Mara, kind of a devil figure, observed Buddha having this thought. Mara decided to try and tempt Bud…
 
With stories of yogis who spent years practicing alone in isolated mountain caves, it might seem like Buddhism promotes a solitary path. But in reality, Buddha spoke many times of the importance of good friends. Friends that are a good influence on us are essential to our well-being and spiritual development. Once, Ananda said to the Buddha that go…
 
Mindfulness can be used to train the mind: to make the mind more peaceful and see your world differently. Mindfulness, in this way, is used to remember things we’ve learned and intend to put into practice. For example, we may have heard the teaching to gather all blame into one--our mental afflictions. We might agree that there are no external prob…
 
The practice of Lojong has the literal translation of “mind training.” The great Buddhist master Atisha taught mind training over 1,000 years ago in the form of slogans. These 59 slogans are designed to be practiced in the hustle and bustle of daily life to retrain our minds in the ways of peace, compassion, wisdom, and bodhicitta (the wish to atta…
 
The Buddha taught that certain factors strengthen the karmic results of our actions. One example is that the effects of actions we do toward certain types of people are intensified because of their special relationship to us and the benefits we receive from them. Our parents are one of these types of people, since we have received so much help from…
 
The word enlightenment is a translation of two Pali words that mean “awakened” and “freed from all fetters.” To become enlightened then means we wake to the true nature of reality, and we free our mind from all the shackles of the delusions, like ignorance, anger, and attachment. The basic nature of the mind is purity. No matter how troubled or del…
 
Many of the great religious leaders have asked us to practice non-retaliation, to turn the other cheek, and practice nonviolence. The Buddha explained that non-retaliation is not only important for the person who harms us, but for the protection of our self. Buddha once said that if you throw burning coal at someone, you will definitely get burnt. …
 
This episode is the last of a three part series on the ten nonvirtuous actions, and the focus is on actions of mind. Actions of mind you say! Yes, actions of mind do create karma. In fact, mental actions are continuously creating our reality. Our mind can create a heaven or a hell right on earth. Our mind can also create a happy life—or at least 80…
 
When the Buddha explained the ten nonvirtuous actions to abandon, four are devoted to our speech. Our words are an incredibly powerful tool; they can build ourselves and others up. Or they can tear ourselves and others down. In a sentence they can destroy a relationship, friendship, or employment; such is the power of our speech. In fact, a mindful…
 
Buddha explained the Ten Nonvirtuous Actions as a way to guide our actions of body, speech, and mind. "Nonvirtuous" means that it brings suffering to us in the future by way of negative karmic results. Yet it is easy to be confused about what is nonvirtuous if everyone around us is doing it or if our society sanctions it. That is why we are encoura…
 
Where we place our thoughts is how we produce happiness, calm, and peace. The real trap we're all in is believing that we will be happy when_______. Think about how many times we've said this: "I'll be happy when I get my own room. I'll be happy when I can drive. I'll be happy when I can move out. I'll be happy when I can move back in. When I gradu…
 
There is a way to purify negative karma! Phew. Buddha taught the Four Powers of Purification. The first power is healthy regret. This type of regret stands in contrast to guilt. Healthy regrets teaches us that we should try to not be angry or unkind to ourselves when we experience regret. Regret makes us naturally desire not to repeat that action a…
 
When Buddha was accused of sexual relations with a young, beautiful woman named Sundari, and his followers were accused of murdering her, Buddha remained unphased. Buddha merely used it as an opportunity to teach about karma. If only we could remain so calm amidst the storms of life! In this episode, we learn about a practice to help us let go of a…
 
Buddha asserted that all living beings have Buddha-nature, a consciousness that is the seed of enlightenment. No matter how deluded someone is at this moment, they have within them the potential to become a fully enlightened being. Our nature is essentially pure and good (and empty of inherent existence). Even when it is raining, and clouds complet…
 
Have you ever wondered how to practice karma? In this episode, we look at how to practice karma by maintaining mindfulness of the law of karma and acting in accordance with it. The word karma literally means action. Every action is like a seed planted in the field of our mind. Virtuous actions, like those actions coming from the intention of compas…
 
It could be said that all of the Buddha's teachings are about suffering and how to end suffering. In this episode, we hear the story of a monk who, standing alone in his monastery while the rest of his city celebrated the festival of the constellations, thought: "There can be no one whose lot is worse than mine." Haven't we all had a similar though…
 
The Buddha said that the minds of his followers should “constantly, day and night, delight in spiritual practice.” What practice can we weave through our days and use our own life as a spiritual path? What practice can we do at work, at home, with strangers, children, parents, and our partner? Cherishing others is a practice we can do whenever we h…
 
The Buddha spoke many times of the importance of practicing harmlessness. The most harmful mind is the mind of anger. The nature of anger is that it wishes to harm its object. Just as the nature of fire is to burn, the nature of anger is to harm. In this episode, we look at the causes of anger and conflict in our hearts. Sometimes we are at war wit…
 
In this episode we explore mindfulness of the body. Many of us spend our work days sitting in front of a computer, disconnected from our bodies. Sometimes we are in a beautiful place but not really present. Mindfulness of the body can help us become present in our bodies. We can learn how to release tension and stress or remind ourselves be kind to…
 
In this episode, we look at the meaning of going for refuge. Typically when we think of refuge, it means a source of protection. Refuge is comfort and safety in the storm. The way a person becomes a Buddhist is by going for refuge to the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Someone enters into Buddhism by seeking a solution to their pain or pro…
 
The Buddha sometimes spoke in metaphor to convey very deep and complex truths. In this episode, we examine a beautiful verse that describes how we can attain freedom from suffering and difficulties. In particular, the episode is devoted to understanding the meaning of eternalism and nihilism. This refers to avoiding the extremes of eternalism and n…
 
The 3 obstacles to effort Procrastination Attachment yo what is non-virtuous or meaningless Discouragement The toxins multiply For the insolent and negligent Who reject what they should do And do instead what they should not. But the toxins come to an end For those who are mindful and alert, Who are constantly well-engaged With mindfulness of the b…
 
To forgive, seek: Your own Freedom. Want your own freedom from pain Compassion. Compelled by their delusions The Lesson. How can I learn from this? Forgiveness means stopping the cycle of anger and harm. On analysis of whether the object has self-control, anger is unjustified. The master Candrakīrti also states: “This is not living beings’ fault, R…
 
The Buddha taught that small, good karmic actions lead to great results in the future, a powerful motivation for making even small positive changes in our lives. In this episode we look at the Four Powers of Effort, a process for making positive changes last. 1,200 years ago, the Buddhist Master Shantideva offered this Buddhist approach to lasting …
 
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