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Institute of Buddhist Studies Podcast

An digital archive of public events, lectures and dharma talks

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The Importance of ‘Self’ in Buddhism

Lecture by Leslie Kawamura Audio Version Dr. Kawamura begins his lecture by reiterating the usual understanding of anatman (no-self) — that a “self” does not exist. But if a self does not exist, then there would be little or no need to be concerned or involved in the Buddha-Dharma (teachings of the Buddha). What does it mean to say “no-self” in Buddhism? In his lecture Dr. Kawamura will approach this issue from a purely Mahayana perspective and discuss both Madhyamaka and Yogacara systems. Originally recorded Spring 2007, © Leslie Kawamura

1hr 38mins

3 Mar 2009

Rank #1

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Dogen and the Lotus Sutra

Lecture by Taigen Daniel Leighton Audio Version Taigen Leighton of the Institute of Buddhist studies and the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate meditation group in Chicago, IL, discusses the ways in which Dogen referenced the Lotus Sutra. Originally recorded May 19, 2007 © 2007, Taigen Daniel Leighton

1hr 3mins

3 Mar 2009

Rank #2

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Red Book Dialogue between Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Richard Stein (audio version)

Enter into an exploration of C.G. Jungâ€s personal transformation as recorded in the Red Book and viewed from Buddhist perspectives. To learn what the Red Book may mean to us know, the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, together with the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, hosted a series of “Red Book Dialogue” between Jungian Analysts and leading teachers, writers, and artists. These conversations, brought together people who have challenged themselves to engage with their own depths, are designed to appeal to people both in and out of the psychological professions. In this way, the meaning of Jungâ€s journey can come to life in each of us. Our first dialogue, between Zoketsu Norman Fischer of San Francisco Zen Center and Jungian analyst Richard Stein, was held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley on October 22, 2010. This is an audio-only version of the dialogue. A video version is also available. Originally recorded October 22, 2010 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in the Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley, Ca. Copyright © 2010 the Institute of Buddhist Studies

1hr 40mins

9 Dec 2010

Rank #3

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Dogen and the Lotus Sutra

Lecture by Taigen Daniel Leighton Video Version Taigen Leighton of the Institute of Buddhist studies and the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate meditation group in Chicago, IL, discusses the ways in which Dogen referenced the Lotus Sutra. Originally recorded May 19, 2007 © 2007, Taigen Daniel Leighton

3 Mar 2009

Rank #4

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Shinran’s Phenomenology of Religious Life (part six of six)

This is part six of a six part series. Dennis Hirota, Professor in the Department of Shin Buddhist Studies at Ryukoku University, Kyoto, was the Institute of Buddhist Studies’ 2010 Ryukoku Lecturer. Dr. Hirota’s topic was “Shinran’s Phenomenology of Religious Life: Toward a Rethinking of Shinjin.” The lecture was divided into three parts over the course of three separate days. The audio tracks here roughly compare to the following: Lecture One, “The Shin Buddhist Path and Truth”: parts one and two Lecture Two, “The Shin Buddhist Path and Time”: parts three and four Lecture Three, “The Shin Buddhist Path and Dwelling”: parts five and six Dr. Hirota is known for his translation work in “The Collected Works of Shinran” and original works such as “No Abode: The Record of Ippen,” “Toward a Contemporary Understanding of Pure Land Buddhism,” “Shinran: An Introduction to His Thought,” and “Tannisho: A Primer.” Originally recorded March 10, 16, and 17, 2010 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in the Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley, Ca. Copyright © 2010, Denis Hirota.

1hr 6mins

3 May 2010

Rank #5

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Red Book Dialogue between Zoketsu Norman Fischer and Richard Stein

Enter into an exploration of C.G. Jungâ€s personal transformation as recorded in the Red Book and viewed from Buddhist perspectives. To learn what the Red Book may mean to us know, the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, together with the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, hosted a series of “Red Book Dialogue” between Jungian Analysts and leading teachers, writers, and artists. These conversations, brought together people who have challenged themselves to engage with their own depths, are designed to appeal to people both in and out of the psychological professions. In this way, the meaning of Jungâ€s journey can come to life in each of us. Our first dialogue, between Zoketsu Norman Fischer of San Francisco Zen Center and Jungian analyst Richard Stein, was held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley on October 22, 2010. An audio-only version of the dialogue is also available. Originally recorded October 22, 2010 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in the Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley, Ca. Copyright © 2010 the Institute of Buddhist Studies

9 Dec 2010

Rank #6

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Metaphors in Shinran

Lecture by Takanori Sugioka Professor Takanori Sugioka discusses Shinran’s use of various metaphors by Shinran Shonin in his expression of Shin Buddhist faith. Originally recorded June 7, 2007 © 2007 Takanori Sugioka

3 Mar 2009

Rank #7

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How Dhāraṇīs Were Proto-tantric: Ritual Uses of Buddhist Spells in Dunhuang and Beyond

The 2010 Spring Numata Lecture was delivered by Jacob Dalton on April 30, 2010. The following episode is the audio-only version of Prof. Dalton’s talk. The Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang include a large number of copied dhāraṇīs, both sÅ«tras and stand-alone spells. In this talk I will examine the content, the colophons, and the formats of these manuscripts and attempt to draw some broader conclusions about how dhāraṇīs were used by early Tibetan Buddhists living around Dunhuang. I will then turn to the dhāraṇī collections (dhāraṇī-saṃgraha). The contents of these collections could vary according to the interests of the manuscripts†owners, yet certain shared patterns may be discerned. The significance of these formal patterns becomes clear when we see how the same template was used by later Tibetans to structure the dhāraṇī (gzungs ‘dus) section of their Tibetan canon (bka†‘gyur). Finally, I will step back to consider the historical development of dhāraṇī ritual practice and textual codification in light of the emergence of the tantras around the seventh century. Originally recorded April 30, 2010 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in the Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley, Ca. Copyright © 2010 Jacob Dalton

10 May 2010

Rank #8

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How Dhāraṇīs Were Proto-tantric: Ritual Uses of Buddhist Spells in Dunhuang and Beyond

The 2010 Spring Numata Lecture was delivered by Jacob Dalton on April 30, 2010. The following episode is the full video version of Prof. Dalton’s talk. The Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang include a large number of copied dhāraṇīs, both sÅ«tras and stand-alone spells. In this talk I will examine the content, the colophons, and the formats of these manuscripts and attempt to draw some broader conclusions about how dhāraṇīs were used by early Tibetan Buddhists living around Dunhuang. I will then turn to the dhāraṇī collections (dhāraṇī-saṃgraha). The contents of these collections could vary according to the interests of the manuscripts†owners, yet certain shared patterns may be discerned. The significance of these formal patterns becomes clear when we see how the same template was used by later Tibetans to structure the dhāraṇī (gzungs ‘dus) section of their Tibetan canon (bka†‘gyur). Finally, I will step back to consider the historical development of dhāraṇī ritual practice and textual codification in light of the emergence of the tantras around the seventh century. Originally recorded April 30, 2010 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in the Jodo Shinshu Center, Berkeley, Ca. Copyright © 2010 Jacob Dalton

1hr 10mins

10 May 2010

Rank #9

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The Importance of ‘Self’ in Buddhism

Lecture by Leslie Kawamura Video Version Dr. Kawamura begins his lecture by reiterating the usual understanding of anatman (no-self) — that a “self” does not exist. But if a self does not exist, then there would be little or no need to be concerned or involved in the Buddha-Dharma (teachings of the Buddha). What does it mean to say “no-self” in Buddhism? In his lecture Dr. Kawamura will approach this issue from a purely Mahayana perspective and discuss both Madhyamaka and Yogacara systems. Originally recorded Spring 2007, © Leslie Kawamura

3 Mar 2009

Rank #10

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Transcendence of the Body in Kukai’s Shingon Buddhism

Lecture by David Gardiner Dr. Gardiner, of Colorado College, discusses Kukai’s Shingon philosophy. Originally recorded May 8, 2007 © 2007, David Gardiner

3 Mar 2009

Rank #11

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Tradition and Insight: Our Encounter with the Pure Land Way, Part One

An exploration of the roles that a received tradition and personal engagement play in our realization of the truth and meaning of Jodo Shinshu. Dr. Michael Conway of the Eastern Buddhist Society Recorded Thursday, February 28, 2013, San Mateo, CA. Sponsored by the George T. Aratani Endowment for the IBS Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies. (c) 2013 Michael Conway

1hr

30 Apr 2014

Rank #12

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Making Ministry Practical: Changing Roles in Japan

From the Dharma at Times of Need symposium, the keynote address delivered by Rev. Dr. Seigen Yamaoka, professor of Shin Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Prof. Yamaoka’s moving keynote touched on his own personal experiences with the Dharma as a Jodo Shinshu minister, former bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America, dedicated scholar and inter-religious advocate, and ministering to Buddhist in the United States for over four decades. Prof. Yamaoka has been influential in bringing a uniquely American approach to ministry to Japan, helping to create a new Practical Shin Buddhist Ministry program at Ryukoku Univeristy in Kyoto. The Dharma at Times of Need symposium sought to bring together the voices and experiences of Buddhist ministers and Buddhist chaplains and was co-hosted by the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Harvard Divinity Schools. For more information on the symposium, click here. Originally recorded 3 May 2013. (c) 2013 Institute of Buddhist Studies and Seigen Yamaoka.

57mins

14 Jun 2013

Rank #13

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Cleaning Cloths, Poetry, and Personal Buddhas: Laywomen’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Paula Arai. Creativity, flexibility, and accessibility are qualities characteristic of the Buddhist practices that women in contemporary Japan engage in as they weave healing activities into their daily life. Home-made ritualized activities, which draw upon and innovatively adapt age-old traditions, include common greetings turned into healing events, cleaning cloths performing medical mysteries, and poetry writing. In addition, this domestic Dharma often sees a loved one transformed into a Personal Buddha upon death, bestowing wise counsel and compassionate support. Originally recorded on 22 September 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Paula Arai An audio-only version of this talk is also available.

53mins

26 Nov 2012

Rank #14

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Cleaning Cloths, Poetry, and Personal Buddhas: Laywomen’s Healing Practices in Contemporary Japan, audio

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Paula Arai. Creativity, flexibility, and accessibility are qualities characteristic of the Buddhist practices that women in contemporary Japan engage in as they weave healing activities into their daily life. Home-made ritualized activities, which draw upon and innovatively adapt age-old traditions, include common greetings turned into healing events, cleaning cloths performing medical mysteries, and poetry writing. In addition, this domestic Dharma often sees a loved one transformed into a Personal Buddha upon death, bestowing wise counsel and compassionate support. Originally recorded on 22 September 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Paula Arai A video version of this talk is also available.

54mins

26 Nov 2012

Rank #15

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Nuns at Home, Nuns as Homebuilders: Rethinking Ordination and Family in Medieval Japan

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Lisa Grumbach. An exploration of the roles of ordained women within the social and familial structures of medieval Japan. Focusing on the reasons women became nuns, their age at ordination, and the work they performed as nuns, Prof. Grumbach argues that women used ordination as a way to build and maintain homes rather than as a way to “leave home.” Autobiographical writings by women, historical and biographical information about nuns, and medieval literature are used to show that ordination and family life were not opposing categories for many women, suggesting that we need to revise our understanding of what it meant to be a “nun” in medieval Japan. Originally recorded on 22 September 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Lisa Grumbach An audio-only version of this talk is also available.

49mins

26 Nov 2012

Rank #16

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Nuns at Home, Nuns as Homebuilders: Rethinking Ordination and Family in Medieval Japan, audio

Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, Numata Symposium 2012 Keynote Address by Prof. Lisa Grumbach. An exploration of the roles of ordained women within the social and familial structures of medieval Japan. Focusing on the reasons women became nuns, their age at ordination, and the work they performed as nuns, Prof. Grumbach argues that women used ordination as a way to build and maintain homes rather than as a way to “leave home.” Autobiographical writings by women, historical and biographical information about nuns, and medieval literature are used to show that ordination and family life were not opposing categories for many women, suggesting that we need to revise our understanding of what it meant to be a “nun” in medieval Japan. Originally recorded on 22 September 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Lisa Grumbach A video version of this talk is also available.

49mins

26 Nov 2012

Rank #17

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Our Buddhadharma, Our Buddhist Dharma : 2012 Commencement Address

The 2012 Graduation Commencement Address was delivered by Prof. Franz Metcalf and generously sponsored by the Numata Foundation. “Our Buddhadharma, Our Buddhist Dharma” explores our evolving Buddhist dharma in two senses. That is, it tries to begin clarifying dharma in the sense of (a) what the Buddhadharma, as teaching, is; and (b) what our dharma, as duty, is toward that Buddhadharma. While the former is a bottomless pit of circularity into which scholars may sink their careers, and the latter is a deepening chasm of responsibilities into which practitioners may throw their lives, the sinking and the throwing need doing. Treading (and thereby perhaps obliterating) one line between scholarship and practice, this address attempts to trace a path on which scholars and graduates may walk together, down into the darkness. Prof. Metcalf is a teacher at the California State University, Los Angeles, and the author of numerous books applying Buddhist teachings to our everyday lives, including Just Add Buddha and Buddha in Your Backpack. Originally recorded on 18 May 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies and Franz Metcalf

25mins

23 May 2012

Rank #18

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2012 Ryukoku Lecture: True Teaching, Practice and Realization: 6 of 6, audio

Spring 2012 Ryūkoku Lecture Series Presented by Professor Hisashi Tonouchi, Ryūkoku University True Teaching, Practice and Realization (Kyōgyōshinshō): its aim and the formation of Shinran’s Pure Land Teaching The Jōgen Suppression and Shinran’s admonition against self-power (continued) In Japanese with English translation. An outline of the lecture series is available as a downloadable PDF in English or in Japanese. [6 of 6] Originally recorded on 22 March 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies

1hr 18mins

29 Mar 2012

Rank #19

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2012 Ryukoku Lecture: True Teaching, Practice and Realization: 5 of 6, audio

Spring 2012 Ryūkoku Lecture Series Presented by Professor Hisashi Tonouchi, Ryūkoku University True Teaching, Practice and Realization (Kyōgyōshinshō): its aim and the formation of Shinran’s Pure Land Teaching The Jōgen Suppression and Shinran’s admonition against self-power In Japanese with English translation. An outline of the lecture series is available as a downloadable PDF in English or in Japanese. [5 of 6] Originally recorded on 22 March 2012 (c) 2012 The Institute of Buddhist Studies

1hr 16mins

29 Mar 2012

Rank #20