Gerry Shishen Wick, Roshi is a dual-lineage holder of both the Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen. His teacher Maezumi Roshi passed along both lineages, and so we take this unique opportunity to ask Roshi to compare these two different approaches. He talks about shikantaza (Just Sitting) and also about koan practice—sometimes refered to as logical paradoxes. He explains that the koan system includes many different kinds of koans, each with different purposes. Some are meant to reveal the oneness of reality, while others are point to the multiplicity within that oneness. He also discusses the difference between "live words" and "dead words," and why that distinction is so important in the practice of Koan training.This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, airing next week.
Stephen Batchelor, author of "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist" joins the hosts for the first installment of a three part series on Buddhism. Batchelor, a former monk in both the Tibetan and Zen traditions, was trained by monks in the Dali Lama’s inner circle. Over time he began to doubt many core doctrines of Buddhism when he found they could not withstand the test of reason. This crisis of faith prompted him to closely examine the earliest Buddhist texts. In them he found a very different conception of the Buddha and his teachings—one that is surprisingly humanistic. Also in this episode: the doubtcasters give a thumbnail sketch of the religious and social context of early Buddhism and a summery of Buddhist doctrines such as "the three marks of existence" and "the four noble truths."
In this episode, taken from the Buddhist Geeks Conference in 2011, Kelly McGonigal, PhD in Health Psychology, speaks on how the neuroscience of meditation can help us understand how practice shapes the mind and can also offer fresh insights into concepts like mindfulness and suffering. As Dr. McGonigal presents various scientific studies that show differences in the brain functioning between meditators and non-meditators, she highlights how meditation practice benefits the practitioner in various ways such as higher pain thresholds and reduced depression.
Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Evolving (audio; Vincent Horn talks with David Loy on Buddhist Geeks; 2011)
Perspectives on the intersection between science and Buddhism.