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Alan Peto hosts an informative and helpful podcast for anyone who is interested in Buddhism and beginning a Buddhist practice. Alan is a Buddhist layperson who explains Buddhism and Buddhist teachings for beginners and Westerners on his website, https://alanpeto.com. This podcast is aimed at helping those exploring Buddhism or new to Buddhism understand Buddhist teachings and practices. Contact Alan: https://alanpeto.com/contact Podcast Homepage: https://alanpeto.com/podcast Podcast Disclaim ...
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Want to try something special for your Buddhist practice this year? Mix in a monthly focus that compliments your daily practice! Join me in incorporating the Threefold Training throughout the year and be exposed to different Buddhist practices. Chapters: 00:00 Introduction 01:30 The Eightfold Path & Threefold Training 02:00 The 12 Month Plan 03:27 …
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Can a Western Buddhist participate in Western holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving? What about Buddhist or country specific holidays? Let's explore in this episode! Chapters: 00:00 Introduction 00:05 Western Buddhism and Western holidays 00:30 should I engage in Western holidays? 01:22 finding Buddhism in western holidays 01:55 the path as a Bud…
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How can you, as a lay-Buddhist, "be like The Buddha" in your daily life? Here are my five observations about the Buddha and his life that we can incorporate into our life! 00:00 - Introduction 05:00 - Mindfulness 10:18 - Generosity 13:08 - Precepts 18:00 - Compassion 21:22 - Concentration 25:18 - Conclusion Contact Alan: alanpeto.com/contact Podcas…
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Did you know the Buddha was "super"? He had supernatural and supranormal abilities. But this was something he didn't see as central to Buddhism, but as a consequence of meditative concentration. Yet, it is a key part of skillful means in Buddhism where the Buddha (and also Buddhas and Bodhisattvas) used these abilities in many ways to aid others wi…
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The most chanted, studied, and copied sutra in the Buddhist world is the Heart Sutra. Found in most traditions that follow Mahayana Buddhism (the path of the Bodhisattva) chant this sutra daily. It teaches the profound nature of Prajna or supreme wisdom into the nature of "emptiness" and the teaching of not-self so that fear is ended, enlightenment…
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Mahayana Buddhism makes up the largest branch of Buddhism, and they follow the "Bodhisattva Path". What is that and why is it so important to them? A Bodhisattva is an enlightened being that practices for themselves and others and makes great vows to eventually become a Buddha. It provided a way for all people, not just monastics, to actively progr…
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Impermanence in Buddhism is so important and central to our practice that we can't ignore it. However, it is also a very hard concept to understand. The Buddha essentially said that all conditioned things (that includes you and me) are every changing, impermanent, and interdependent on other things to exist. Because our existence is temporary in na…
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Do Buddhists "repent"? Yes! And it's not what you think. Repentance in Buddhism is a fundamental part of Buddhist practice because it helps us "get out" the misdeed/transgression of the five precepts we created so that we can understand why, ask for help, and set an aspiration of action and cultivation of good deeds. This is important because moral…
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Check out episode three (3) of this podcast for the first part! In this new episode, I talk about more misconceptions you may have heard about Buddhism in the West. Here are the misconceptions covered in this episode: "The Buddha was just a regular guy", "There are no gods in Buddhism", "The Pali Canon in Theravada is the oldest", "Zen is not part …
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One of the most important teachings in Buddhism is that of the "Three Fires" or "Three Poisons" of greed, anger, and ignorance. Why? Because it is the cause of our unwholesome karma keeps us trapped in the cycle of rebirth, which the Buddha said is Dukkha ("suffering"). The absence of the Three Fires is Nirvana...our true natural state and the goal…
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Hundreds of millions of Buddhist pray. But why? And more importantly, why should you pray as part of your Buddhist practice?Prayer in Buddhism is not the same as in other religions where you might be praying to a creator God or other being to have forgiveness, worship, or help. Instead, Buddhist prayer has many components and uses, one of which is …
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is capturing everyone's attention at the moment. From ChatGPT to Microsoft's Bing chat and Co-Pilot, to Google Bard. It can seemingly be like talking to a real person who then gives you answers or helps you with things. But can AI ever become a sentient being and become enlightened, or become a Buddha? "Does AI have Bud…
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Buddhist practice isn't confined to a daily practice or going to the temple. There are "Observance Days" in numerous traditions where lay-Buddhists engage in practices that align themselves more with the monastic lifestyle and advance their development. This includes taking the Eight Precepts, vegetarian meals, or even fasting. Learn why Buddhists …
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I've known meditation teacher Bodhipaksa for several years. He was one of the first to use the internet when it was "new" to teach others about meditation when there wasn't a group or temple nearby. He has also spread knowledge about what the Buddha really said (by dispelling fake Buddha quotes online). With his latest book release, I interviewed h…
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If you are new to Buddhism, there are plenty of things in Buddhism that make you question if it is real or not. But they are clearly part of the religion. And, different traditions may have various beliefs. So, do you need to believe in everything "Buddhism" believes in? This is one of the most asked questions and concerns for Westerners coming int…
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How do you practice Buddhism when there is no Buddhist temple or monastics where you live? Can technology and "virtual" Buddhism be an option? In this episode, I talked with Venerable Tri Dao, a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition who has over a million followers on TikTok, and tens of thousands on Instagram and other social media. Since Vener…
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Before Siddhartha was enlightened and became the Buddha, he had to face the demon Mara and his army. While Mara doesn't get talked about all the time in Buddhism, he is all around us trying to make us create the unwholesome karma that keeps us trapped in rebirth/samsara. Mara is also an analogy for our obstacles in Buddhism and for the Three Fires/…
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When challenging and difficult times happen in your life, are you able to continue your Buddhist practice? What does it mean to practice Buddhism during these times, and what practices may be helpful? In this episode, we will talk about the "storms" that can come into our lives, what we as Buddhists do for our practice, and why continuing on the pa…
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Do you need to have blind faith in Buddhism? Faith in things you can't prove such as karma, rebirth, samsara, etc.? This is one of the most often-asked questions (and concerns) about Westerners exploring or entering Buddhism for the first time. The short answer is that we have faith in Buddhism, but it isn't what you expect. However, faith is a cru…
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There are many Buddhist holidays, but what are they and what do they mean to you? Buddhist holidays serve a few purposes, which include getting Buddhists together (Dharma Friends), engaging with monastics, visiting the temple, practicing the religion (chanting, recitation, sutra writing, etc.), engaging in additional practices, and reinvigorating y…
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When you are ready to become a Buddhist, you "officially" become one by taking the Triple Gem Refuge. But what does this mean and why is it important? Can you take the Triple Gem Refuge from home? What's the purpose of becoming a Buddhist? I'll talk about these topics and more in this episode! Suppose you're ready to become a Buddhist and don't hav…
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We often think of the Buddha as the founder of the Buddhist religion in our era. But he was also a leader. The Buddha had to manage, supervise, organize, inspire, and delegate to get a community started, rules to organize the monastics, talk with everyone from kings to farmers, and do this all in a way that everyone could understand. If you want to…
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What are we trying to end in Buddhism? The Three Fires of greed, anger, and ignorance result in karmic actions that trap us in rebirth and dukkha (suffering). But how did we get here in the first place? What "fuels" those three fires? It's Upadana. Literally "fuel", but often translated as "attachment". This is where we cling and attach to sense ob…
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What is the practice of Mahayana Buddhists? From Zen to Pure Land, Mahayana Buddhists strive to perfect the Six Perfections or "Paramitas". These are the qualities and virtues of the true nature of an enlightened being like a Buddha or Bodhisattva. Learn what they are and how to apply them to your practice! Contact Alan: alanpeto.com/contact Podcas…
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Buddhism has something called the "Five Hindrances" which are mental obstructions on our path towards enlightenment and Nirvana. In this episode, we will talk about Buddhist meditation, our mind, and how the Five Hindrances are like obstacles on the road and some common Buddhist ways to overcome them. Contact Alan: alanpeto.com/contact Podcast Disc…
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A common misconception is that Buddhism believes in “reincarnation” where a permanent and unchanging “self” or “soul” transmigrates to a new body or existence. The Buddha firmly rejected this.In Buddhism, the focus on “karma,” and generating wholesome karma, is related to rebirth. The reason Buddhists want to achieve enlightenment and realize Nirvā…
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Regardless of tradition or branch, the half-billion Buddhists around the world practice something called devotional Buddhism. This is based on faith and refuge in the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha), and not on blind faith. This foundational way to practice Buddhism provides a balanced approach on the path towards enlightenment that can be …
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Mahayana makes up the second branch of Buddhism in our world today and is practiced in the East-Asian and Central-Asian countries. Mahayanists follow the "Bodhisattva Path" that leads to the full awakening of Buddhahood. This Mahayana Path allows anyone, even laypersons, to achieve enlightenment without having to take a path of a monastic. Learn mo…
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The first in a series of episodes on the branches and traditions of Buddhism, we will explore Theravāda Buddhism. How did this school emerge? Did it ever read Mahayana sutras? What is the school of thought and guiding practice? Come explore in this episode! Learn more in the article: https://alanpeto.com/buddhism/understanding-mahayana-theravada/ A…
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What is a Buddhist temple and how do you attend services in one? In this episode, I'll talk about why we have Buddhist temples, how to find one, some examples of etiquette when going to one, the general layout and structure of a temple, and what to do if there is no temple near you.Contact Alan: https://alanpeto.com/contact Podcast Disclaimer: http…
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One of the most popular and widely practiced forms of Buddhism is "Pure Land". This practice is found throughout East-Asia and Central-Asia (Mahayana) and is part of the daily practice of a large number of Buddhists. But what does this mean for a Westerner? Often, Pure Land Buddhism can look very devotional or faith-based, and there is that aspect.…
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Buddhism has a rich and vast cosmology that can sometimes be overlooked or disregarded by Westerners. However, this cosmology is central to the half-billion Buddhists around the world and shapes the desire and effort they have in practicing Buddhism. Learn about the six realms of rebirth, units of time (kalpas), and pure lands in this new episode. …
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The free eBook, Buddhism in 10 Steps, was written by Alan Peto and Buddhist Monk Sanathavihari Bhikkhu to help those new to Buddhism get a 'quick start' with a short and easy to read book. In this episode, Alan discusses some topics from the book, and Buddhism in general, with Sanathavihari. Sanathavihari’s websites and social media: https://linktr…
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Did you know that the Buddha actually had two mothers? His mother, Maya, passed away just a few days after he was born. His aunt became his stepmother and raised him as her own. At a basic level, this doesn't speak much about Buddhism until you realize how important these two women were. One gave birth to the Buddha of our era (in a very supernatur…
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Easter is celebrated by Christians around the world. But does Buddhism have a similar resurrection story? Yes and no. While Jesus and the Buddha were two different people, religions, and paths, we can find some similarities between their stories and "resurrection". Read the article here: https://alanpeto.com/buddhism/buddhist-easter/ In order for S…
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If you live in a country where Buddhism is not the major religion, it can be overwhelming to begin with for many. However, if you just follow three straightforward steps you can correctly begin your journey in the religion! Get our FREE eBook, Buddhism in 10 Steps, to start off your journey! Get it here: alanpeto.com/books Episode Time Bookmarks: 1…
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When challenging times happen to us, we can easily become overwhelmed with the situation. While we are following the advice of professionals during these times, we can sometimes lose our Buddhist practice. We may feel that there isn't a way to practice Buddhism, or perhaps it is the furthest thing from your mind. As Buddhists, we can and should pra…
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One of the fundamental teachings of the Buddha is that we do not have a permanent, unchanging, and independent "self". However, we believe we do have such a "self", and as a result, we engage in karmic actions that trap us in the cycle of rebirth, which means continual rebecoming in new existences, which is suffering because they are impermanent. B…
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Karma can be a misunderstood term in our world since it has crept into our everyday conversations with "good karma" and "bad karma". But for Buddhists, it is an important part of the religion because it is something one wants to both transform, and ultimately end creating karma that keeps them bound to the cycle of rebirth. Enlightened beings, such…
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The "Threefold Training" is based upon the Buddha's Eightfold Path to practice Buddhism that leads to enlightenment and Nirvana. It is the way to end the Three Fires of greed, anger, and ignorance/delusion which would then lead to your true state of Nirvana (which is devoid of the Three Fires). The Threefold Training is practiced by the different B…
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The world-famous Buddhist monk Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh passed away in January 2022 at the age of 95. He left behind a legacy of monasteries, local groups, books, and millions of followers. In this episode, I'd like to reflect on what I feel is some of his key teachings and some things that are often overlooked by Westerners about him. If you are …
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The Buddha taught that our existence is marked by impermanence, dukkha, and the illusion of self. He wasn't telling us this to make us sad, but to spur us into action. The only permanent thing is "impermanence", but we fail to utterly understand that, and along with the belief we have a permanent, unchanging, and independent "self", we create the a…
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The most widely practiced form of Buddhism is the cultivation of merit. Merit creates the wholesome conditions that are conducive to the Buddha's path towards enlightenment. Because enlightenment is often not possible in our lifetime and is difficult for laypersons, the Buddha created the practice of merit to help create these future conditions. It…
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With a new year upon us, it can be a perfect time to reflect upon why we are Buddhists and re-invigorating our determination and effort to practice. The Eightfold Path, and the Threefold Training that derives from it, provide us the foundation to practice Buddhism so that we can liberate ourselves from the unsatisfactoriness (Dukkha) of the cycle o…
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Merry Christmas! Can a Buddhist celebrate Christmas? Yes, with a Buddhist mindset. Learn how Buddhists can demonstrate the shared values of peace, love, kindness, compassion, and charity, and allow it to fill your heart and mind. Alan's Buddhism and Christmas articles and videos: https://alanpeto.com/tag/christmas/ --- Send in a voice message: http…
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Enlightenment captures the imagination of Westerners and beginners that are new to Buddhism. But what exactly is "enlightenment" or "awakening" in Buddhism, and what does it mean to you as a practitioner? Learn about "Bodhi" in Buddhism, why it's important, and why becoming enlightened in this life won't happen (but that doesn't mean you aren't mak…
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The Mahayana Buddhist holiday of "Bodhi Day" celebrates the Buddha's enlightenment. Bodhi, meaning awakened or enlightened, is the goal of all Buddhists so they can emulate what the Buddha achieved: cutting through delusion and ignorance, realizing the truth, becoming enlightened (Bodhi), blowing out the three fires of greed, anger, and delusion, w…
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What is "Gratitude" in Buddhism and what does it have to do with Thanksgiving? Learn more about how gratitude is a tool and antidote to greed (one of the Three Fires in Buddhism), and how a Buddhist can participate in the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. For this week only (11/20/21 through 11/26/21) you can get my Buddhist Thanksgiving P…
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With Halloween approaching, let's talk about our version of "ghosts" in Buddhism called "hungry ghosts". These are beings in one of the realms of rebirth where they are constantly craving, and can't be satisfied. Instead of fearing these ghosts, Buddhists practice compassion towards them through many festivals and ceremonies hoping they can hear an…
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Precepts in Buddhism are the foundation for the rest of your Buddhist practice of meditative concentration and wisdom. Learn about why and how the precepts are very important to your Buddhist practice, what the Five Precepts consist of and how they relate to the Eightfold Path, additional precepts you can take, and more. View an Infographic regardi…
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