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Curious Bodhi

Author: Jnana B

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What makes us human? What is the nature of our happiness and suffering... and where do we rile up the energy to do all of this!? How does awakening unfold on the tri-level of our body/mind/spirit continuum and transfer into society? This podcast is for truth-seekers and those who wish to gain wisdom - not just 'dry, book knowledge'. We cover topics like: how awakening affects us on a societal level in science, art, & economics; Buddhism, Hinduism, & ancient knowledge; plant entheogens; and spiritual practice. Email me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com
66 Episodes
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Rarely do I do an opinion piece, but this is too big to ignore. Because of the global scale of the virus, we should be asking the same analytical questions, and more. Why are economies essentially destroying themselves? What excuses are being made to overturn our monetary system? Already, we are seeing blows to small businesses and farmer's markets - who are either forced to shut down completely or we are advised to stay away from. What extra measures will governments put in place to make sure we can't control our own food or medical choices anymore? Already, the UK has deployed the military to step into supermarkets; Spain is giving out fines for simply running or bicycling on the street; and airports are considering "forcibly quarantining people who may carry the virus" as a travel norm. What will this do to our freedom of movement? And most importantly: what can we do during this time instead of panic or experience fear and dread? If Buddhists express one thing clearly, it's that we need to look within and self-reflect rather than being constantly enamored with the material world. This is a great opportunity to explore ourselves: clearly, as the majority, we can take the situation into our own hands using our human spirit. It is crucial that we use our critical minds at this stage instead of being overtaken by survival mode or over-reacting.
Spirituality is for everyone! Although we have different capacities in terms of intellect and obtaining knowledge, creativity, physical abilities, and so on...  the same force operating the macrocosm - reality - is operating within each individual as a microcosm. What is the same within all humans, regardless of the coming-and-going of experiences? We all have consciousness, which is the only prerequisite for finding out the truth about ourselves. Spirituality transcends absolutely every individual, so the matter of expression is inconsequential; if you want to practice Bhakti and dance, then dance! If you want to obtain through knowledge, then Jnana is the way! If you want to sit and meditate, then meditate. If you want to experiment with entheogens, then go for it. There are 84,000 doors to the Dhamma, remember. Which way you choose is up to you. The spiritual life is truly all-inclusive!
We are all subject to what the Buddha called the "three poisons": greed, hatred, and delusion. If we look closely, it is clear that addiction - affecting not just oneself but loved ones and the wider community - are bound up with the poisons. Studying the Dhamma is a helpful motivator to move beyond addiction and free oneself. Since putting down his beer glass for the last time over 20 years ago, Vince Cullen has been practicing the Buddha Dhamma. He started his recovery at the Wat Thamkrabok monestary in Thailand at a detox retreat and took a vow never to take intoxicants again. He is now a charter member of the Buddhist Recovery Network, facilitates Hungry Ghost Retreats, and has held Sangha sit-and-share meetings in England, Scotland, Ireland, India, Nepal, Thailand, and the USA. If you are struggling with addiction and want help, Vince is able to travel anywhere in the world to come teach and see you. Just visit his website www.hungryghostretreats.org under the "Invitations to Teach" section. Namaste and Om! 
This Satsang is for advanced spiritual seekers and knowers of the divine to reinvigorate the reason we are reaching for awakening. We talk about the forces that keep us returning to Samsara, the Dark Night of the Soul, and enlightenment.
Relax into this comforting reawakening meditation for your spiritual empowerment.
In episode 40, I had the good fortune of interviewing Sri Acharya; this is the second interview in our series. Now, I ask: how is our current political, economic, and technological situation related to the Vedic literature? What is Sri Acharya's view on the rise of technology throughout our societies? We also go into the nature of the gods, goddesses, devas, dakinis, and whether or not offering Puja and Yagya is required along with direct connection with God. Interestingly, we talk about what planet Earth actually is and whether Earth exists as a product of our own minds or is its own entity. Ending on one of the most significant question, Sri Acharya defines the evasive term "ego" that we hear all over Vedantic and Buddhist circles. Please see our video interview on Sri Acharya's Youtube channel: Dharma Nation. 
This is an inspiration episode on how all of us are truly "creatures of endurance". Whether you are fresh into sports or have years of experience, I help explain how endurance training - and running in particular - can benefit your spiritual life. In the past 5 years, I have run just over 8,000 kilometers. I've run tied to a dog, up the Himalayas, and had to constantly carry pepper spray in my home city. Life doesn't stop, and neither do my feet! The three aspects to endure in life, and running out on the trails or even lifting twice your body weight, are: Vows, Limits, and Focus, which I explain further. I also give interesting tips for new and seasoned runners. The possibilities for human beings do not rely on dry information, but we have to physically experiment and then meet the incoming challenges head on. In our spiritual life, we may meet our anxiety and fear seriously for the first time, and the same goes for meeting our limits by participating in endurance sports. Enjoy our episode, and don't forget to email me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com. 
Nowadays, it's preferable to call Hinduism by another name: "Sanatana Dharma", which has Dharma right in the name. The Sanskrit word Dharma has a difficult direct English translation, but the closest is akin to "Cosmic Law". In Indian society, it's no secret that upholding Dharma also has various practical implications for the family, social roles, morality, health and diet, and later on - and preposterously out of context, the caste system. Because Dharma is included in these various systems, the Dharma-code is possible to break. For example, if a woman who knows she should have children refuses to have children, then she is breaking the Dharma. It got so bad at one point in history that Lord Krishna had to come back to earth just to restore Dharma, because the world was so terribly out of order... and this is the Bhagavad Gita. When the Buddha came along, he too uses a similar word: Dhamma (Pali). This is exactly the same Cosmic Law, but it cannot be broken by anything. For example, beings who are professional criminals or people with little interest in morality cannot not follow the Cosmic Law; it is still functioning whether they like it or not. After all, gravity keeps us tethered to the earth whether we like it or not! However, that does not mean there are no repercussions in the Cosmic Order. In the Dhamma, the depiction of Bhavacakra / Wheel of Life and Death, demonstrates how beings are reborn for their actions - endlessly and timelessly - until they become enlightened. So the Buddha takes a broader approach and simply holds out his palms and says: "Friends, from my own direct experience, I have found the way to fall seamlessly into the Cosmic Law, and here are some tools and teachings to help you get there swiftly and easily... without being reborn so many times!" 
This Sutta is the Buddha's reminder that we all carry the same prospects for aging, sickness, death, separation, and acting in the world. The Buddha reminds us that we harbour our own actions, as all other beings harbour them, too. One person gets sick, but so does another. We are not immune nor separate from these facts. If we can take these facts as facts and not as hindrances, then we grow stronger and rest in the liberative affects of the Dhamma through contemplation, meditation, and practice. - Tipitaka: Anguttara Nikaya: AN 5.57
Recently, I have had the good fortune of having many mild realisations on the nature of reality, and I want to share them with you. These often inspire my episodes -- so the good news is that the Dharma works! Even better news is that you don't have to call it "Dharma" or even be a Buddhist. Here, we go over what a "Buddha" actually is (a non-denominational entity) and how this relates to the value of non-separation or not seeing yourself apart from anyone or anything else. The truth is... there is nothing else! This is all you. Reality shows itself to us through 7 billion different minds, and when we find out that this is only relative (duality) but that all duality is actually empty (shunyata / non-duality), then we come to inhabit our whole being; our true nature. Oh yes, and being a Buddha also means "loving your enemy" -- exactly what Jesus Christ taught. Join me, and don't forget to email me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com.
Anna Zambreny of "Anna's Intuitive" podcast conducts an interview with me on the fruition of my spiritual awakenings and coming to Buddhism through my struggle with poverty with advice for anyone who is living below-the-line. Also, we talk about what Buddha-Dharma is and how I practice nowadays after the dark times have disappeared. Anna also wants to know about the mind/body/spirit continuum and how trauma is stored in the body - some topics of discussion include the biofield, massage therapy, and emotional trauma. Have a listen and please email me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com with your questions or your messages. I read them all!
I recently gave up my past history after 11 years in London (mundane job, rented flat, water and electric bills, less time for loving life) to move off-grid in Portugal. We bought a plot of land and imported four large shipping containers for the basic structure of our home. If you are thinking of doing something similar, I give advice about my experiences so far with: basic survival guidelines, unexpected consequences of new terrain and weather, creating a water system and harnessing rain, the magic of buckets, how time is different and managing expectations, and how-in-the-hell this connects with the Dharma! In part 2, we will talk about more progress on building and innovations, our new solar panel system, and possibly what we intend to do about making money. Because I'm not officially working... but it would be cool to be a mendicant, where people feed you because they respect "the person searching for enlightenment"... otherwise known as "professional unemployment". Namaste.
What is this mysterious "not-self" (Anatta) we keep hearing about in Buddhism? Does this mean complete obliteration into a black hole, or nihilism? Well, it can't be! The Buddha was the best dualist AND non-dualist simultaneously. He taught the Middle Way between eternalism: a complete and unchanging entity -- and nihilism: a complete nothingness void of any meaning. So, what does his teaching on not-self really mean, and how can we compare this with ancient Vedantic teachings? The answer is stranger than you might think... please leave a message at curiousbodhi@zoho.com with comments or questions, and I will answer them on our next show. Bless you. Namaste.
This is a meditation on our friend, the Medicine Buddha. Let this meditation stream on, and finish when you are ready. After this, you will feel more positive and relaxed about yourself and the world we inhabit. Om. Enjoy!
This talk gives a taste of the reasons why Dharma is "a best path" - for those who truly desire to learn on their way to enlightenment. Dharma is for absolutely every human being on the planet, as we all have the common denominator: Consciousness. The question is: Do you want to make the effort from your own initiative? Please visit patreon.com/curiousbodhi/ to help us continue our show!
This Dharma talk focuses on death -- how death can become a great motivator to see our lives in a larger context. This can reduce fear, anxiety, depression, and mental fog. We are much larger than we think we are! Drop me a line at curiousbodhi@zoho.com with comments on this episode and please consider supporting on Patreon by visiting patreon.com/curiousbodhi
The Curious Bodhi recently moved to Portugal! Hurray! This is my first episode in my new home country, and I decided to give a Dharma talk. Buddhism is all about practicality and notions we can use in our everyday lives and experience. In each moment, no matter how subtle or gross - liking and disliking run our experience, as we seek to make it different. Check it out, and don't forget to drop me a line at curiousbodhi@zoho.com. 
Shambhavi runs Jaya Kula, a centre focusing on the Trika Shaivism and Dzogchen traditions with centres in Portland, Oregon and San Rafael California -- Jaya Kula is a vibrant community which keeps to the roots of the traditions while increasing freedom and presence for everyone who practices. Shambhavi has been practicing for 30+ years and we talk about "waking up while living in a messy world". Check out www.jayakula.org and her podcast called "Satsang with Shambhavi" on iTunes, Spotify, and more.
"My theory is... 'okay, so I live in a prison. I'm not going to be able to stop thinking. So instead of a prison, why don't I make it a palace?!" ~ Alan Gordon. This is, after all, what every great ancient wisdom tradition seeks to do -- and to share the love, residing in our own minds, with every other living being. Alan combines his years of experience and background with science and ancient wisdom to guide us on the exact steps to take positive action with our own minds. The mysterious subconscious and its relentless control over our lives is the focus of Alan's work, and he illumines us on its reprogramming capability. Since Buddhism and mind are inevitably intertwined, I thought I'd share another perspective on this vast and great topic. Visit Alan at www.cycleofmind.com -- he will also be launching his own "Cycle of Mind" podcast soon on September 24th, so be on the lookout! Love, namaste.
Short episode on what is really going on here... *If you'd like to get in touch, email me at curiousbodhi@zoho.com - ask questions, get curious, and I will answer them on the show.
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