#302 The Words of the Buddha | Bhikkhu Bodhi

Ten Percent Happier
November 23, 2020
#302 The Words of the Buddha | Bhikkhu Bodhi
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris
Transcript

When I first got interested in meditation, all the talk of the Buddha that I encountered in the various books I was reading and lectures I was attending seemed like more of a bug than a feature. I was looking for science-backed stress relief, not religion. But the more I learned, the more interested I became in the Buddha. He was, after all, not a god or a prophet. He was, based on the available evidence, a mortal man who made no claims about the creation of the universe. In fact, to the extent that he did make metaphysical claims, he explicitly told people: don’t believe anything because I tell you. Meanwhile, he laid out a set of meditation instructions and an approach to the human situation that, in my experience, are extraordinarily practical and valuable. And yet, many of today’s meditators don’t know much about who the Buddha was or what he actually taught. Hence today’s guest, the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi. He was born Jeffrey Block in Brooklyn, became a Buddhist monk as a young man, and then went on to become one of the premier translators of Buddhist scripture. In this conversation, we talk about: why it can be so helpful for meditators to know what the Buddha taught; how these teachings survived for centuries before they were ever written down; how he makes sense of the teachings on karma and rebirth; the Buddha’s daily schedule; what kind of person the Buddha was; and what the Buddha taught about staying engaged in politics. Before we started rolling, I asked Bhikkhu Bodhi how I should address him, and he said many people call him “Bhante,” which is a term that is used in Buddhist circles to address monks, and translates into something like “venerable sir.”

Where to find Bhikkhu Bodhi online: 

Website: Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Social Media: Facebook

Books Mentioned:

Other Resources Mentioned:

Additional Resources:

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