The Wisdom Podcast

Andy Rotman: The Divine Stories of Early Buddhism

Discover the powerful teachings on philosophy and faith woven into the classical stories of early Buddhism. In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Andy Rotman, professor of religion and Buddhist studies at Smith College and chief editor for Wisdom’s Classics of Indian Buddhism series. An expert in the field of Buddhist literature, Andy shares with us the important role of narratives in monastic and lay life in South Asia, and how they were used to cultivate wisdom and compassion. We also hear some of Andy’s favorite tales from his translations of Divine Stories (Divyāvadāna), one of the most important collections of ancient Buddhist narratives. Find out what to expect in the upcoming second volume of his translations—Divine Stories, Part 2—forthcoming in the fall of 2017.

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Leonard van der Kuijp: Discovering Tibet with a Leading Scholar

In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Leonard van der Kuijp, professor of Tibetan and Himalayan studies at Harvard University. A preeminent scholar in the field of Tibetan philosophy and translation, Leonard shares with us how he began his studies and what it was like being a student of the pioneer philosopher and translator Herbert Guenther. He also dives into fascinating stories that explore the intellectual and cultural history of Tibet, recounting tales of the Indian scholar Śākyaśrībhadra’s journey to Tibet in the thirteenth century. Leonard’s amusing and vivid stories tell us more about the spread of Buddhism in Tibet and shed a humanizing light on this important and defining time in Tibet’s past.

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Kathleen Dowling Singh: Grace and Awakening

In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Kathleen Dowling Singh, Dharma practitioner and author of The Grace in Aging and the newly released book The Grace in Living. Kathleen shares with us the story of how she has come to value grace and awakening as key aspects of her spiritual life. She tells us about her childhood and the influence her aunt, a Catholic nun, had on her early spiritual development and curiosity. We also hear about how she came to Buddhist practice and how she understands grace in the Buddhist path. Kathleen then imparts her wisdom on the art of spiritual biography, sharing with us how we can recognize the grace that is present in our lives, understanding that we are already awakening.

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Kamala Masters: Dhamma in Daily Life

In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we speak with Kamala Masters, guiding teacher for the Insight Meditation Society and member of the translation committee for the new book by Mahasi Sayadaw, Manual of Insight. We hear insightful stories from Kamala about how she initially came to practice Buddhism as a working single mother of three children under the skillful guidance of her teacher Munindra-ji. She shares how he helped her bring her practice into daily life and how she learned not to identify with difficult emotions. She also tells us about what she gained from doing longer retreats with Sayadaw U Pandita and how her brief time as a nun was a happy experience. Further, Kamala also underscores how she integrates love and wisdom when she teaches others, particularly how morality relates to being in community.

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David Nichtern: Awakening from the Daydream

In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, we meet David Nichtern, a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition, renowned musician, and author of Wisdom’s recently published book, Awakening from the Daydream. David tells us about how he encountered Buddhism through the iconic teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche during his first visit to the United States. He relates his experience studying with Trungpa Rinpoche over the years, describing Rinpoche’s fearless and creative teaching style, how his teachings were transformative, and the legacy he left his students after his death. David then shares wisdom with us from his new book, which elaborates on the powerful psychology within the image of the Wheel of Life, and speaks on how we can understand karma as continuity rather than as an external authority.

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