The Five-Minute Buddhist Books

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Koan: Right and Wrong

Right & Wrong

When Bankei held his seclusion-weeks of meditation, pupils from many parts of Japan came to attend. During one of these gatherings a pupil was caught stealing. The matter was reported to Bankei with the request that the culprit be expelled. Bankei ignored the case.

Later the pupil was caught in a similar act, and again . . . → Read More: Koan: Right and Wrong

Depression and Drugs


Paul phoned in to ask: What’s the Buddhist view on Antidepressants? Is it looked on the same as alcohol?


I hate to put words into Buddha’s mouth, but I suspect that his prohibition against intoxicants wasn’t intended to condemn medicinal treatments.

In a perfect world, antidepressants would not be necessary; you would have such perfect mental control that . . . → Read More: Depression and Drugs

Mindfulness At Work


How does one stay mindful and calm at work?


I don’t know if there is any easy or quick solution to this one. In my own case, I meditate regularly, and it’s my belief that this causes me to be naturally more calm in everyday situations. It reduces my overall stress levels, and this in turn causes . . . → Read More: Mindfulness At Work

Attachment TO Buddhism


This is a general question… In studying Buddhism, we learn that attachment is undesirable. We learn we need to recognise and remove attachments that we identify we have. Is there a point where we can become too attached to the teachings of Buddhism? i.e. the Four Noble Truths, the Five Precepts, etc? In the end, does . . . → Read More: Attachment TO Buddhism

Sin & Skepticism in Buddhism


Last night I was listening to the Skeptoid podcast, which examines various things from a skeptic’s perspective. The host was discussing sin and mentioned that being skeptical was a sin in Buddhism. Your podcasts have lead me to think otherwise. Was the host misinformed? Please elaborate. Thanks!


I listen to a couple of skeptic podcasts as well; . . . → Read More: Sin & Skepticism in Buddhism

Koan: The Thief Who Became a Disciple

The Thief Who Became a Disciple

One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding wither his money or his life.

Shichiri told him: “Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer.” Then he resumed his recitation.

A little while afterwards he stopped and called: “Don’t take it . . . → Read More: Koan: The Thief Who Became a Disciple

Koan: Zen in a Beggar’s Life

Zen in a Beggar’s Life

Tosui was a well-known Zen teacher of his time. He had lived in several temples and taught in various provinces.

The last temple he visited accumulated so many adherents that Tosui told them he was going to quit the lecture business entirely. He advised them to disperse and to go wherever they desired. . . . → Read More: Koan: Zen in a Beggar’s Life

Buddhist Tattoos and Books


Hello Brian, Which podcast discusses books that you and others have read? Best of luck with the new job! I miss getting semi daily tweets.

PS- what is a Buddhist opinion on tattoos? Are tattoos considered desecrating to the human body and isn’t the body considered a temple?


Thank you, the new job is going well, and I’ve . . . → Read More: Buddhist Tattoos and Books

Learning Non-Materialism


I am fairly new to Buddhism, though I have been interested in the Buddhist system of beliefs for many years. I am wondering if you can suggest any practices to help develop non-attachment, particularly in regards to food and material things. Perhaps you have covered this in a previous episode, I have not listened to all . . . → Read More: Learning Non-Materialism

Don’t Fear the Karma


I have only recently started listening to your podcast. Listening to it has been part of my seeking of a belief system. I have found it extra-ordinarily difficult to find something to believe in be it spirituality, ideas, people and even myself. Though I know this issue has to do more with my own psychology then . . . → Read More: Don’t Fear the Karma