Download the App!

show episodes
 
Open and honest discussions with wise and skillful teachers about their experiences with life, death, and Buddhism. If you wonder how others on the path have dealt with death and dying and grief, be sure to listen in. Everyone has a story, a perspective, and a valuable lesson to share. Embrace death, live a full life, and learn to love impermanence because nobody gets out of this alive.
 
Loading …
show series
 
After we had been speaking for a little while, Mahesi Caplan said: "This might be an outrageous thing to say, but over the past few decades, I have been having this thought that there is no death." He went on to say, "Of course, the body dies." And then he discussed this whole concept of we don't die so much as we return home. Listen in, and give i…
 
Mahesi Caplan was interested in the big questions at an early age. When others were on the playground, young Mahesi was sitting on the stairs wondering where he had come from, and what was the meaning of this life? He felt a connection with something much more expansive, something that exists beyond the noise of everyday life. You can say he was bo…
 
One of the first things that struck me about my discussion with Ratnadevi is how she noted that there were so many different examples of impermanence that we could work with. She knew that her mother was dying. We are wherever we are with the pandemic, our climate is in crisis, and Ukraine is under attack. These are all pretty significant reminders…
 
After spending time with Hector Marcel, one of my biggest takeaways was the sense of being in the presence of someone who is joyfully in his practice. This overall feeling of sharing a space with a person who is willing to discuss the challenges we face with impermanence and suffering and who like the rest of us continues to work with the rising an…
 
When Hector Marcel claims that he is a rebellious Buddhist, what he means is that he does not want to recite texts or cling to dogma. He wants to help us experience living Buddhism. In his own journey, Hector felt his practice flow purely when he received the call. You know, the call where you learn that your beloved mother is dying. At that time, …
 
In speaking with Sukhema I was struck by two ideas – the beautiful way in which he used poetry in our discussion about loss. And the fact that he has helped others in their grief journeys by providing them with the type of ritual that they needed. Sukhema has such a talent for bringing the right poem at the right time. Many of us, perhaps most of u…
 
Sukhema knows about impermanence. He has lost his name (Larry Butler), his country (the United States of America), and more than a friend or two along his journey. He encounters it all with the heart of a poet. And as you listen to our discussion, you will hear him use poetry to teach us all about the importance of the art of losing things. he intr…
 
Definitely, Terry went through denial and bargaining when he learned he had terminal cancer. But he made his way to acceptance. And away from clinging and attachment. He arrived at a place where he could think, “These are the cards I have been dealt. I am not crazy about them, but I must play them to the best of my ability.” And that helped him to …
 
From suit and tie guy to 37-year-old rookie police officer, Terry Tucker has led a full and interesting life. There are the changes he instigated and one big change that was not part of his plan. At least not the plan he had in mind. One day a callous on the bottom of Terry’s foot burst open. Terry went to see his good friend the podiatrist and had…
 
Bob Rich is the first one to discuss past lives and rebirth in a concrete manner. In season 1, we discussed living a peaceful life and creating the conditions for a peaceful death with the goal of having a good rebirth. In that way we acknowledged rebirth. Not all Buddhists believe in rebirth. But for some of us, it is an important part of the teac…
 
Dr. Bob Rich was absolutely going to be a physicist. Until he wasn't. He realized that physics was not going to allow him to be a healer and a helper to humanity. As he opened himself up to the experience of understanding five of his past lives, he began to understand what he calls his karmic requirement. The real reason he is here now. He recogniz…
 
Shelley F. Knight taught me five important life lessons. 1. Be happier, you will learn that the little things, were the big things. 2. Connect to something bigger than yourself. In acknowledging that you are NOT everything, you become part of the bigger picture. 3. Speak your truth. In sharing these lessons and so much more, Shelley spoke her truth…
 
Shelley F. Knight, author of 'Good Grief: The A to Z Approach of Modern Day Grief Healing,' and 'Positive Change: A Self-Kick Book,' knows about Death with a capital D and death with a little d. She wisely says, "When we talk about grief people think it's the death of a loved one and it's not just that - that's bereavement. Grief is the loss of any…
 
Can listeners of a Buddhist podcast learn from those who come from different belief systems? YES, you can. And that is exactly what you are doing as you engage with Season 2 of the Death Dhamma podcast. You will hear from Buddhist academics, laypeople, spiritual seekers who have Buddhist leanings, and people who have just barely heard of Buddhism. …
 
Once upon a time, Margaret Meloni, your host of the Death Dhamma podcast was on the corporate fast track. So thought she loved it. Her identity was all tied up in work, work and work. Since others are generously contributing their stories of losing things, ideas, or relationships - Margaret thought it was only fair to tell you the story of one of h…
 
In season 1 of the Death Dhamma podcast, Noel Alumit shared his experience as a volunteer during the AIDs pandemic. Together, he and I compared some of his observations to COVID. Now, it is season 2, one year later, and COVID is still an important part of the conversation. In fact, when Justin Whitaker and I began our talk, we started with COVID. A…
 
What is it like to meet your perfect partner, start planning your future, and then meet impermanence? Justin Whitaker of Buddhistdoor Global (https://www.buddhistdoor.net/) shares how a loss of a relationship took him through what he calls the fog of loss. And now, years later he sees how that experience has made him more compassionate to others an…
 
Let's come together and accept life, death, and impermanence. Between birth and death, we lose many things. Not just our keys and our glasses. We lose friendships, jobs, things, and of course, sentient beings. All of these experiences are opportunities to become comfortable with impermanence. The good news is that we don't do this alone! Once again…
 
Karma—kamma in Pali—is a complicated topic. In its simplest form, it means action. In today’s world, especially in the West, many see it as payback or retribution. We see too many bumper stickers and t-shirts that say, “Karma’s a bitch.” In our culture, there are not enough acknowledgments of good karma and not enough recognition that “Instant Karm…
 
In season 1 of the Death Dhamma podcast we jumped right in and discussed death, and grief, and Buddhism. We heard from twelve wise teachers. Each sharing their experiences and wisdom directly from their hearts. And from that sharing came the book, Sitting with Death: Buddhist Insights to Help You Face Your Fears and Live a Peaceful Life (on amazon …
 
Since the launch of the Death Dhamma podcast in January 2021, it has all been leading up to this moment. The launch of Sitting with Death: Buddhist Insights to Help You Face Your Fears and Live a Peaceful Life. Now the book is available! And today on the Death Dhamma podcast, Margaret Meloni is thrilled to read a chapter to you. Sitting with Death …
 
The Five Recollections combine a healthy recognition of impermanence with death awareness. Most of the Buddhist monks and nuns that I know chant the recollections every day. The truth is, the recollections are not just for monastics. They were intended for all of us. From the Upajjhatthana Sutta, "These are the five facts that one should reflect on…
 
As you grieve, let there be compassion, first for yourself. Later, send compassion to others who were impacted by your loss. And then, when you feel your strength return, remember that everyone will have this experience, and let this realization fill your heart with an abundance of compassion so that it cannot be contained. Your best response is to…
 
When you speak with twelve wise teachers about death and Buddhism, you receive the wisdom of many years of practice, and you have access to a variety of life experiences. You begin to observe areas where we each have different perspectives. You gain insight into the common experiences that we share around death and dying and grief. A sense of commo…
 
In my family, death has been about cancer and heart disease. There are people whose lives end due to racial violence or because of poverty and a lack of access to healthcare. What some of us might consider an untimely death is an everyday occurrence in someone else's world. We see unjust deaths occurring every day. Far too often, they are the resul…
 
"Buddhists don't cry." - These are among the last words that Diane's husband said to her before he died. Even in death, he was teasing her. Well, yes we do cry. From the time she was a child, Diane Wilde has been comfortable with death. She is rare. MOST of us need to work at it. And being comfortable with death does not mean that you do not feel s…
 
It was so tempting to call this episode, two widows talking. That could be a catchy title. Maybe even an entirely different podcast. And yes, both Diane Wilde our guest, and Margaret Meloni, your host, are widows. But this discussion is so much more than that. This is really about shared experiences. This is two people talking about what it feels l…
 
There you are sitting on your cushion, meditating through love and loss. Or maybe it is just another day and another meditation. As you sit there are many little deaths. The rising and falling of a moment, a thought, a label, a concept, or an emotion. Everything is changing around you. Your resistance to the idea of impermanence, or aversion to the…
 
When I asked Cayce Howe, what he would tell his best friend about grief, especially if that friend was new to grief, Cayce did not immediately provide a definition. What he did, was remind me, that grief is different for everyone. We may or may not have the words to describe grief. We have words - sadness, fear, suffering, clinging. But fear might …
 
A good son learns from his mother, and when that son is a Buddhist monk, that son also teaches his mother. Venerable Sumitta's widowed mother raised him and his siblings in such a way that they always felt like a whole and complete family. She steered them all through joy and hardship. As she aged, and as he became an experienced monk, he steered h…
 
As an eleven-year-old monk, Venerable Sumitta attended the funerals of community members. He did not like it, but his teacher insisted. And in time, he learned that he could be of comfort to his community and that everyone would face death. Young Venerable Sumitta was no stranger to death. His father died, when he was three, one of his sisters died…
 
Mary Stancavge (https://marystancavage.org/) told me, that she views the world through the lens of having an undefended heart. She is open to whatever shows up in her life. She seeks to be vulnerable. She encouraged me to consider the many ways in which we armor ourselves. Her undefended heart led her to say yes when a complete stranger asked to sp…
 
Death? That's one of her favorite topics! This is what Mary Stancavage (https://marystancavage.org/) told me, as she joyfully agreed to speak to me. Understanding that there is death is different than navigating grief. It is dealing with grief that challenges so many of us. And each loss we grieve is different. Mary shares a story about sitting wit…
 
Growing up down the street from advanced Buddhist practitioners (like Daniel Goleman, or Joseph Goldstein, or Sharon Salzberg), is no guarantee that your life will be easy, and that you will just know how to avoid suffering. How do I know this? Because I learned from Dave Smith, of www.davesmithdharma.com. Between the ages of 11 and 18, Dave experi…
 
Dave Smith of www.davesmithdharma.com reminds us that death is not rocket science. We know everyone dies. And when we are confronted with death, it is painful. Our challenge lies in knowing about death, but not understanding how to deal with it. And so we treat it as something that needs to be fixed. We can just move on if we can just fix it. "It" …
 
If you are looking for a mantra to help you navigate everyday life then consider this, "Have an Open Heart." If you are looking for a mantra to assist with your ability to help yourself and others prepare for death, try, "Have an Open Heart." Are you currently sitting with your own experiences of grief and loss? Please remind yourself to "Have an O…
 
If you think that being a Buddhist is all about passive meditation and not about taking action - please listen to Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo. She will not say this, but I will, she is a role model for compassionate Buddhist social action. So when she says that the way we live sets the stage for the way we die, she is not just preaching. When we d…
 
Death Dhamma Aha's from speaking with Timber Hawkeye. There is more than one type of death. Consider the death that occurs when someone says to you, "You are dead to me!" Ouch. How do you grieve the loss of someone who is still alive? Can substituting celebrations of life for funerals help us to let go of ego and self-pity? It seems worth a try. Th…
 
When it comes to preparing for death, many people say, "I will cross that bridge when I come to it." Timber Hawkeye is here to tell you that you are already on that bridge. You might as well keep moving forward. Stop assuming that death is bad. You don't know that. You know that you will die, what happens next is unknown. When it is his turn he wil…
 
When the right person is providing spiritual care, it might not matter which robes he or she is wearing. The right chaplain in the right circumstance is invaluable. Speaking with Venerable Guan Zhen was a reminder of the importance of a chaplain who is comfortable with death. In a world where we all have different comfort levels with death and grie…
 
A Buddhist monk of more than twenty years, a chaplain in our US Army, and now working in hospitals, Venerable Guan Zhen knows about spiritual care. And when he works with families who are experiencing loss, he comes to them from a place of deep wisdom, understanding, and authenticity. He knows that when your loved ones die, it can feel like you hav…
 
So many wisdom bombs, In a good way. You know like a truth bomb or a value bomb? Reflections on the different ways in which people handle their grief, with an understanding that however you are feeling is absolutely OK. Your feelings do not own you or define you, and they will change. Keep working on your practice, this helps you build up your inte…
 
It takes a special person to illustrate the different ways in which grief impacts each of us, and then to teach what it is we all need in order to flourish. Dr. Seth Zuihō Segall, author of Buddhism and Human Flourishing: A Modern Western Perspective, is that person. His background as a Psychologist and Zen Buddhist priest make him uniquely qualifi…
 
It's one thing to observe the circle of life as it impacts wild animals. And a completely different experience to learn that we too are part of the circle of life. That is when death comes crashing in. Holly Hisamoto learned about death when her favorite aunt died by suicide. And that tragedy helped to create the caring, thoughtful and wise woman t…
 
If you listened to the Death Dhamma podcast Episode 3 with Venerable De Hong, it might have changed your perspective on grief and trauma and what happens when our parents die. In this Death Dhamma Aha follow-up, Margaret Meloni shares the impact that knowing Venerable De has made on her, and some of her own experiences in what it feels like when bo…
 
When his father died, Venerable De Hong shed many tears. When his mother died, he also cried. They died many years apart. But, the difference in the grief he felt is not just due to his own progression on the path. It is that and so much more. When you are a child, and someone you love and trust abuses you. You feel trapped. When your abuser dies, …
 
Before COVID there was AIDS. And Noel Alumit learned about life, and death, and grief while working as a volunteer in an AIDS hospice. He was only 22 or 23-years-old. Now it is years later, and some things have changed, and some things remain the same. We cannot touch one another, we are afraid to be around one another. In the 1990s, Noel and his c…
 
Loading …

Quick Reference Guide

Copyright 2022 | Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Google login Twitter login Classic login