Episode 148: Perfect Tommy Pickleseed

What is Buddhism? More precisely, what does it mean to be “Buddhist?” Perhaps surprisingly, potential answers to this vary greatly whether one approaches Buddhism from a theoretical or a practical framework. Roughly representing these approaches respectively, Dr. Mark Webb and newcomer Sebastian Bentkowski joined me to explore, compare, and contrast. Does a dog have Buddha-nature? The answer might surprise you. Have a listen!

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One Comment on "Episode 148: Perfect Tommy Pickleseed"

  1. MossyQuartz
    27/01/2014 at 11:39 pm Permalink

    I’m writing while I’m listening to this. Your impressions of and understanding of types of Buddhism differ from my observations and introduction to Buddhist thought. The discussion sounded like the way that people discuss the ultimate truth types of religions, but it isn’t a religion of having the truth for dissemination, it is more like the other way around, a religion that guides its members on how to form the questions. I learned to look at a period on a page at the end of a sentence. Like that one. Then looking at the period until my thoughts held still. I grew up in the outskirts of Los Angeles as an agnostic, but not knowing which religion might be right led me to read about lots of religions. Tibetan style Buddhism and California style Zen are so different, but they aren’t all that different from stuff you can read in the Upanishads, so they could fall within Hinduism. Staring at a period or speck of dust helped me calm my mind at age of six, but learning to reach the same mental state while jogging and doing warm up exercises and falls in Jiu-Jitsu class at age of fourteen are the benefits of Buddhist teaching that I gladly accept and use. Moving meditation saved me from countless traffic hazards in the years of driving the Hollywood Freeway before I finally moved out of California. Zen was more appealing to me than other forms of Buddhism because it does not require belief in a deity, as I might maybe still possibly be an agnostic. I can understand atheism and I can understand polytheism, but there is no way that I can fit monotheism into any shape that I could understand, unless it is the end of the wheel of rebirth where everyone reaches Buddha-understanding and get reabsorbed into the beginning of all things and we lose individuation. I don’t want to believe in Buddhism because I don’t want to believe in loss of individual self as a goal.

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