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Season 1, Episode Two: “Buddhas Don’t Play Tambourines.”

Today’s topic: COMMUNITY!

Asian communities have been practicing Buddhism in the United States since the 1800s, with the idea of “sangha” always front and center. Yet, when the thing we think of today as mindfulness practice was brought over by white Buddhist teachers in the 20th century—from such Buddhist-leaning countries as Thailand, India, and what was then known as Burma—it’s arguable that a certain sense of community got shaved off in the crossing. Jess and Jon discuss the benefits of a community-centered engagement with dhamma practice, and what might get missed when dhamma gets too cozy with individualism. Plus, how can we make the meditation communities we occupy more inclusive?

Our super special guest:

Charisse Minerva, of Inward Bound Mindfulness Education; the Mindfulness in Schools Project; and the Friends School of Virginia Beach.

Topics touched upon for your consideration:

Talk in Third Person Day. | The Emerald City accounting department. | Ill-fitting trousers as an existential condition. | Jessica Morey is: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. | Can the highest aims of dhamma practice be achieved without an emphasis on community? | The cultural aspects of whiteness. | Can spiritual practice overcome the twin toxins of individualism and exceptionalism? | Nursing at the teat of Buddhism. |Are Americans scared of Buddhists? Are Buddhists scared of Americans? | Should Americans be scared of Jessica Morey? | Half-assing the whole of the holy life. | Long-suffering Ananda: the littlest arahant. | Jessica Morey is the Buddha’s best friend. | Charisse Minerva is definitely loving life. | The characteristics of an effective and authentic sangha. | Is mindfulness a class-based movement? | Bodhisattvas of the Earth. | The movement in stillness. | Mindfully eating Cheetos with teens. | Separating the jewels from the shadows. | The posed self; the imposed self; the composed self; and the compost self. | Blinded by the white. | Stillness as privilege. 

Plus—Jess leads a reflective meditation from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, affirming the commitment to attend to the well-being of all those with whom we share our communities…and the world.