#302: The Words of the Buddha | Bhikkhu Bodhi
Play • 1 hr 15 min

When I first got interested in meditation, all the talk of the Buddha that I encountered in the various books I was reading and lectures I was attending seemed like more of a bug than a feature. I was looking for science-backed stress relief, not religion. But the more I learned, the more interested I became in the Buddha. He was, after all, not a god or a prophet. He was, based on the available evidence, a mortal man who made no claims about the creation of the universe. In fact, to the extent that he did make metaphysical claims, he explicitly told people: don’t believe anything because I tell you. Meanwhile, he laid out a set of meditation instructions and an approach to the human situation that, in my experience, are extraordinarily practical and valuable. And yet, many of today’s meditators don’t know much about who the Buddha was or what he actually taught. Hence today’s guest, the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi. He was born Jeffrey Block in Brooklyn, became a Buddhist monk as a young man, and then went on to become one of the premier translators of Buddhist scripture. In this conversation, we talk about: why it can be so helpful for meditators to know what the Buddha taught; how these teachings survived for centuries before they were ever written down; how he makes sense of the teachings on karma and rebirth; the Buddha’s daily schedule; what kind of person the Buddha was; and what the Buddha taught about staying engaged in politics. Before we started rolling, I asked Bhikkhu Bodhi how I should address him, and he said many people call him “Bhante,” which is a term that is used in Buddhist circles to address monks, and translates into something like “venerable sir.”


Where to find Bhikkhu Bodhi online:

Website: https://bodhimonastery.org/ven-bhikkhu-bodhi.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bhikkhu.bodhi.1


Books Mentioned:

•   The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi http://www.noblepath.org/audio.html?fbclid=IwAR3dAFyckLujaBuYe1y8v0arh9UTq6XLsS_bQHq-layEdGVoA_cfoqVfODg

•   Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives by Dr. Jim B. Tucker: http://www.jimbtucker.com/return-to-life.html

•   What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula Thero http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/documents/What%20the%20Buddha%20Taught_Rahula.pdf

•   The Foundations of Buddhism by Rupert Gethin https://bookshop.org/books/the-foundations-of-buddhism/9780192892232


Other Resources Mentioned:

•   Dr. Ian Stevenson’s research on Perceptual Studies (apparitions, past lifetimes, and near death experiences) - https://med.virginia.edu/perceptual-studies/who-we-are/dr-ian-stevenson/                                                             

•   Buddhist Global Relief - https://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org/


Additional Resources:

•   Ten Percent Happier Live: https://tenpercent.com/live

•   Coronavirus Sanity Guide: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguide

•   Free App access for Frontline Workers: https://tenpercent.com/care


Full Show Notes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/Bhikkhu-Bodhi-302

Psychcast
Psychcast
Medscape Professional Network
Dr. Dorothy Lewis of 'Interview with a Serial Killer' and 'Crazy, Not Insane' on a lifetime in psychiatry
Guest host Eva Ritvo, MD, interviews Dorothy Otnow Lewis, MD, about her more than 40-year career in studying death row inmates as examined in the HBO documentary “Crazy, Not Insane.” Dr. Lewis is clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. She has no disclosures. Dr. Ritvo is a psychiatrist in private practice in Miami Beach, Fla. She has no disclosures. Take-home points * Dr. Lewis has an extensive archive of taped interviews with death row inmates that she has used to inform her work as an expert witness. * While doing her child psychiatry training at the Yale Child Study Center and sitting in at the juvenile court, she began to see that some of the children had psychiatric and neurologic problems that had not been addressed. * The parents of these children sometimes had psychotic or bipolar disorders. After seeing these themes, Dr. Lewis started a clinic at the court. * Dr. Lewis and her team were able to study approximately 15 inmates in four states, including Texas and Florida, both of which had the greatest number of condemned juveniles. One key theme that emerged is that all of the inmates had been sentenced to death as juveniles. * Eventually, the Supreme Court ended the death penalty for convicted killers who committed their crimes before age 18. * Digging deeper and asking more questions of child and adolescent patients who commit violent acts can help clinicians identify environmental stressors that might underlie behavior that is aggressive and antisocial. In some cases, the psychiatric and neurologic impairments identified are treatable. * Dr. Lewis would like to study whether identifying child abuse early might prevent future violence. References Yaeger CA, Lewis DO. Mental illness, neuropsychologic deficits, child abuse and violence. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009;(4):793-813. Lewis DO. Ethical Implications of what we know about violence. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2000 Oct 9(4):833-91. Lewis DO et al. Ethics questions raised by the neuropsychiatric, neuropsychological, educational, developmental, and family characteristics of 18 juveniles awaiting execution in Texas. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2004;32(4):408-29. Griffith EEH et al. Re: Ethics questions raised by characteristics of 18 juveniles awaiting execution in Texas. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2006;34(2):143-4. Lewis DO et al. Some evidence of race bias in the diagnosis and treatment of the juvenile offender. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1979 Jan;49(1):53-61. Lewis DO. Guilty by Reason of Insanity: A Psychiatrist Explores the Minds of Killers. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1998. Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005). Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988) . For more MDedge Podcasts, go to mdedge.com/podcasts Email the show: podcasts@mdedge.com
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