Everyday Buddhism: Making Everyday Better
Wendy Shinyo Haylett
Wendy Shinyo Haylett, an author, Buddhist teacher, lay minister, behavioral and spiritual coach shares the "tips and tricks" found in Buddhist teachings to make your professional and personal life better ... everyday!
Everyday Buddhism 70 - Disappearing? Transcending?
Apr 30 2022
Everyday Buddhism 70 - Disappearing? Transcending?
In the past year I've noticed a feeling of "disappearing" in the world ... and to the world. A sense of my slipping relevance to the people and world around me. Yet, the good news about seeming to disappear is that it reveals the absolute truth of things as they are. Am I disappearing or am I transcending? It's a simple twist of the head. A change in perception. A change in awareness that I realize through an understanding of emptiness, Japanese psychology, and the experience of meditation. Listen as I talk about my incredible disappearing self that happens through meditation and through the understanding that active acceptance is the key to transcending. Holding on to what I think I might be losing keeps me suffering like a shimmering ghost that is unable to let go. Actively accepting the naturalness of this disappearance kills me completely. Book, by Karl Brunnholzl, mentioned in this podcast: The Heart Attack Sutra: A New Commentary on the Heart Sutra My book, mentioned in this podcast: Everyday Buddhism: Real-Life Buddhist Teachings & Practices For Real Change
Apr 30 2022
Everyday Buddhism 69 - Thoughts on the Loss of My Teacher - Rev. Koyo Kubose
My teacher, mentor, and friend, Rev. Sunnan Koyo Kubose passed away suddenly last month. In his honor, I'm replaying Episode 20, a special interview with him, as the first of a series of episodes dedicated to honoring my teachers. It is through Bright Dawn and my Sensei, I learned how to bring Buddhism into the everyday. Listen as we discuss what the Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism and its Lay Ministry program is all about, from Rev. Koyo's perspective ... its historical influences, its mission, vision, and special niche as a program bringing the Dharma to everyone in an ordinary, everyday way. We'll talk about the balance of gratitude, humility, ambiguity, uncertainty, perfect studentship, and — most importantly — naturalness, in Bright Dawn and it's lay ministers, as they bring the Dharma to everyone. Support the podcast through the affiliate link to buy the book, Everyday Buddhism: Real-Life Buddhist Teachings & Practices for Real Change: Buy the book, "Everyday Buddhism" And books from Rev. Koyo Kubose and Rev. Gyomay Kubose: Bright Dawn: Discovering Your Everyday Spirituality Everyday Suchness: Buddhist Essays on Everyday Living The Center Within
Apr 10 2022
1 hr 24 mins
Everyday Buddhism 68 - The Buddha's Wife: Yasodhara and the Buddha with Vanessa Sasson
Join me for a delightful conversation with Vanessa Sasson who told the Buddha's story in a way you probably never heard it. She masterfully places you in the lives of Siddhartha and his wife, Yasodhara, as Siddhartha comes to grips with suffering for the first time. His obsession with ridding the world of the suffering that so many accept as part of life, is his calling. Sasson's calling was to write this story, based on her many years of study, as a Buddhist and religious scholar, but—most importantly—engaging with her imagination to bring the reader right in the middle of it, as she "feels the story of the Buddha's life." Vanessa Sasson urges us to see Buddhism as an engaged imagination. Buddhist text is open-ended and invites you to tell the story as you imagine it in your own life. Put away your concepts and "play with" the bigness of the story Sasson tells. Find out more about Vanessa Sasson: https://www.vanessarsasson.com/
Mar 9 2022
1 hr 30 mins
Everyday Buddhism 67 - Love and the Strength of Our Humanness
Join me for a fascinating conversation with Arthur Brooks, where we talk about two of his 12 books, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt and From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life, his new book just released this week. Because we talk about both books, it is a wide-ranging conversation, but I think I can summarize it by using Arthur's words from this episode. He talks about how we see ourselves and others as objects when he said, "When you can't humanize yourself, good luck humanizing anyone else." I invited Arthur to this podcast after reading his book, Love Your Enemies, where I heard a strong and rare voice in our current climate of divisiveness, urging us to look past the illusion of our separateness. A Buddhist theme, for sure. Or as Arthur said, "The sound of one hand clapping is an illusion, just like the illusion of the separateness of different people." Go to https://arthurbrooks.com/ for more about his books, podcast, and speaking engagements.
Feb 19 2022
Everyday Buddhism 66 - Buddhist Spiritual Friendship as a UU Pastor with Pamela Patton
In this podcast, I talk with Pamela Patton, Director of Pastoral Ministries for All Souls NYC. Pamela is a both a Unitarian Universalist and a Buddhist and she founded the Buddhism and Mindfulness program at the popular Unitarian Universalist church, All Souls, in Manhattan. In a wide-reaching conversation, we talked—among other things—about how important it is to keep your own practice strong if you want to help others. I think this is just as important for all of us to keep in mind, as it is for Pastoral Ministers. I asked her what was one of the major issues people came to her to talk about with her over her tenure as a minister. She said, "connection." This just emphasizes how important connection has always been, even before the pandemic when we've all felt disconnected from each other. This is such an important theme in Buddhism because, as we know, not only are we social beings, we are all interconnected or "interbeing" as the late Thich Nhat Hanh coined.
Feb 7 2022
1 hr 36 mins
Everyday Buddhism 65 - Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, and the Light of the Buddha's Promise
In this episode, we celebrate the Winter Solstice, Bodhi Day, and the light of the Buddha's Promise, meaning our enlightenment, too. The message of the December darkness is a messenger of our own enlightenment. As Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote, "having discovered for himself the perfect peace of liberation, he kindles for us the light of knowledge, which reveals both the truths that we must see for ourselves and the path of practice that culminates in this liberating vision." We don't chase the darkness away through external ritual or stringing lights, but by looking inside to find our own light.
Dec 21 2021
Everyday Buddhism 64 - We Were Made For These Times With Kaira Jewel Lingo
Join me for an absorbing and inspiring conversation with someone who I now consider a personal teacher: Kaira Jewel Lingo, the author of the just-released book, We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons on Moving Through Change, Loss, and Disruption. Kaira Jewel is a gentle voice that quietly shares the deepest wisdom in the simplest way. It is my favorite kind of teaching. It shifts and moves inside you until you say ah-ha! And all the while you don't feel taught. I've used her book and her Insight Timer series to give me the courage and compassion to keep going in these shattered and dark times of mistrust, injustice, climate change, and an endless pandemic. Kaira Jewel shares her story of beginning a new life outside the monastery, after 15 years as a nun with Thich Nhat Hanh's monastic community. But, most importantly, she shares convincing lessons that prove we were, indeed, made for these times because "every moment is our moment to be here as fully as we can be."
Nov 5 2021
1 hr 21 mins
Everyday Buddhism 63 - Halloween: What Scares You? What Masks Do You Wear?
In this special repeat episode, we'll look at the overlaps between the pagan origination, rituals, and concepts of Halloween and Tibetan Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism ... and also examine it all from an Everyday Buddhism perspective. What scares you? What do you NOT want to look at? What masks do you wear? Do you show yourself as someone without a shadow or demon side? Is the so-called "spirituality" we want, we crave, and grasp onto something that is both grounded while reaching to the sky? Buddhism is about seeing life as it is...seeing ourselves for who we really are...and all others for who they are. It is only then we can develop equanimity and compassion for all, including ourselves. Until then, we are living among apparitions like those on Halloween.
Oct 30 2021
Everyday Buddhism 62 - The Magic Power of Equanimity
I can't stop talking about equanimity. So this episode is about the magic power of equanimity. What is it? Why is it important all the the time, but especially now? And how do we get it? As I've mentioned in previous episodes, I've been focusing my practice on developing equanimity and compassion. In this episode, I share some of the things that have been helping me find balance and a bit more spaciousness from the "crazy" during this time where I believe we all feel like our lives have been up-ended. I share six major tips to help you develop equanimity. The first is a foundational support for the rest: Mindful awareness of what causes us to be reactive or what triggers us. The next five are specific tips about our attitude toward the people and pets we love, our stuff, who to avoid, who to stay close to, and the importance of keeping up with your practice.
Oct 24 2021
Everyday Buddhism 61 - A Skeptic's Path to Enlightenment with Scott Snibbe
Join me for a conversation with Scott Snibbe, the host of the podcast, A Skeptic's Path to Enlightenment. Enjoy a free-flowing conversation between two long-time Buddhist practitioners and podcast hosts as we talk about the power of Buddhism and meditation to help enhance our good qualities, make us happier, and—ultimately—help make those around us happier. Enjoy Scott's easy and fun style of explaining Buddhism and meditation. It will make you a believer if you weren't already. Like the smiling, joyful Tibetan Rinpoches, Geshes, and Khenpos, Scott's joyful personality is contagious. And if you are a skeptic and believe enlightenment is impossible, no problem. You are invited to dip your toe into this conversation and I'm convinced you'll want more!
Sep 23 2021
1 hr 27 mins
Everyday Buddhism 60 - It's All About "Tude" But Not That "Tude"
To reiterate the obvious, life has been hard lately. Depressing and a struggle for many and devastating for so many others. All this suffering around us: plagues, violence, floods, fires. And those of you who follow this podcast know, I've been looking at how we might find a way to help ourselves and others through all this from many different Buddhist-oriented approaches. Finally, though, I personally came back to a practice and an attitude from my many years of Tibetan Buddhist study and practice: the practice of and—more foundational—the attitude of a bodhisattva. I came back to the beginning. In the beginning is intention or, for the purposes of this podcast episode, attitude. Right intention. Right attitude. It was as if I felt myself, in the midst of our ongoing "burning world", feeling around for a way out. And, without any conscious decision, I reached for and grabbed all my bodhisattva teachings and haven't let go. When looking outside at our burning world is too hard to bear, it's time—again—to look inside. Look at my motivation, my intention … look at what my heart was holding and where my mind returned … and look to see how my heart can be softened and how my mind can let go of its death grip on negative thoughts. This is the sort of practice that is pulling me from a pattern I've been trapped in since early 2020, when the pandemic began. A pattern of bobbing to the surface, holding on to some sort of hope or thought of resilience, then being pulled back under when things don't seem to be getting better. For me, the trick was to keep practicing, with daily meditation on The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas and/or The Way of the Bodhisattva plus doing Tonglen (taking and sending), metta, and/or Lojong practice. It isn't easy because it takes breaking a habit of reactivity and, well, laziness or avoidance of the practice.
Aug 26 2021
Everyday Buddhism 59: The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas with Frank Howard
Join the conversation with one of my first teachers, Frank Howard, as we talk about a little book called The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas. I first met this book at the Dharma Center Frank directs and teaches, where His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche is a visiting teacher. Garchen Rinpoche says the entire Buddhist path can be found in the little book of The 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas. Rinpoche had one of the little books in one hand and his prayer wheel in the other hand. I've read these 37 practices for more than a couple of decades ... but I haven't always practiced with them. This is what the conversation is about. It is a way to transform your life through transforming your mind. Listen ...
Aug 9 2021
1 hr 20 mins
Everyday Buddhism 58: Allow Joy - Chan Practice for Uncertain Times
Join me for a conversation—and a gentle teaching—with one of the most clear and inspiring teachers I've met. Rebecca Li, the author of Allow Joy into Our Hearts: Chan Practice in Uncertain Times, talks with me about her new book and the inspiration behind it. I used her book—and will continue to use it—to help pull myself from falling into a dark world in my mind and a heart, as a response to the suffering of the pandemic and all the fear and mistrust that came with it. When suffering arises, Rebecca teaches us "how to suffer better." She teaches us to use a practice of total clear awareness to suffer better by knowing that we're suffering. It is the remembering to come back to practice, for the mind to come back to the body, that allows fear or sadness to move through you and not bury itself in you. And she teaches us not to focus just on the positive as a way to flee from the pain of suffering. That, she says, is a "form of violence to ourselves." Listen to an easy conversation with Rebecca Li, who provides insight into practicing with an "unbiased view of everything that comes before you."
May 26 2021
1 hr 23 mins
Everyday Buddhism 57 - Dharma for Trauma
It seems, sometimes, that when Buddhist and other religious teachers, and serious practitioners get deeper into practice, the more they seem capable of deluding themselves—either in a performative way, posing and positioning for others, or because they have completely deluded themselves about what is really happening within them. They hide their humanness behind the beauty and strength of their words, or their teacher's words, and they hide their brokenness. They hide so well they begin to believe they aren't broken. In this episode, I talk about my brokenness and about how, like the Japanese art of kintsugi, expressing the philosophy of wabi-sabi, we must embrace the flawed and imperfect to honor our whole self—in all its brokenness—rather than hide what is broken. We need to illuminate those broken parts.
Apr 15 2021
Everyday Buddhism 56 - Can You Lament And Still Be A Buddhist?
Buddhist sutras and teachings speak of lamenting only in ways that highlight how it is to be avoided and transcended, so as not to fall victim to the second arrow of suffering. The Buddha's teaching that there is dukkha, or unsatisfactoriness, but suffering is optional through one's internal relationship to that dukkha. He teaches that is enough. But is it? I bet, at some time during the last year, you have cried out in your heart to restore life to how it used to be. We look around and everyone is suffering and nothing is the same. Why not cry out? A prayer of lament and grief can be a necessary expression of sorrow, as a crucial part of the experience of living in a broken world. The broken world the Buddha warned us about. When we lament the darkest moments of life, we are at are most humble. And it is from that place, true compassion for yourself and others—and true acceptance—is born.
Feb 26 2021
Everyday Buddhism 55 - Introducing Where The Light Meets
Join us for this introduction of an Everyday Buddhism spin-off podcast! Follow the conversation of 4 friends: Holly Rockwell, a spiritual director and Ignatian prayer guide; Levi Shinyo Walbert Sensei, a Buddhist Lay Minister and seminary student pursuing chaplaincy and a Master of Divinity; Christopher Kakuyo Ross-Leibow Sensei, a Buddhist Lay Minister and sangha leader of the Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship; and me, Wendy Shinyo Haylett, a Buddhist Lay Minister and your host of both podcasts. Listen as we will continue to talk about how you can enlighten your Buddhist practice through Christianity or how you can enlighten your Christian practice through Buddhism. This is where the light meets.
Feb 11 2021
Everyday Buddhism 54 - Same Crap, Different Year?
Join me as I share my struggle finding some peace in the midst of the uncertainties that have chased us from 2020 into 2021. Despite our urge to run, hide, strike out, or curl up in a ball, as Buddhists we need to remember that the Buddha never promised a rose garden. The Buddha never promised an ordered universe. He said life is suffering because we grasp to life being something other than it is. There's a post-modern paradigm that life keeps getting better and better due to technological and scientific progress. In some ways it does. But not without a little disorder. We need ways to navigate the disorder to some sense of reorder, without running back to the old order ... to our old "normal." We can do that with our minds. The Buddha made that promise through the first of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right View or Right Understanding.
Jan 13 2021
Everyday Buddhism 53 - Lessons for Covid Living From Those With Long-Term Health Challenges
In this episode we are continuing our "How I'm Coping" series but with a bit of a different twist. I've brought together two podcast listeners who expressed a different perspective on how they are coping with the pandemic. Both of them come to their current coping abilities through previous "practice" as people with serious long-term health issues. We share many of the challenges, frustrations, fear, and daily uncertainties that come with serious chronic and/or progressive diseases and injury. This is just the sort of uncertainty and lack of control that we have all felt during the pandemic. We are still trying to understand how to cope with this uncertainty the pandemic has thrust upon us but our guests, Dr. Kelly Lockwood and William Seiyo Shehan Sensei, have navigated these challenges for many years due to their illness and injuries. Those with disabilities and chronic illnesses are easily overlooked in our "power-through" culture. This pandemic has highlighted how easily forgotten the aged and those with chronic illness and disabilities have become while the rest of the world rushes to get back to a "normal" that those with chronic illness will never regain.
Dec 12 2020
1 hr 28 mins
Everyday Buddhism 52 - How To Be Thankful in the Midst of Sadness
In this podcast, we'll explore finding ways to say "thank you" in this time of loss, fear, despair, and uncertainty. I take some time reflecting on the Buddhist teachings of the gift of our "precious human life." Our lives are a gift. We did not plan, arrange, or have any control in making our births happen. We were gifted them. And, for that gift, despite how rocky our lives sometimes seem, we say "thank you!" Listen to how you can use mindful awareness to shift your focus to what's in front of you ... to "just this". Sitting in "just this", you are relieved of your endless wants, worries, dramas, AND sadness. From that place, you can connect to a place of freedom where your heart softens around your fears and joys, and you can relax in the whole of life—if only for a few minutes.
Nov 26 2020
Everyday Buddhism 51 - Steady, Calm and Brave with Kimberly Brown
Join me in conversation with Kimberly Brown as we discuss her new book, Steady, Calm and Brave, a handbook of healing tools to help us through the fraught times of 2020—and beyond. In a delightfully honest and personal conversation, Kimberly shares how seeing students, friends, neighbors, and family afraid, disheartened, and sad, at the beginning of the pandemic was the motivation for writing the book. Kimberly shares her personal experience with trauma and how metta, body-based, and self-compassion Buddhist and pyschotherapeutic practices helped heal her and formed the intention for her to become a teacher of these practices. The practices Kimberly shares are a true Bodhisattva offering. She explains her motivation to not only reduce stress, deal with difficult emotions, and care for yourself and your loved ones, but to help recognize your gifts of deep wisdom, compassion, and courage. And these gifts will animate "your words, actions, and presence...to help reveal our healthy and equitable world. Remember, only everyone can save us—and we're everyone."
Oct 26 2020
1 hr 11 mins