Divine love is what Casual Buddhism is all about. I’ve always believed in divine love, but it wasn’t until I met the Thai Buddhist nun, Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, my teacher and spiritual mentor, that I discovered it for myself.
Casual Buddhism is a series of ten-minute informal interviews with Venerable Dhammananda about practicing Buddhism in our everyday lives. We all want to learn how to find joy and have meaningful relationships. Yet, how do we find that time in our busy lives?
I look to Dhammananda for simple guidance on how to practice Buddhism in ways I can understand. For example, sometimes, I struggle with anger. It builds to the point where I explode. This happened the other day with a woman I am close to, who’s very opinionated, and our political views differ. I asked Dhammananda, how can I practice tolerating differences in others with more compassion?
She responded, “Naturally, you get angry with someone who says something completely the opposite of what you believe because she is not agreeing with you. What I usually do is take a deep breath first. Try to understand the issue from her point of view so that you can appreciate her way of looking at things. Then you have a conversation. But if you don’t give her the space, then, of course, you blow up. I blow up. We need to be aware of our mind and thoughts so we can catch our anger before we express it.”
In Casual Buddhism, Dhammananda and I will discuss coping with difficult emotions like anger, despair, and loneliness. We’ll also talk about how to cultivate joy and well-being and many other topics of interest. Each episode of Casual Buddhism is only ten minutes long. As we continue to add videos to my website, you’ll be able to choose the topic you want to view. You can also ask questions or suggest topics for Dhammananda to address in future programs on my contact page or on my Facebook page.