• Today we’re talking about effective activism and how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo can allow us to tap into the internal resources we need to truly help other people. Our guest is Alex Boling, of Los Angeles, who honestly shares the insights he has gained by applying his Buddhist practice to his experiences as an activist and volunteer.

    Key takeaway: Sometimes we have to do the internal work to be able to truly care for the people in front of us, rather than just the idea of caring for people.


    1:42 How Alex was inspired to start chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    9:42 The immediate impact he saw in his life

    11:18 The shift he experienced in his relationship with his father

    18:00 The formula he learned to apply to all future challenges

    21:06 How his Buddhist practice began to change his attitude toward volunteering

    32:58 The difference between caring for people vs. the idea of people

    37:44 Why Alex shares Buddhism

    41:54 How his family and friends saw him change

    47:32 The concept of the Ten Worlds

    52:28 Learning to hear other people

    58:53 Advice for anyone who is struggling in their efforts to effect positive change


    One by One: The World is Yours to Change, p. 60
  • “Tips & Insights” new episode series in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life!

    Today’s is: the oneness of life and its environment.


    Winning Over Ourselves Brings Victory in All Other RealmsVideo: Oneness of Life and Environment Explained
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  • Today we’re talking about what it takes to believe that you can be happy, even when you’re facing the most difficult circumstances. Our guest is Christina Moran, of El Paso, Texas, who shares her own journey of pursuing happiness after experiencing a series of very challenging events that made her feel like she had hit rock bottom.


    2:29 How Christina encountered Buddhism

    7:30 The grief and postpartum depression she was experiencing at the time

    10:13 The Buddhist book that turned things around for her

    14:38 What changed in her first month of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    17:02 Her initial goals for herself

    22:35 Survival vs. Happiness

    29:48 What it took to reconnect to happiness

    39:54 The role of the Buddhist community

    41:46 Her favorite Buddhist quotes

    43:51 Advice for anyone who feels like happiness isn’t an option for them

    References mentioned:

    Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death “The Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 149“To My Friends,” from the June 23, 2020, Seikyo Shimbun
  • Today we're talking about what wellness really means from a Buddhist perspective. Our guest is Erica Stein, L.A.-based co-host of the podcast Courageous Wellness, and Buddhist practitioner. We cover everything from the powerful experiences that led to Erica beginning her own practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, to what she’s learned about wellness through producing her podcast.


    1:55 How Erica started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    3:01 The family struggles that taught her the value of Buddhism

    9:16 Erica’s own struggle with weight that led to a wellness journey

    20:03 What it means to treasure your life

    22:11 Overcoming body dysmorphia

    27:22 The power of community

    30:07 How to learn how to take care of yourself

    33:08 Helping others is self-care

    34:02 How her wellness journey inspires her work

    42:07 Connections between wellness and Buddhism

    45:03 Turning poison into medicine

    50:22 Advice for anyone who is struggling with their wellness journey


    Changing Poison into MedicineDiscussions on Youth, p. 16
  • Today we're talking with Bobby Eppsteiner, a surgeon in Massachusetts, who shares the story of how he used his Buddhist practice to beat the odds and become a doctor, even when he was told he wouldn't make it. Key takeaway: Never give up.


    1:31 How Bobby started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    2:15 What inspired his dream of going into medicine

    3:53 The challenges he faced getting into medical school

    8:44 How he used his Buddhist practice to counter being discouraged

    11:15 The day-to-day life of a surgeon

    17:48 How he developed the strength to deal with high-stress situations

    27:10 The role of the Buddhist community in his victory

    31:07 Bobby’s favorite Buddhist quote

    33:50 Advice for anyone who feels they are pursuing something impossible


    “General Stone Tiger,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 953The Never-Give-Up Queen
  • “Tips & Insights” new episode series in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life!

    Today’s is: the oneness of body and mind.


    We Are Connected to Everyone, EverythingOur Resolve is EverythingIs the Mind-Body Connection Real?Mindfulness and Buddhism
  • Today we're talking about what it takes to live your life as the main character or protagonist. Our guest is Nadia Ullah Morin, of Texas, who shares her journey practicing Buddhism after an unexpected series of events took her off the life path she had envisioned for herself. Through consistently chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, she found the courage to create a new path for herself.


    1:10 How Nadia encountered Buddhism

    3:50 Why it felt hard for her to continue practicing

    12:26 How becoming a young mom impacted her life and self-worth

    14:12 What drove her to begin chanting consistently

    20:28 The role the Buddhist community played in her life

    24:08 The turning point that transformed her marriage

    37:00 How she came to love her life

    39:54 Living life as the main character

    45:27 Her favorite Buddhist concept

    49:52 Why community is so important

    52:41 Advice for anyone who feels like they’ve lost their way


    Daisaku IkedaMindfulness and Buddhism
  • Today's episode is a conversation with psychologist Elizabeth Merrick about anxiety, therapy, Buddhism, and how they all connect. Sometimes it helps to examine what Buddhability looks like from different perspectives, identifying parallels between the work of experts in different fields and how Buddhism views the potential of human beings.

    Elizabeth's insights are unique because she has experience counseling young adults, training mental health professionals and being in therapy herself, all while practicing Buddhism.


    1:27 How Elizabeth started practicing Buddhism

    5:23 Context about her professional background as a psychologist

    8:34 The most common mental health challenges she sees young adults struggle with today

    11:22 Natural questions during different developmental stages

    14:21 When you think something is wrong with you

    21:16 Connections between Buddhism and psychology on our potential for change

    27:58 What anxiety is and why we experience it

    32:47 Overcoming anxiety

    38:52 Why the core elements of Buddhist practice are effective

    44:16 Chanting vs. mindfulness

    47:00 The biggest change she’s experienced through chanting

    54:49 The value of having a community

    1:00 A favorite Buddhist quote

    1:03:20 The difference between human revolution and self-improvement

    1:08:01 Advice for anyone who is struggling with anxiety


    Discussions on Youth, p. 5“Letter to Niike,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, p. 1027
  • This week’s conversation is the perfect refresher for anyone who might be feeling like they could use a little fire or motivation right now.

    Our guest is Shawn Lewis, of New Orleans, who tells us the story of a period in his life when he found himself coasting, and after losing a job, also financially struggling with no sense of direction. By solidifying his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, he dug deep to rediscover a childhood dream to work in the video game industry that opened up a most unexpected journey, and ultimately led to him building and selling a social media channel to create his dream career.


    1:07 Introduction to Shawn

    1:39 When and how he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    5:24 The circumstances that led him back to his childhood dream

    9:11 How he began to build his channel

    11:16 What the internal battle felt like as he balanced three jobs

    12:44 How he developed a habit of winning

    15:18 An unexpected opportunity

    19:38 The impact of striving to encourage other people

    25:27 His favorite Buddhist quote

    30:48 The biggest internal change he experienced

    32:34 Advice for anyone who feels like they are coasting or unhappy with their circumstances


    “The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra,” The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1, pp. 1000–01Discussions on Youth, p. 22
  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. This episode originally aired May 2021.

    Today we are covering one of our most highly requested topics: boundaries and self-care.

    Our guest is Jessica Riley, a mental health specialist in Florida, who most recently was a military psychologist. After struggling deeply with setting boundaries, an overwhelming workload and an inability to really take care of herself, she started chanting about her situation and came to a major realization about herself that changed everything. We’ll cover how she navigated her own experience and why caring for others doesn’t have to require sacrifice.


    1:28 Jessica's journey to become a military psychologist

    6:31 Why she turned to chanting

    15:08 What the daily workload felt like

    25:36 Two Buddhist concepts that shifted her perspective

    27:45 How she found time to chant

    31:12 What she realized about herself

    41:36 What happened after she decided to prioritize self-care and boundaries

    41:15 What believing in yourself looks like in practice

    50:22 Advice for anyone struggling with self-worth or burnout

  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. This episode originally aired November 2021.

    Today we speak with Los Angeles-based actor Luca Manganaro, who shares his intertwined journey with acting and Buddhism and the lessons he learned along the way.

    Key takeaway: what you do, especially if you’re currently pursuing a big dream or goal that seems far away, isn’t who you are. Who you are is based on what you practice every day, how you show up in relationships, how you treat the people around you and what you base your self-worth on.


    1:46 How Luca started practicing Buddhism

    6:03 How chanting helped him transform a lifelong health challenge

    13:27 How he decided to pursue acting in New York

    21:05 What Buddhism taught him about dealing with the ups and downs of the business

    30:25 Why he believes in having a Buddhist mentor

    36:02 How he developed a foundation for his life through community

    42:41 What caring for other people has to do with our own growth

    51:27 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism who wants to feel fulfilled

    Mentioned references:

    A Buddhability Guide to Self-Love

  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. This episode originally aired August 2021.

    Today we’re talking about work and more specifically, how to deal with feeling stuck. If you’re feeling trapped by your job or routine, or if you have a secret dream that you haven’t yet had the courage to pursue, this episode is for you.

    Our guest is Clara Kitongo, a young woman who started practicing Buddhism at a time when she was really feeling stuck in her career and life. Her journey with chanting opened up an entirely new perspective on what a creative life means, and now she’s living the life she always wanted.

    Cheat Sheet

    1:04 Introduction to Clara

    3:27 How she got stuck in a “treadmill type existence”

    6:04 What her dreams had been before she got stuck

    7:44 When and why she started practicing Buddhism

    11:36 How to become free from the chains of your own mind

    17:45 How she found her place in the workforce after school

    33:39 How she dealt with her pain along the journey

    35:36 What Buddhism says about opening the door to your life

    42:18 What a creative life really means

    44:49 How to deal with the opinions of others

    49:55 Advice for anyone feeling afraid to open the door to their own life

  • During the month of July, we're on short break and playing re-runs of our most popular episodes from the archives. We'll be back with brand new episodes the first Wednesday in August. Today we’re playing an episode that originally aired November 2020 but feels more relevant than ever.

    We speak with Abe Uccello about working for change in Florida’s prison system, even when he couldn’t see any forward movement. He explains how chanting can help you build trust and respect with anyone, and what unity actually means. Hint: You have to unlock your own wisdom and compassion first.

    Cheat Sheet

    1:50 What we’re trying to understand today

    4:02 Introduction to Abe

    5:02 How chanting helped him feel like he had control over his life again

    10:54 His experiences working with the prison system

    16:20 How chanting helped him figure out what to do

    17:20 What a tenacious effort to build trust helped him achieve

    25:10 Why he didn’t give up

    28:32 How to maintain hope even when you see the darkest parts of humanity

    32:33 What the end goal in Buddhism is

    35:46 Advice to anyone feeling stuck or overwhelmed by uncertainty

    38:02 What “happiness for self and others” means

    45:39 What else to read on Buddhability about feeling stuck and making change

  • “Tips & Insights” new episode series in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life!

    Today’s is: karma.


    Outshining Our Karma With the “Sun of Wisdom”For more in-depth study of the karma, check out An Introduction to Buddhism, second edition, p. 40
  • Today’s episode is about learning to live your truth. Chris, of Detroit, shares the incredibly moving journey to affirm himself and how his Buddhist practice helped him find the courage to come out as a trans man. A foundational element of Chris’s experience was learning to believe that his life has unlimited value and worth, upon which he has been able to build a foundation for new dreams.


    1:18 How Chris encountered Buddhism and why he started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    8:29 The experiences that lead to Chris affirming himself

    17:53 How Buddhism helped him find the courage to pursue happiness

    25:14 What it was like to come out

    30:10 What it took to break out of lifelong limitations

    33:16 Continually reaffirming himself through chanting

    36:17 Chris’s favorite Buddhist concept

    42:17 Building a foundation upon valuing your life

    45:05 Advice for anyone struggling with self-conflict


    December 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 40Soka Education: For the Happiness of the Individual, pp. 209-10
  • Today’s topic is pessimism, which can be defined as a lack of hope or confidence in the future. At different times in our lives, all of us might experience pessimism, especially if our future is uncertain or we find ourselves in a situation where the odds seem stacked against us. This can be compounded by societal conflicts and current affairs, and increasingly, teens and young adults feel a sense of worry, anxiety or futility about the future. Today, we'll unpack the Buddhist perspective on optimism. Our guest is Stuart Adams, a firefighter in California who shares the story of how chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped him transform pessimism into a life of confidence and action.


    1:47 Why Stewart started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    6:17 How he discovered his dream to become a firefighter

    9:56 What it took to challenge his fear

    16:52 What faith means in Buddhism

    23:32 How chanting helped him take initiative

    32:05 Addressing mistakes without hesitation

    36:33 The role of Buddhist friends

    40:28 The Buddhist perspective on optimism

    45:53 Advice for anyone who struggles with pessimism

  • Today we’re talking about self-trust, which, if you’re the type of person who is constantly berating themselves internally, can feel really hard to build. Our guest is Anivat Chanachanchai, of Hawaii, who shares how taking his Buddhist practice of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo seriously helped him finally let go of a cycle of toxic relationships and environments. Once he tapped into his Buddhability, he finally began to trust himself and take the steps to respect his life.


    1:18 Why Anivat started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    5:17 Having a dialogue with yourself

    9:11 His experiences with bullying and coming out

    21:03 The challenges he faced in Hawaii

    30:05 What it means to take full responsibility for your life

    35:26 How chanting helped him through the hard days

    45:39 Advice for anyone new to chanting


    Discussions on Youth, p. 9Discussions on Youth, p. 291
  • "Tips & Insights” is a new episode series in which we’ll introduce one Buddhist concept each month and how it can be applied to your life! Today’s is: the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds.


    The Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds Every Situation is the Best Situation for Elevating Our LivesWhat do I do about the parts of myself I don’t like?
  • Today we are discussing limiting beliefs and self-doubt. Whatever form they take for you, whether it’s your own negative self-talk, the way you see yourself or limitations others have placed on you that you’ve internalized, transforming limiting beliefs can be hard. Fortunately, the essence of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is to do exactly this. By strengthening our Buddhability, we can transform our limitations.

    Our guest is Rachel Mundus, who practices Buddhism in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today she shares the many self-doubts she has had to challenge on the long journey toward her dream of becoming a dentist for the people.


    1:29 Why Rachel began chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    3:09 Where her dream to provide dental care came from

    5:28 The difference she felt once she started chanting

    9:20 What her work is now

    11:43 Her greatest challenge along the way

    16:13 Key turning points in challenging her limiting beliefs

    24:19 What it looks like to strengthen your determination daily

    30:10 The impact of learning to enjoy the journey

    35:02 How she decided to tackle school again

    41:02 How she uprooted her “tree of self-doubt”

    43:53 Advice for anyone struggling with limiting beliefs or self-doubt


    The New Human Revolution, vol. 26, p. 149.The New Human Revolution, vol. 9, p. 153.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, p. 363.

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  • Today we are talking about what it takes to become unshakable. Our guest is Brittany Jones, who recently became the youngest elementary school principal in the country's second largest school district. She shares her journey into education, and how, at a crucial turning point in her career as an educational leader, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo helped her challenge her own insecurities and win each day.

    This episode is especially relevant for anyone who struggles with limiting themselves or easing their anxiety by trying to control their schedule a little too much. It’s also an incredible illustration of how sometimes, letting go and focusing on the present is the greatest strength of all.


    1:50 Why Brittany started chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

    8:58 How she became interested in education

    13:01 Her journey to become an elementary school principal

    29:28 Finding the courage to stay the course

    34:17 How her Buddhist practice helps her identify her priorities

    37:54 Supporting the Buddhability of children

    39:19 The importance of winning in the morning

    45:44 How Brittany learned to let go of the need for control

    50:00 The impact of chanting on becoming unshakable

    53:05 Brittany’s favorite Buddhist quote

    55:09 How she defines her Buddhability

    57:13 Her vision for what’s next

    59:40 Advice for anyone new to Buddhism


    The New Human Revolution, vol. 30, p. 53.April 2016 Living Buddhism, p. 49.The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, vol. 1, p. 70. How to start chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo