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Every once in a while, there is an episode of Buddhist Books Podcast which doesn't really fit into one of the main "Chapters" or categories.

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First Episode

Podcast Introduction

[00:16:27]  December 4th, 2022

This episode introduces Edward Reib's "Buddhist Books" series. Originally, it began as a YouTube playlist. On March 7th, 2022, I decided to make it into a proper Podcast as well.

HEART SUTRA (Dōgen's Commentary)

[00:29:34]  March 22nd, 2022

This is a special episode because, rather than being filmed in my office in Delhi, it is filmed in Bodh Gaya with Mahabodhi Temple just behind me.

In today's episode, we briefly jump ahead on the timeline from the early Theravada schools of Buddhism to Master Dogen bringing Soto Chan into Japan in the 13th century and, because of his accent, calling it "Zen." In other words, it was the beginning of what could be called "Japanese Zen."

One of the very few chants that are performed by the Zen Monks of Japan is that of the Hannya Shingyo. Dōgen believed it to be such an beautiful expression of the core and essence of the teachings of Lord Buddha, as well as being short and to the point, that chanting it was as much a tradition in early Zen as it was in Shingon, Tendai, and the various other schools of Japanese Buddhism.

Shobogenzo is a collection of lectures given by Dōgen to the monks of those earliest Zen Monasteries. The second "chapter" of Shobogenzo, in other words the second of his lectures recorded there, is one which he gave in the Temple which would later be known as Kōshōhōrin-ji, in Kyoto, in the summer of 1233 on the subject of The Heart of Great Wisdom Sutra, or Hannya Shingyo. In today's this episode, we'll read this lecture.

Buddhist Books: "Xuan Zang" Reaction & Review

[01:17:01]  August 25th, 2022

In this Special Episode of Edward Reib's "Buddhist Books" Podcast, we'll be joining 7th-century CE Buddhist scholar-monk Xuan Zang on his epic journey from China to India where he studies at Nalanda University in Rajgir, collects over 657 Indian texts, and brings them back with him to China to translate.

"Xuan Zang" is a historical movie produced in 2016. In the introduction to this episode, Edward will review and generally describe the movie, spoiler-free, and try to convince you not to watch this episode but, rather, to go watch the movie. Then, in the second part of this episode, he'll watch and react to highlights of the movie.

Buddhist Books: Fukanzazengi
& One Year Anniversary Episode!

[01:09:12]  December 5th, 2022

This is a special episode in which we'll take a look at the past year of the Buddhist Books Podcast since it began on December 5th, 2021.

I'll also be reciting Eihei Dogen's "Fukanzazengi" or "Universal Recommendation for Sitting Meditation," which he wrote in 1227 CE.

Tipiṭaka Rogues' Gallery

[01:03:05]  June 25th, 2023

To celebrate this 100th Tipitaka episode, Edward quickly summarized the various characters, monks and nuns, who behaved in various ways which resulted in the establishing of the rules of the original Sangha, which could be thought of as a kind of "Tipiṭaka Rogues' Gallery." In this Special Episode, you can see the Tipiṭaka Rogues' Gallery portion of that video without the long introduction or the recital afterward.

Śūraṅgama Sūtra - Volume 8

[02:23:53]  August 10th, 2023

In this Special Episode, I'll be reciting Volume 8 of Śūraṅgama Sūtra.

Śūraṅgama Sūtra is a Mahayana Buddhist scripture which first appeared in 8th century China, though it may have been circulated before that, possibly in India as well.

Volume 8 depicts Lord Buddha warning Ananda and the assembly about subtle demonic states with can occur during meditation, as well as various forms of dysfunctional and abusive guru-disciple relationships which can arise out of unrecognised desire and illusory enlightenment.

This scripture is held in high regard by the Chan and Zen schools of Buddhism, and was translated into Tibetan in the 9th century and included in the canon of Mahayana scriptures studied by Vajrayana Buddhists there as well.

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* Edward is not a formally ordained Ngakpa, but wears the shawl, with great respect, during these recitations of published Buddhist Scriptures.

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