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Zen Biscuits Podcast

Under the moniker Zen Biscuits I've started putting up Buddhist text readings on YouTube and Podbean.

Zen Biscuits on YouTube
Zen Biscuits Podcast on Podbean

Why am I doing this?

Part of my training is to read through pages and pages of often obscure and strangely written Buddhist sutras (teachings), supposedly taught by the historical Buddha. I say 'supposedly' because this is somewhat in doubt, especially when it comes to the later texts, which are almost certainly fabrications meant to lend authority to later philosophical developments... a shady practice all told, but somewhat understandable historically speaking.

Anyway, in making my way through a lot of these texts I've found them to be hugely enlightening and interesting and dare I say enjoyable. I had some familiarity with the Pali (early) canon that is considered the sole authentic teachings by Theravada. Many of these texts are a wonderful read and hugely helpful for the practitioner. As for the later 'Mahayana' texts, I had read some here and there but on the whole had found them alienating. But that has changed as I have found something wonderful in these texts too.

They're a fundamentally different type of text -- far more ornate, embellished, fanciful... almost psychedelic. But once you get to know their style there is joy to be found in their reading, and the fundamental philosophical insights remain in the spirit of the Buddha if not necessarily in his actual words.

Along with the sutras, I've also started to include famous texts from the Zen tradition, including an excerpt from Huang Po's Transmission of Mind, as in the above video.

I share these links on this blog in the spirit of sharing the Dharma and hopefully to spark interest among anyone who happens upon this to hear the actual teachings of the Buddha and his followers, even if only to counter the vast amount of false Buddha quotes out there!

You may find them enlightening, helpful or outright bizarre. Whatever your reaction, hopefully they are interesting.

I'm afraid my reading voice isn't up to much; I'm also hoping that in doing this it will help build my vocal confidence, which is something I struggle with as an ASD chap.

Let me know what you make of them :)



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