Adventures in Buddhism
By Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan
Spiritual practice should be an adventure, an exploration of new areas of life and a process of discovering and transcending our boundaries so that we gain wisdom, expand our comfort zones and develop skills and strengths. Your host, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan, is a Zen monk who will help you apply the Buddha’s teachings to everyday life—whether you want to reduce stress, live with more purpose, or even be a spiritual superhero!
The Buddha Way: The Path
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about a parable from the Lotus Sutra in which the Buddha explains that the practice is the ultimate way, the way to Buddhahood. He then shares a discussion of an earlier discourse, in which the Buddha explains the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path.
May 28, 2022
The Greatest Blessings
The Buddha was once asked, "What is the highest blessing?" His answer became a comprehensive guide to living well on the Buddhist path.
May 19, 2022
Spiritual Truths: How to Tell if a Teaching is Reliable
In the modern world, we have access to countless religious and otherwise spiritual traditions and teachers. Some of these teachings can sound pretty good. But how can we tell if a teaching is going to take us down the path we want to travel? In this episode, Sensei Morris shares a conversation the Buddha had with his own stepmother about that topic.
May 13, 2022
What Do I Need? Part Five
In this episode, Sensei Morris wraps up his discussion of essential elements of Buddhist practice with a talk about skillful means and Buddha Nature.
March 19, 2022
What Do I Need? Part Four
In this episode, Sensei Morris continues the series of essential elements of Buddhist practice with a discussion of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
March 10, 2022
What Do I Need to Know? Part Three
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about the second turning of the Wheel of Dharma, with the teachings on emptiness and the way of the bodhisattva.
February 25, 2022
What do I Need to Know, Part Two
In this episode, Sensei Morris continues his discussion of the day-to-day usefulness of the Buddha's key teachings, with an emphasis on the discourse on anatta--the not-self characteristic--and the factors of dependent origination.
February 18, 2022
What do I Need to Know, Part One
A lot of people starting out exploring Buddhism can get overwhelmed by the prospect of learning how to practice. There are so many resources, from so many different schools and viewpoints, it can be very confusing. In this first in a series of talks, Sensei Morris talks about the foundations of Buddhist practice and how to make them useful in your real life.
February 11, 2022
Want a gift that will last forever, won't wear out, and that you won't have any desire to exchange? In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan offers you some gifts you can give yourself that will also benefit others: kindness, gratitude and purpose.
December 24, 2021
Awake: The Factors of Enlightenment
What does it mean to "be" enlightened? In this episode, which Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan gave on Bodhi Day, 2021, he talks about the seven factors of enlightenment and how we might use them as a blueprint for enlightened living.
December 17, 2021
The Buddha was once asked, "Are you a god?" And he answered, "I am awake." In this talk, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan discusses how a human being just like us became the awakened one, and what it means to us and our spiritual lives. This talk was given a few days before Bodhi Day, 2021.
December 10, 2021
Can you be Buddhist and Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc.? Can one practice more than one religion at once? A number of people attempt to add Buddhism to the religion of their family or their culture. Is it possible to do and do it well? In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about some ways this might work.
December 03, 2021
Trading Pleasure for Bliss
A monk--a former king--sat in the forest meditating and exclaiming, "What bliss!" He had let go of a life of kingly status, and in return received heavenly bliss. In this episode, Sense Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about the Buddhist principle of renunciation--of letting go of short term gratification in favor of long term happiness.
November 26, 2021
Questions from the Buddha Hall
After a dharma talk, Sensei Morris typically opens the floor for questions about Buddhist practice. In this episode, he shares some of the results of those question and answer periods.
November 19, 2021
Self-Compassion--Being Kind to Yourself
Many people are compassionate toward others, but have trouble extending that same compassion toward themselves. In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about the myth of self-esteem and about how to create self-compassion instead.
November 13, 2021
Generosity and Spiritual Practice
Many people come to Buddhism looking for meditation and special practices. But the first lesson in Buddhism is one of the first lessons many of us receive as children--it is important to share. In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about some of the ways to develop a giving heart, and the way we will benefit spiritually as a result.
November 05, 2021
How to Tell the Truth
When exploring your spiritual path, how can you tell if you're on the right track? In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about the Buddha's advice on how to tell if your spiritual path was taking you somewhere worth going.
October 30, 2021
Life is Too Serious to Take Too Seriously
Of course, spiritual practice is an important matter. However, the ability to laugh--and especially to laugh at ourselves--is an important skill to bring along on our spiritual journey. Even the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu consider it essential to living a joyful life. In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about not taking ourselves too seriously.
October 21, 2021
Mindfulness of Time
Time, and awareness of its preciousness, is an important topic in Buddhist teachings. In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about how to be mindful of time in a way that supports and encourages spiritual growth.
October 15, 2021
At one time or another, almost everyone has been harmed by someone else. Often, we carry the weight of this harm long after any physical damage is healed. In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about how to begin the healing process by practicing forgiveness.
October 08, 2021
The Value of Heedfulness
Mindfulness is a big buzz-word these days, but there's a related idea we can call "heedfulness" that the Buddha considered supremely important. In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan shares a story about Sariputta and heedfulness, and then a dharma talk he gave on the subject.
October 01, 2021
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about the fifth factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, Right Livelihood.
September 23, 2021
Faith, Worship and Buddhist Practice
Many people don't think of Buddhism as a faith tradition--the Buddha was a human being who realized something we can realize if we do the things he did. But faith and worship are still important elements to Buddhism. In Episode 26, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about how faith and worship align with practice to lead to liberation.
September 17, 2021
Masks: Showing Your Original Face
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan tells a story about an unusual lesson in charity Mogallana gave, and then shares a dharma talk on the benefits of being authentic.
September 10, 2021
Be the Refuge, with Chenxing Han
In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about a time when Sariputta showed his compassion for the poor and neglected people in society, and then shares his conversation with Chenxing Han, the author of Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists.
September 03, 2021
The Buddha was at times referred to as "the Tathagata," and that term appears in Buddhist scripture and liturgy almost universally across traditions. In this episode, Sensei Morris discusses its meaning and how we might apply Tathagata to our practice.
August 27, 2021
Buddhism for Real People
Sometimes Buddhist practice can seem abstract, or too geared toward monasticism. But the Buddha gave his teachings to people from all walks of life, not just monks or spiritual strivers. He talked to everyone from kings to soldiers and farmers. We can use these teachings to live more skillfully, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.
August 20, 2021
Buddhism and REBT: A Conversation with Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis
Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis is a licensed psychologist in Australia, mental health counselor in New York, and noted speaker and teacher on the subject of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy. Her late husband, Albert Ellis PhD, developed Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy in the 1950s, and his books on the subject had an enormous influence on the science of psychology and the mental health profession. REBT also had a huge influence on Sensei Morris' approach to Buddhism. In this episode, Dr. Joffe Ellis shares her insights on the intersection of REBT and Buddhism.
August 13, 2021
The Importance of Compassion
In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about a time when Mogallana's compassion for his mother led to an event still observe by Buddhists around the world today, and then shares a dharma talk he gave at White Sands Buddhist Center on the importance of compassion.
August 06, 2021
Sangha: The importance of spiritual community
In this episode, Sensei Morris relates a time when the Buddha helped Mogallana cope with drowsiness during meditation. He then shares a dharma talk about the third jewel of Buddhist practice, the sangha, and the way being together as a community helps us strengthen our own practice and that of others, too.
July 30, 2021
Leap Before You Look
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about an occasion when Mogallana used his powers to help a group of overly boisterous monks awaken. He then shares another adventure story of a more personal nature, with instructions on how to awaken your own abilities.
July 23, 2021
Profits and Prophets: An interview with Bharat Jhunjhunwala
In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about an analogy Sariputta once used to describe the essentials of awakening, and then interviews Bharat Jhunjuhnwala, economist, journalist and author of "Common Prophets of Jews, Christians, Muslims and Hindus," about economics and his hopes for cooperation between Indian and Abrahamic faiths.
July 16, 2021
The Chalice of Spiritual Practice
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about a time when the Buddha rebuked Sariputta for stopping short of helping a student fully realize the spiritual path, and then shares a dharma talk--one given outdoors, accompanied by singing cicadas and passing trains--about how we can develop our own paths more fully.
July 09, 2021
Why Practice Buddhism?
In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about one of the fruits of Buddhist practice that Sariputta experienced, then shares a dharma talk at White Sands Buddhist Center that looks at questions like "What good does it do me to meditate?" and "What does it mean to be enlightened?"
July 02, 2021
How to be Amazing
In this episode, Sensei Morris tells us about a time when the Buddha turned down an offer from Mogallana to use his special powers to feed some hungry monks. Then we hear his dharma talk about how we can develop super powers equal to those of Superman himself.
June 25, 2021
The Origin and Significance of the Flag of Buddhism
In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about how the Buddhist flag came into being and what its colors signify. But first, he tells the story of an elephant, a monkey and a partridge, and how their tale connects to the tradition of seniority among monks.
June 18, 2021
Episode 12: Zen Peacemakers
Sensei Morris tells about an interesting exchange between Sariputta and a young novice, and a similar comment by Dogen Zenji, founder of Soto Zen. He then interviews Geoff Shōun O’Keeffe, executive director of Zen Peacemakers International, about how the dharma has shaped his life both inside and outside the zendo.
June 11, 2021
Instructions to the Cook
There are many dharma gates--paths to awakening offered by Buddhism. In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about how different practitioners awaken--and teach--according to their own natures and abilities. He concludes with a unique, pithy instruction from Dogen Zenji about how to practice, even when preparing food in the kitchen.
June 04, 2021
In the tenth episode of the Adventures of Sariputta and Mogallana, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about one of the Jataka Tales in which the Buddha-to-be and Sariputta realize emptiness. Then he shares a dharma talk about Indra's Net, a myth drawn from the Flower Garland Sutra to help illustrate the concept of emptiness.
May 28, 2021
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about how Mogallana helped the Buddha bring a number of people to the truest, safest refuge. And then he shares a dharma talk he gave at White Sands Buddhist Center on the subject of Freedom. Specifically, he talks about what he has learned about freedom from his weekly trips to a state correctional institution, where he volunteers at the chapel with a group of incarcerated Buddhists.
May 21, 2021
Episode Eight: Carving the Divine
Sensei Morris tells the story of a young novice who saw woodworkers shaping wood and decided to shape his own mind, thus achieving enlightenment. He then interviews filmmaker Yujiro Seki, whose documentary "Carving the Divine" explores the relationship between master wood carvers and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas they create for Japanese temples.
May 14, 2021
Episode Seven: Working with Anger
Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan talks about a time when Sariputta's own mother openly disrespected him, and what the Buddha said about his response. Then he lays out a five-point process for working with anger when it arises, a topic many people struggle with, especially when someone close to them behaves harshly toward them.
May 07, 2021
Episode Six: Letting Go
In this episode, we discuss an encounter between Mogallana and an ascetic who wants to know all about the cosmos, and Sensei Morris shares a dharma talk at White Sands Buddhist Center about the importance of letting go.
April 30, 2021
Buddhism and Christianity
The Buddha talks about praise and blame after a group of followers criticize Sariputta and other monks for their teaching style, plus a dharma talk about some areas where Buddhism and Christianity intersect.
April 23, 2021
Dharma Jazz: Edward Simon and the Brahma-Viharas
In this episode, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan tells the story of Mogallana's visit to the Devas before talking with renowned jazz composer and pianist Edward Simon about how his Buddhist practice has helped shape his work as an artist. Equanimity from Simon's album Sorrows & Triumphs, is the theme music for this podcast series.
April 17, 2021
Episode Three: Working with Feelings
People come to spiritual practice to feel better. But unpleasant feelings are an inevitable part of being human. In this episode's dharma talk, Sensei Morris talks about working with unpleasant feelings. He also talks about the young woman Kundalakesi, a tragic love story with a truly happy ending.
April 09, 2021
Episode Two: Prince Five Weapons and the Five Bala
Do you want special spiritual superpowers? In this episode, Sensei Morris talks about the powers Sariputta and Mogallana developed, and about how you can develop powers of your own.
April 02, 2021
The Adventures of Sariputta and Mogallana Begins
Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan introduces this podcast series with the origins of Sariputta and Mogallana followed by a dharma talk about happiness and how to create it. Sensei Morris is a Zen monk who brings the Buddha's teachings down to earth for everyone who wants to live a fuller, more meaningful life.
March 27, 2021
The Adventures of Sariputta and Mogallana - Episode 0
Join two dharma superheroes, Vens. Sariputta and Mogallana, on their adventures in Buddhist practice. Your host, Sensei Morris Doshin Sullivan, is a Zen monk who will help you apply the Buddha’s teachings to everyday life—whether you want to reduce stress, live with more purpose, or even be a spiritual superhero!
March 26, 2021