A highlight from Introduction: What Buddhist Boot Camp is All About


Let's begin this podcast with the backstory of Buddhist boot camp and how it came to be. Over ten years ago, when I left the corporate world and moved to Hawaii, I started emailing my Friends every month to let them know what's going on in my life, about 8 years later, my friend Kim suggested that I share those emails with the world because she found the letters inspirational, and she figured other people would benefit from reading them as well. That's how the emails became a blog and the blog became the book. That is now a Buddhist boot camp. It turns out that Kim was right. People all over the world have found the message in Buddhist boot camp refreshing inspirational. And more importantly, motivational. I think motivation is a lot more important because inspiration without action is just entertainment and my invitation is for us to go beyond thinking that something is a good idea to actually implementing it into our daily lives. What I love about Buddhism is that it isn't a religion. There is no creator theory nor a story about the beginning or the end of times. It also doesn't require other beliefs to be wrong, but rather strengthens your existing faith, whatever it may be. Buddhism is all about training the mind. And boot camp is an ideal training method that compresses a lot of information into a shorter period of time without losing any of its integrity. You don't need to be a Buddhist to find the Buddha's teachings motivational. As the Dalai Lama says, don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist. Just use it to be a better whatever you already are. So whether it's Mother Teresa's acts of charity, Gandhi's perseverance or even your aunt Betty's calm demeanor. As long as you're motivated to be better today than you were yesterday, then it doesn't matter who inspires you. Buddhism is not just about meditating. It's about rolling up your sleeves to relieve some of the suffering in the world, both within and around us. After years of studying Buddhism, I remember sitting there in my maroon robes in front of the Tibetan Llama, and I said, with all due respect, I don't believe the Buddha ever intended for his teachings to get this complicated. My teacher looked around at all the statues of deities with multiple arms and he himself chuckled. He said, the Buddha didn't do this. The Tibetan culture did. This is their way. Why don't you try zen? I think you'd like it. And so I bowed out of the temple. I took off my robes and I moved into a zen monastery far from home. Zen was simpler. That much was true. The walls were blank, and I loved it. But the teachings were still filled with all the dogma that sent me running from religion in the first place. There are many incredible books out there that cover all aspects of religion, philosophy, psychology, and physics, but I was looking for something less academic, so to speak. I was looking for something inspirational that people today would not only have the attention span to read all the way through. But actually understand and implement into their daily lives. I actually pictured a simple guide to being happy and in it just two words. Be grateful. And that's because gratitude has a way of turning what we have into enough. And that is the basic idea behind Buddhist boot camp. It's not about being Buddhist at all. It's about being Buddha like or Christ like or whoever inspires you, like, because you see your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does. So it's totally fine if you love Jesus and repeat a Hindu mantra. Still go to temple after your morning meditation. In fact, my altar at home has the Buddha on it. Jesus and Saint Francis of

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