Jay Nelson Forrest
012 Bodhidaoism: Spirituality Without God
Bodhidaoism is the way of awakening to reality. It is a wisdom tradition, or worldview, without a belief in God, the supernatural, or an afterlife. The compass is the symbol of Bodhidaoism. The eight points represent the Four Foundations and the Four Core Values. The Four Foundations are science, psychology, philosophy, and personal experience. The Four Core Values are skepticism, altruism, flourishing, and environmentalism.
011 Three Stages of Meditation
There are three basic stages to meditation, as I teach it. The first stage is calm abiding. This is primarily the mindfulness of breathing meditation. This is to build concentration and help calm the mind. The second stage is one-pointedness. This is where the mind is able to follow the breath without distraction. And the third stage is discerning observation. This is where you carefully observe, without attachment or aversion, the phenomena of the body, feeling tone, and thoughts and...
010 The Inner Voice
We all have an inner voice, a running commentary, or inner dialog. This self-talk, as it is called, is often programmed in our childhood. As you listen to the inner voice, ask yourself, “Whose voice is this?” It may be your Dad’s voice, your mom’s voice, a teacher's voice, or another adult’s voice. Notice the tone of the voice. Then ask yourself, when you mess up, “Is this voice kind or cruel?” If it is cuel, you need to let it go. Learn to become your own best friend. When you mess up,...
009 Buddha as an Expert
I am not a Buddhist, but I think Siddhartha Gautama was one of the wisest psychologists of all time. I do not accept the Buddha as a religious authority. I do not believe he was omniscient, and I think he was wrong about karma, rebirth, and a number of other scientific issues. But he did understand the human mind. In this area I see him as an expert. But for me, evidence is my authority. And by "evidence" I mean objective and verifiable data and facts. Experiences inside the mind do not...
008 Dealing with Stress
The holidays can be stressful. But you don’t have to be stressed out. Both Stoicism and Buddhism offers a way to deal with stress. As Epictetus says, “Some things are within our power, while others are not.” Don’t worry about the stuff not within our power, it is none of our business. From Buddhism we learn to do a body scan meditation. Here we scan the body with our awareness and relax any tension in the body.
007 Two Tips for Living Happier
There are two things I recommend doing everyday in order to live a happier life. This is in addition, or separate from, daily meditation, which is the main thing I recommend. These two practices are easy to do and require about one or two minutes in the morning, and about five minutes or so at night. The first is a morning affirmation, which is, “This is the first day of the rest of my life. May I meet the opportunities and challenges today with kindness, courage, and wisdom.” The second...
006 What is Inner Peace?
Inner peace is true happiness. It has an aspect of a pleasant feeling, as well as a deep sense of restfulness. It also means to be without inner conflict. Epicureanism viewed it as a feeling, while Stoics viewed it as a result of living the virtues. In Buddhism it is equanimity (Pali: upekkha), and in Taoism it is tranquility (Chineses: níngjìng). There is a aspect of inner peace in Jain’s concept of moksha and the Buddhist concept of nirvana. In all these traditions, inner peace is part...
005 Some of the Problems in Meditation
When you are trying to meditate, you can run into problems. One listener reported he could not sit and meditate because of back issues. The answer is to meditate lying down. I give instructions on how to do this. And if you meditate for any length of time, you will also discover the itch. Here is how to deal with it. I also deal with certain helps to meditation, like incense and light music. Meditation is important enough to solve these difficulties. Watch on YouTube:...
004 An Atheist Meditation Practice
Meditation for atheists, one that does not require a belief in God, the supernatural, an afterlife, or the paranormal. Here is a slightly modified version of vipassana or insight meditation. Taking some insights from Zen, I teach people to do a simple two word mental monologue. Breathing in they say in their mind, “open.” Breathing out they say in their mind, “relax.” While they focus their attention on the nose area, or on the rising and falling of the stomach. Watch on YouTube:...
003 Atheism and Spirituality
Can an atheist be spiritual? The problem all boils down to the word spirituality. What is spirituality? And can spirituality be defined in such as way that it can be accepted by atheists. Sam Harris in his book Waking Up says yes. But he does not really define spirituality. Here is my definition: Spirituality is the purposeful cultivation of a deeper, wider, and abiding awareness of our connect with reality. By reality, atheists mean the natural world. Anything else is an interpretation...
002 Atheism, What’s Next?
After you discover that you are an atheist, then what? What comes next? Finding a way to live a flourishing life is what comes next. My own personal inspiration comes primarily from seven wisdom traditions or philosophies. Starting from closer to home, they are Humanism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JayNelsonForrest
001 Atheism and Agnosticism
What is atheism? What is agnosticism? First, we have to distinguish atheism from agnosticism. Agnosticism deals with knowledge, atheism deals with belief. Second, we need to distinguish between the theistic God of Christianity and Islam from other kinds of gods, the first is called theism, the second I will call godism, for a lack of a better word. So my position is that I am an atheist towards theism, and an agnostic nongodist towards any other kind of god or gods. To be clear, I believe...