For Podcast Fans, BCA Offers Variety of Choices

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

The BCA is no stranger when it comes to the world of podcasts. In fact, they’ve been around since 2006 — when the Midwest Buddhist Temple began providing its Sunday services with Rev. Ronald Miyamura.


There’s a wide variety of podcasts available to Sangha members and anyone interested in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. The subject matter and tone covers the spectrum, ranging from the informal banter familiar to anyone who’s heard a radio show to Sunday services, and to light discussions about pop culture, young Buddhists, food and love to heavy topics like no-self, shinjin, suffering, doubt, and evil.


And anyone with a smartphone or a computer can access podcasts. The beauty of podcasts is that you can listen to them virtually anywhere — while multitasking, working out, at a playground with your children or grandchildren, on a hike, outdoors, cooking, gardening or in your car. Warning — they may prove to be irresistible and habit-forming.


The links provided aren’t the only ones available — podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, SoundCloud, Podbean, backtracks.fm, among a few channels. And they’re also available on the websites of the BCA, IBS and the temples and churches.


The new, updated BCA website has a page devoted to podcasts. For more information, go to: buddhistchurchesofamerica.org/podcasts


Here’s a rundown on some of the BCA podcasts and their links:


‘Dharma Realm’


The longstanding podcast by Rev. Harry Bridge of the Buddhist Church of Oakland and IBS Dean of Students Dr. Scott Mitchell is currently on hiatus because of the pandemic as well as time and work demands, according to Rev. Bridge.


It’s been around for 12 years, with more than 100 podcasts and has featured special guests such as IBS research fellow Natalie Fisk Quli, who specializes in the social scientific study of contemporary Buddhisms.


Other topics featured in “Dharma Realm” have included: no-self and identity; social justice; race; ethics; Japanese Buddhism; and the diversity of Buddhist teaching.


For more information, go to: http://www.dharmarealm.com.


‘The Dharma Lantern’


Ten years ago, Rev. Henry Adams launched “The Dharma Lantern” podcast of Sunday services while still serving at the Oxnard Buddhist Temple and Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara. He’s since continued with a San Mateo Buddhist Temple podcast that contains talks with visiting ministers and occasional conversations with Sangha members.


“Oxnard is the only temple in Ventura County and Santa Barbara serves a large swath of the southern Central Coast, so both temples have members spread across a fairly large area,” Rev. Adams said. “Many aren't able to make it to services regularly, so I thought starting a podcast could be a way for Sangha members to get to stay connected with the teachings. It's not that much work to keep it up — although I do fall behind — so I've managed to continue. Rev. Bridge and Dr. Mitchell gave me some great guidance for getting started.”


Rev. Adams said that every summer, he comes up with a tentative outline for Dharma talk topics over the next year. “As we go along, I look for opportunities to connect the topic for that week to experiences members of the Sangha might be having at that time,” he said.


For more information, go to: https://www.dharmalantern.net.


‘Everyday Buddhism: A Jodo Shinshu Buddhism Podcast’


The Buddhist Church of Parlier has featured visiting ministers since 2017, and the roster is impressive: IBS President Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, Rev. Matthew Hamasaki of the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, Rev. Ryuta Furumoto of the Senshin Buddhist Temple, and Rev. Kaz Nakata, who gave the Bodhi Day service message.


For more information, go to: https://everydaybuddhism.libsyn.com.


‘Institute of Buddhist Studies Podcast’


The IBS podcast is a digital archive of audio and video recordings of academic lectures and Dharma talks.


For more information, go to: http://podcast.shin-ibs.edu.


‘Midwest Buddhist Temple Dharma Talks’


Since 2006, the Midwest Buddhist Temple in Chicago has featured Sunday services via a podcast.


Resident Minister Rev. Ron Miyamura said the Midwest Buddhist Temple continues to have about 400 downloads of the podcasts each month. He said that a temple analysis a few years ago showed that the area with the most downloads was Texas.