A Buddhist Podcast – The Reluctant Buddhist – The Experiences Part 1

August 23rd, 2009

For those of you who are familiar with William Woollards excellent book, The Reluctant Buddhist, and have been listening along on the podcast, you will have noticed something. The experiences from Chapters 5 and 6 were missing. This is because William really wanted to have someone else read them, and that someone tonight is the wonderfully warm and loving person that is his wife, Sarah.

So reading The Story of Joanna from Chapter 6 and The Story of Sally from Chapter 5 of The Reluctant Buddhist is Sarah Woollard.

Then we have music from Heather Sullivan. She sings Stronger from the Podsafe Music Network. Stronger is from her album Bound on ITunes.

We find out what happened to Jason this month, we have shout outs from around the globe and we read a letter from an SGI member, Frank Ametefe in Ghana, Africa. Jason made an error in attributing the poem Karen reads, to Marian Wilson, when in fact it is Marian Williamson. If we have offended anyone, please accept our most sincere apologies.

We finish with another track from the Podsafe Music Network by Angelique Kidjo called Gimme Shelter featuring Joss Stone. And you can find this track on her album Djin Djin on ITunes.

We have some great shows lined up for you and are so excited about all the different developments that are happening. Look at for a new look to the website that is coming soon and also for a new colour of our t-shirts, Stone Blue! If you are looking for the tshirts you can get them from our tshirt shop which is generously powered by the wonderful Pressoffers.co.uk

Thank you so much for your constant support and encouragement. Have a truly wonderful week!


  1. thank you Jason and Karen for yet another great show – really inspiring as always ;o)

    lots of love


    Comment by Jess — August 26, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  2. HI Jason
    I love the new podcast thanks a lot I’m definetly chanting with deep gratitude for you inspiring me. Your podcasts help me a lot but at the moment I’m having a hard time dealing with the whole mentor disciple issue. I’ve just come back from the Ikeda Kayo-kai course where I asked a question that none of the leaders could really answer so I know it might be a hard one for you but as you and your wife are wonderful bodhissatvas I thought you could help. My question is this

    10 years ago when I started chanting I got huge benefits without ever chanting with sensei in mind. I deeply appreciate that I would never find the practice without him but I don’t like the way he is put on a pedastal and often we have been told chanting for his health will improve ours and so on. It’s very hard to understand this concept and why chanting about him will bring us any more benefit than the normal chanting I have always done just to connect with Nichiren attain my goals in life as a means to help Kosen Rufu and show the power of the practice?

    Whe I heard the podcast I understood that chanting about sensei is a way of repaying my debt of gratitude to him. It’s just that one woman gave her experience saying she just chanted with sensei in mind and nothing else and recieved huge benefits and I don’t know how this is possible could you possibly explain this to me?

    Best Regards
    Suzy Bery
    Glasgow District

    Comment by Suzy Berry — August 31, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  3. Thanks Jason and Karen for the honour of reading my mail and your regard for Ghana. I really enjoyed the show. The best part was when you played a song from Africa. This is the first time I’ve heard you do that. Thanks.

    Comment by Frank Ametefe — September 2, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  4. is there an rss feed url for the show other than going through itunes?
    i’m on linux so an xml feed would be lovely.

    Comment by matt — September 4, 2009 @ 6:50 am

  5. Hi Jason and Karen,

    I FINALLY posted a review on iTunes for the show – it has helped me immensely to reconnect to the SGI and invigorate my practice after a couple of years of really lacklustre chanting. Thank you!

    Suzy – I read your question above with much interest, as I also struggled with the mentor disciple relationship. I am still finding my own way to understand this important function in my practice, but joining Byakuren (YWD behind the scenes group) has really helped me to understand what the mentor-disciple relationship can mean to me personally. I too found it hard to understand how other members had this almost mystical relationship with a person they had never met, and I felt like a bit of a fraud because I didn’t really get it – I hugely respected President Ikeda and admired him for all the work he has done to grow the SGI and promote dialogue around the world, but I didn’t understand how I could connect to him.

    My growing connection has come from being involved in the SGI – by helping at the New York Culture Centre as a Byakuren and chanting to understand my mission as part of this amazing organization, I have come to understand that the mentor-disciple relationship for me is to feel that I am part of Sensei’s mission for world peace, and feel that I am doing my part to help him achieve this great goal. He is my inspiration, and my example to live my life by, and in basing my practice on his example I am following the path of a disciple. I had to demystify the relationship and make it something real and tangible and personal before I could commit to it. Now, I work with all the other members in preparing the New York zone for his visit with profound gratitude for the opportunities his courage and faith have given me to discover this practice, and help others to find it as well.

    I hope that helps you a little bit – good luck! It is worth chanting about it, because the only way to understand the mentor-disciple relationship is to find a personal way to connect to Sensei.

    Rachel Grundy
    Fort Tryon District, New York City.

    Comment by Rachel Grundy — September 9, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  6. I know this is probably not the best place to enquire about this.. but I think I shall enquire away anyway. I have been listening to your podcasts for about 9 months now (new and old)and they really have been inspiring, especially with the Buddha, Geoff and me and various personal talks. Whilst your podcasts have really sparked off my thoughts and have made me so much more conscious of Buddhism in relation to my life, I know that this listening to a monthly podcast isn’t enough.. haha. I have tried chanting and following some of the basic principles, but I would really like to meet an SGI group. I have searched the net but can’t find a Scottish website. I have contacted SGI uk twice now asking for help and both times they have said they would forward on my details. I haven’t heard anything since. I was hoping you would be able to offer advice on what my first steps should be practically with regards to chanting and studying and also if theres any way you could forward on my e-mail address to the Glasgow district.

    many thanks for both your inspiration and hopefully your help too


    Comment by Rachel from Glasgow — October 4, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

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