The Best Buddhist Podcasts

For many Westerners interested in Eastern thought, specifically Buddhism, it can be frustrating to find that there is no sangha local to them or that they may have to drive hours to attend dharma classes. The advent of the podcast, however, has made widely available classes and lectures from some of the leading authorities on Buddhist philosophy alive today. Here I’ve gathered a list of what I consider to be the best podcasts on Buddhism and related philosophies. While some are not specifically Buddhist, they all cover topics pertinent to the philosophies of Buddhism.

1) Alan Watts: Lectures by Alan Watts, one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century, catalogued by his son, Mark, for the


. Talks cover the fundamentals of Buddhism and Zen broken into several short podcasts. Ideal for those new to Buddhist thought. Updates frequently, runtimes average about 15 minutes.

2) These lectures given by the stars of integral thought are a must for anyone interested in Buddhism, nonduality or integral philosophy. A video podcast under the same name also includes portions of informal lectures by Brother Wayne Teasdale and Ken Wilber as well as live performances by Stuart Davis. Runtimes vary, updates frequently.

3) Fundamental Shift: Rob Scott’s 10 to 15 minute podcasts cover a variety of topics pertinent to Buddhist belief with a genuine insight for applying these ideas to everyday life. Honest and practical, Rob addresses the issues of commitment, paradox, and compassion clearly and concisely. Highly recommended. Updates weekly.

4) Zencast: “A stream of living dharma”, each podcast begins with a song pertinent to the given topic. Archives include meditation timers, a chapter by chapter overview of the Dhammapada, as well as a very informative series of talks on the Five Hindrances. Updates weekly, runtimes vary.

5) Unfettered Mind: Ken McLeod’s lecture series, classes, and retreats on a variety of topics including Releasing Emotional Reactions, Awakening from Belief, and Practices of a Bodhisattva, focusing largely on dzogchen and mahamudra. Huge and informative archive but updates erratically.

6) Buddhist Society of WA-Dhamma Podcast: Wonderful lectures recorded every Friday at the Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre in Western Australia covering an amazing breadth of topics. Each podcast runs about an hour. Large archive, updates weekly. Highly recommended.

7) Audio Dharma: This enormous and thoughtful archive includes lectures given at the
Redwood City, California
on a variety of topics by speakers including Gil Fronsdal. Runtimes vary, updates frequently but sporadically.


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