Lama Surya Das – Ep. 68 – The Buddha in Your Backyard with CJ Liu

Lama Surya Das - Ep. 68 - The Buddha in Your Backyard with CJ Liu

Radio host CJ Liu joins Lama Surya Das for a conversation about how we can get in touch with our inner Buddha nature when we are distressed or overwhelmed with the suffering and injustice in the world.

CJ’s podcast and radio show, Fire It Up with CJ, is a bridge between science and spirit, Western and Eastern, as well as logical and intuitive. In her show, CJ seeks out ideas from seemingly opposite sides of an issue to help her audience plug into what’s unfolding on a global scale. From energy healers to surgeons, psychics to psychologists, and vegans to ranchers, her diverse guests reflect her commitment to engage, challenge, entertain and enlighten in every show. Learn more at

Show Notes

The Buddha in Your Backyard (Opening)

Surya Das and CJ talk about the metaphorical Buddha in our backyard, the Buddha nature we hold within ourselves. They look at the difficult social changes in the news and discuss ways we can effect change more effectively by touching base with that Buddha nature when we need it most.

Keeping Perspective (20:35)

Part of what The Buddha is trying to tell us in his First Noble Truth is that the unenlightened life is irritating and dissatisfactory. Surya Das and CJ reflect on the irritation that can come when we see the corruption, apathy or public disservice involved in politics and the media. How do practice activism wisely and maintain a balanced perspective about what is going on without becoming overly pessimistic or optimistic?

“Life is gritty, it is not all pleasing or how we think it should be. How we relate makes all the difference and I try to remember that. Nothing matters as much as I think it does in the moment; I don’t know everything about this, so I try to listen carefully.” – Lama Surya Das

Let it Go (34:10)

What can we do to shift our response to what upsets us and genuinely let go off of any attachment to anger or resentment? We look at what Buddhist psychology has to teach us about letting go and moving on with life.

In the Middle with You (45:25)

How can we be informed and engaged citizens without creating division between ourselves and those we hold conflicting views with? CJ offers a reflection on how we can connect with others as ourselves. So we can better understand their position and see their own suffering.

“We need to listen to each other because we are talking to each other and not listening. This person says this and the other person is not listening to what the other person is saying. They are taking a little fragment of that and going off in some other direction. You are not listening because your position has to be right, there is no winning in this scenario.” – CJ Liu 

A Moment of Mindfulness (1:06:40)

We close the show with a meditation. A prayer that seeks to bring unity to the division that exists between ourselves and others.

Listen to Ram Dass’s conversation with Roshi Joan Halifax about the intersection of social action and contemplative action on Ep. 15 of the BHNN Guest Podcast

This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of 1440 Multiversity – California’s newest retreat destination. Which hosts a faculty of thought leaders in fields including mindfulness, neuroscience, relationships, the creative arts, and more.
Join Wendy Treynor, PhD, for a weekend of self-discovery and exploration with the I CAN HEAL Framework for Self-Healing and Happiness: a powerful, scientific theory of the soul. Uncover how you have been systematically led to undervalue and betray yourself. Learn to become the captain of your own life November 30 – December 2, 2018 at 1440 Multiversity. Visit to learn more about this and other great retreats. 
Image via Pinterest and CJLiu