Thought for the Day

The following talks are taken from BBC Radio 4's "Thought for the Day" series. Most are by Vishvapani, a Triratna member and are given from a Buddhist perspective. Occasionally relevant talks by speakers from various faith traditions are included.

"This brief, uninterrupted interlude has the capacity to plant a seed of thought that stays with listeners during the day. Thought for the Day is broadcast during the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 every morning at around 7.45am."

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Parinirvana Day

Vishvapani's latest talk on Thought for the Day....................

Today Mahayana Buddhists mark the death of the Buddha in a festival called Parinirvana Day. Aged 35, 4 or 500 years before Christ, Buddhists believe that the man history knows as Gautama attained 'Enlightenment' or 'Awakening'. For the next 45 years he travelled continually across the Ganges Valley meeting people and sharing his understanding of life. He gathered a large following and was widely revered for his wisdom.........................

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Buddhist Aggression

In this episode Vishvapani talks of past Buddhist aggression.

"As I understand it, Buddhism is essentially a pacifist faith that asks people to refrain from violence and root out the forces in their hearts and minds from which it develops. The challenge, however, is to encompass the gap between the ethically pure ideal and the much messier, ethically compromised reality. How do vested interests and nationalist feelings cause Buddhists to conform to the State? And how are core principles, such as non-violence, first qualified, then muddied or made relative, and eventually forgotten? Whatever beliefs we follow, we need to ponder how the good intentions they express can eventually cause suffering."

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Mental Health and Mindfulness

In his first talk of 2017 Vishvapani comments on the Government's new initiatives on mental health and the centrality of the mind in the Buddha's teachings. He goes on to highlight how Buddhism encourages us to explore our minds with curiosity and friendliness and how this leads to being able to guide the mind in a more helpful direction...............

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Innate Morality of Roald Dahl's Stories

Having read my son many Roald Dahl bedtime stories, I'm struck by their moral conviction. The children who are his heroes see that grown ups often proclaim a fake morality to get what they want, while the children themselves respond to a more natural moral order. People usually get what they deserve....................................

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


"Behind this is the Buddhist teaching that everything we experience is impermanent. In Japanese culture, this inspired the tradition of wabi sabi, which means finding beauty in that which is imperfect, transient and incomplete. That's an alternative to the Greek ideal of beauty as a reflection of eternal forms, and you see it in Japanese art forms such as pottery and gardening. The roughness is as important as the finish..............."

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Dawn of the Anthropocene

The Buddhist understanding of the human condition is that our habits, needs and beliefs drive us to
act in ways that we think will bring happiness. But we fail to see that these are partial and short-term solutions, often tinged by emotions like craving and fear................

DOWNLOAD        (Right click and "Save link as....")