When we fail, it’s easy to feel bad about ourselves—after all, we live in a society that judges us for our material successes. Even at your dharma center, it is tempting to try to be the best student, the most unique, the most popular, or the one who can meditate the longest. But the most prominent Buddhist masters were people who failed badly: the Buddha failed in his ascetic practices; Shinran Shonin, founder of the Jodo Shinshu school of Buddhism, was exiled and defrocked early in his career. In this Dharma Talk series, Jodo Shinshu Reverend Mauricio Hondaku will explain what Shakyamuni and Shinran’s failures can teach us about shedding social pressures, abandoning our masks, and ultimately finding peace with our imperfections.

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