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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Feb 2, 2024

In today's episode, we explore the profound concept of renunciation in Buddhism. True renunciation isn't about abandoning pleasure but transforming our relationship with it. Join us as we unravel the complexities of renunciation and explore a path to genuine contentment.


Renunciation is the wish to break free from the cycle of suffering (samsara) by overcoming our deeply ingrained mental habits of ignorance and attachment. We begin by realizing the futility of expecting lasting satisfaction from transient phenomena (material things, people, opinions, expectations of others, etc.) 


Renunciation, therefore, is not a denial of happiness but a liberation from the cycle of suffering caused by our grasping, exaggerating, and distorting attitude toward pleasure and happiness.


Renunciation creates a profound shift in perspective where we no longer rely on sensory pleasures for happiness. When we realize renunciation, we awake to an unlimited, internal source of happiness. 


Whoever, having cut off every fetter, 

Does not tremble, 

Is unbound and beyond attachment,

I call a brahman 

--Buddha, The Dhammapada (Verse 397)


References with Links

Buddha (1986).The Dhammapada: Verses and Stories. Translated by Daw Mya Tin, M.A. (Website). Edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association Rangoon. Courtesy .of For free distribution only, as a gift of dhamma. Retrieved from

Je Tsongkhapa (2014). Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 1 (Kindle). Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor.


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