January 22, 2020
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Getting Zen with a Buddhist | Have a Little Faith with Zach Anner

-Good morning!
I’m feeling really Zen today because we’re learning
about Buddhism. We’re gonna meet Erica,
who’s a new Buddhist, and all that I know
about Buddhism is Lisa Simpson’s a Buddhist and Richard Gere is a Buddhist
and everyone we talked to, when we asked them what religion
they wanted to learn about, they said Buddhism. So, I’m gonna be —
I’m gonna be chill today, because I think that’s
what it’s all about — being chill and realizing
the potential in yourself. So, I’m not even gonna end
this with a joke. I’m just gonna be quiet. Beautiful day. -How are you?
-Fantastic! How are you?
-Pretty good. Nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, too. I feel like our colors
kind of work together. -I feel like that, too.
-It’s going well. I’m glad we’re both, you know,
like, on the same page. -Yeah, yeah.
No, absolutely. -So, I guess let’s
go learn about Buddhism. -Sounds like a good idea. -Awesome.
-Come on this way. -Can I get to know you
a little bit… -Sure. Let’s do that.
-…now that it’s being filmed? -Yeah. That’s the natural way
to get to know people. -So, you’re a comedy writer. -Yeah. I write stuff,
and then hopefully it’s funny. -So, comedy and Buddhism, like,
as far as energy level, don’t really seem
like they would match up. Like, I always think of Buddhism
as a Zen thing… -Right.
-…and improv as, like, “Wah! Hey! Oh, we got this hat!
Oh, look! Oh!” And it’s like,
“Only questions.” So, how does that —
how does that work? -Yeah, well, Zen Buddhism is, like, very meditative
and removed from society. But that’s
the other wonderful thing about this kind of Buddhism is that it exists
in the middle of society. A lot of it is about getting
out of your own head and realizing our connection
to other people. So, it’s actually
very improv-y related. Enlightenment is not
necessarily attained, you know, after centuries
on a mountain by yourself. Enlightenment is attained
in everyday life, interacting with everybody else. -So, Buddhism is a relatively
new thing for you, right? -Yeah. Since I moved to L.A.
Two and a half years. -Were you religious
at all before that? -Well, I went
to Catholic high school. My family’s Catholic. -How was that?
-It was okay. When I was a teenager, um… realized that I didn’t really
buy into religion that much. -So, what made you re-buy
into the idea of religion? -When I was 30, I started having
pretty bad anxiety attacks, and I went to a million doctors. I went to Eastern medicine,
Western medicine, and the consensus was,
“You have too much anxiety. You’re stressed out.” And I was like, “Well,
how do you fix that?” You know? I mean, I was in great shape
’cause I was exercising. I was going to therapy twice
a week and trying everything. But I did get a job next
to a woman who was a Buddhist. And she said, “I chant.
I’m a Buddhist, and I chant.” And I thought, “Well, gee. That seems like a good way
to get anxiety out, you know, to yell.” They said, “Just do this
for a month and it’ll fix you. Just five minutes
in the morning, five minutes at night,
chant to be better.” -So, what does it entail when
you’re chanting to be better? Do you chant
about specific things? Like, “I’d like to be better
at time management!” -Yes, yes!
It’s that specific. I have, like,
notebooks filled with things. Like, the first thing
they’ll say is write down 10 things
that you want. It could be anything —
a car, a new bag, whatever, goals —
things that you chant for. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. -So, what has chanting
brought you? -I’m a writer, so I was — I
went to the Austin Film Festival and I pitched my movie, like,
before I started chanting. And I was sweating and I was — So, you know, sitting
in the room was — It was hell. But then, after chanting
for a year, I went back, and I was like —
chanted a bunch — I just went in,
and I did it very naturally. So, it changed my nerves.
It gives me more confidence. -Is it all about asking
for what you want? -It’s a good way to start,
because you’ll see it work, and then you’ll be like —
like I was, “Oh, sh-t.” And then you’ll keep doing it. Buddhism —
The chanting is the first thing I found that really
connects your heart to your mind and makes your feelings change,
makes your attitude change. But what it’s really about
is spreading the philosophy that we’re all God, right? And that we’re all capable
of this enlightened state of complete compassion
for one another. It’s a philosophy
of absolute equality. The main goals are that the
point of life is to be happy. It’s why we’re here. The way to be happy
is to understand this philosophy that we are all capable
of Buddha-hood, every single one of us. So, all the struggles
that we go through — We’re here to overcome them and then use our victory over
them to encourage other people. -So, what is it —
What’s the first step to becoming a Buddhist? -You would chant. So, we chant,
“Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.” That’s what we say.
-What does it mean? -It’s the enlightened nature
of the universe. -Okay.
-You’re gonna chant later. -I’ll chant later.
-At the center. -But I should probably
-You want to practice? -Can we run chant lines
together? -[ Laughs ] Well,
you know what’s kind of helpful? Like, when I started, there’s
a card that says the words, ’cause you’ll forget the words. So, you want to have it in front
of you when you’re chanting. -Nam-myo… -Ho-renge-kyo.”
-…ho-renge-kyo. -Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. -Generally,
we would get together, and we would begin
every gathering by chanting, because that’s what we do. And we chant,
“Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.” And then, generally, for the sake
of anyone who is new, we would explain a little bit about how the practice works —
just the basics. -Well, that is my question.
How does it work? I know it works
with an individual, but as a group,
how is it different? -As a group, we kind of focus
on bigger things because we are all part
of the world, and the things
that are going on in the world that cause suffering — You know, we feel like, as a conglomerate,
we are working on that. -Who has chanted their way to getting action
from the opposite sex? [ Laughter ] -Nice to meet you.
I’m the Big Chocolate. -You’re the Big Chocolate? -‘Cause, you know,
I got all this going on. -Is that
on your birth certificate? -My mom just called me B.C.
for short. -Nice! -I was raised in Israel
as a Jew, but a secular way, like, you know,
Catholics who don’t practice. I guess that would be
a good analogy. You know, am I a Jew-Bu
or a Bu-Jew or — I don’t know. I’m just a person.
-A “Jewdha.” -A “Jewdha.” Okay. Yeah.
-[ Laughs ] -So, what spoke to you
about Buddhism that you didn’t get
out of Judaism? -What spoke to me
is coming to meetings and meeting the people, seeing the diversity
or the members. -But, you know,
the greatest thing is basically understanding
this crazy world. It seems like
evil’s beating good out, and I really didn’t like that. So, my hope went down
real, real low, right? But ever since
I’ve been a Buddhist, now, oh, it’s getting better,
and I got hope for the world. I can’t wait to wake up
the next day. -For me, from what I’ve seen,
it’s probably the most diverse, you know, group of people
you will ever meet. You know, you go to any meeting,
and you see, like, every culture represented,
practically, and that’s really —
-Every age. -Every age, every culture,
and that’s really the — -Every profession.
-Every station of society. -Yeah, that’s really
the beauty, to me, about this practice
is the diversity. -Do Buddhists worship anything? -No.
Um, it’s actually — We say that the Gohonzon that we’re chanting to
is like a mirror, and when you’re chanting,
you’re polishing the mirror. So, because we don’t believe
in anything besides the internal state
of Buddha-hood that we already have,
it’s more revealing it. -To me, it’s like,
you know, you’re born in this, like, bubble —
this glass bubble. And as you get older
and older, you have all this paint
thrown on the bubble — doubt and fear and, you know —
and trying to be like your mom or trying to be like your mom’s
mom and all this stuff. And so, all of a sudden,
this glass bubble basically has all this paint
on it. And so, when you start chanting, it’s like you get
a little razor blade and you start scraping
the paint off. Then you finally find out
what’s really inside. And when everybody finds out
what’s inside their bubble, it’s easy to get along
with each other. It’s easy to root for you,
want your dreams to happen, want her dreams to happen,
you know, want mine. You know, ’cause you get
a clear picture of what the world is
instead of… When you have all that paint,
you can’t see outside, so you don’t really know
what the world’s supposed to be or what you’re supposed to be. -Yeah, I like to just,
like, break down all religions into things that I could get
from the Home Depot. So that was perfect. [ Laughter ] What do you think
ultimate enlightenment is? -I think ultimate enlightenment
is being able to really see that the real reason we’re here
is to help other people. And not only is it
the only reason that we’re here, it’s the only way for us,
personally, to attain real happiness. Like, the only lasting form of actual fulfillment
and happiness is giving back
to the people around us and helping them and using
our own lives for that purpose. -That’s a beautiful answer. I don’t know
what to say to that. That’s perfect.
I can just go now. -“Cut.”
-I can go. So, today, I met
some really wonderful people that Buddhism
has helped tremendously. And Erica’s fantastic
and really funny and also standing right
over there. Uh, hi!
-Hi! You better say that. -And, uh,
what I’ve learned about Buddhism is that there’s a Buddha
already inside of me. I’ve just got to do a bunch
of chanting to bring him out and be the best, most Buddha-ful
version of myself. Life is Buddha-ful.
That’s what I’ve learned.

Otis Rodgers



  1. avedic Posted on April 15, 2014 at 1:06 am

    What's with all the down-votes on this video…and the atheist video? Are Christians really THAT intolerant of anything that isn't their religion? I can't think of any other reason. The other videos don't have anywhere NEAR the same level of down-votes. I guess people feel threatened by things they don't understand. But, how is this video remotely offensive? It's simply a window into a different world. I'm an atheist…though I find Buddhism very interesting. I like how they don't pretend to know answers to the big existential mysteries. That's refreshing in a world where most people claim to know things they couldn't possibly know.

    Buddhism seems to be a SUBJECTIVE science…as opposed to normal empirical objective science. It's all about trying to understand, and connect with, the nature of your true self…which isn't a THING at all. It's the no-thing that holds all some-things in conscious embrace. It's the background to the foreground of existence. The fulcrum of "zero" upon which is balanced the polarized dualistic nature of reality.

    The question, "How did something come from nothing?" assumes that something and nothing are two different things. But…Buddhism challenges us to see them as two sides of one single coin. "Nothingness" is the formless center of balance….upon which is perched the symmetry of all existent forms.

    And that nothingness…IS consciousness. Consciousness isn't a "thing" inside reality…it is the "nothing" within which all of reality is grounded. Consciousness is intrinsically whole…unified. "God" is merely the word for the undivided consciousness that sees out through the eyes of all conscious beings.

    To put it mathematically….

    1 – 1 = 0   or   (+1) + (-1) = 0
    +∞ + -∞ = 0
    (+x) + (-x) = 0
    Positive "fill in the blank" & Negative "fill in the blank" equals(IS) Nothingness
    Dualistic Reality(all of existence) =(is) Nothingness(zero)

    Simple enough equation…that proves that, within zero(nothing), is the POTENTIAL for EVERYTHING. And that everything…is inherently dualistic. Space/time, matter/energy, up/down, hot/cold, left/right, north/south, past/future, electron/positron, matter/anti-matter….ALL of reality is polarized…and balanced upon zero. Is the Earth rightside-up or upside-down? Which end is north…and which is south? Actually…those are arbitrary labels we place on reality. In truth, the Earth isn't up OR down…it's both. "Up" and "Down" have no objective reality…they only exist as subjective labels based on the perspective of a conscious being.

    Without "nothing" you could never have the "everything" of existence. They imply each other….they're simply different forms of the same thing. Nothing is reality undivided and whole…while "Something" is that same reality…divided into bits and pieces….which is then perceived by the nothingness(consciousness) from which it was born.

    If there are any Christians who are intrigued by this….you really ought to study Jesus more in depth. Especially the Gnostic Gospels. Jesus' central thesis was VERY similar to Buddha's: "God is love. Love is what oneness feels like. Fear is the opposite of love…the opposite of oneness. God is consciousness. ALL is God. God is love. Consciousness is love. ALL is love."

    If only Jesus' ACTUAL message was the focus of Christianity. Instead, they worship a symbol(a man dying on a cross) rather than learning the message of the actual man himself. Jesus message wasn't, "I'm awesome…I'm the best human that ever was. I'm going to die…and then come back as a zombie. If you believe I did this, I won't send you to eternal torture when you die."

    But, for some strange reason, over time that became the central message of Christianity. But….read Jesus' actual words(ALL of them…not just what the Roman Church approved at the Council of Nicea). You'll soon realize Jesus' message has been terribly mishandled and undersold.

    Stop focusing on the mythic aspect of Christianity….the virgin birth(a myth accrued from surrounding traditions), the magic tricks(miracles), the lame guessing(prophecy), the gleeful looking-forward to the destruction of the Earth(Revelation), and the idea of 'vicarious redemption' by washing away your personal moral responsibility by placing your past immorality on a scapegoat. Instead, focus on the MESSAGE of JESUS. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what the modern church is banging on about. You'll be surprised.

    And I say this all as an atheist. As an atheist, I'd be a fool to pretend I know things I can't know….or to claim any one religion is THE only truth. Obviously, that's absurd. But….as an atheist, it's my duty to study and learn as much as I can about as much as I can. That includes the teachings of Buddha and Jesus…and many others. Now that I'm an atheist, I actual respect Jesus a LOT more. I can look at him with BOTH a critical eye(I don't agree with everything he said) AND with an inquisitive eye…as there's much he, and others, said that was truly interesting and/or moral.

  2. Nathan Klein Posted on April 15, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Zach, your videos are absolutely fantastic. Your attitude is so enjoyable 🙂
    Thanks for making this all involved~

  3. Jolene Simko Posted on April 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Zac! Thanks for existing and doing this work – but I want more detail! There are so many more specific groupings of each faith (Buddhism, Islam, etc) that I think you need to start revisiting some in order to get more into the subtle differences. I can tell that your show walks a careful line between quirky entertainment factor and TLDR, but I think with your following you can start getting more serious – go for it!! (Also, please do Shinto if you can) I was pleased to be made aware of your work today. You can thank Lo-lo-lo-lo-Lohan for that. =)

  4. Mike Corleone Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Religion is the organized worship of something. The redefining of things over the past couple centuries had muddled the meanings of things but it is true that Buddhism is an atheistic belief system. Yet, atheists worship meaninglessness. They believe we came from nothing, life has no meaning except the meaning we create for ourselves (but that's just a mind game),we are molecules dancing to our DNA so love, consciousness, and free will are an illusion. That takes more blind Faith than i ever use

  5. Maggie Bowen Posted on April 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Please do to catholicism next

  6. ka3beelo Posted on April 18, 2014 at 1:19 am

    This series has really had a profound positive effect on how I perceive others. Thank You!

  7. Karla Gomez Posted on April 18, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I think she didn't knew Catholicism very well that's why she left 😛

  8. 藤原Genji Posted on April 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    There are American Buddhist? ??

  9. Aaron Alias Posted on April 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Buddhism isn't a religion.

  10. okay Posted on April 20, 2014 at 12:52 am

    i find a lot similarities between this girl and i

  11. Leah Brown Posted on April 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    That was awesome Zach and Erica! We are all very fortunate that Zach's seeking spirit allowed him to create this video and Erica's desire and practice for the happiness of others allowed her to respond and share. This is a very profound and beneficial Nichiren Buddhism practice with the SGI. You don't know what you don't know.

  12. H T Posted on April 24, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    ohh zack you are such a beautiful person! wow! so much energy and love,would love to have someone like you in my life

  13. Jeff Shaul Posted on April 25, 2014 at 12:03 am

    someone didn't look to happy to be interrupted at 8:15 lol

  14. animejunkie10 Posted on April 25, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Question. Where can one find a list or dictionary of chants? If there are different ones for different things I'd like to learn. Erica and myself have a similar history with religion and with anxiety, so why not give chanting a try? Please and thank you!

  15. Khoo Wei Cyn Posted on April 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    This is Nichiren Buddhism, a form of "Protestant" Buddhism if you will. It is far removed from the intentions and message of the ORIGINAL Buddhism, of which Theravada Buddhism is the closest to. In fact, Nichiren Buddhism is named after the Japanese monk who started the movement, Nichiren Daishonin, who was regarded a Buddha by his followers and hence, Nichiren Buddhism is the teachings of Nichiren himself, and not of Siddharta Gautama. I really hope you don't confuse Nichiren Buddhism for the message of Siddharta Gautama, because there's a vast difference between the two. Just like how you can't ignore the distinction between Catholics, Methodists and Protestants.

  16. Jarvin Ajoku Posted on April 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    The Lotus Sutra is the king of sutras true and correct in both words and principle. Its words are the ultimate reality, and this reality is thev Mystic Law ( myoho). It is called the Mystic Law because it reveals the principle of the mutually inclusive relationship of a single moment of life and all phenomena. That is why this sutra is the wisdom of all Buddhas.

  17. Jarvin Ajoku Posted on April 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Life at each moment encompasses the body and mind and the self and environment of all sentient beings in the ten worlds as well as all insentient beings in the three thousand realms, including plants. Sky, earth, and even the minutest particles of dust. Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena. To be awakened to this principle is itself the mutually inclusive relationship of life at each moment and all phenomena.

  18. AUST!N** Posted on April 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I love you Zach! (:

  19. Adam Braus Posted on April 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    As a buddhist myself, I think the philosophy is portrayed very well except the chanting.

    Chanting is not central to Buddhism and might turn ppl off.

    Maybe check out a more vanilla Buddhist tradition too?

  20. Caitlin H Posted on April 29, 2014 at 3:23 am

    absolutely brilliant 🙂

  21. Blanka Weidnerova Posted on May 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I´ve watched all episodes and so far, I like buddism most! And I like you Zach! 

  22. honeybdream Posted on May 3, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Love this!

  23. Juan Alvarez Posted on May 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Your awesome man! best regards from Colombia

  24. Jack Rabbit Posted on May 7, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Makes no sense if were all god u would think ppl would act better this is y there's no hope

  25. Jack Rabbit Posted on May 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    But I like zach

  26. TopBananaBOOM Posted on May 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    This was such a joy to watch!!!! Do more!!!!! Soul pancake we want more!!! :)))

  27. Magda Posted on May 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    It is so interesting to find out how other religions work. There are a lot of religions, a lot of beliefs from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicity, and so forth. They are just all fascinating, and none of them are right or wrong; it's a matter of a belief system.
    I appreciate those whose beliefs are so strong that they are willing to persuade others to get into the same direction as them, but I certainly don't appreciate fascists. I mean sure you might have your own opinion about what's better and what's not (keyword: might) but you can't force someone to do the things you wanna do just because you think it's right.
    I myself am raised with a mix of Catholic and Buddhist parents, and I see Buddhism more as a philosophy rather than a religion. Yet, I don't limit myself to Catholic, I'm open to experiencing other religions, cultures, and so on.

  28. Taylor Handloser Posted on May 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks Zach for doing this, I find you so kind, and funny, and a pretty handsome fella! Keep up with your positive outlook on life and everything you do, your'e an inspiration to me, and I'm sure many others <3

  29. Nick Okamoto Posted on May 17, 2014 at 6:57 am

    I really enjoy this "Have a Little Faith" series, but I have a complaint about this episode. This is Nichiren Buddhism, which is quite removed from the historical Buddha. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing a video on Nichiren practices, but simply calling this video "Buddhism" is comparable to naming your Mormon video "Christianity" (while imagining your videos on other types of Christianity didn't exist).

  30. Rick Monist Posted on May 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    SGI rocks!! I'm a member of SGI UK & it's awesome.

  31. Rick Monist Posted on May 21, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    The woman in the pink dress & hat is beautiful.

  32. Violeta R Posted on May 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm

     "BUDDHA-FUL"  awwwweeee so cute

  33. Jose Toribio Posted on May 31, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    that chant was hypnotizing

  34. revko lucionar Posted on June 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Buddhism as a religion is a little more difficult to swallow: Rebirth, karma, merit transference, hell realms and pure lands, supernatural beings like buddhas, pretas, etc. Also the fact that it stresses an isolated monastic lifestyle as the most expedient path to a state of "enlightenment", the very existence of which cannot be established, and (as we have seen in the video) practices of bowing, devotion, etc. which are needlessly stressful on the body, makes it seem dubious. If Buddha was merely a teacher, why all this formal ritual?.

  35. Livi Charette Posted on June 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I love these videos.

  36. Anna Nguyen Posted on June 19, 2014 at 1:51 am

    This is a first that I am hearing that Buddhism doesn't have a god? Im a Buddhist myself and I go to the temple about once a month (it's too far) and I do remember seeing statues of Buddha himself and other gods as well… idk if it's the same type of Buddhism or what? Someone please explain?

  37. itisred100 Posted on June 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    This is great! I'm atheist now, but I'm going to have to look into Buddhism. I love that it is non-theistic and that there are people from every background represented here. Thanks so much for your amazing videos!!

  38. Sampath Subasinghe Posted on July 13, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Unfortunately, this type of preaching to pray for what you need is not what Buddha has taught. I see this is a belief of Mahayana Buddhism mostly practiced in China, Japan etc. In summary, Buddha's teaching was that we suffer because of the birth-aging-death, or the cycle of Samsara and put and and to it to attain the enlightenment. Four Noble Truths, and Noble Eightfold Path is fundamental of his teaching. Please refer to Theravada Buddhism if you want to know actual Buddha's teachings.

  39. Aaron Esparza Posted on July 13, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    7:05  the Big Chocolate. 

  40. Lolp Cake Posted on July 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I thought that Buddhism was non-materialist, so it's seem weird that she was chanting for a car

  41. Gypsy C. Posted on July 19, 2014 at 3:28 am

    I swear … this is my favorite episode of one of my favorite series on one of my favorite channels.  You're awesome, Zach.  I was just talking to my daughter today about how I wanted to visit a Buddhist center and meditate/chant and then I come across this.  It's a sign!  😉

  42. Nicole Martinson Posted on July 19, 2014 at 6:31 am

    BUDDHISM IS A PHILOSOPHY. Not a religion. A religion is the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power. Buddhism is not that. You can be atheist and live by a Buddhist philosophy. You can be Christian and live by a Buddhist philosophy. Buddhists have different beliefs about theism. It is a lifestyle; a mindset.

  43. BabblingCrap Posted on August 14, 2014 at 4:29 am

    That's why it's considered a "non-theistic religion".

  44. Julie Marie Posted on September 2, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I found youuuu miss new Buddhist

  45. Farfromhere001 Posted on September 21, 2014 at 12:04 am

    These new age hippies don't know shit about Buddhism, it's not about being happy, it's about releasing one's self from suffering and obtaining Nirvana.

  46. Regina Harvey Posted on October 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Dalilamanyf you are just inorgant.

  47. T. Kline Posted on October 17, 2014 at 6:01 am

    Ah, she's Nichiren Shoshu, who are somewhat like the Jehovah's Witnesses of the Buddhist world (no offense to the very fine JW folks out there intended). They're heavily into proselytizing ("shakubuku") unlike most other Buddhist traditions which tend to frown on overt, knock-on-your-door uninvited proselytizing, and they put their own guy, a Japanese monk named Nichiren, ahead of the historical Buddha. They don't really have a meditation practice per se, they're believers and chanters. Chant, chant, chant, chant. Chant a short mantra repeatedly, then a couple of verses of the Lotus Sutra. Why not the whole sutra — does it have some racy bits in the other chapters or something? Anyway, chant for a new car, chant for "success" in life, chant for a new girlfriend/boyfriend, chant for "enlightenment" (however you choose to define it…Nichiren was a little vague on the details). Believe in the power of your Gohonzon (the sacred scroll you're given when you join). Very materialistic take on things, although they are fine folks and I remember many of them I came to know with great fondness (yes, I was involved for a year or two). The upper-level "homencho" (women leaders) were typically adorable little Japanese "war brides" with bewildered American husbands in tow (this was many years ago). Underneath were the vast masses of lonely, disaffected 20- and 30-somethings lured in via a mild form of "love bombing" and persistent attention from members out doing shakabuku, running around apartments and condos pounding on doors. I soon came to realize that you could start your own religion and gain a following pretty quickly if you have a (relatively) consistent doctrine, say happy things, and keep bugging people to join up in a friendly but persistent sort of way. Or, you can scream at them about hellfire, as many of my evangelical Christian friends seem inclined to do. Just get out there and knock on doors and you, too, can be the next Sun Myung Moon, Daisaku Ikeda, or Robert Tilton.

    Bless 'em, it became clear to me that this spiritual path was something of a watered down theism (with Nichiren and your Gohonzon replacing God) and wasn't what I was questing after, and I was soon gone, off to party with those wild and crazy Zen and Theravada folks. But like I said, I retain very fond memories of some of the folks I met in Nichiren Shoshu, who are, after all, just like me — mortal, sentient beings stumbling towards happiness. It's just that their idea of happiness and mine didn't correspond.

  48. Regina Harvey Posted on November 1, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Tkline you have lost you're stupid ass mind.

  49. Chandula Suriyapperuma Posted on November 9, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    This is form of Buddhism is quite far from the actual teachings of the Buddha… To understand true Buddhism watch ajahn brahm…the core principles of Buddhism are more advanced that mere chanting, rituals etc…sadly it is the more materialistic form of Buddhism we see commonly today… Please listen to ajahn brahm to understand true Buddhism..

  50. Kathy Perry Posted on November 30, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  51. Cherie Dennis Posted on January 6, 2015 at 5:57 am

    Heart melt!

  52. muchomochi Posted on February 16, 2015 at 8:06 am

    8:16 this woman is so pissed about being interrupted lol XD

  53. Thai-Lynn Windler Posted on March 30, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    he totally reminds me of my old social studies teacher 👍

  54. eddebrock Posted on May 7, 2015 at 7:48 am

    3:40 This is not Buddhism. Fairly certain that Buddhists don't chant about all the things they desire.

  55. Andreas Z Posted on May 16, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    So these people do not believe in God? It is so sad to see these people doing those pointless things leading to destruction when Jesus died for them and paid for their sin on the cross. Pray that they may accept Jesus, who loves them unconditionally, and get saved.

  56. Susana Johnson Posted on July 21, 2015 at 4:35 am

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING, I've been practicing N. Buddhism for 8yrs. and really haven't told my family. Now I have the courage to do it and this video will help them understand my practice, THANK YOU

  57. bellamorte200 Posted on July 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Could you, please talk about Sri Sri Ananda Murti. This organization needs some attention and their philosophy is so beautiful!!!

  58. Rahema Posted on August 14, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    I think the title should be made more specific i.e. "SGI Buddhism" or "Nichiren Buddhism".

  59. Peter Stein Posted on August 31, 2015 at 10:35 am

    can't make it without God!

  60. don Joe Posted on September 21, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Most of these guys are converts and the way they are practicing buddhism isn't really the way its done

  61. Tobias Thamm Posted on October 12, 2015 at 10:26 am

    As many said, this is Buddhism taught by a specific Organisation called Soka Gakkai (International). It is a Japanese Organisation that promotes Nichiren Buddhism, not Zen Buddhism. (Not all kinds of Buddhism that come from Japan are Zen, in fact, Zen is quite small there.) I just want to point out that the majority of Buddhists does not count the SGI as a "true" form of Buddhism, because they are pretty much focused on material things, as mentioned in the video (chanting in order to get a new car, etc), which is something the Buddha never taught. Buddhism is about spiritual richness and spiritual progress rather than fulfilling your materialistic needs.

  62. Watson Piriya Posted on November 25, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Why is it different buddish of Thailand?

  63. daigames sg Posted on December 1, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Chinese Buddhism spreading very fast into Africa right now,Please view Amitofo care centre ACC

  64. Scrublord Posted on December 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Bunch of white people with no idea what Buddhism is what so ever. lol.

  65. Kurata Oon Posted on December 26, 2015 at 4:42 am

    I got very surprised when she said oh shit

  66. baconsoap78 Posted on December 31, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    This chick looked uncomfortable as all hell. Practice what you preach, girlie…

  67. Raymond Lai Posted on January 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Dear Soul Pancake, Thank you for taking the time and effort to both upload and share this video with the youtube community. Thank You.

  68. Leonardo Leal Posted on January 20, 2016 at 12:31 am

    this is nichiren buddhism.I like the bell, It's very beautiful…he went at SGI-USA Santa Monica Center…

  69. Andrea Gardner Posted on February 14, 2016 at 4:33 am

    did anyone else want to harmonize when they were chanting

  70. Kady Carrougher Posted on February 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    "I like to break down religion into things that I could get from Home Depot" Oh that made me laugh so hard. Zach is the best.

  71. TakingItIn Posted on March 23, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Was that Rebecca Herbst at 6:12?

  72. Yvette Lopez Posted on March 29, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I started as a SGI Buddhist (a very new sect of Buddhism), like this woman. But converted to a Theravada Buddhist; because I discovered that sgi Buddhism doesn't to put to much focus on the basics of core Buddhism. Chanting is important, AND IT DOES WORK. but I hit a wall, and I realized the I needed to understand the fundamental before I learning about nicherin daishonin to reach my own Buddhahood.

  73. LEL Trip Posted on April 27, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Buddhism = wolf in sheep clothes.

  74. Richard Cassel Posted on May 13, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Nom yo ho…and a bottle of rum!

  75. Twinkle Posted on June 8, 2016 at 2:29 am

    why does this girl have such a bitch face the whole time?

  76. lostinmyworld53 Posted on July 12, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I don't know if this show is still being done but their are SO many different kinds of Buddhism (the other religions as well) and it would be really great to see other kinds of these philosophies. This one in particular didn't show the sides of Buddhism that I hold most dearly. "Allow what is," "be here now," and "if you are unhappy, desire less" are three phrases I've taken from Buddhism that have changed my life incredibly, not chanting for a new car. That's not to say anything is necessarily wrong with their take on the philosophy but I don't think it's a fair representation of Buddhism itself.

  77. Zeynel Polat Posted on December 17, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    in the other video she said that she does not want to show her altar…but there it is

  78. Sunil Sharma Posted on January 22, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Hinduism and Buddhism are most peaceful and joyful !!!

  79. Double T Posted on February 12, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Please do Sikhism! It's the world fifth largest religion

  80. Fearful Something Posted on April 1, 2017 at 1:37 am

    I love the questions that Zach asks. Insightful. Great series 🙂

  81. glcssy trqsh Posted on April 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Zach is so funny!!😂

    Who is watching in 2017

  82. cazprescott9 Posted on April 22, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    There are many schools of Buddhism. Obviously, we don't agree with everything within our religion. I'm a member of SGI, but I'm open to all Buddhist teachings.We don't chant solely for material gain. I'm sure that Soul Pancake made an honest mistake labeling this video as Zen. Zen and Nichiren are 2 of the most open and diverse Buddhist communities in the West. I live in New York and I have experienced prejudice from Asian temples where they will tell you that their spaces are only for their countrymen. I'm not making this up and I'm not paranoid. There are many videos that you can watch if you wish to know a little more about Nichiren in general, or read the Lotus Sutra translated by Burton Watson and published by Columbia University Press. I'm not trying to convert anyone. Just pointing out that there are some misconceptions regarding Nichiren school, which does have a priesthood separate from SGI.

  83. ladywolfe67 Posted on July 4, 2017 at 4:47 am

    This is Rengi not Buddhism. In Buddhism you disconnect from desires. It isn't a wishing well like Christianity and Catholicism.

  84. jurassicgalaxy9 Posted on August 29, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Knowing Zachary is in the world brings me joy, he's funny and thoughtful and quick.

  85. David Arbelaez Posted on October 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Anonymity brings out the worst in people. It doesn't take much courage to be a troll.

  86. Edgar Posted on November 7, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Flying Spaghetti Monster

  87. Linda Glendenning Posted on January 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Everybody who tries other things say they are former catholic., not real Buddhism. American version watered down no power! Real Buddhist worship the Buddha!

  88. Jack Wyles Posted on April 16, 2018 at 12:48 am

    As far as I'm concerned, Zach is the one who is Zen! Keep doin' it, dude!

  89. sylvo330 Posted on May 19, 2018 at 1:12 am

    This isn't Zen. It's Nichiren Buddhism. And even then it's been dumbed down for an American audience. It's all very surface level, and doesn't really delve deep into the actual teachings of the Buddha, or the masters that followed in his footsteps. It's cute and all, but it's basically just a self-help group with a thin veneer of 'Buddhanature' slapped on top of it. Still interesting to see just how Americans can morph Buddhism to become a faith revolved around capitalism and property; two things that the Buddha would avoid at all costs. Anyway, always love to see Zach!

  90. Spiritual Food For Life Posted on July 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm


  91. Spiritual Food For Life Posted on July 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you #spiritualFFL

  92. Chitranjan Kumar kushwaha Posted on November 1, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I am Hindu but I like lord Gautama Buddha I am from Bihar India where Buddha got enlightened .Buddhism and Hinduism both are my dear faith

  93. Angel Shining Posted on December 6, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    To help and love others is why we are here.Our souls evolve as we learn.

  94. GingerNinja15 C. Posted on December 23, 2018 at 2:45 am

    I'd be interested in seeing the male perspective of each of these religions. So far only three males and five females being the lead talkers of each of these religions point of views.

  95. John Paul Posted on March 4, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Jukka Harlin my dear listen carefully the words I am transmitting too you! the words spoken by the good lord Jesus Christ I am the way the truth and the life! And the concrete and true foundation of our faith lies in the gift of the baptism in the name of the father and son and Holy Spirit! Which our lord partook! Too know Christ almighty there’s a secret of finding that truth which is him! You want to know there’s one way to do it it is to call his name and ask him to reveal himself too you so simple yet such a great challenge!

  96. William S Posted on April 24, 2019 at 4:54 am

    If you see you don't know. If you want to see, do not be concerned with the shape but just see, by going to

  97. Tayevaughn Williams Posted on May 22, 2019 at 3:25 am

    It’s rare you would find a black Buddhist

  98. Alan Malcheski Posted on August 10, 2019 at 5:54 am

    i knew an SGI Buddhist, went to a meeting with him. This is like krishna, it's run like a Christian church, it's not even the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama. Maybe she missed that part. She's worshiping the Lotus sutra.