Bringing the Dharma to Others

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Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby thornbush » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:02 pm

Often, we hear of people saying that we as 'Buddhists', do not 'evangelize'.

Yet in the Scriptures, we read of how the Buddha often commend us to spread the message far and near, the Dharma. Not resorting to the calculating or marketing methodologies of blatant and questionable ones, how do you then bring the Dharma to others as 'Dharmadutas' (Dharma Ambassadors)?

This thread is seeking to learn of how Buddhists spread the message of their Founder and even take some ideas here as an added worthy effort for the Dharma. One may include ideas, resources and even statistics. :thanks:
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby genkaku » Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:52 pm

If you want to spread the Dharma -- honestly, and not just as some sort of spiritual Tupperware -- then cultivate your practice day and night. In this way, thought, word and deed will naturally come into accord, and, although others may think you are nuts ... still, they may be curious about this nut. :smile:
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby Drolma » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:40 pm

I don't try to spread the word, or try to convert people. I have personally seen and experienced the harm caused by people trying to convert people to their beliefs.

I agree with His Holiness Dalai Lama's view:

"I do not advocate one particular religion at the expense of all others, nor do I seek a new 'world religion'. All the different religions of the world are needed to enrich human experience and world civilization. Our human minds, being of different calibre and disposition, need different approaches to peace and happiness. It is just like food. Certain people find Christianity more appealing, others prefer Buddhism because there is no creator in it and everything depends upon your own actions. We can make similar arguments for other religions as well. Thus, the point is clear: humanity needs all the world's religions to suit the ways of life, diverse spiritual needs, and inherited national traditions of individual human beings.

We cannot hide the doctrinal differences that exist among various faiths, nor can we hope to replace the existing religions by a new universal belief. Each religion has its own distinctive contributions to make, and each in its own way is suitable to a particular group of people as they understand life. The world needs them all."

source:
http://www.dalailama.com/page.62.htm
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby thecap » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:11 pm

Hi thornbush

You don't have to lose a single word about the Dharma!

Be the Dharma.

Once people start noticing your extraordinary calmness, serenity or situational wisdom, they will be curious.

When they are curious, their mind will be open.

They will try to emulate your calmness, serenity and wisdom. They will come, ask, and listen - all by themselves.

Then you can share "verbal Dharma" according to their and your abilities.

That is, if their mind is not ripen, show them virtue, and if it is ripen, teach them the noble truths and meditation.

:buddha1:
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby thecap » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:14 pm

Drolma wrote:I don't try to spread the word, or try to convert people. I have personally seen and experienced the harm caused by people trying to convert people to their beliefs.


That may apply to most religions :) ...but do you think Buddhist Dharma is about spreading a "religious virus" or rather about compassion, the will to help people help themselves?
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:26 pm

thecap wrote:Hi thornbush

You don't have to lose a single word about the Dharma!

Be the Dharma.

Once people start noticing your extraordinary calmness, serenity or situational wisdom, they will be curious.

When they are curious, their mind will be open.

They will try to emulate your calmness, serenity and wisdom. They will come, ask, and listen - all by themselves.

Then you can share "verbal Dharma" according to their and your abilities.

That is, if their mind is not ripen, show them virtue, and if it is ripen, teach them the noble truths and meditation.

:buddha1:


:good:
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby Luke » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:11 pm

I think it takes a great deal of insight into oneself and others to be able to spread Dharma effectively. On the one hand, you have to know the limits of your abilities to communicate the Dharma effectively, and on the other, you have to clearly understand the needs of your audience.

It's very hard to spread Dharma effectively until you've developed some deep insight into the nature of your mind and other's minds. I think Genkaku may have been hinting about this...

I often don't feel that I can communicate Buddha's teachings in a way that will do them justice, so I mostly just shut up and I sometimes refer people to good books about Dharma.
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby Drolma » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:24 pm

thecap wrote:
Drolma wrote:I don't try to spread the word, or try to convert people. I have personally seen and experienced the harm caused by people trying to convert people to their beliefs.


That may apply to most religions :) ...but do you think Buddhist Dharma is about spreading a "religious virus" or rather about compassion, the will to help people help themselves?



Do I think that the Buddhist Dharma is about spreading a "religious virus"?
What an odd question.
I do not look at other religions in a negative way. Religions don't harm people, people harm people.
It is not about the religion, it is about taking into consideration the mental dispositions and actual needs of the people concerned.
There are many people who are not Buddhists who use Dharma methods and practices to enhance their own faiths. I have known a few.

I think His Holiness Dalai Lama's view is a wise and compassionate one.

You are of course free to agree, or not. :smile:
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby LastLegend » Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:17 am

thornbush wrote:Often, we hear of people saying that we as 'Buddhists', do not 'evangelize'.

Yet in the Scriptures, we read of how the Buddha often commend us to spread the message far and near, the Dharma. Not resorting to the calculating or marketing methodologies of blatant and questionable ones, how do you then bring the Dharma to others as 'Dharmadutas' (Dharma Ambassadors)?

This thread is seeking to learn of how Buddhists spread the message of their Founder and even take some ideas here as an added worthy effort for the Dharma. One may include ideas, resources and even statistics. :thanks:


Yes, only bring teachings to others when conditions arise. So that means we are not going to people and start preaching. We can for example, when someone is in desperate need for help but has nowhere to turn to. We can ask the person to recite Amitbha for example as a gentle way to introduce the person to Buddhism. In this way we can earn merits also.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby muni » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:34 am

By own mindfulness, not ones own limitations in dividing speech.
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby Karma Yeshe » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:12 pm

thecap wrote:Hi thornbush

You don't have to lose a single word about the Dharma!

Be the Dharma.

Once people start noticing your extraordinary calmness, serenity or situational wisdom, they will be curious.

When they are curious, their mind will be open.

They will try to emulate your calmness, serenity and wisdom. They will come, ask, and listen - all by themselves.

Then you can share "verbal Dharma" according to their and your abilities.

That is, if their mind is not ripen, show them virtue, and if it is ripen, teach them the noble truths and meditation.

:buddha1:

This is a very well put way on how to bring the Dharma to others. Thank You !
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Re: Bringing the Dharma to Others

Postby Padme » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:26 am

thecap wrote:Hi thornbush

You don't have to lose a single word about the Dharma!

Be the Dharma.

Once people start noticing your extraordinary calmness, serenity or situational wisdom, they will be curious.

When they are curious, their mind will be open.


They will try to emulate your calmness, serenity and wisdom. They will come, ask, and listen - all by themselves.

Then you can share "verbal Dharma" according to their and your abilities.

That is, if their mind is not ripen, show them virtue, and if it is ripen, teach them the noble truths and meditation.

:buddha1:


Exactly. I have a good example of this that's just happened over the last few days. I am still good friends with my ex, and we chat a lot. He's having trouble meeting women, and was asking me for my advice. He was saying some specific things about how women are, generalizing them in an unproductive way, because he's been hurt in the past. I said that perhaps bringing a jaded past into his present interactions with women could be a hindrance. I told him that if it were me, I would try to be more mindful in my experience meeting someone new, that being "fully present in the moment" would give me a chance to evaluate the situation for what it is, what is happening right now, and that I would try not to be overcome with my preconceived notions of bad past experiences. I didn't tell him to do this per say, simply said that's what I would try to do in a similar situation (his issue is that he distrusts women). I very casually said that although mindfulness is known as a Buddhist practice, it's really something everyone can practice, Buddhism aside.

So he took great interest in this. The next day he asked me more about mindfulness. He asked how to practice this mindfulness with women, to not judge them based on past experiences while not being a sucker either, and totally forgetting genuine lessons learned from the past. I thought this was an interesting question, and we pondered together how we might take into consideration these past lessons, without letting negativity overwhelm our present moment. Learning from the past, but not letting it dictate a current scenario.

I don't think he'll be a Buddhist any time soon, but that's okay, I'm not trying to "convert" him. I just tried to incorporate my studies into my advice, putting it into practice essentially.

I think that is a good example of sharing the dharma with others. I think the idea is not to "make others buddhist", but to share the path by example, and as thecap said, invoking curiosity often results.
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