Dhamma propagation - most effective form?

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Dhamma propagation - most effective form?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 08, 2011 2:17 am

What's the most effective form of dhamma propagation, in your opinion?

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby Ben » Sun May 08, 2011 2:23 am

Practice, Matheesha, Practice!
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby plwk » Sun May 08, 2011 2:41 am

Location Matheesha Location :jumping:
(Where people are the most, that's where Dhamma should be made available, in my POV)
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby Reductor » Sun May 08, 2011 7:29 am

I am think both Ben and plwk are right. Practice energetically and put yourself out there to offer to others a buddhist answer/perspective on their questions. Whether or not they are receptive depends on many more conditions than just what you say.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby LastLegend » Sun May 08, 2011 7:36 am

Represent Buddha's teachings by truly practicing the teachings to become a good role model. When people see that you are peaceful and vibrant, people will be curious about what you do. Then you can tell them that you practice Buddhism. :smile:
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby rowyourboat » Sun May 08, 2011 1:19 pm

Thanks Ben, I somehow knew you were going to say that :D. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that there is no substitute to personal experience and practice, in becoming a good teacher-interestingly I didn't consider that aspect of dhamma propagation. Hmm.. :thinking:

I agree with plwk about location. I see that I do reach more people at London Buddhist Vihar where the transport links are better and the temple is more established, with an active programme list.

I guess I am thinking on a broader scale than just one person doing classes. What about utilising the media, bibles in hotels, that type of thing as well..

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby bodom » Sun May 08, 2011 10:07 pm

"Just write what is in your heart.
You contribute to Buddhism if the truths are there." - Dogen


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/forest_path.pdf

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby pilgrim » Mon May 09, 2011 3:41 am

For the average practising Buddhist who does not expect to be a teacher, I would say the most effective thing you can do to propagate the Dhamma is "Organisation". Get a number of people together, form common objectives like organising teachngs, retreats, etc.. implement..
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby alan » Mon May 09, 2011 4:08 am

How about taking full page adverts in all the major papers?
Or, we could put the Suttas in every hotel room.
Or, we could start a TV network. People could turn to channel 77 and hear the teachings!
That might work.
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby cooran » Mon May 09, 2011 4:15 am

But, most likely, it would turn as many people off buddhism as the Jehovah Witnesses do re christianity. Next someone will suggest door-knocking in pairs.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby alan » Mon May 09, 2011 4:23 am

My famous blend of sarcasm and literalism didn't seem to work here. So I'll have to use the technique of last resort--honesty.
Be like Ben and live it. Some will respond. Don't worry about the others.
Last edited by alan on Mon May 09, 2011 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby cooran » Mon May 09, 2011 4:31 am

:jumping:

So we agree! :smile:
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby Reductor » Mon May 09, 2011 4:35 am

But JW attracts new members all the time. So it must work... Perhaps similar approaches, minus the obnoxious doctrine, would be successful. But god no door knocking!

There are community centers, pools, doctors offices with specific places to place pamphlets. Perhaps get something like "Just be good" and pull enough out of it to make a small and welcoming pamphlet.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 09, 2011 5:53 am

alan wrote:How about taking full page adverts in all the major papers?
Or, we could put the Suttas in every hotel room.
Or, we could start a TV network. People could turn to channel 77 and hear the teachings!
That might work.

:jumping:

The result? - 5 billion Christians!
:anjali:
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 09, 2011 5:56 am

pilgrim wrote:For the average practising Buddhist who does not expect to be a teacher, I would say the most effective thing you can do to propagate the Dhamma is "Organisation". Get a number of people together, form common objectives like organising teachngs, retreats, etc.. implement..


Pilgrim,

Really great point. Thank you! If we really want this for our kids, and not let it die out, we will have to so more than sit on our backsides! (not that that is not important :) )

Edit: Another option is to set up Buddhists websites, forums, chat rooms and become moderators in them. :tongue:

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby palchi » Mon May 09, 2011 6:52 am

One of the things that draw me into Buddhism (apart from the teachings hitting home of course) was the complete lack of missionary zeal. During my very first meditation course in a Tibetan temple the teacher even refused to answer questions on Buddhism during course time. His response was along the lines of: This is a beginners' meditation course, not a Buddhist course. If you have questions on Buddhism or the temple you are welcome to stay on afterwards and I will respond. Loved it.

That temple is offering teachings at different levels, many clearly Buddhist teachings, other targeted more at a general audience because they believe that meditation is helpful for anybody regardless of their religious affiliation. And of course many become interested in learning more...

In my view, living it, only sharing when asked, and leaving others the freedom to agree or disagree are still the best ways to share dharma.
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby plwk » Mon May 09, 2011 7:29 am

How about taking full page adverts in all the major papers?
In my country, there are ads every now and then in the major dailies promoting various Buddhist events, courses and teaching schedules.
Or, we could put the Suttas in every hotel room.
In the hotels I have worked with, they have reading literature on Buddhism (The Dhammapada, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai's 'The Teaching of Buddha' and etc) in the room alongside the Quran and Bible. In some, it's upon request, available on loan or for sale from the Housekeeping / Front Desk Dept.
Or, we could start a TV network. People could turn to channel 77 and hear the teachings!
There are already various TV networks worldwide dedicated to the propagation of the Buddha's Teachings, advertising of various meditation or teaching sessions and so forth...
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby plwk » Mon May 09, 2011 7:54 am

There are community centers, pools, doctors offices with specific places to place pamphlets. Perhaps get something like "Just be good" and pull enough out of it to make a small and welcoming pamphlet.

All of the above has been accomplished in many countries by generous sponsors. Allow me to share some samples from across the board based on what I myself have participated..
And beyond the above example, charity/hospice work, blood donation drives, recycling efforts, weekly health exercises, promotion of vegetarian food/lifestyle or even community events like the local celebration of New Year and other annual cultural events are chances for interaction with non Buddhist communities and to create an awareness in them that as Buddhists, we too are involved in and with society and have been done in creative and open methodologies that are non-religious and non-intrusive. Some Buddhist temples/centres have a steady stream of volunteers who keep coming back because of the hospitality and appreciation shown to them for assisting and many of them are non Buddhists and after a while, the more open minded ones and inquisitive will start enquiring further on the Buddha and His Teachings on their own volition, so who's to say that these platforms can't be used?

The phenomena of the International Vesak Day celebration, especially in countries where it is gazetted as a national public holiday, is another great opportunity to introduce Buddhism to the masses via all of the above platforms as discussed and they also have a mass public parade in the evening of Vesak Day where various Buddhist organisations come together and have float parades of various kinds reflecting the Birth, Enlightenment and Maha Parinibbana of the Buddha or just simply various Buddhist organisations walking in a group behind their respective temple/centre banners. This has attracted many curious bystanders and visitors to join in and is a tourist attraction in my country, again, is another avenue to plant the seed of Dhamma in the mass public.

Again, there is no compulsion in any of these events...just beneficial and opportune platforms for both Buddhists and the society to work with and understand each other on various levels...
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby rowyourboat » Mon May 09, 2011 5:22 pm

plwk wrote:
How about taking full page adverts in all the major papers?
In my country, there are ads every now and then in the major dailies promoting various Buddhist events, courses and teaching schedules.
Or, we could put the Suttas in every hotel room.
In the hotels I have worked with, they have reading literature on Buddhism (The Dhammapada, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai's 'The Teaching of Buddha' and etc) in the room alongside the Quran and Bible. In some, it's upon request, available on loan or for sale from the Housekeeping / Front Desk Dept.
Or, we could start a TV network. People could turn to channel 77 and hear the teachings!
There are already various TV networks worldwide dedicated to the propagation of the Buddha's Teachings, advertising of various meditation or teaching sessions and so forth...


Hi plwk,

I agree. I know of Sri Lanka where all this happens (as well)! Result ?

70% of Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists :shrug: (and it's not like Christianity is not propagated there either, they simply cannot trump the Buddhas deep dhamma, since the population is quite literate for a developing country).

@palchi- if that course wasn't there for beginners and outsiders to attend, and it was reserved for the monastic community shall we say, you would have never come into contact with the dhamma (well not never, but you know what I mean..). It is that state of affairs that since there is so little dhamma propagation that the people who DO get attracted do so because it appeals to that niche population where obscurity of sorts is a plus. They are the only ones who will pick this up and they will come to over-represent Buddhists in the West (of course I am simplifying too much here..). I think there a loads of intelligent people out there, especially in the West, who are starving simply because they haven't had the option of hearing the dhamma. If you put it out there, people will come...

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Re: Dhamma propagation

Postby rowyourboat » Tue May 10, 2011 11:15 pm

Spreading the dhamma is good practice!

AN 8.25 PTS: A iv 220
Mahanama Sutta: Being a Lay Buddhist
translated from the Pali by
Kumara Bhikkhu
© 2005–2011
Once the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyas in Nigrodha Park at Kapilavatthu. There, Mahanama the Sakyan approached the Blessed One. Having approached and paid respect to the Blessed One, he sat aside. Then, seated aside, Mahanama the Sakyan said thus to the Blessed One:

"Venerable sir, in what way is one a lay follower?"[1]

"Mahanama, inasmuch as one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, has gone to the Sangha for refuge; in that way, Mahanama, one is a lay follower."

"Then, venerable sir, in what way is a lay follower virtuous?"

"Mahanama, inasmuch as a lay follower abstains from destroying living beings; abstains from taking what is not given; abstains from sexual misconduct; abstains from lying; and abstains from wine, liquor and intoxicants that are causes for heedlessness; in that way, Mahanama, a lay follower is virtuous."

"Then, venerable sir, in what way is a lay follower engaged in his own welfare, but not in others' welfare?"

"Mahanama, inasmuch as a lay follower is possessed of faith himself, but rouses not others to possess faith; is possessed of virtue himself, but rouses not others to possess virtue; is possessed of liberality himself, but rouses not others to possess liberality; is himself desirous of meeting with monks, but rouses not others to meet with monks; is himself desirous of hearing the true Dhamma, but rouses not others to hear the true Dhamma; is himself habitually mindful of the Dhamma that is heard, but rouses not others to be mindful of the Dhamma; has himself ascertained the meaning/benefit of the Dhamma that is heard, but rouses not others to ascertain the meaning/benefit; having known the meaning/benefit, having known the Dhamma, is himself committed to the practice according to the Dhamma, but rouses not others to be committed to the practice according to the Dhamma; in that way, Mahanama, a lay follower is engaged in his own welfare, but not in others' welfare."

"Then, venerable sir, in what way is a lay follower engaged in his own welfare and in others' welfare?"

"Mahanama, inasmuch as a lay follower is possessed of faith himself, and rouses others to possess faith; is possessed of virtue himself, and rouses others to possess virtue; is possessed of liberality himself, and rouses others to possess liberality; is himself desirous of meeting with monks, and rouses others to meet with monks; is himself desirous of hearing the true Dhamma, and rouses others to hear the true Dhamma; is himself habitually mindful of the Dhamma that is heard, and rouses others to be mindful of the Dhamma; is himself ascertained of the meaning/benefit of the Dhamma that is heard, and rouses others to ascertain the meaning/benefit; having known the meaning/benefit, having known the Dhamma, is himself committed to the practice according to the Dhamma, and rouses others to be committed to the practice according to the Dhamma; in that way, Mahanama, a lay follower is engaged in his own welfare and in others' welfare."

Notes

1.
Pali: upasaka.
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