Dhamma propagation - most effective form?

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palchi
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by 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.

plwk
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by 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...

plwk
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by 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...

rowyourboat
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by 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...

With metta
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rowyourboat
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by 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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dharmaamrita
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by dharmaamrita » Wed May 11, 2011 6:05 am

just set an example. Forget about '-isms'. The Dhamma is universal. Let it be fully effulgent in your thoughts words and deeds. Always speak Dhamma, do Dhamma, think Dhamma. Then your bhava becomes infectiuous when people see the good in it.

befriend
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by befriend » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:22 pm

whats wrong with putting an ad in the paper, i didnt know there was a buddhist group meeting one mile from my house for years, until i stumbled across a website that told me where they met. how are people supposed to know about groups that people could be interested in if no one displays it? if people dont want to go to a buddhist group they dont have to, but whats the harm in letting them know its there?
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:53 am

plwk wrote:Location Matheesha Location :jumping:
(Where people are the most, that's where Dhamma should be made available, in my POV)
That's what seems to happen in practice, in the UK centres and groups tend to be in the cities and large towns. Which is fine unless you live in the country. ;)

Spiny

rowyourboat
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by rowyourboat » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:15 pm

Its interesting that there aren't any more online chatting/video conferencing. Recently some of my friends had access to a very good monk and they organised a video conference- it was really good! People could not only see/hear they could ask questions - and it did really feel like we were all there together in cycberspace,listening to this monk- there was a sense of 'group-identity' because we all kind of knew each other even though we weren't physically present (we could see each other, though). This is the site we used:

http://www.webex.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I would hope someone attempts using it. It is quite good. :thumbsup:

:group:

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Maitri
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by Maitri » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:22 am

I've been working with the nuns at our temple to try and attract more people to visit, but attendance has been very low. We are now trying to find some good means to connect with people via local media. It's a catch 22- you want to offer more Dhamma activities, but you need people to attend them!
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

rowyourboat
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by rowyourboat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:45 am

Maitri wrote:I've been working with the nuns at our temple to try and attract more people to visit, but attendance has been very low. We are now trying to find some good means to connect with people via local media. It's a catch 22- you want to offer more Dhamma activities, but you need people to attend them!
How about running a series of articles in the local media re the dhamma? People might be curious enough to show up. Also dont forget Tea and busicuits!

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:18 am

rowyourboat wrote: Also dont forget Tea and busicuits!
Those are crucial elements of a Dhamma meeting. ;)

Spiny

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:21 am

Maitri wrote: It's a catch 22- you want to offer more Dhamma activities, but you need people to attend them!
Yes, this is something I've been struggling with for quite a while. What happens here in the UK is that in cities and large towns there will often be a number of different Buddhist traditions effectively "competing" for those with an interest. Short of paying people to turn up I'm not sure what the answer is.... ;)

Spiny

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Ytrog
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by Ytrog » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:43 pm

You must also be able to explain the basics of the Dhamma quite well to spread it.

I usually am a bit hesitant to talk about it myself, so I wouldn't pick me for it. ;)
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mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
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rowyourboat
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Re: Dhamma propagation

Post by rowyourboat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:47 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Maitri wrote: It's a catch 22- you want to offer more Dhamma activities, but you need people to attend them!
Yes, this is something I've been struggling with for quite a while. What happens here in the UK is that in cities and large towns there will often be a number of different Buddhist traditions effectively "competing" for those with an interest. Short of paying people to turn up I'm not sure what the answer is.... ;)

Spiny
Do something different- how about a 'practice support group'. :)

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