Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
indian_buddhist
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby indian_buddhist » Wed May 07, 2014 4:57 pm

david.sojourn wrote:
waterchan wrote:
indian_buddhist wrote:However those that have Stream entry and more spread the message. its a duty for them to spread the message.


I don't understand your obsession with stream entry as a minimum requirement in this thread and others. Where, in which sutta is it stated that stream entry is a requirement to teach the Dhamma to anyone? Most monks including arahants are not great teachers.

Those who are skilled in teaching should teach the Dhamma and those who are not skilled at teaching can progress towards their own final enlightenment.

Watch this video starting at 2:09 to understand what true "conversion" means in Buddhism:



This is the problem.

This is why you are all so confused on the Dhamma. Why you have 9000000000 posts, and no answers on these forums.

An Arahant is always a great teacher. It can be no other way. Monks, on the other hand.....eh.....Most monks aren't Enlightened.

Those who do not have "Direct" experience of Dhamma, should not try to teach Dhamma.

It is this very behavior that causes so much confusion in the world. It is why a process, Enlightenment, which is very, very simple, is so very, very hard to obtain (Worst of all for buddhists, Christians find it easier).

How do you know if you have direct experience of Dhamma?

Oh, you will know.... When Dhamma is understood, Dhamma is understood.

Blind leading the blind is what you get when non-Enlightened teachers, teach. It is an ego. To "Be" a teacher. And you are teaching from a position of ignorance, still. Ignorance does not begin to fade away until the Dhamma has been encountered, and understood.

One should not teach, if one does not have true happiness in ones own life.

Discovering the true Dhamma, brings true happiness. So when one teaches "My techniques", or "My theory", or "My Understanding", one is working exactly in the opposite fashion required to understand and reveal true Dhamma.

The Dhamma is received, by those who are prepared to receive it. It is not "Found", accumulated, or algorithmically attained.

If you are not sure if you have experience with Dhamma, do not teach. You are part of what is destroying the world. Part of why so few can attain Enlightenment. Every word spoken in Ignorance "About" Dhamma, causes another problem. Every time.

It is Karmically negative to try to teach without direct experience of Dhamma. Period.

And to charge for Dhamma teachings, violates all of the Universal rules. Period.



Oh Thank God !.
Identification with my country is one of my fetters.

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waterchan
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby waterchan » Wed May 07, 2014 4:59 pm

david.sojourn wrote:This is the problem.

This is why you are all so confused on the Dhamma. Why you have 9000000000 posts, and no answers on these forums.

Clearly that is why you registered at a most opportune time to enlighten us all.

david.sojourn wrote:And to charge for Dhamma teachings, violates all of the Universal rules. Period.

Exactly who in the above video is charging for Dhamma teachings?
quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
(Anything in Latin sounds profound.)

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Mkoll
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 07, 2014 5:41 pm

waterchan wrote:
david.sojourn wrote:This is the problem.

This is why you are all so confused on the Dhamma. Why you have 9000000000 posts, and no answers on these forums.

Clearly that is why you registered at a most opportune time to enlighten us all.


:clap:

I was waiting for someone to say something like that!
Peace,
James

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Wed May 07, 2014 8:25 pm

david.sojourn wrote:An Arahant is always a great teacher. It can be no other way.


Source? As far as I know, that statement is untrue.



:anjali:
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby jameswang » Wed May 21, 2014 6:27 am

pilgrim wrote:Buddhists don't seek to convert for conversion sake, but to benefit others.

So, we should convert, but just not for conversion sake? Even when we think "to benefit others", that's tricky, isn't it?

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby jameswang » Wed May 21, 2014 6:35 am

culaavuso wrote:Intention is key. If the intention is to share insight into Buddhism in a way that benefits others for their sake and not for the sake of gain, praise, fame, or pleasure and it is in line with the principles of right speech then it is the compassionate thing to do. It's not about converting others, it's about helping others to find happiness. This can include just sharing small helpful suggestions that might have come from Buddhism without labeling those suggestions as Buddhist.

Great answer! :goodpost:

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby LXNDR » Fri May 30, 2014 6:36 pm

what makes sense is spreading knowledge, not beliefs or information, because in that case it will be honest

what makes sense is making (and even that not purpously) other people discover you and seek you out and not vice versa

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:06 am

I was talking about criticizing others religions (hindu/muslim/christian) etc and that is Wrong.



So we shouldnt critizise certain religious attitudes towards gay marriage or homosexuality in general?



indian_buddhist wrote:
I believe that someone who criticizes others belief no matter what belief it is (many people do it) , the Person who has done this mistake (criticizing others belief) would most certainly goto Hell.



Are you not criticising others here who believe it is morally sound to criticize?


Arent you also forgetting that Buddha also citized others? H even said it would be better if the leader of the Ajivakas (makkhali gosala) had not been born.
Last edited by clw_uk on Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:26 pm

Well maybe we need to differentiate between 'judgement' and constructive and UNconstructive criticism. All have their place, and all get aired. And it is the perception of others which differentiates one from the others.
:namaste:

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.



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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby pilgrim » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:46 pm

Those for whom you have sympathy, those with whom you communicate - your friends, intimates, kinsmen and relations - all should be told about, grounded in, established in the Four Limbs of Stream-Winning. What are these four? Faith in the Buddha, faith in the Dhamma, faith in the Sangha, and virtue that is dear to the Noble Ones and conducive to concentration of mind.
~ Samyutta Nikaya V,364

"Monks, even a monk who has long penetrated the Dhamma in this Doctrine and Discipline would do well to refute the wanderers of other persuasions with the Dhamma periodically in just the way Anathapindika the householder has done."
~ Ditthi sutta

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:03 pm

I got talking to a couple of Mormons the other day. Initially they tried to convert me, but I explained I was a Buddhist and an atheist, and they took the hint fairly quickly. We then had quite a nice chat. ;)
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Tom8989 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:03 pm

This is a very important topic for people, so thank you all for sharing your inspiring views on it, especially
mentioning that "converting" is in some sense taking away the freedom from the other person as well as
we should caution against tarning tyranny. nonetheless, the irony is that the dhamma will be lost one day
if it is not practiced by at least some percentage of the population with mind and heart and spread for those
willing to hear and practice it themself. This is not our main "responsability" but one issue to consider and
to keep us going, since we not only learn to become free from suffering ourself, but also be a living example
and can furthermore suggest other interested people to that path.

:anjali:

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:18 am

Its plain , that there is no conversion at all involved from one religion to another . Its just about perfecting and honing wholesome virtues , abandoning unwholesome virtues , and then finally transcending both the gainly and ungainly habits of mind .

Dhamma has to be shared with one and all , its just how one goes about it, as much as possible without affronting sense and sensibilities of people/communities that matters . The most apt , as others have unequivocally mentioned in the post, is just by being a beacon of living Dhamma , which i well realize, is easier said than done . But the zeal to put in efforts and motivation should be a constant .

i for one , use face book well in posting Dhamma quotes and snippets , very much realizing , that the many friends, relatives and acquaintances will in good probability unhook the friendship or ignore all subsequent posts . However , there is always the probability of odds , of some one feeling the spark, prodding them to dive and delve within. As we all know , Dhamma shared , is Dhamma multiplied :smile:

sanjay
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The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby JacquelineR » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:19 pm

One of the happiest moments of my life was seeing a friend not only take a dharma book I'd arranged for free distribution, but lovingly annotate it.

In Chinese Buddhist culture, these types of gifts are called "结缘" (something like "creating a kammic affinity"). They aren't just limited to books or pamphlets, but can include pictures, religious jewellery etc. It's just a seed. In addition to these gifts, I also lend my own books freely.

I participate in dhammaduta activities but they are very passive. We just stand there at our stall when an occasion arises and only talk to people if they come up to us. We wouldn't actively hand out flyers without an invitation. It would be undignified.

As a result of holding dhamma activities, a number of my friends and relatives have come to participate in Buddhist activities informally. Because some of them were very interested, our society explained the benefits of refuge and precepts to them & at least one has now chosen to take refuge/precepts.

I feel like this approach is good because it is incredibly gentle and respectful from beginning to end. We'd do exactly the same thing even if no-one came. Dhamma-giving is just a natural expression of generosity: it would be wrong to always give food, money, etc to other people, but to never give the best thing we have, the dhamma!

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby manas » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:22 pm

Over the years, I've been approached by a number of Christian missionary types trying to convert me to their religion. I would never want to impose this sort of annoyance on anyone else. Just leave people alone, I think. If they want to investigate a new religion, they only need do a quick Google search.

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:34 pm

manas wrote:Over the years, I've been approached by a number of Christian missionary types trying to convert me to their religion. I would never want to impose this sort of annoyance on anyone else. Just leave people alone, I think. If they want to investigate a new religion, they only need do a quick Google search.


I take your point, but for some reason this has never bothered me. Usually I am just struck by how sincere they are, and touched in some way by their concern for me. I often leave these encounters with a vague sense of uplift.

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manas
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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby manas » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:57 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
manas wrote:Over the years, I've been approached by a number of Christian missionary types trying to convert me to their religion. I would never want to impose this sort of annoyance on anyone else. Just leave people alone, I think. If they want to investigate a new religion, they only need do a quick Google search.


I take your point, but for some reason this has never bothered me. Usually I am just struck by how sincere they are, and touched in some way by their concern for me. I often leave these encounters with a vague sense of uplift.


I think this shows you see the best in people, and I respect you for that. But in my experience, well sometimes they truly do it out of concern, but sometimes, the underlying reason they do it is to bolster their own lack of faith. By getting someone else to agree with us, we then feel more 'sure' of ourselves as being 'right'. Have you ever noticed how no-one is more zealous to convert others, than a brand new convert, of any religion? This is a phenomenon often witnessed. The new convert is seeking to validate him/herself by also convincing others. There is a self-serving element in this, see what I mean?

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:09 pm

manas wrote:I think this shows you see the best in people, and I respect you for that. But in my experience, well sometimes they truly do it out of concern, but sometimes, the underlying reason they do it is to bolster their own lack of faith. By getting someone else to agree with us, we then feel more 'sure' of ourselves as being 'right'. Have you ever noticed how no-one is more zealous to convert others, than a brand new convert, of any religion? This is a phenomenon often witnessed. The new convert is seeking to validate him/herself by also convincing others. There is a self-serving element in this, see what I mean?


First, I have to confess that I also get irritated by other things that people do - we all have our buttons that others can press!

Yes, I certainly do see your point. There is also the fact that, having created converts, some groups then maintain a constant "group high" through music and emotional language, and a sense of mission. It's as if the beliefs themselves won't stand reflection, but people need to distract themselves through movement and becoming. Similar phenomenon, I think.

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby SarathW » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:38 pm

Jehovah Witness people very often knock my door.
I was never irritated.
I just welcome them and talk to them and ask questions.
They ask people to be good and be happy.
I think they are doing a some sort of a service too.
:shrug:

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Re: Should one try to convert non-Buddhists?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:17 am

Peace,
James


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