04.11.10 : The Happy Buddhist Card: An Easy Way To Say 'Thanks, But No Thanks' | Altruism Brings Courage | Buddhist Views on Cat-Neutering
- Quote: Should Or Not
Limited Copies Now Available Realisation: Do You Need The ‘Happy Buddhist Card’?
(An Easy Way To Say 'Thanks, But No Thanks')
While chatting with friends on the ‘Agree to Disagree: Conversations on Conversion’ project (http://conversion.buddhists.sg), I suggested doing something in addition, that is handy and easy to use, for swift dissuasion against the ways of pushy preachers. I call it the ‘Happy Buddhist Card’. A friend recently expressed the need for such a card, when she encountered someone who sang a religious hymn loudly in her face – in an elevator, about how a certain deity loves her. It was an obvious attempt to ‘convert’ her, as he knew she is Buddhist. She was taken aback but on hindsight wished she had such a card to show… to get him to instantly end his insensitivity and rudeness. Here is what’s on the wallet-sized card… Front: Picture of the Buddha, Heading: I Am A Happy Buddhist, Text: Just as I respect your religion, may you also respect mine, by not sharing with me what I am not interested in. Thank you for upholding religious harmony. May all be well and happy.Back: To the cardholder: Please report unwelcome proselytism to the authorities [which is whatever organisation that is appropriate], or emailtde@... for advice... ‘With good will for the entire universe, cultivate a boundless heart of love, above, below, and all around, unhindered, without enmity or hate.’ – The Buddha (Metta Sutta) [Note that this quote from the Discourse on Loving-Kindness reminds the cardbearer and reader that the card is essentially a message (to be) shared in good faith.] This card is especially for those who might not know how to fend off persistent religious hassling in a clear-cut, serious yet polite way – with no need to argue or be angry. It is not a refuge certificate, but for lending to the offending party to see. Here are two examples of the card in use… Scenario #1: An old lady is approached by someone at a hospital, who invites her to his place of worship. She says she’s not interested, but the person is relentless… on several occasions too. One day, she decides to reach for the card for him to see. He reads it, is surprised and backs off respectfully. Scenario #2: A cabbie relentlessly talks about his religion and why it should be subscribed to, despite the passenger asking him to stop. At a red light, the latter shows him the card. Realising he might receive a complaint, he instantly stops being preachy.
Usage of the card is as simple as the above. It can be read aloud gently too. While we should always be open to amiable inter-religious dialogue in meaningful two-way exchanges, in times when a dialogue is overbearing or one-directional, this card might prove useful. Do you, and/or your family and friends need the Happy Buddhist Card? You can now get ready printed cards by emailing tde@...with your mailing address for 10 cards at SGD$2 (to cover printing, delivery and admin costs). You can also print your own cut-and-fold cards (in English and Chinese) athttp://thedailyenlightenment.com/download/1.jpg andhttp://thedailyenlightenment.com/download/2.jpg respectively. Do share your thoughts and experiences too, on using the Happy Buddhist Card at the comments section ofhttp://tinyurl.com/happybuddhist , where you can also see the Chinese version of the card. May all religions co-exist in respectful harmony!
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Share Articles: tde@... Excerpt: Altruism Brings Courage
Altruism is a source of goodness for yourself and others,
Medicine alleviating all troubles,
The great path traveled by the wise,
Nourishment for all who see, hear, remember, and contact it,
Possessing great efficacy for advancing others' welfare.
Through it you indirectly achieve your own interests in full.
- Tsongkhapa (Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path)
Concern for others also gives you courage. When you are solely concerned with 'I,' this naturally leads to fear and anxiety, resulting in even more insecurity, making the body imbalanced and riddled with health problems. However, deep within altruism lies courage, which diminishes fear and bestows relaxation, which in turn has beneficial effects on blood pressure and overall well-being. Recently, when I attended a meeting with scientists in New York, a doctor reported thatpeople who repeatedly use the word 'I' are more likely to suffer from heart disease. He did did not cite the reason, but it seems to me that putting 'I' at the center makes a person's perspective restricted and uptight, which cannot be good for the heart. However, when concern for others is paramount, this provides a broad openness that makes a great difference. If I were a doctor, I would probably write in all my prescriptions to patients, 'Be altruistic, and you will get better!' Each of us has been born into this world, and each of us have a way [or another] to help others. A kind attitude of concern for those in our respective field of activity will affect them, even if it is just ten people, bringing them more comfort and less strife. If each of them, in turn, treats their associates in a similar way, then even though the effects will be gradual, it will in time be transformative. This is how we can change the world.
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