#WW: 🇸🇬 How nations thrive and die. Buddha’s advice to a King

#WW: 🇸🇬 How nations thrive and die. Buddha’s advice to a King

Wholesome Wednesdays (WW): Bringing you curated positive content on Wednesdays to uplift your hump day.

To all our Singapore readers.. happy national day! Today we reflect on what Buddha advised a king on how nations come together and how they weaken. In addition, we look at the diverse nation we live in. May we always grow in the path of peace!

1. Following these 7 principles fosters harmony in a nation. Buddha’s advice to a king.

2. A Fresh Take on Different Faiths in Singapore

Following these 7 principles fosters harmony in a nation. Buddha’s advice to a king.

Image of King Ajatashatru, who wanted to invade a country

What’s going on here & why we like it

Buddhist Door, a blog focused on Buddhist stories, shares how Buddha advised a king to NOT invade a country because that country followed 7 principles that strengthened unity. One of them includes protecting the rights and safety of women! Buddha was being skilful in dissuading the young king as it would have led to unnecessary bloodshed. However, the ultimate outcome was one that ended with blood on the streets.

As they quarrelled among themselves, their united front collapsed. This time the clever minister sent a message to King Ajatasattu: “Now is the time to attack.”

Wise Steps

Yes, you probably are not running a nation but rather part of an organisation (work/ community/ youth group). Reading these 7 principles is still useful in the way of running these groups that you work with. What are some ways you can implement them? What are some missing pieces in your organisation?

Read the article here.

A Fresh Take on Different Faiths in Singapore

What’s going on here & why we like it

Ophelia, a HOL contributor, shares her thoughts on national day and how there are different colours of religions coming together in the melting pot of Singapore. She explores how different acts in religions converge towards similar meetings. If we could all look deeper, we just might learn something new!

It is natural to agree and disagree; to identify and cluster, what more to differentiate and – god forbid – discriminate. Yet, how often do we understand each other?

Wise Steps

Take a chance to know more intimately the rituals of other religions, you might learn something new and shed away prejudices that you held!

Enjoy the article below!

#WW:📿 A pastor inspires a monk

#WW:📿 A pastor inspires a monk

Wholesome Wednesdays (WW): Bringing you curated positive content on Wednesdays to uplift your hump day.

Famous Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, who taught Dhamma to many in Europe/USA, has passed. We share one snippet story in his exemplary life. Here is one of his many quotes that he shared towards the end of his life:

“Please do not build a stupa for me. Please do not put my ashes in a vase, lock me inside and limit who I am. I know this will be difficult for some of you. If you must build a stupa though, please make sure that you put a sign on it that says, ‘I am not in here.’ In addition, you can also put another sign that says, ‘I am not out there either,’ and a third sign that says, ‘If I am anywhere, it is in your mindful breathing and in your peaceful steps.”‘

Life is fleeting, may we strive on with diligence!


2 stories for you today!

1.Two religious people meet from different spiritual paths…what happens next?

2.How we grow our empathy at work and at home?

A famous pastor & monk meet. Here’s what happened next.

Geneva, May 1967

What’s going on here

Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen monk, recollects his meeting with Martin Luther King (MLK) and how Thich Nhat Hanh was inspired by the meeting. They eventually signed a statement to recognise the need for peace in Vietnam.

Why we like it

Holy people from other paths can inspire us only if we are open to seeing their goodness. While both are from vastly different spiritual traditions, they connected deeply to the goodness of humanity. This short article summarises why MLK was inspiring and how these two men found similarities between them.

Our enemy is not outside of us. Our true enemy is the anger, hatred, and discrimination that is found in the hearts and minds of man. 

Wise Steps

We can always choose to see ‘us’ in ‘others’. Opening up our receptiveness to other beliefs can open us up to different sources of inspiration

Be inspired here

Side note: We also watched one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s films, read the review here!

Empathy is more than ‘active listening’. Here is what it is and is not.

woman in white long sleeve shirt kissing girl in white long sleeve shirt

What’s going on here

@gwenlynewrites , an Instagram writer, shares 3 lessons on empathy she learned from work-life. She shares how we can integrate empathy into all our conversations and become better people!

Why we like it

It is a short but powerful carousel post on what empathy is and isn’t. We particularly like how some of the preconceived ideas of empathy were debunked by the author such as active listening and ‘putting yourself in someone’s shoe’

“Empathy isn’t just active listening. Empathy is also about appreciation”

Wise Steps

Don’t just active listen and paraphrase what the speaker says. Appreciate them for their courage to share. Don’t assume their situation, be ready to listen and not advise.

Get deeper insights into empathy here!

Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy. Here’s why.

Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy. Here’s why.

This teaching is extracted from the Q&A section of a lecture by Sis Sylvia Bay at Buddhist Fellowship Singapore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWfoq…. The following is a transcript of the above video with edits.


There is no one word that can sum up the Dhamma.

Once you try to categorise the Dhamma, you would run into some difficulties. Because every word that you use and every concept that you have, whether you call it a philosophy or a science or a way of life, every word comes with it a baggage of ideas in people’s minds.

So, when you use a word to sum up the Dhamma, what you will end up unwittingly doing is causing others to come straight away from that angle and that angle only. Hence, if you say that the Dhamma is a Philosophy, and then the mind would go into thinking about the philosophy as per how you know it.

I think it (such definition) is not fair, and it is really quite incomplete. The Dhamma is way more than science, and philosophy, and a way of life. Depending on the individual, the Dhamma can be all of the above.

Personally, for me, the Dhamma is reality.  To me, Dhamma explains the reality of the world, it explains how the mind works, and how the world works. It explains what is meaningful, and what is most precious in life.

To me, a religion is a relationship between man and divinity. In a religion, there is a God who sets in place certain rules and expected conduct — the rights, the wrongs, the whys, the explanations. Everything is set within that religion, and people play by the rules that is established within that religion.

Buddhism has no God. So, to me straight away, this is not a religion. It’s far more than that.

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