#WW: “Join my religion. You will be saved.” Conversations on Religious Conversions

2 mins read
Published on Oct 5, 2022

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

Conversions and attempts at conversion are something Buddhists may keep quiet about. This week we explore this prickly topic and how we can manage proselytising when it happens. On the flip side, do Buddhist try to convert others? Let’s explore two resources today!

1. “Hi, would you like to convert to my religion?”: Agreeing to disagree

2. Do Buddhists convert people? : Don’t Ask Strangers If They’ve Found Buddha

“Hi, would you like to convert to my religion?”: Agreeing to disagree

Snapshot from the booklet

What’s going on here & why do we like it?

Yes, being subjected to proselytising is uncomfortable. As ‘nice’ Buddhists, we may feel uncomfortable to say anything so as to not upset others. 

This 2005 publication, yes we are internet archeologists, is a great resource on different settings from work, to deathbed, to home.  Sponsored by two of Singapore’s most famous temples, this resource also covers misconceptions about Buddhism and how Buddhism views other religions. Pretty neat.

We don’t need others’ approval to practise the Dhamma. But we do need to be convinced in our
hearts that what we do is right.

Wise Steps

Ultimately, people who try to proselytise to us have positive intentions to share their religion with us. Learning skilful means to reply is helpful in keeping harmony while being comfortable with your own religious beliefs

Check out the resource website here or the PDF itself!

Cover Page

Do Buddhists convert people? : Don’t Ask Strangers If They’ve Found Buddha

Have you found Buddha? Something you hardly/never hear
Cr: Unsplash

What’s going on here & why do we like it?

Barbara O’Brien, a Zen Buddhism Expert, shares why the Buddhist teachings and practitioners aren’t big on proselytising to other non-Buddhists. She draws from suttas and renowned teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh and Dalai Lama on why proselytising might be counterproductive. We like it because she tackles the topic from many angles in a succinct manner!

There is a snippet on Dalai Lama actually NOT having a wish to encourage people to convert to Buddhism.

“if it becomes important to you to prove to the world that your beliefs are the only correct beliefs, and it’s up to you to lead everyone else out of their erroneous ways, what does that say about you?”

Wise Steps

A common Buddhist saying “There are enough people trying to spread the Dhamma but not enough trying to realise the Dhamma.” Spread the Dhamma by practicing it, without having to use words, simply behave well so as to be an example to others through one’s manners and behavior.

See also  #WW: 👩‍👧Can you ever be happy again after your daughter died?

Those of us who wonder how we can introduce our loved ones to Dhamma can start by cultivating our hearts towards greater happiness

Enjoy the article !


Author: Handful of Leaves

Bringing you practical wisdom for a happier life.

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