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Do You Need The ‘Happy Buddhist Card’?

Here is something 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 are the contents on the credit card 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 cardbearer: Please report unwelcome proselytism to the authorities [which is whatever organisation that is appropriate], or email tde@thedailyenlightenment.com 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 and received 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 the other 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. Finally, she reaches for the card for him to see. He reads it, is surprised and backs off respectfully.

Scenario #2
: A cab-driver 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 formal complaint, he instantly stops being preachy.

As above, usage of the card is simple. It can be gently read aloud 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 readyprinted cards by emailing tde@thedailyenlightenment.com with your mailing address for 10 cards at SGD$2 (to cover printing, delivery and admin costs).

You can also printyour own cut-and-fold cards (in English and Chinese) at https://thedailyenlightenment.com/download/1.jpg and https://thedailyenlightenment.com/download/2.jpg respectively.

Do share your thoughts and experiences too, on using the Happy Buddhist Card at the comments section of http://tinyurl.com/happybuddhist (below). May all religions co-exist in respectful harmony!

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70 Responses to “An Easy Way To Say ‘Thanks, But No Thanks’”

  1. Here is a related discussion about the card…

    Vicky: I can totally ignore preaching strangers on the streets. My friend said that “patience” and “ignoring” are two different things – this I admit, but I do not waste my “patience” on such people. Afterall our paths may not cross again.

    Ricky: For me, I can’t resist a discussion, as it’s an opportunity to change the person’s mind about Buddhism! But it doesn’t always work. Came across this example of how one tried to change a street preacher’s mind: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thedailyenlightenment-realisation/message/328

    Vicky: For relatives… it’s sooooooooooooooooooooooo difficult put it across nicely and (even harder) not nicely, AND (the hardest) to do it without anger.

    Ricky: I understand! That’s exactly where the card can come in useful – you let it do the talking!

    Vicky: What really makes me mad is that I make it so obvious that I’m a Buddhist and I can still hear people say “God bless you” to me. To me, they have no form of respect for my religion.

    Ricky: Maybe you can just say ‘Amituofo’ (name of Amitabha Buddha, as a greeting or for well-wishing) with your palms together and give them a standing half-bow? Might need to take a deep breath to calm down first and do it respectfully. We would want to plant the seed of Amituofo’s name in their minds anyway! Yet, if you do that, they should know they shouldn’t say ‘God bless you’ to you anymore.

    Vicky: Recently, my auntie and uncle-in-law came visiting my mom and I. We had a short chat before they went off. Their visit could have been a passing memory… if not for the “farewell phrase”. Maybe it’s a goodwill for them to say “God bless” after the goodbye. But surely they know my mom and I are definitely not God worshippers.

    Ricky: ‘Amituofo!’

    Vicky: And time and again, at least for three times, I’ve told them straight in the face that I do not need God’s blessings because the Buddha’s blessings suffice. It is really to such an extent I’m beginning to think they do it purposely? I mean, I’ve already made my point clear, so I seriously do not understand their intention. Just like they simply cannot understand or refuse to understand Buddhists’ faith in the Buddha?

    Ricky: Probably that, yes… and probably also because they want to create more impressions of God on you, as they feel this is good for you, in the hope that you change your mind some day? Here is another more direct way to explain why you will never believe in God – by sharing this link – http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/beyond-belief02.pdf

    Vicky: Just few days ago, my mom showed me her birthday card from the same couple. For the past two-three years without fail, my auntie would send my mom a card – again with “God’s blessings”. Are they deaf, or do they have problem understanding? Seriously, I do not know how to bring my message across nicely anymore. Other than the ‘Happy Buddhist Card’, do you have any other suggestions?

    Ricky: ‘Amituofo!’ Other advice as above!

  2. I certainly am amused by the existence of such an item!!!
    The production of such card is an overt display of our limitations to accept all sentient beings with equanimity.
    Thankfully, I have not met a pushy religious ‘salesperson’, even if i encounter one, i will receive them with openess, instead of ‘rebutting’ them with a card. Give them their peace and respect to say what they need to say and once they are done, they will go.
    Everyone is entitled their respect to propagate their cause. and if we are unable to tolerate ‘pushy religious sales talk’ or become irritated by that, then the source of the irritation is within us, and presented upon us is a beautiful opportunity to purify our own consciousness.
    Instead of a card, thank them for allowing us to liberate ourselves further!!!

  3. Cardbearer November 10, 2010

    Perhaps you’re missing the point, as the article already said this: ‘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.’ Dialogue always comes first. The card is surely a last resort to politely fend off the downright rude and disrespectful. I’ve heard of many such cases and encountered some myself.

    Looks like, as you mentioned, you really never encountered super-pushy evangelists before. What would you do if you encounter a cabby who doesn’t open to reasonable bi-directional dialogue – who won’t stop preaching. It’s like being stuck in a preachy church you never signed up for.

    The card is indeed about acceptance of differences, and asking the pushy to respect this too. If it is so easy to cultivate equanimity, why not try sitting in a one-way conversation with a salesperson who sells you things you don’t want for indefinite time? It is also not respectful to just let the person rant on, because it wastes the person’s time and energy. To accept pushy preachers also tells them their ways are alright – which is not.

    Everyone is entitled to not have to hear others’ preaching too. The card’s text has plenty of goodwill, that promotes religious harmony. Do look again. When the pushy preacher is passed the card to see, it forces the person to stop preaching, to read mindfully. You’ll be surprised how this might be the only way they can really ‘hear’ what you have to say. It might be the only possible way for real dialogue to even begin.

    The cause of irritability is always within us but the conditions of irritability are also out there. There is no need to suffer for no good reason. Why waste even a second listening to someone rant on and on, who is closed-minded and not interested in dialogue? It doesn’t help anyone at all.

  4. Card carrying Buddhist November 10, 2010

    Amused? Hmm, with due respect, where’s the respect entitled here? And like you said, everyone is entitled their respect to propagate their cause, please allow others to do what is deemed needed, rather than thinking it needless. Instead of being so amused, maybe a little support for those who aren’t as well-practiced and in equanimity as you do would be appreciated. With metta.

  5. TimeSavior November 11, 2010

    Here’s a little poem…

    ‘Hi’, he says.
    He then goes on and on,
    saying he wishes to save my soul.

    ‘Er’, I say.
    I then show the card,
    saying I wish to save his time.

    (O)

  6. Dear Brothers & Sisters in the Dhamma,

    I am a resident staying in commonwealth area, and my neighbourhood consists of many churches nearby. We often encounter bible preachers knocking at our door, or brochures inviting residents to their churches.

    To stop all these harassments, I mindfully displayed an incense burner inscribed with the “Heart Sutra 心经”, displaying on the exterior wall with the Buddha’s Name sticker: 南无本师释迦摩尼佛 outside my main door.

    But still the problem exist. Thinking that maybe some of those church enthusiasts may not understand Chinese Language, I displayed a Buddha Picture at my Main Wooden Door.

    But it seems that these people are still very persistent, even till the extend that a guy actually knocked on my door to preach and invite me to his church.

    After reading from the Daily Enlightenment, I decided to display the following text at my door way to dispel all these harassment.

    Thank you and Best Regards.
    Yours in the Dhamma,
    Ben

    To all religion enthusiasts:

    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 be Happy.
    May all religions co-exist in respectful harmony.

    “With good will for the entire universe,
    cultivate a boundless heart of love,
    above, below, and all around,
    unhindered, without enmity or hate.”

    − Metta Sutta, by The Buddha

    * We promise that we shall report to the authorities,
    should you persist.*

  7. I like the idea and the card very much as I am always hound by well-meaning friends to “convert” and gain entrance to a place in heaven. Sadhu, Sadhu to the ingenuity.

  8. “Everyone is entitled their respect to propagate their cause. and if we are unable to tolerate ‘pushy religious sales talk’ or become irritated by that, then the source of the irritation is within us, and presented upon us is a beautiful opportunity to purify our own consciousness.”–Randy

    Randy has a valid and good point.

    Having said that, such an inward, passive mindfulness should be balanced with compassionate proactiveness.

    Meaning to say, while making use of the said situation to practice patience, equanimity and to “purify our consciousness” would definitely benefit our own Buddhist practice, it would not benefit the other party is ignorant of how his/her actions are affecting members of public.

    This card is a manifestation of such with the intention to communicate through written words, to the other party, that he/she has transpass certain unspoken, invisible, personal boundaries of another’s religious freedom by his/her proselytizing tactics.

    The card is a good idea.

    But as with all tools of communications, to be used wisely to prevent abuse, exploitation or misuse.

  9. Folks,

    Thanks for these words which gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own narrow opinions.

    I wondered at times, why have I have I not have the chance to grace an encounter with these ‘pushy evangelist’?

    Maybe I am under their radar, or perhaps they are under mine. Whichever way, we are who we attract. I have nothing to offer to them, which they find nothing useful to give to me.

    Those pushy evangelist push, because they have something to push against, our stand, our existence, give them nothing to push, so they will feel stupid pushing against nothing. ultimately they will feel angry that they cannot get their point across and for that they have to fix their own anger; and I move on.

    But having ‘armed’ myself with this card will potentially change the equation. What might happens is that we might subconsciously seek to ‘chance’ upon these evangelist so that we can be tempted to use these cards as a first resort rather than a last. This is so that we can feel vindicated by our cause.

    There are bigger woes out there than these ad hoc evangelist. Try to accommodate to them like how we try to accommodate with our own suffering. Once they feel accommodated, they will leave as they know they’ve outstayed their welcome. Our pureness, and being is the best and brightest testament for them to stop their ranting. Once they’ve realized how in-adequate they are in their own practice, they will whittle away.

    Give them a card, and give them a reason to rant some more, those who gets it, will get it with or without the card. those who don’t what difference a little card make? It is our conduct that makes the difference.

    I neither is against nor for the existence of this card. Just as I am neither for nor against the evangelist. neither is the card a good or bad thing, just as the evagelist is neither good norr bad, cut throught these dualities and seek the middle path, where the peace of all satient beings resides.

    However note though, this card will potentially raise more questions and problems than it should solve.The existence of this card is transient and will not address the root cause of the issue. ‘Pushy people’.

    Fix them by fixing myself. we are all ‘Pushy people’, when we are pushy at times and who gives us a card to stop us? when then is a good time to give a card???

    Do keep the comments coming, this is certainly a very enjoyable and challenging discussion!!!

    🙂

    Randy

  10. Folks,

    I must apologize for the typo and grammar errors, as I’ve overlooked the proofreading.

    Testaments of my imperfections abounds. In no way this was written in casualness to disrespect the readers.

    Randy 😀

  11. Krazeeme December 7, 2010

    Do we have nothing to give? We have the wonderful Buddhadharma to offer them, IF they are open to two-way dialogue. Why make them feel stupid or angry pushing against nothing? Why not offer the Buddhadharma out of good will, IF they are open to two-way dialogue?

    The first resort should be the above. The card is meant to be a last resort I think, as said in the article: ‘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.’ Anything can be abused, even ‘tolerance’.

    Chances are, if we encounter one-time pushy evangelists on the street or in a cab, there won’t be enough time for them to experience our ‘pureness’. And if we encounter the same ones regularly, and if they are super-insensitive, which they tend to be, even with regard to our ‘pureness’, they would be the right ones to flash the card to.

    Also, not all of us are ‘pure’ enough to be able to stand ranting. Better to flash the card calmly than to lose one’s temper or to suffer fools. Even the Buddha does not listen to someone saying the disagreeable at length – unless there is a chance for him to speak and be heard mindfully (i.e. have a two-way dialogue).

    The wordings on the card share some Dharma too. And because the reading has to be deliberate, it allows the message to sink in.

    The card is not for giving the preachy, As said in the article, it is ‘for lending the other party to see’. The card need not be passed to the preachy for reading too. As also said in the article, it ‘can be gently read aloud too’. Yes, ‘those who get it, will get it’- by then. Expressing what is on the card in spoken words is part of our conduct too, that can make the difference.

    The existence of the card can address the root of the issue of pushy people in subtle but sure ways. When the preachy realise that their ways are not appreciated after reading the card, and know that they might even possibly be formally complained of, they will think twice about being preachy to the next person.

    😛

  12. Family members – mother, sisters + in-law, brother + in-law are Christians – going to church on every Sunday. My family are Buddhists n will remain as one thru our life.
    Have met Christians who are pastors, reverends, friends & also family members – they will made attempts & hope to convince me to believe in their religion. My ususal relaxed response –
    Pastors & reverends – just smile without any reply (when asked to attend church).
    Family members & friends will get this response – “God can only help you IF you help yourself” . To strangers – Just Ignore – no need for any Q & A.

    Amitabha

  13. Card-carryingBuddhist December 21, 2010

    But what if u are in scenario #2 in the article, when the cabbie talks non-stop, and doesn’t listen to you, and even probably subtly misrepresenting your religion? He can’t see your smile and might take your silence to be consent on his nonsense. Would u not take the opportunity to correct him or at least ask him to stop respectfully, lest he creates bad karma? That’s where the card can come in useful.

  14. Alone in a Canyon December 22, 2010

    I am in Good Faith…
    I welcome all religions that
    are in Good Faith…
    Loving,compassion,acceptance
    and Peace to all…

  15. Alone in a Canyon December 22, 2010

    Oh me again with one more thing!!!
    Drawing upon our similarities
    rather than our difference…
    We see where they have been, we
    know where we are…
    We are all one and the same…
    enough said…Namaste’

  16. I think the card content is not rude, just do not like the report to authority fine prints at the end. I agree that I hope that we do not have to use the card cause everyone is entitled to their opinions but having said that, we should also respect those who are unable to deal with those situations – could be a character issue as everyone is different and since the card helps them, ain’t too bad afterall

  17. Randy,

    Not everyone can be a strong Buddhist so quickly like the way you describe. We need time to learn how to accommodate this ‘salemen’. Sometime we just want to shut them up to keep our peace until we are stronger to handle them.

    I think this card is an excellent idea. Thanks Shi’an. I will definitely print some for my children to ward of the ‘flies’. There are many in Sec. Schools. Sorry to say, I was one of them once upon a time :bandit:

    Dear Shi’An, as we are not Buddhist, can you make one card that is more generic, so even muslims, hindus, all can use. Thanks!

  18. Hmmm… As this is a Buddhist site, we’ll stick to only the Buddhist card. We can’t speak for those of other faiths too. But you can use similar wording to make your own version.

    😉

    Amituofo

  19. (L) 🙂 :heart: May All be happy and Healthy. Without health there is nothing.

  20. milkyway October 14, 2011

    I think as much as we can train our patience by learning how to return goodwill in turn for their ‘effort’. I must say that this is very very difficult for a teenager.

    When a kid enter Sec. School. This is when he gets attacked. I know because they often prey on the insecure, the teens, the dying, those in crisis.

    30 years ago, I can be seen every weekend outside the Central Libray at Stamford Road preaching to students around my age about how Jesus is a bridge for us to go to God and heaven. Every Wed recess time, have to do the same. Every Sat, my Bible Study teacher will ask each of us, “how many fish did you catch this week”. It was a lot of pressure to get converts every week.

    The tactic used start of very sneakily. First, I’ve to say I’m conducting a survey to find out how much time the person spend on his religion. After knowing he’s a not one of us, we try to preside him for 10 mins to share with him about cHrist and then entice him with all the party-like weekend activities we have at our organization. The teen many times fall for it.

    Now that I’ve kid’s entering the Sec. Sch. I dread them having to go through this peer pressure. The Card will really help.

    I’m so sad that Christianity in the way it is in Singapore. A good religion unites people, not divide. It does not convert people from one organization to another but convert them from misery to happiness. It is a good religion but many here treat it more like a social gathering.

  21. I think it’s alright to be open minded and listen to other religious views amd beliefs as long as you are strong minded and firm in your faith.
    I am a Buddhist but there is one time when I was ask to go along to attend a church service by my friend. The experience leave me confused about my own Buddhist beliefs as the exuberant vibe at the church was so strong.
    Hence, sometimes it’s good to say no.

  22. Of course it’s alright to be open-minded, but careful at the same time. This card is not about not being open-minded. It is a skilful means to handle those who are persistent salesperson in pushing their religion without respect to the uninterested.

  23. wordless January 15, 2012

    I remembered the time when I was invited to a church by a fellow classmate.

    Many church members gathered around me and one man in particular commented this upon learning that I’m a Buddhist or interested in understanding Buddhist teachings:

    ‘I have read Buddhist teachings before. It’s just theory.’

    I didn’t reply him not because I don’t know what to say, but I really saw no need to justify or clarify anything about Buddhist teachings or my beliefs while standing at the doorstep of a church.

    I simply smiled and that evening at the church went well.

    Personally I don’t see the need for the card even as a last resort. I have my fair share of street preachers and house door visits.

    I simply say, thank you with or without a smile and close the door gently.

    Of course, I also won’t go to the extent of strongly objecting to the creation and distribution of such cards or to dismiss those who rely on such as a last resort as being weak or whatever.

    Remember what the Buddha had taught us when a follower of another religion came up to him and scolded him on the validity of his teachings.

    “Then,” said the Buddha, “I decline to accept your abuse and request you to keep it for yourself.” Simply don’t accept the gift of a criticism.

    In relation to the article, I would say don’t accept the gift of his/her preaching.

    I think this applies to well-intentioned Buddhists practising other Dharma Doors too. If someone practising Maitreya Pureland Dharma Door comes up to you, who is practising Amitabha Dharma Door, by all means listen respectfully if you really have the time for it, want to understand about the beliefs of others, if not, just smile and thank him/her for the kind introduction and say I’m fine with practising mine. May both of us achieve our goals. Something like that.

    May all find our ways to the Truth at our own convenience, and yet not at the expense of others.

  24. Not replying seems to miss an opportunity to share the true Dharma with the deluded. What can be done is to say the speaker is wrong, that one can clarify after church. The Buddha is likely to do something similar.

    The card is meant for situations such as those in the article – extreme ones. When one is cornered and the preacher is relentless, even to the extent of disrespectful to oneself and one’s religion. Some preachers simply do NOT stop, even when politely told to… repeatedly… on MANY occasions. The card prevents the speaker from creating needless negative karma too, by at least stopping the sharing of wrong views in the moment, and firmly letting the insensitive to know what they do is not appreciated. There are newbies to Buddhism who might be easily swayed by anti-Buddhism preaching too. This card is meant to protect them too.

    The story of the Buddha’s response to being insulted can be seen at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheDailyEnlightenment/message/664 Unless one’s approach and conditions are similar, it might incur anger when this method is used. The card is worded respectfully, meant to be a swift way to curb unskilful speech from both sides.

  25. wordless January 15, 2012

    When we say others are deluded, do we also know we are just as deluded?

    While we should strive to emulate the Buddha in as many aspects as possible, we are still not the Buddha. We cannot deem to act exactly like the Buddha in every situation.

    The Buddha is likely to do something similar only if he knows with his wisdom and psychic powers that the conditions are right for that person or that person has the right frame of mind to accept a proper clarification from others.

    I would have gladly clarified to the best of my knowledge if that person had made a sincere request for me to do so. That said, my clarification will not be as perfect as what Buddha would have said in my situation to the different groups of people in that church.

    I wonder if fellow Buddhists know that Christians are told not to associate too much with non-believers (I had read some of their Bibles and books in their in-house bookstores); unless that person seems to be interested in Christianity or not a very firm believer.

    If we were to adopt a protective stance for what we deem as extreme situations and be over-zealous in trying to protect newbies who might be easily swayed, then what’s to prevent other religions from doing something similar in the future? Like ‘I’m a Christian, don’t share unless I ask?’

    Some concepts need not be used only when one’s approach and conditions are similar, for we can be flexible in applying those concepts.

    I personally would not have mentioned the words by the Buddha even in a similar situation, but most likely keep silent, smile and make an excuse to move to somewhere else.

    The last few words on the card can be considered as veiled threats by others even though the other parts seem to be alright.

    Reporting to authorities or TDE borders on a kind of verbal threat to curb what is considered unwelcomed chat up by unrelenting street preachers or the like. Verbal or written threat to curb verbal violence?

    If the street preacher is as unreasonable as one judges him or her to be, then it is likely this card will not only not stop that person from continuing, he or she might even create needless negative karma as feared by the Buddhist listener by trying to comment aggressively on the last few words of the card.

    Finally, I’m neither totally against who decide to print and distribute such card and for those who decide to wear and flash them to what they judge to be totally unreasonable street preachers.

    I only ask for the Buddhist community at large to be also mindful that such acts themselves have their own karmic implications, seen or yet to be seen.

  26. When we say others are deluded, do we also know we are just as deluded? While we should strive to emulate the Buddha in as many aspects as possible, we are still not the Buddha. We can do the best we can though. What else can we do?

    The card is not meant to over-zealously protect anyone. The article seems to explain its purpose clearly enough…

    ‘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.’

    Even if the last words are seen as a veiled threat, i see them to be of well-worded goodwill, to protect the preacher from bad karma and the preached from confusion and frustration. Will this card work or not? It surely depends case by case. Worth a try. If it’s not worth it to some, so be it. No one is forcing anyone to be a card-carrying Buddhist.

  27. wordless January 15, 2012

    Perhaps we can do our best without being fixated on what’s best for everyone (including ourselves) for every situation?

    I’m trying to point out that there is a possibility of leading to over-zealous protection even though the original intention wasn’t anything like that at all.

    KN85’s words are of some concern to me. People who make veiled threats but yet justify them as being well-worded goodwill, in the name of protecting the preacher from bad karma and the preached from confusion and frustration, can be in some sense, as worthy of being careful of when approached. I’m not saying all who say such things necessarily are so, but am pointing the implications.

    Whether this card works or not, we need to be mindful of its short and long-term consequences, to the best of our ability.

    Just as ‘No one is forcing anyone to be a card-carrying Buddhist’, no one can stop us from moving away to somewhere else when approached by aggressive street preachers.

  28. There seems to be no claim about the card or any particular technique being the only ‘what’s best for everyone’. That’s why there are many skilful means.

    There is a possibility of under-protection too. As with any other skilful means, use with discretion.

    Does the card carry any veiled threat at all? Not to me. Again, ‘Even IF the last words are seen as a veiled threat, i see them to be of well-worded goodwill…’ Tough love, as they say.

    Whether any card works or not, we need to be equally mindful – including credit cards.

    Here is a scene, as described in the article, of how it can be IMPOSSIBLE to move away from aggressive preachers – ‘A cab-driver relentlessly talks about his religion and why it should be subscribed to, despite the passenger asking him to stop.’ If the cab is moving on a long highway, welcome to unbridled preaching. If in a hurry, it is not practical to hop off too. I have experienced this before. I’m not well practised. It was hellish. I wish I had such a card then. On hindsight, am pretty sure it would work. I speak only for myself.

  29. wordless January 15, 2012

    The card is trying to help both parties involved: the preachers and the preached. Hence it seemed like it is trying to achieve the best outcome for the parties involved (thus everyone in this respect). Which by all means is good, but the implications have to be carefully considered and observed.

    Among the countless skilful means, there are those that are less suitable than others, for any given situation and at any point in time. Hence the caution.

    I respect that KN85 will probably never view those last few words as a veiled threat, but would like to remind gently for him to understand and empathise with those who might. Tough love can be shown under the pretext or an excuse for applying unskilful means.

    I empathise with your past predicament. I would not want to be in your shoes too, if I could help it. Probably it would have worked for you. Probably it would further anger that cab-driver if he is as unreasonable as you have described him to be. I just hope that this card won’t be used indiscriminately.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  30. Relentless preachiness can be imagined as tough love on the preacher’s side, but the simple (yet tough?) love as the reply from the cardbearer’s side is just to show a card with loving words [from the card/article]:

    “‘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 and received in good faith.]”

  31. wordless January 15, 2012

    With the exception of that verse from the Metta Sutta, the rest of the words on the card sound defensive, but yet framed diplomatically.

    What’s good faith can be rather subjective and others have the right to view that message in a different light. We cannot say, ‘hey I’m sharing this in good faith, so you had better receive it in good faith’. Hopefully this kind of tone is not used by the speaker nor perceived to be so by the listener.

    It would be good if things could end amicably by flashing the card as a last resort. If not, I hope we do not neglect to develop new ways and re-adjust our current approaches.

  32. The more I think about it, the more is the card skilful to me. Framed diplomatically is good. If not, it would be rude. As in the article, the card is meant to be read by the person shown to, or in the spirit of loving-kindness, as reflected in the verse.

    As we can see… ‘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.’… So, it is mant to be a last resort.

  33. I think buddists have been a silent lot. We should also share Budda’s teching with such person instead. After all, 法施 is also important to us.

    阿弥陀佛!

  34. Derringer January 18, 2012

    I’ve tried to share Buddhism with my Christian friend but he refuted that the Buddhist way to salvation is so hard as you have to rely on self effort. In Christianity, you only need to believe in Jesus in order to be saved.

  35. ‘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.’

    This card is meant for those who refuse to listen to sharing of the Dharma, who insist on preaching only.

    It is not true that Buddhism is entirely about self effort only. In Pure Land teachings, there is alignment of one’s limited efforts with the blessings of Amituofo to attain birth in Pure Land, where enlightenment is guaranteed. Here is a course on it, on how to use self-power in tandem with other-power of Buddha:

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/01/course-understanding-amituofo-via-the-amitabha-sutra-9th-run

    The Christian idea that faith in Jesus alone is capable of salvation is strange because there are countless who have died in history without having heard of him. Theoretically, by default, according to Christianity, they would all go to eternal hell.

    Some Christians say they will all go eternal heaven instead. If so, why should any Christian share about Jesus? They should simply not say anything, so that we can all go to heaven.

    Then again, there is no logic in the idea that mere faith leads to eternal heaven, because how can it generate infinite good karma to deserve eternal heaven?

    Also, if there is a perfect creator God, why would he unrepentantly create countless humans, who are born not with perfect faith? Unless – God is an unfaithful creator. The simplest explanation is that such a God does not exist at all. More on this at

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/09/creation-of-evolution

  36. Derringer January 18, 2012

    Christians believe that only God is perfect, that he can do things which we humans deemed impossible. There are even christians saying that Buddha is an evil man trying to take God’s place, which is never possible, since Buddha is only a humman being. Regarding why the world is imperfect, they explained it’s because of the devil. God gives Adam the gift of free will but he choose to deny him, succumbing to the devil’s temptation.

  37. The Buddha is NOT ‘only a human being’. The Buddha is a ‘Teacher of humans and gods’. The Buddha clearly defined himself to be supreme in compassion and wisdom. Here is where he says he is beyond humans and gods:

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/09/is-the-buddha-just-a-man

    If there is a perfect and good creator God who can do anything, there would not be a single imperfect trace of suffering and evil created by him. But look – the world is full of pain. Thus, such a God does not exist.

    It’s a poor explanation that the world is imperfect due to the presence of a devil, because that devil was created by ‘God’ and his continual existence allowed by him. So much for being a perfect good creator God.

    It’s a poor explanation too, that the world has sin because a fictitious guy called Adam went against God’s instruction – because Adam was created by God to be able to do that. Adam did NOT have free will in the first place to choose to have free will. And the free will was faulty as it led to disaster. So much for being a perfect good creator God.

    It’s a poor explanation too, that the world continues to have sin – yes, every newborn, because of Adam and Eve. Why should the sins of the father be passed down? What kind of justice is there? Even the law of karma is missing. So much for being a perfect good creator God.

    There is no need for the Buddha to take over an imaginary god’s place.

    Before you discuss anything else on the God idea, please see this on the Buddhist perspective:

    http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/beyond-belief02.pdf

    It’s a must read.

    It would be good for you to sign up some Buddhist courses to learn systematically, or there is the risk of creating negative karma by commenting on Buddhism wrongly, such as saying the Buddha is just a human being, which he said he is not. Here is a recommended course for beginners:

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/12/course-project-rebirth-rediscover-reflect-recharge-round-4

  38. Derringer January 19, 2012

    Is it true that Buddha could have choose not to die? He goes through death in order to show us the truth of impermanence? Why didn’t he stay on in this world to teach the Dharma?
    Christians always boast that Jesus could conquer death and is the true Savior because he endured so much pain by allowing himself to be nailed to the cross.

  39. The Buddha never died. He transcended the boundaries of life and death. See:

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/10/is-the-thus-come-one-gone-forever

    He departed to teach in other worlds out of perfect compassion, after finishing his teaching because, as he said, if he stays around indefinitely, people will not treasure his teachings. This is true as many who live near famous monuments never visit them properly in their lifetime, as they imagine they can do so any time – till it is too late. However, the Buddha still manifests in our world to teach too:

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/10/is-the-ultimate-goal-to-become-nothing

    Did Jesus conquer death? There is no evidence of this, other than conflicting accounts in the Bible, while there is plausible evidence that his body is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6apnJ5J_Zg

    Jesus was recorded to have cried for ‘God’ on the cross for being forsaken, while the Buddha’s consciousness left from his body peacefully in a deep meditative state. What great difference in state of mind. The Buddha much more pain in his lifetime, as he almost died of starvation during 6 long years of painful practice, before going beyond. Jesus was on the cross just for a few hours.

    Did Jesus die and resurrect? According to BBC’s documentary and many scholars, he simply didn’t die on the cross at all, but rescued and escaped.

    Even if Jesus died so-called for us, the Buddha lived for us. Jesus taught only for 3.5 years, and the Buddha is the world’s longest teacher and founder of a world religion – for 45 years.

    Here is something to reflect on why the needed sacrifice of so-called God’s son is needed to appease God is illogical:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_lm2JI7sGwYI/SfPLv7YelZI/AAAAAAAAFHk/RcYBMNFWMA8/s400/martyrdom.jpg

  40. Merrlyn March 8, 2012

    QED:
    I was raised a Catholic and dearly loved the Man called Jesus Christ as a young child. But as I grew up, I looked for a religion (although I do not see Buddhism as a religion but a way of life) that more closely Lived my views as opposed to just reading and speaking about them.

    As a former Christian I will tell you that I left that religion simply because its followers did not Live Christ’s words, they lived the words of Paul, John Luke and Matthew, of Christ himself they only parroted it for others but did not live it. That’s why I left.

    Jesus Christ lived only 3.5 years as a teacher because he had vicious enemies that knew their power was in jeopardy. And as to his cry on the cross, well, that just showed us that he was human … scared and frightened as we all are. That he, too, showed fear but in the end still showed compassion for those who vilified him and the thieves and murderers that were his companions on the cross.

    I call myself a ‘wannabe’ Buddhist, because no path to enlightenment is easy. It takes courage, steadfastness and the belief that enlightenment is attainable. I falter at all three many times every day, and like Christ I cry out to the universe with the fear that I may never reach Nirvana, which seems so far away. But I persevere.

    On my road to Buddhism, I have learned that ALL religions teach the same things that Buddha taught, but they were altered for political or power motives, or dressed up for esthetic purposes. This does not make them inferior, just more difficult to find the gems hidden within.

    As for people saying “God Bless You” or “Jesus Loves You” to me. I take it as a personal desire on their part to wish me Love, Compassion and Happiness, as practiced in their religion. I take no offense, and say ‘Namaste” in return.

    Namaste,
    Merrlyn

  41. wordless March 8, 2012

    Hi Merrlyn,

    Many thanks for sharing this with us. Your account is special in that you are speaking as a former Christian turned Buddhist. It has not been easy at all for me to get to know such people and listen to their heart-baring accounts.

    I have observed that many Buddhist forum members seldom mention or admit very candidly about their fears during the daily course of their lives; if they did, their accounts were usually either too vague, too ambiguous or simply too profound-sounding to enable me to draw lessons from more effectively and efficiently. I feel glad for you in that despite your unstable Dharma practice and your various fears, you decide to persevere anyway.

    I regard “God Bless You” or “Jesus Loves You” as well-wishes to me. I readily say “God Bless You” to fellow Christian friends and relatives with a happy heart.

  42. Thank you for the sharing!

    Are all religions the same? :

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/11/are-all-religions-the-same
    &
    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/10/are-all-religions-rivers-leading-to-one-ocean

    May the blessings of the Triple Gem be with all

  43. alone in a canyon March 9, 2012

    Are all religions the same?
    Lets start with similarities, and go from there!

  44. alone in a canyon March 9, 2012

    Jen September 16, 2011

    For the sake of harmony,
    focus on similarities.
    For the discerning,
    know the differences!
    For the awakened,
    practice diligently.
    reply from:https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/02/the-importance-of-inter-religious-harmony

  45. Hi Folks,

    Randy here again, it is nice to see that this entry has sustained about 2 years of conversations and discussion.

    I wonder, since it has been about 2 years since the ‘inception’ of this ‘Buddhist card’ idea, how, may i asked has anyone really practically used it? Or is this card this in ‘production’?

    I read with great interest and assurance to know that overall, comments made are constructive and peaceful, even though the limits of this post entry limits the depths of the discussion we can carry on here.

    The fundamental question we can pose is, ‘What is Buddhism?’ ‘Who is a Buddhist?’ if we do not open our mouths or express ourselves about our personal inclinations towards anything, we are, essentially all the same. Having a card, does not make one a ‘Buddhist’. Neither is having a cross around our necks makes us Christians.

    Personally for me, my studies of Buddhism, orient me towards sameness, rather than differences. If I ever get bumped by one of these evangelists (Which until now, i haven’t met one yet!!!) we shall have a talk about love, God’s love is still love ultimately. And when we come to understand the ultimate truths, we will know that Love is omnipresent, we just represent (misrepresent) it differently.

    It is differences that drives us apart, a Buddhist card will potentially differentiate us from the general populace, creating a them and us, why should this be the case? we need to engage people, stick close to society, so that we can be of service to people, irrespective of the societal labels.

    Peace is peace, and peace does not resides in a card.
    🙂

  46. Not that Buddhists believe such a God exists, regarding the idea that ‘God’s love is still love ultimately’, here is a summary of some amazing teachings particular to a faith that suggests a very ‘special kind of love’. Do check the scriptural sources for exact words if interested, which are even more graphically amazing in their original contexts.

    1. Those who disobey priests who represent God are to be killed. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
    2. ‘Witches’ are to be killed. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)
    3. Homosexuals are to be killed. (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
    4. Those who hit their parents are to be killed. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)
    5. Those who scold their parents are to be killed. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)
    6. Those who commit adultery are to be killed. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)
    7. Priests’ daughters who commit fornification are to be killed. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)
    8. Whoever makes offerings to other gods are to be killed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)
    9. Men and women of any age who do not believe in God are to be killed. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)
    10. Entire towns’ people and livestock are to be killed and destroyed, burnt to offer to God if they worship another god. They must never be rebuilt. (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
    11. Girls who are non-virgins on their wedding nights should be stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
    12. Non-believers of God should be stoned to death, including family members. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)
    13. Stone those who speak against God to death. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)
    14. Kill ‘false’ prophets. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)
    15. Kill those who work on Sundays. (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)
    16. Those curious about God should be killed. (1 Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)
    17. The sons of guilty fathers should be killed. (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)
    18. God kills children. (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)
    19. God massacres. (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)
    20. God killed the firtborns in Egypt. (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)
    21. God kills the old and the young. (Jeremiah 51:20-26)
    22. God kills children and cattle. (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT)
    23. God kills helpless babies. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)
    24. Rape victims should be stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)
    25. It is okay to rape comely captive women. (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)
    26. A damsel or two for each man is permitted as spoils of war. (Judges 5:30 NAB)
    27. Sex slave trade is okay. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)
    28. God endorses mass rape. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
    29. Slaves and their children can be traded like propety and livestock. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
    30. It is okay to pubish slaves for mistakes unknown by them. (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)
    31. Many more….

    If religious extremism is left unchecked, what can happen?

    Please be careful not to slander any scriptures here as we need to uphold religious harmony. We just need to agree to disagree at times.

  47. On the idea of being oriented towards sameness, are all religions the same? See

    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/11/are-all-religions-the-same
    &
    https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/10/are-all-religions-rivers-leading-to-one-ocean

    (as shared above by Xarol)

    To imagine sameness is actually disrespectful to the ones trying to preach their differences to you. And it is disrespectful to Buddhism too because the Buddha did clearly define his teachings and thus what is and is not the Buddhadharma.

    Of course it would be wonderful to be able to actually talk to evangelists in two-way dialogues. If the above article and comments are read, it will be realised that the issue at hand, that warrants use of the card, is when there are super-pushy preachers who have ONLY one-way dialogues, and when one being preached to is in a situation where it is hard to walk away.

    As mentioned in the article, the card is for restoring harmony only after meaningful dialogue is not possible, not used carelessly for divisiveness. Peace was never stated to reside in a card. It is but a skilful means to restore peace – to share the importance of harmony and respect – for those who refuse to listen, who should perhaps read the card instead, to drive the message home.

  48. What drives people apart? I would say some ‘extremists’ who won’t leave Buddhists and others alone and try all means, even threatening dying persons with condemnation of hell. The Buddhist card exists for those who think it is useful. It is a symbolism of peace, just like peace doesn’t reside in a dove but the dove is a representation of it. It is a card that says ‘I’m at PEACE with my belief, please go away in PEACE and leave me in PEACE.’ Simple as it is. One really does not need to read so much into a simple card, as if it can tear people apart. The card won’t exist if some people know how to respect others and their beliefs in the first place.

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