How to Inspire Family & Friends’ Interest in the Dharma

Question: How do I get my child (or other family members) to be interested in the Dharma?

Answer: You can do so by practising the Dharma well. When you practise the Dharma well, you will improve in virtues such as patience, compassion and wisdom – which will help you to be a better parent.

It is also important to become a visibly happier person. Your child will eventually be touched by your positive transformation, and wonder what inspired you to become so wonderful. This is when you can reveal that it is a result of learning and practising the Dharma.

The key method is this – Don’t just say how wonderful the Dharma is – be the embodiment and expression of the wonderful Dharma. The best Dharma teaching you can give is that taught by example in your thought, word and deed.

It would then be easier to share bits of the Dharma with him or her. You can also leave all kinds of attractive Dharma materials lying around the house, in the hope that your child’s curiosity will urge him or her to pick them up to take a deeper look into the Dharma, to discover its true value.

As being overly enthusiastic might backfire, it is important not to be preachy, because no one appreciates a naggy ‘salesperson’. (Perhaps the ‘easiest’ but best gift we can offer family and friends are the Pure Land teachings, since practising them leads to a wonderful rebirth, that is bound for liberation from all suffering.)

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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