In the Straits Times, May 19, 2008:

Buddhism is the main religion here, and fast growing: The number of people aged 15 and up who said they were followers jumped from 27 per cent of the population in 1980 to 31 per cent in 1990. In 2000, the last census, the figure was 43 per cent, or 1.1 million people.

Buddhist converts told The Straits Times that the religion offered comfort in the face of uncertainties and disasters, and a constant reminder to look beyond the materialism of the rat race and to attain calmness and happiness through meditation and reflection.

Read the full article here.

Advertisements

Happy Belated Vesak

I went to KMSPKS on Monday to help sell Gratitude Concert tickets. More importantly, I dedicated whatever (little) merits I’ve accumulated to the victims of Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan quake.

I’m going to be vegetarian for at least a month to accumulate merits for them. Sitting there teary-eyed whenever the news come on doesn’t help much. At the same time I feel more happy knowing I’m not eating the flesh of fellow sentient beings. 🙂

Donated some money to Firefly Mission. Just read their email updating donors on the situation:

We have finally managed to contact our partners in compassion in Myanmar They are all safe and have started their ground work preparing to help us distribute medicine and relief supplies.

I read on their website the volunteers there pay for humanitarian trips themselves and that’s really admirable.

From KMSYM:

Buddhist Explanation on Natural Disasters

Natural disasters such as cyclones and earthquakes are results of human beings’ incessant greed and hatred that has accumulated over infinite eons.

What Can Buddhists Do?

Immediate

1. Dedicate merits to victims.

2. If you wish to help in any other ways, it is best to donate cash.

Cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed type of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials and other supplies.

By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance.

Long Term

We can avert future natural disasters by acting now. Be kind and compassionate, be grateful to all and lead a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle with few wants.

May all sentient beings find peace and refuge in times of calamity. Let’s all be grateful for every little thing that we have.