Yesterday on the public transport, a strange noise emanated from the hemp hand-bag of the centered, charismatic young commuter next to you. Your ears perked with curiousity as a cell phone was produced—because this was not the top charts hit nor a jammingly humorous or rude emission. This phone chanted. With a practiced inhalation, the owner of the phone interrupted the mantra before you could enter a meditative state sufficient to calm the whirlwind of thoughts running through your head: how can I get that on my phone? Dare I ask this beautiful person to join me at the next GreenDrinks? Is nothing safe from rampant consumerism? Dating advice and economic theory are outside of the scope of this article. But if you absolutely must have your own "dhamma ringtone", read on.Dhamma (or dharma) is the Buddhist term for enlightened or authoritative teachings. The force behind these unique ringtones is the monk Phra Phayom Kalayano, who has recorded the dhamma doctrines and offered them free of charge to the mobile phone networks in Thailand. The Thai newspaper "The National" reports that several internet sites are now offering ring tones such as:
- Anger is stupidity, fury is madness — if you don't succumb to anger, you won't succumb to stupidity and madness.
- It is better to sweat from hard work than cry from laziness, which encourages poverty.
- Compose yourself before answering this call. Avoid being irascible and causing disputes.
Since the telephone companies are getting the product for free, you may be surprised to find that the dhamma ringtones are priced similar to other ringtone downloads. Rest assured, the profits will be donated to the Wat Suan Kaew Foundation. Phra Phayom Kalayano has plans to further develop the collection. A good mantra for the modern world is already on his list: "Use the phone while practising mindfulness — don't let it use you."
By the way, the cool mobile gadget pictured is the Nokia Aeon R&D; concept. But you are a TreeHugger, and your old klunker cell phone is still functioning quite well, thank you, so a ringtone upgrade is just the thing to keep you hip and happy. Homework for TreeHuggers: who can find an internet link where the dhamma ringtones can be downloaded? Let us know in the comments.
Via The Nation