Author Topic: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising  (Read 3235 times)


Offline Caz

  • My I strive for the perfection of enlightenment.
  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 03:44:41 am »
It doesn't surprise me in the least :)
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5076
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 05:24:34 am »
Saw this on the other forum, and thought it worth sharing:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218322/Battle-weary-troops-rare-comfort-Buddhism-Religion-sees-huge-upswing-number-soldiers-practising.html


It seems like a positive development but how can a soldier commit to the first precept?

GoGet

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 06:01:35 am »
Saw this on the other forum, and thought it worth sharing:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218322/Battle-weary-troops-rare-comfort-Buddhism-Religion-sees-huge-upswing-number-soldiers-practising.html


It seems like a positive development but how can a soldier commit to the first precept?


Does it make a difference?  Name ONE PERSON who lives up to the 1st precept 100%.

Being a Buddhist, becoming one, isn't instant enlightenment.  It's a process, with one step along the path.

Maybe these British soldiers are cold killers today.  Tomorrow? 

Give it a rest.  Maybe it would be better if you concern yourself with your own karma and leave others to deal with theirs, sans comment.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 06:04:40 am by GoGet »

GoGet

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 06:40:54 am »
It doesn't surprise me in the least :)

Likewise.

Any undertaking that causes psychological / emotional stress can be dealt with by practices the Buddha taught.  You don't even have to be a Buddhist to see real benefit.

In the case of the story MM offered, a large percentage of soldiers are Nepalese Gurkhas, who are probably not "convert" Buddhists.  The rest may or may not actually be Buddhists, but adopt Buddhist practices for purposes of stress relief.

It's all good.

Offline Caz

  • My I strive for the perfection of enlightenment.
  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2192
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 07:39:53 am »
It doesn't surprise me in the least :)

Likewise.

Any undertaking that causes psychological / emotional stress can be dealt with by practices the Buddha taught.  You don't even have to be a Buddhist to see real benefit.

In the case of the story MM offered, a large percentage of soldiers are Nepalese Gurkhas, who are probably not "convert" Buddhists.  The rest may or may not actually be Buddhists, but adopt Buddhist practices for purposes of stress relief.

It's all good.

My friend in the Army became a Buddhist its a small world :)
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline Dharmakara

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4233
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 07:46:12 am »
There are also aspects of this that provide a cautionary tale, such as those outlined in the book β€œIn Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets":

http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/book-reviews/warrior-spirit

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5076
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 05:41:30 am »
Saw this on the other forum, and thought it worth sharing:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218322/Battle-weary-troops-rare-comfort-Buddhism-Religion-sees-huge-upswing-number-soldiers-practising.html


It seems like a positive development but how can a soldier commit to the first precept?


Does it make a difference?  Name ONE PERSON who lives up to the 1st precept 100%.

Being a Buddhist, becoming one, isn't instant enlightenment.  It's a process, with one step along the path.

Maybe these British soldiers are cold killers today.  Tomorrow? 

Give it a rest.  Maybe it would be better if you concern yourself with your own karma and leave others to deal with theirs, sans comment.


This is a discussion forum and I think it's a valid question, so there's no need for the dismissive and patronising attitude.

To ask the question in a different way, do you think that the goals of Buddhist practice ( wisdom and compassion ) are consistent with killing to order?

GoGet

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 08:31:56 am »
Saw this on the other forum, and thought it worth sharing:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218322/Battle-weary-troops-rare-comfort-Buddhism-Religion-sees-huge-upswing-number-soldiers-practising.html


It seems like a positive development but how can a soldier commit to the first precept?


Does it make a difference?  Name ONE PERSON who lives up to the 1st precept 100%.

Being a Buddhist, becoming one, isn't instant enlightenment.  It's a process, with one step along the path.

Maybe these British soldiers are cold killers today.  Tomorrow? 

Give it a rest.  Maybe it would be better if you concern yourself with your own karma and leave others to deal with theirs, sans comment.


This is a discussion forum and I think it's a valid question, so there's no need for the dismissive and patronising attitude.


Dismissive? Maybe.  Partonizing?  Hardly.

Quote
To ask the question in a different way, do you think that the goals of Buddhist practice ( wisdom and compassion ) are consistent with killing to order?


I would have appreciated your answering my "dismissive" and "patronizing" question, but I'll play along.

One the founders of the great Kagyu lineage was a man we call Marpa Lotsawa.  A young man came to him who had learned sorcery and used it to kill many people and destroy an entire village for purposes of vengence.  His karma was, according to many, beyond redemption.  Yet, Marpa accepted the young man as his student.  Theis student would become Marpa's heart son and was given all the teachings that had been passed down to him from his teacher, Naropa, the heart son of the great Tilopa.  The young man is called Milarepa and he attained enlightenment.  He taught Gampopa who, in his turn taught Dusum Khyenpa, the First Karmapa.

Buddhist practice isn't consistent with killing to order, but do we turn away those who kill if they wish to take refuge and join the sangha?  One of those soldiers could go on to teach enlightened beings.

We are all imperfect beings.  We all kill.  None of us can say we live up to the Precepts, so none of us can judge others.   

« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 08:48:59 am by GoGet »

Offline Wonky Badger

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1439
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 05:28:25 pm »
It seems like a positive development but how can a soldier commit to the first precept?

In East Asia it would be common for warriors to practice Buddhism; Shaolin monks, samurai and yamabushi to name a few. Also, how many soldiers in the west are Christians and how many of them can commit to the sixth commandment "Thou shalt not kill"?
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5076
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 07:11:36 am »
Also, how many soldiers in the west are Christians and how many of them can commit to the sixth commandment "Thou shalt not kill"?

But that's the point.   Why sign up to an ethical code and then put yourself in a situation where you will be required to break that code?
Or approaching from the other direction, why would a soldier sign up to a religion or philosophy which has an ethical code saying killing is wrong - given that killing is part of a soldiers job. 

I just don't get it.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 07:19:05 am by Pedantic Porpoise »

GoGet

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 07:33:54 am »
Also, how many soldiers in the west are Christians and how many of them can commit to the sixth commandment "Thou shalt not kill"?

But that's the point.   Why sign up to an ethical code and then put yourself in a situation where you will be required to break that code?


What if you're already in a "situation" and then decide to "sign up"?


We face ethical dilemmas every moment of every day.  Some are insignificant and some are really important.  Sometimes these dilemmas challenge our preconceived or previous held beliefs.  The real challenge is how we reconcile things.

For example, I ride my bike along a certain river on a regular basis.  This time of year, there are dense clouds of gnats, mayflies and midges swarming along the bike path.  I'll plow through several such swarms on every ride though the area.  You can;'t see these swarms until it's too late to evade them, and so you go through.  I kill many of these insects as a result.  These insects are sentient beings and I am responsible for their deaths.  It may not be my intent, but I know they are there well ahead of time, and could choose to not ride though that area or any other trails that follow streams and rivers.  So I face a dilemma.  Do I reduce my riding options by more than 50% or do I find another way to come to terms?  We all face these sorts of dilemmas and a daily basis.

That's what soldiers who wish to follow the Dharma face, every day and I can only imagine what a horror show these people go though trying to reconcile what the Buddha clearly taught against to their chosen profession.  They will either succeed or fail.  They have their karma.

We sometimes forget that the the Path doesn't begin with perfect Enlightenment.  It begins somewhere else.

I think the wiser course is to support those soldiers rather than question their commitment.

Offline Wonky Badger

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1439
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 08:25:07 am »
Come to think of it, I prefer having an army of soldiers that follow some kind of ethical code; that understand that killing in essence is wrong and evaluate each situation according to that standard, than having an army of nihilist killing machines. I think it would be very hard to populate an army with persons that killed without remorse, but oh what a dangerous army it would be. For everyone.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5076
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 01:59:58 am »
Come to think of it, I prefer having an army of soldiers that follow some kind of ethical code; that understand that killing in essence is wrong and evaluate each situation according to that standard, than having an army of nihilist killing machines. I think it would be very hard to populate an army with persons that killed without remorse, but oh what a dangerous army it would be. For everyone.

But the whole point of an army is that soldiers kill to order.  As a soldier you get given an order and you follow it, like it or not.

And I still don't see how killing is compatible with Buddhist practice.

Offline Wonky Badger

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1439
    • View Profile
Re: Buddhism sees huge upswing in number of UK soldiers practising
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 04:37:27 am »
But the whole point of an army is that soldiers kill to order.  As a soldier you get given an order and you follow it, like it or not.

And I still don't see how killing is compatible with Buddhist practice.

I think the whole point of an army is to protect its country and people.  And killing is incompatible with lots of religions and philosophies. Still soldiers follow them. I bet there millions of Buddhist fishermen that also break the first precept.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal