Supporting veterans and war

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DGA
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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by DGA » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:11 am

I think steveb1 is right to raise the question of the militarization of the police in the US, and its consequences, particularly in the light of the events of Ferguson, MO and elsewhere. It's a topic worthy of a separate thread.

I'll be brief and say only two things about it. 1) Communities need police. You can't have a community without policing. 2) the militarization of local police makes those police forces less able to serve their communities appropriately, not more able. And it increases the likelihood for bigger problems to be created than before.

back to the topic here:
Urgyen Dorje wrote: war is a horrible goddam thing.

The part that gets glossed by many Buddhists and pacifists is that while war is a horrible goddam thing, we sure benefit from it. For me there's something nauseating damning a man for something one benefits from.
Well spoken.

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by joy&peace » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:08 am

I would like to remind everyone of Milarepa's story.

Anyone can be redeemed. Only when we shine to all, like it's said the sun or the rain, be kind to all without projecting, do we get close to the meaning of Dharma.

It does not even take many lifetimes, simply a few weeks in some circumstances can change anyone, and what business is it of mine where another person's practice is at?

Be kind like a tree shelters all without choosing good or bad; this is injunction for a Bodhisattva. Nothing is ever lost by this approach, one only grows. Not one whit of health is ever lost by being kind in a heart-felt fashion for people, and this is often all it takes to light the lamp of compassion, which spreads from one to another, to another, and so forth.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by joy&peace » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:40 am

This thread brought me to three places:

Pradhan's Bodhisattva poem

and, well, the wikipage on Bodhisattvas which I wasn't going to post, but then this stood out to me:

Ksitigarbha's vow:

'If I do not go to the hell to help the suffering beings there, who else will go? ... if the hells are not empty I will not become a Buddha. Only when all living beings have been saved, will I attain Bodhi.'


This beautiful book: by Gelek Rimpoche

link brought me to this one, I liked


'Verse 12:

All other virtues are like the plantain tree;
For after bearing fruit, they simply perish.
But the perennial tree of the Awakening Mind
Unceasingly bears fruit and therby flourishes without end.'

I enjoyed this verse very much; and just now after composing this thread, I read the commentary - stellar!

'The Awakening Mind is bodhimind, the mind that seeks enlightenment because of ultimate love and compassion. Any good work you do, like saving a life, being generous, being kind, being a good person and going to church, etc ,normally will bring one result and then it is finished. That is how karma works: do one good thing and you get one result. After bearing fruit, it is over, finished. You do one bad thing; you get one bad experience. You wash out that karma. You settle your account. That's what it is. But when your mind is influenced by bodhimind, it does not settle or end in that way. It gives you fruit constantly and continuously.' (italics theirs)
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:33 pm

I appreciate the story of Milarepa and the message of redemption that it communicates. But I've found that in practice, at least American Buddhists I've met in my dharma circles, are less open to that message of redemption than one might hope. I have written about my own experience with redemption http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=19869 here, and commented upon my own peers inability to accept it. I have certainly found that the case with Buddhist peers and their attitudes towards combat veterans, excons, addicts, and the like-- anyone a Buddhist might decide has done something ethically objectionale (which is all of us, in fact).They're just not "spiritual people". I think that's nonsense, but I'm not a spiritual person.
joy&peace wrote:I would like to remind everyone of Milarepa's story.

Anyone can be redeemed. Only when we shine to all, like it's said the sun or the rain, be kind to all without projecting, do we get close to the meaning of Dharma.

It does not even take many lifetimes, simply a few weeks in some circumstances can change anyone, and what business is it of mine where another person's practice is at?

Be kind like a tree shelters all without choosing good or bad; this is injunction for a Bodhisattva. Nothing is ever lost by this approach, one only grows. Not one whit of health is ever lost by being kind in a heart-felt fashion for people, and this is often all it takes to light the lamp of compassion, which spreads from one to another, to another, and so forth.

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by joy&peace » Sat Jul 25, 2015 3:30 pm

I hear you. It's an interesting thing - it's a complicated thing because on the one hand - what people we surround ourselves with, in the early stages of life especially, that affects life more than anything else; the people we associate with, our friends, and so to be a little selective about who we bring into our close circle, that's one of the very-most keys of life. . . navigating, succeeding, and so forth; I learned this at an early age, partly by observing.

It's also complicated because the very words, thoughts and actions we say and do affect our encounter with every single person we meet; and well, okay I won't go off into the endlessly complex, lol! :)

One thing is - if I ever decide, someone, some individual is not worthy of my friendship, that never sits well with me. Maybe that's conditioning. The opening lines of Hsin Hsin Ming write it out very nicely. . . 'the Great Way is not difficult, but it detests any picking or choosing,' and goes on to say if we make even a hair's breadth difference, then it's very far away.

Oh! besides this one - there is the very good one from Zen (and others') that makes the point, if we view others with empathy, then we'll naturally help them as automatically as we would bandage our own arm. . . that seems to be the epitome of compassion to me. . . that empathic sense, etc.

This morning these thoughts were in my heart/mind:

Stopping the war is immediate, necessity,
nothing else really comes close.

Engaging in healing and peace work with veterans - when possible, available, appropriate, and so forth - when conditions arise -
is basically identical to all efforts in the first place to stop the war,
because the point is that we are trying to prevent that from happening in the first place. . . and this seems so simple and true to me.
Also, I can just say it's very rewarding. . . because this is like - Dharma in action; putting it into practice, applying the salve where it will do the most good.

As well as Thay's statement of those who have been through war, have the responsibility to share peace, he also says, don't shut yourself off from suffering, be in contact with those who are suffering by all means, were his words, this helps wake us up.

I'm not saying to spend one's whole life on this one thing, yet if it comes up - when circumstances arise, if you meet a veteran where your friendship and so forth can make such a difference, as I say it can be very rewarding - and still, generally best to make sure one knows peace well, before trying to lead others there -
In other words, seek peace and then share it. . . And also, don't bite off more than you can chew. . Anyway, it does all happen naturally.

I had something more to say but I don't remember it.

My prayers are with you my friend.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:30 am

Urgyen Dorje wrote:I appreciate the story of Milarepa and the message of redemption that it communicates. But I've found that in practice, at least American Buddhists I've met in my dharma circles, are less open to that message of redemption than one might hope. I have written about my own experience with redemption http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=19869 here, and commented upon my own peers inability to accept it. I have certainly found that the case with Buddhist peers and their attitudes towards combat veterans, excons, addicts, and the like-- anyone a Buddhist might decide has done something ethically objectionale (which is all of us, in fact).They're just not "spiritual people". I think that's nonsense, but I'm not a spiritual person.
joy&peace wrote:I would like to remind everyone of Milarepa's story.

Anyone can be redeemed. Only when we shine to all, like it's said the sun or the rain, be kind to all without projecting, do we get close to the meaning of Dharma.

It does not even take many lifetimes, simply a few weeks in some circumstances can change anyone, and what business is it of mine where another person's practice is at?

Be kind like a tree shelters all without choosing good or bad; this is injunction for a Bodhisattva. Nothing is ever lost by this approach, one only grows. Not one whit of health is ever lost by being kind in a heart-felt fashion for people, and this is often all it takes to light the lamp of compassion, which spreads from one to another, to another, and so forth.
:good:

Trying really hard to be a "spiritual person", in fact trying to be any kind of new, improved projection of oneself is usually a dismal failure. It's important to be naked, and to accept others nakedly as well, IMO. Not easy, but important.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by seeker242 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:16 pm

Does Thich Nhat Hanh think was some benefit to the war in Vietnam?
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by KathyLauren » Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:46 pm

Veterans, and even actively serving soldiers, are sentient beings. They deserve compassion.

My father was a soldier in WWII. Not by choice: he was drafted. He wouldn't talk much about it, but, from various clues, I believe he was a pacificst prior to becoming a soldier. What they did to him - making him kill - was monstrous. Postwar treatment for PTSD was nonexistent, so he had to just suck it up and carry on.

How can you not approach that with compassion? It is necessary to separate the contemptible institution of war from the humanity of the people who engaged in it, whether willingly or not. As the bumper stickers said, "Support the troops: bring them home."

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:54 pm

We can't shake our past, it follows us like a shadow.

As American Buddhists this is the case. We come to Buddhism through a uniquely American Christian experience, regardless of our religious upbringing, as that is part of the American culture. A little bit of Platonic idealism and Aristotelian absolutism. Throw in some Old Testament law and world view. Calvinist ideas of predetermination. And then there's the American sense of superiority. All this together really fuels a cultural view that there are good people and bad people. This is why we have relished the death penalty while most of the world has dropped it. This is why we have rationalized various forms of racism and xenophobia. It informs out attitudes towards terrorism-- you're either with us or with the terrorists. And it informs how we regard the poor-- they're just lazy and ethically bankrupt people, we better stop supporting them.

We all come to Buddhism with some form of this, many of us less because we've worked with these biases in social justice, therapy, other spiritual work, but it's still there.

I'm convinced the success of the dharma in America has less to do with somehow adapting the dharma for American culture, but more with Buddhists simply coming to grips with their own cultural backgrounds and what that means for them, and for dharma practice. This stuff sneaks into the dharma. It's sneaky.

So yea, Buddhists who have nearly Calvinist notions of humanity.

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by daelm » Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:59 pm

Urgyen Dorje wrote:
I'm convinced the success of the dharma in America has less to do with somehow adapting the dharma for American culture, but more with Buddhists simply coming to grips with their own cultural backgrounds and what that means for them, and for dharma practice.
i know what you mean. i recently described dharma to my partner as a universal solvent, on exactly these grounds.

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by DGA » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:09 am

And not only for Americans.

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:13 am

'm convinced the success of the dharma in America has less to do with somehow adapting the dharma for American culture, but more with Buddhists simply coming to grips with their own cultural backgrounds and what that means for them, and for dharma practice. This stuff sneaks into the dharma. It's sneaky.

So yea, Buddhists who have nearly Calvinist notions of humanity.
:good: dude !
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by joy&peace » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:00 am

if you are not at peace - get to a peaceful state,
if you are at peace, share your wisdom with others.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by joy&peace » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:09 am

;

I would recommend to all, the title: No death, No fear, by Thay. I came across it very recently only; it is very beautiful to read, so far. I have in all truth lived this way all my life. . The simple fact of the whole universe is - there is nothing to fear. I experienced this many years ago; the most personal, profound experience of my life, I do not share it often, because I suppose a; there's not need, and b; well, basically again a; there's no need. Anywho - in a nutshell,

Beneath the apparent layer of existence is peacefulness. . . Ayu wrote it very beautifully - on the pictures of sky thread -

The simple thing is - each arising phenomena is like a bubble, and they burst - they are impermanent. The bubble layer bursts - and there is a new bubble;

And so forth - at the heart of all these bubbles is emptiness / compassion. This is Buddha-nature. The moment I flipped - experienced non-duality - it was as though my entire world flipped upside down - I knew in one instant, there was never a reason to fear, no matter what could happen in a million years - a million lifetimes - never once in all that time was there a reason to fear, worry or doubt -

Essentially, there is nothing to worry about because there is no one that suffers. . Gelek Rimpoche explains this nicely.

Anyway this was only the first moment, of an experience that lasted several hours. . it was not the full enlightenment, but the initial moment of realization of non-duality.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Bhikkhu_YinRi » Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:57 am

pael wrote:Is it right to support veterans? Is i thanking for making war. Is freedom worth of it?
I am a War Veteran myself, I think it played a decent role in my choice to become a monastic.

Should you support them? Yes of course I support you, I support my fellow man/woman. Everyone is human.

Remember they/I did not choose to go to war, we/they all had different reasons for joining, some had little choice and needed to feed their families.

I joined because I wanted to help people. I ended up saving the lives of 3 people. A woman and child, and a few others.

I came home with many demons, but many I know come home wanting to live a completely different life than that they have seen.

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Son of Buddha » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:29 am

Bhikkhu_YinRi wrote:
pael wrote:Is it right to support veterans? Is i thanking for making war. Is freedom worth of it?
I am a War Veteran myself, I think it played a decent role in my choice to become a monastic.

I joined because I wanted to help people. I ended up saving the lives of 3 people. A woman and child, and a few others.

I came home with many demons, but many I know come home wanting to live a completely different life than that they have seen.
You look too fimilar, you wasn't by chance in Baji Iraqi during the outset of the surge when we stormed the city?

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Re: Supporting veterans and war

Post by Bhikkhu_YinRi » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:13 am

Son of Buddha wrote:
Bhikkhu_YinRi wrote:
pael wrote:Is it right to support veterans? Is i thanking for making war. Is freedom worth of it?
I am a War Veteran myself, I think it played a decent role in my choice to become a monastic.

I joined because I wanted to help people. I ended up saving the lives of 3 people. A woman and child, and a few others.

I came home with many demons, but many I know come home wanting to live a completely different life than that they have seen.
You look too fimilar, you wasn't by chance in Baji Iraqi during the outset of the surge when we stormed the city?
I was over in Kandahar, but it depends on when.

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