Posts Tagged ‘military’

Twelve years ago today I found myself out by Dún Laoghaire harbor, and looked out to see the USS John F Kennedy. That was the most “American” July 4 for me, if only because that massive symbol of America in a foreign harbor reminded me of all my family that had served in the forces and who were celebrating the Fourth of July back home. So to celebrate this day, especially for our service members overseas, here’s an excerpt from a prayer by Venerable Master Hsing Yun that was posted on Buddhist Military Sangha.

Oh great compassionate Buddha!
May our armed forces:
Be able to understand
Both themselves and their opponents, and avoid danger;
Be well-versed
In the art of war and uphold justice;
Be able to exercise compassion and wisdom,
And achieve victory through martial virtues;
Be able to possess courage and kindness,
And win the war without fighting a battle.
May they defend the nation
With the spirit of fearlessness;
May they guard the people
With the courage of great compassion.

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Over on the other blog, a very thorny issue has reared its head. I thought I’d tow the question over here because I like to save longer posts for Dharma Folk.

Can a Buddhist serve in the military? The answer is No. At least for those who argue that soldiering is the profession of killing, in effect wrong livelihood. Anyone who’s serious about Buddhism, the precepts or bodhisattvahood could never be a service member. In fact, even in a non-combat role, you’re essentially an accessory to killing, and so this too falls under wrong livelihood. This line of thought is logical, reasonable and well-supported by centuries of Buddhist tradition. But that’s not to say that an alternative view isn’t.

Vesak in the South of Thailand


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