You may have noticed but probably didn’t that I’ve added a link to my blogroll: the Buddhist Military Sangha. I think, if you only read the newspapers and watched TV and went to the movies, the impression you’d have is that the things which primarily occupy American soldiers (when they’re not, as often alleged, out of control in some war zone, mowing down the innocent left and right) are getting depressed, using drugs, and/or committing suicide. The idea that some of them would actually and seriously concern themselves with the application of Buddhist precepts under impossibly difficult conditions can barely arise in the mainstream media. But take a look around here.
I’m also adding another website I discovered through the BMS site and linking a good post that echoes –actually improves on– points I’ve been trying to make at various times. Here’s a little of what a guy named Brad Warner had to say last year:
Buddhism is a practical philosophy and practice for the real world, the one we actually live in, and not an idealistic religion that envisions the fantastic world we wish we lived in…
You probably wish we lived in a world where our freedom to practice Buddhism was not underwritten by military power. I know I certainly do. But if wishes were tobacco-burst ’57 Gibson Les Paul guitars with coffee and cream PAF pick-ups I’d have a dozen of ‘em. The fact is Buddhism has only ever thrived in nations where the citizens’ right to practice it was guaranteed by a powerful military. The sad examples of Afghanistan and Tibet spring to mind.
Yeah, they do.