July 02, 2010
A few days ago I reported that the Dalai Lama had sent his good wishes on Armed Forces Day to the UK's men and women serving in the military. Some took that report to be implicitly critical. It wasn't. If you want to read the Dalai Lama's entire statement, the Buddhist Military Sangha has posted it here.
I also came across at an invitation to join a new Facebook group for Buddhist members of the Armed Forces at the BMS site. The page was set up by USMC LCpl Luke Jamison. If you are a Buddhist member of the military, you can join here.
A few years back, an American soldier at Abu Ghraib wrote us asking for support in his practice. He'd arrived at Abu Ghraib just before the mistreatment of the prisoners became public and he, along with others, faced the difficult task of dealing with the aftermath. He had begun meditating in an empty cell, using his duffel bag as a zafu. We sent him issues of the magazine and introduced him to a meditation teacher, with whom he struck up a regular email correspondence. When the story broke, we realized how profoundly difficult his situation was and kept steady contact with him. When he was honorably discharged, he went on retreat to sit with the teacher we'd introduced him to, and last I heard, he continues his practice. I'm happy to know that we were able to support someone in his practice and to see that that those in the military have a sangha to join.