Salute to Buddhism

A dharma hall opens in a most unlikely place: the United States Air Force Academy.

Travis Duncan

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The U.S. Air Force Academy's Protestant Chapel, home of the Vast Refuge Dharma Hall Chapel.
 
ON A MONDAY morning in late October 2007, six United States Air Force Academy cadets gathered in a small room below the iconic aluminum spires of the Academy's Protestant Chapel to arrange incense, flowers, votive candles, and bowls of pure water for the coming ceremony.

Soon, two dozen attendees to the dedication of the Vast Refuge Dharma Hall Chapel, the first space on an American military base dedicated solely to meditation, would remove their shoes to avoid scuffing the floor and enter humbly, speaking in hushed tones—the beauty of the room calling for a certain solemnity.

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