A Monk Amok: Buddhist Military Chaplaincy

Venerable Gyatso over at A Monk Amok has a very interesting short commentary on Buddhist Military Chaplaincy.  In part, he says:

What I don’t see is equal questioning of Buddhist chaplains in prisons. If we accept that thieves, rapists, murderers and child molesters need spiritual care, how can we question the provision of spiritual care for soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, and marines?

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Diamond Sutra 101

I stopped by Ven. Rinchen Gyatso’s blog today and found links to the beginning of this great 12 part lecture series on the Diamond Sutra by Venerable Hyun Gak (né Paul Muenzen). I found a better source for the lectures via Google, so I thought I’d include them below, if anyone’s interested. They’re from the Korean Buddhist Television Network.

Here are links to the other eleven parts (each about 40 minutes long): Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12. (As a heads-up, there are up to 2 brief ads before parts 3 through 12.)

More about Rinchen Gyatso

For the curious, you can learn more about him here, and his blog (“A Monk Amok”) is here.

"We can move mountains with a single breath."

So, I was reading Rinchen Gyatso’s booklet “You Can Move Mountains: An Introduction to the Mind-Science of Dharma” and found this quote:

People don’t like to talk about suffering…. We don’t like to think about the ways in which we cause our own and other’s suffering, because that would mean we would have to change our lives.

He also writes:

[…] we can dramatically change not only our experience of the world, but also ultimately the experience of all beings that share this world with us, if we begin to make small changes in our own minds. With each breath, we turn a little to the right, a little bit closer to fully embodying the wisdom and compassion that exists within us.

I take from this that a constant move towards love and compassion will ultimately leave (when I/we die) the world a better place. Rinchen Gyatso continues:

We are not the victims of circumstance: we create our circumstances. Within each of us lies the power to change our lives, and to positively affect the people around us. Like ripples in a pond, we can change everything and create the world we truly want; a world filled with people who work for peace and the benefit of others.

As war and strife continue around us, as violence bubbles up in our world, we must keep from feeling helpless, that nothing we do matters. Everything matters. In The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh writes:

In the year 255, Vietnamese Meditation Master Tang Hoi taught that our consciousness is like the ocean with the six rivers of our senses flowing into it. Our mind and our body come from consciousness. They are formed by ourselves and our environment. Our lives can be said to be a manifestation of our consciousness.