Hello out there!
In my first post I wanted to elaborate on my thoughts of how to be a Buddhist and in the military. I recently met someone here in Iraq that wanted to study Buddhism. They were sure that a military life and a Buddhist life had to be seperate. After e-mailing Chaplain Shin and pondering it myself, I've had to figure out how to make it work. I'd like to talk about The Eightfold Path and what it means to me. I'll cover the "points" one at a time. This all may sound primitive to the Buddhist scholars out there. I'm pretty new at this and these posts are in no particular order.
Right Action. This means upholding morals and ethics. To break it down Barney style: Do The Right Thing. In the military this is part of basic leadership. One has to set the right example for others to follow. Set higher standards for yourself and live up to them. Treat people with respect and your Karma points will grow by the buckets. All these parts of the Path tie into each other but I think that this is the most outwardly visible. The military and especially Marines are all about action. Right Action can help you succeed in the military and is an essential Buddhist teaching. Doing the right thing will free us from dealing with the consequences of our actions, therefore helping to eliminate suffering from our lives. The good Karma that results is an added benefit. And yes, good Karma can be earned by being in the military!
Next is Right Mindfulness.
Peace be with you!