Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome New Author to Buddhist Military Sangha!

Hello all!

Welcome to Jeff Baker, our newest contributor. Jeff is a retired U.S. Air Force pilot and Vietnam veteran, he is also a student of Buddhist meditation. Looking forward to your insights!
Namo Amida Butsu

Thursday, March 20, 2008

5 Years On

Hello all!

As I'm sitting somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I would like to take the time to reflect on the current status of Buddhists in the armed forces. There are no exact numbers of how many Buddhists are now serving, but what is undeniable is that Buddhists of all traditions - Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana - have served and also have given their lives in the service of their country. Perhaps only gradually during the past five years have the rest of our American population noticed that our military is made up of incredibly diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. It is finally time to bury the stereotype of the armed forces as an "all-Christian" organization, which really only ever existed in the fantasies of certain fundamentalists. It is also time not only to reflect on the fact that 5 years on into the GWOT the mission is still unfinished, but also that our Buddhist servicemembers must be recognized and supported. It is part of the development of American Buddhism, however we may define that, that Buddhists are truly members of American society, not a "fringe" or a "fad" that can be readily dismissed. Around the world Buddhists continue to struggle for freedom. Let our voices in the military be heard also! Support your Sangha members who are now serving, or who have served. Find out how you can support them. Don't be afraid to support them!
Namo Amida Butsu

Friday, March 14, 2008

Deaths reported in Tibet protests

I am very concerned for the Tibetans in regards to human rights.
Something needs to be done to address the situation between China and Tibet.
With the Olympics set in China to commence in August,
the timing is quite forthcoming.
As H.H. the Dalai Lama always suggests, actions should be in a non-violent manner.

Truth Shall Always Prevail,
~ Rocco Blais

Deaths reported in Tibet protests

Clashes between protesters and security forces in Tibet's main city of Lhasa have left at least two people dead, according to reports.

An emergency official told AFP news agency that many people had been hurt and an unspecified number had died.
The US-based Radio Free Asia quoted witnesses who said they had seen at least two bodies on Lhasa's streets.
Rallies have continued all week in what are said to be the largest protests against Beijing's rule in 20 years.
British journalist James Miles, in Lhasa, told the BBC that rioters had taken control of the city centre.

"Some of them are still attacking Chinese properties - shops, restaurants, owned by ethnic Chinese," he said.

"Some of them are looting those shops, taking out the contents and throwing them on huge fires which they've lit in the street."
Another eyewitness said there were tanks on the street and he had seen people being carried away on stretchers.

Dalai Lama concerned
Radio Free Asia, which is funded by the US government, quoted one Lhasa resident as saying: "[The rioters] ransacked Chinese shops and the police fired live ammunition into the crowd. No-one is allowed to move around in Lhasa now."

The rallies began earlier this week when a number of Buddhist monks were reportedly arrested after a march marking the 49th anniversary of a Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.
Hundreds of monks took to the streets to demand their release. The protests have gathered momentum over the past four days and campaign groups say ordinary people are now involved.
The Dalai Lama, who heads Tibet's government-in-exile in India, released a statement expressing deep concern.
He called on the Chinese leadership to "stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue with the Tibetan people."
He added: "I also urge my fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence."
Unrest has spread to other areas of Tibet and neighbouring provinces. There are reports of hundreds of monks rallying in Gansu.
The situation is causing concern among Western governments - with senior US and UK officials urging both sides to show restraint.
China says Tibet has always been part of its territory - though Tibet enjoyed long periods of autonomy before the 20th Century and many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama, who fled in 1959.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Deployment 2008

Hello all!
My posts on this blog may become a little more infrequent as I will be deploying with my ship very soon! I will try to post some interesting news and observations during that time (OPSEC-applicable of course!) and hopefully there will be additional posts by our other blog contributors.
Namo Amida Butsu

Friday, March 7, 2008

2008 Operation Purple Summer Camps for Military Children

The National Military Family Association (NMFA) is excited to announce locations for the 2008 Operation Purple Summer Camps. This FREE summer camp program was developed by NMFA to support military children dealing with the stress of war.

This year NMFA’s Operation Purple Camps will host children at 64 locations in 36 states and territories: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Virgin Islands.

Information about specific camp locations is available on our website at http://www.operationpurple.com/. Specific camp information will be available when registration opens. Registration begins March 24th. Interested families can sign-up to receive email notices and announcements on the website. Each camp is “purple” and open to children of any member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plus the National Guard and Reserve. Camps are free to all participants thanks to a partnership with the Sierra Club and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Creative Commons License
Buddhist Military Sangha by Jeanette Shin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at buddhistmilitarysangha.blogspot.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://buddhistmilitarysangha.blogspot.com/.