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Old 11-16-2004, 01:16 PM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Budo and Buddhism

I am both a soldier in th U.S. Army and A Buddhist. (In the Infantry none-the-less).

It is not a contradiction at all. Soldiers do not seek killing or war...as Lynn points out they are in service.

You might say that most soldiers abhor violence and killing so much that they embrace it and meet it head on. In a sense they are dealing with reality.

Karma also plays an interesting role. You must be careful here though because Karma is not an excuse to avoid accepting responsibility for your own actions.

I'd reccomend "The Bodhisattva Warriors" by Terence Dukes. It is not Japanese in nature but does explain quite a bit.

Some of the most fierce warriors you will find are buddhist or pacifist. Sgt Alvin York was a pacifist and a conscientious objector. In WWI he was one of the most decorated veterans earning the Medal of Honor.

It is a fascinating phoenomena. It is within the nature of Zen to walk both sides of the fence. It is honest. I could go on and on...(I love this subject since I meditate on it frequently).

I would also look at the "Book of Five Rings". It was very helpful many years ago when I first started having conflicting thoughts about my service and my spiritual path.
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