Buddhism and the Warrior

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Grigoris » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:25 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Vidyaraja
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Vidyaraja » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:03 pm

Interesting discussion so far. Here's another question in the same subject area-- how compatible is Buddhism with the warrior mindset/lifestyle outside of the actual act of killing? Is it possible to be both a Buddhist (particularly a monk/ascetic) and train yourself physically, learn martial arts or weaponry techniques, and feel and think like a warrior, but not be involved in any sort of actually violence? In my mind, being a warrior is different than simply being a soldier (though a soldier can also be a warrior of course) in that it isn't just about the profession itself, but a mindset and mode of being. Usually this is tied into notions of honor, and often honor is tied into ego, but perhaps there is a form of honor that is free from ego?

Also, would a Buddhist warrior suffer negative karma for using non-lethal violence as a mode of defense of one's self or a defenseless innocent? Say simply incapacitating or maiming an opponent than actually killing?

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Konchog1
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:57 pm

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:07 pm

Enjoying the thread..

Gets into semantics a bit here..but saying a "warrior" is just a mentality or whatever is incorrect to my mind, warrior is a description of a function, and an important distinction to make. We live in a society where spiritual "warriorship" is disgustingly marketed to a wide range of people who will never have to dirty their hands in the way actual "warriors" have to do - personally I think the world has enough actual warriors already, and that the qualities you are referring to are not specific only to being a warrior, rather they are indicative of a kind of developed spiritual strength - namely it's something akin to Kshanti that one gets from warrior training in my experience, at least this is what I see most in those I admire with years of experience.

The only reason I harp on the "warrior" thing is because making the distinction matters, whether or not you consider yourself one will dictate what your level of social responsibility is as regards the duties of a warrior. If you feel none,then this sets out your limitations and responsibilities. Probably, protecting those around you should danger occur by simply keeping them safe, escaping, and engaging in violence as a total last resort. As a soldier or warrior, generally closeness to violence, situations, and responsibilities will differ, making you more likely to be responsible for things like directly defending homes, attacking others for tactical reasons etc..rather than simply running and trying to keep people alive. So far as mindset regarding violence is concerned, this is what makes someone a warrior or not, the rest of the stuff is just ethics and the development of spiritual qualities.

Personally I think martial arts are very compatible with Buddhism when practiced from the right angle, I don't think they are dharma but they intersect in places for sure. I know some feel that the actual practice of learning violent acts is abhorrent to Buddhism, I personally disagree, I think it's all about context, a quick glance at the martial arts world shows that at least a part of those people's criticisms come from the right place though- there really are people who have some serious neuroses brought to the surface from martial training, in addition to those who get some kind of development from it. The truth is that for plenty of people martial arts and similar provide a kind of unhealthy fantasy outlet, just look at upper middle class people going to knife, gun, self defense programs sometime to "prepare" for the violence they are utterly unlikely to ever face by buying X, Y, or Z weapon, or thinking obsessively about the most tactical knife to buy etc.. It is one thing to prepare realistically, it's another to go off in the direction of a kind of dark fantasy of heroism..sorry if that sounds preachy but i've been around enough of it that I have an aversion.

The archetype of The Warrior certainly gets used from the Pali Canon onwards, maybe the difference is that one turns that discipline and unrelenting drive inward entirely, I figure the result is something totally different from one who focuses on conquering external things.

I think there is always a karmic result from violence, but that does not mean it will never be one's only real choice...however I think the best advice is to simply avoid violence, for those of us living in first world countries in many places, this is reasonably easy. Your average 18-25 male is most likely to get involved in physical violence statistically, and guess what...in most of these cases they start out as ego-butting contests, being in the wrong place, or other actions that could have been avoided in the first place. The violence question is an important one..but let's face it, many people with the time to ruminate about it don't have to worry about it as anything but a theoretical, the real issue there is to learn what kind of violence you might be likely to face, understand your own role should it occur, prepare for it as much as is reasonable, and then forget about it. - all IMO of course.
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Son of Buddha
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:22 am


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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:06 am


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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:19 am


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Vidyaraja
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Vidyaraja » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:31 am


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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:21 am

Of course war is not black and white, good or bad..hopefully we can get beyond those categories.

I think it could be said though, that from mentions of such things in the Pali Canon (man bringing about his own ruin and the ruin of others through ignorance leading to violence etc.) to everything onward, it's fair to view war as tied up thoroughly in the worst parts of samsaric existence, both the cause and result of collective nasty karma, self-perpetuating. and having either a vocation, or a focus on war for its own ends is distinctly contrary to the direction of the Dharma.
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Rakz » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:24 am

Jodo Shu/Shinshu (japanese pure land) are the only paths within Buddhism that permit being a warrior because according to pure land sutras even the most evil person on this earth can be reborn in Sukhavati as long as they do not slander the Dharma. This is very clearly taught.

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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:27 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

Son of Buddha
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:30 am


Son of Buddha
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:39 am


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Konchog1
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:42 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Grigoris » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:27 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Grigoris » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:34 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Grigoris » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:37 am

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:54 pm

"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Grigoris » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:15 pm

"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Vidyaraja
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Re: Buddhism and the Warrior

Postby Vidyaraja » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:09 pm



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