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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Interview with an American Buddhist Soldier Serving in Afghanistan. Part II.

And, now, the second half of my inteview with American Buddhist Lieutenant Hunnewell who is currently serving in the U.S. military in the war in Afghanistan (to read the first half of the interview, click on this sentence):

4). How do your other soldiers feel about your Buddhist practice?

On occasion I will receive questions about what the Buddhist practice entails and am increasingly receiving questions pertaining to the subjects of meditation and mindfulness. The Army is educating Soldiers more and more about the practice of meditation in order to assist Soldiers with the stressors of combat.

5). What tradition of Buddhism do you practice. Or, do you practice your own version?
I practice in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and am looking to join a sangha upon return home that follow the practices of Plum Village and Thich Nhat Han.

And, lastly...

6). Is there anything special that we in the Buddhist community can do to help the soldiers, and you in particular? Are they things we could send you to help you practice your faith? Or, any personal items that would improve your time there? Any books?

The Buddhist community could assist with the creation of a Buddhist Field Guide for members of the military which is being created in conjunction with a Buddhist Chaplain from the Navy. The information can be found on

I have an amazing support network with consistent care packages from my wife, who continues to mail me packages even though she is a little over eight months pregnant. We are expecting our first child. I am very much interested in reading the following works from Thich Nhat Han “Savior”, “Chanting From the Heart: Buddhist Ceremonies and Daily Practices”, and “Being Peace”.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ancient Buddha statue in Afghanistan.

~Peace to all beings~

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Ambud said...

Hey James, a little suprised that there haven't been more comments on the interview. I think you did a good job and wanted to thank you for sharing the soldiers perspective

goatman said...

It is hard for me to fathom a person out for war and yet convincing himself that Buddhist knowledge is consistent with his occupation.

If one finds himself in war it is a different story; but to actively join, train, and engage in war is a different, and deadly story.

DJR said...

Hey James,
I am an regular reader of your blog, I just never comment..practicing in silence I guess...I think you do a great job. Thanks for what you do. We all are Bodhisattvas and share, teach, learn and mentor in our own ways...we never truly know the power, timing or impact of our words..keep choosing them wisely...

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