What the heck is a Fierce Buddhist?


It might seem strange to think of the Buddha as a “warrior” as he is normally and correctly seen as a figure of peace. As a Veteran of the U.S Army I would like to talk about what it means to be a Warrior or a Fierce Buddhist.

The Buddha never advocated the killing or destruction and always recommended the path of nonviolence.

However, Buddha’s life and teachings reveal a person raised to be a heroic warrior invested in honor. While he renounced the life planned for him by his parents, as a secular warrior-king, he used the language of warriors to convey the Dharma, so he could stress that following the path of Dharma required similar virtues possessed by warriors.

If you see an unjust act occurring, as a human being, one should take action against that action, it is that simple. But, when you take action it must be done with equanimity leaving all thoughts of retribution and anger behind. Just act, nothing more.

I close with this story. I have told it hundreds of times and many people have heard it before so forgive me if you have.

So I have heard…
Two monks are walking down the street and come across lovely woman trying to cross the muddy street, the senior monk picks her up, crosses the street, and puts her back down, safely and still clean. Both monks continued walking and after many miles the junior monk looks at the senior and says

“We are forbidden to touch women. How could you do that.”
To which the Senior answers “I saw someone who needed help, I picked them up and put them down again. Why are you still carrying them?”

If we as activists act in a moral, nonviolent manner to stop injustice than we are only behaving as the senior monk did. Doing what needs to be done and doing so with equanimity.

About fiercebuddhist

Welcome. I am happy that our paths have crossed. Here you will find various poems, articles and photography. I hope that you enjoy them and visit often. I am currently working on writing “A Haiku A Day” so that I can, perhaps, have enough good ones for publication. If you are wondering what a “Fierce Buddhist” the following declaration should clarify. The “Fierce” in FierceBuddhist I define as “an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just those close to me or those I agree with. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them.” In the Army and in the dojo I learned how to defend myself, family and country but that does not mean I endorse the use of force. Two nonviolent examples of Fierce Buddhists that come to mind are Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. While I do not claim be even close to them I can strive and so can you. Furthermore, my Buddhist name, given to me by Sensei Kubose, is Seiyo. His interpretation of my communication and interaction with him led him to this name. He told me Seiyo means “Fierce Sun.” The sun shines on everyone without prejudices without giving preferential treatment to anyone. This is tough to live up to, as you can imagine, but it sure sets the tone for my life. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.

8 responses »

  1. That’s one of my favourite stories. I think it’s usually pretty clear what needs doing and who needs help – as long as we don’t muddle things up by thinking too much. Good luck with the blog – looking forward to the next installment!

  2. Wonderful article. I’ll be tuning in regularly.

    The idea that Buddhists have to be doormats is widely accepted; I don’t like it, so I will be reading your blog to explore this concept further.

    Great idea! Thanks!

  3. Nice blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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