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.

62 responses »

  1. Thank You Fierce Buddhist for stopping by my space…
    I appreciate it…
    I like your profle..
    I am a vet also….
    its nice to see patrotism alive and well these days..
    i will check out yur Haiku…
    i am always envious of people who can write within it…

    Thanks again….

    Take Care….
    You Matter….

    • Tom,

      Your post brought to light that my original “about” might be interpreted as justifying violence. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Perhaps now the meaning behind “Fierce” will be more clear.


      • Sorry, William, if my understanding and writing in English is not perfect. I see your position clearer now, but may I ask if you think, a Buddhist could be a soldier? I think, we could only practise Buddhism because someone else does the killing for us, and this person can’t be a Buddhist – even if he’s on the right side. I don’t see any realistic solution for this.

      • Tom,

        I agree with you it is a difficult position for a Buddhist. When I was in the Army I was not as dedicated a Buddhist as I am now. I had hardly stepped onto the path back then. But, I do feel that as a Buddhist if I see a wrong being committed I must take action. i.e. I see a rape in progress. I must do what ever I can to stop that act! I would attempt to use non-violence and only respond to their actions. I would do so in a manner illustrated by the story below.

        Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.

        As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!”

        “Brother,” the second monk replied, “I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.”

        If a Buddhist must take action it must be done without anger or attachment. The action is to stop a more violent/aggressive action and only as a matter of last resort NOT as a preemptive attack as many countries seem to think is okay. I hope this answers your question.


  2. If you knw Thich Nhat Hanh, and are a veteran, have you ever read “At Hell’s Gate” by Claude Anshin Thomas, the story of his recovery from our culture of violence. He is a Vietnam Veteran who was helped not by the VA but by a Vietnamese Monk … it is such a powerful message. I recommend it often.

    • I have heard Thây mention a time when he spoke to a group of Vietnam Veterans. Perhaps, Mr. Thomas was among them?

      I have requested the book from the library. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I will let you know my thoughts on it.


      • Thomas actually traveled to France an spent time in retreat there. I think he was asked to join them but chose to remain as a traveling Monk, which I believe he still does today. I’ll be interested to know what you think. All the best. -ps

  3. What took me to the point that I gave up Buddhism as a enclosed idea, was not only the contradiction between using violence and being a Buddhist. It were these 2 aspects:
    I learned from Brian Victoria that the 2 most known and important propagandist of Buddhism in Germany after WWII both had been serious Nazis. Count Dürckheim and Eugen Herrigel, who even influenced a lot of Americans with his book about the art of shooting with a bow. Even the most terrible Nazi, Himmler, was a Zen-fan because there was this idea of allowed war and the admiration for the enlightened warrior. Zen-Buddhismus is so heavy spoilt with Totalitarian ideas and has such a disgusting past, that I wonder how someone could stay a Zen-Buddhist after being informed about what happened.
    The other aspect was the experience of being member of the “Tricycle” online-community. There I met a lot of very nice people, I will never forget, but I was also so heavy personaly attacked and mobbed by some very strange Buddhists, that I gave it up.
    What’s left is, not following any closed system but thinking for myself.

    • Tom,
      As a practitioner of Kyudo I am aware of Herrigel’s book and have read it. It is not the best on Kyudo but still worth reading for the information on Kyudo but I saw nothing that would lead me to see Zen as violent. I am also working on my Ni-Dan in Iaido and none of our practice focuses on violence. It seems to me that Himmler was confusing Zen-Buddhism with Shinto. This is my first hearing of this but in all my studies I have not seen a connection with Zen-Buddhism and the Nazi party.

      It seems that we both arrived at the same location, via different roads. I have studied in Thai Wats, Japanese Temples, and Chinese Shaolin Temples I have learned both Theravada and Mahayana texts. I have friends in various temples in Chicago and discuss the Dharma with them. But, I always come back to the statement by the Buddha where he tells us to not take what he says at face value but to test what he says and explore it on our own. That said I am not a Zen Buddhist.

      I am sorry to hear about your experience at “Tricycle” and understand your feelings. I am glad to have a dialog with you and if you would like we can continue via email. I have ordered the books from the library and look forward giving them a read.



  4. I am happy that our paths have crossed as well! I really enjoy your insight. Thank you so much for following!

  5. I wanted to come by and say thank you for taking a look at my blog and for the follow. So you write haiku as well? I will look forward to reading your writing and getting to know you through it. Have a wonderful day!


  6. Thank you for following my blog and I enjoyed reading your post re: Term Limits under the Civil Disobedience section. Too bad you do not have comments enabled there, I would love to share/discuss post-specific thoughts with someone who possesses different specific influential values to see if we can reach some similar general ethical conclusions.

  7. If all children understood the concepts behind martial arts, there would be no more bullying. Love your site!

  8. Sometime ago Iheard a religeous teacher, tell that it is the inherent nature of man to be selfish. He advised people to consciously work to expand their selfishness gradually and regularly so as to include an ever widening community into their sphere of selfishness.

  9. Dear Fierce Buddhist
    I can see now the only thing that’s wrong with the word ‘fierce’ is that it’s fierce and people are disinclined to get warm and cuddly with it. But you’ve received all these nominations, congratulations! I’m now looking around and thinking what would it take to be able to look at stuff I’d not normally be inclined to get close-up to? Here’s a link to my new blog about the Buddhist experience: http://dhammafootsteps.wordpress.com/
    Thanks for that. I hadn’t thought too much before this that the whole thing is relevant.

    • Dear Tiramit,

      The word “fierce” has many meanings. The interpretation I seek to embody is to be fierce like the Sun. Shining down on everyone equally. I look forward to traveling the path with you.



      • Sorry I messed up the link to my site last time, it should be: http://dhammafootsteps.wordpress.com/ Just getting it started up here.
        Thanks for your reply. The ‘fierce’ angle is unusual to me, I know some of the first monks at Wat Pahnanchat were Vietnam vets who stumbled upon the Ajahn Chah teachings. My path is Theravadin, now learning about other directions that lead to the same end. A lot of interesting stuff in your blog. I looked in: activism/civil disobedience/Jizo Chronicles/‘If you want peace, stop paying for war’, inspiring letter by Mai Duerr, war tax resister. Also her quote from Jesse Jiryu Davis: ‘… as soon as I take pleasure in winning a conflict, I’ve already lost.’ This kind of ‘hair’s breadth difference’ interests me, it’s like the mindfulness of the tightrope walker.

  10. Pingback: only the world ends | dhamma footsteps

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