Nun helps Air Force cadets to stay grounded
When VEN. TENZIN KACHO was asked to be Buddhist chaplain at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, she read up on WWII so she could learn about the conflict of war and how people dealt with it. She conferred with a family friend from a lineage of Japanese Buddhist ministers who had served in the WWII US Military Intelligence Service, even while his father was imprisoned in the internment camps for being a minister. Sometimes she feels unsettled about her work and wonders if she is serving the war effort. She tries to focus on being there for the individuals.
“People enter the military service for education, training, work, travel and adventure but more often do not consider impermanence and death. The great Buddhist King Ashoka was like this, at first thinking of the glory of conquest. Later, seeing the ravages of war, he completely renounced aggressive conflict and became a great, peaceful Dharma king. St. Francis of Assisi was transformed after seeing the effects of war. I wish we could understand this before we venture out in fields of conflict but it is more often the condition of youth to feel invincible, strong and ready to enjoy the marvels of the world out before them. …”