Saturday, 28 November 2009

I am joining the army, but I want to become Buddhist, how do I do it?

My name is Ashton, im 18, and i live in Texas. Iv been interested in converting for about a year or so now but im having trouble figuring out how to start. In September of 2010 ill be enlisting in the US army and im a little scared on how I should approach becoming Buddhist while im in the army. Im still in high school so u can just imagine how easy it must be for me ha. but if u could get back to me and plz show me a path on starting i would greatly appreciate the help. :]

Dear Ashton,

Firstly thank you for writing to me. It is always such an honour to get messages such as yours from people around the world. It is quite a humbelling experience.

My advice to you is to listen to your heart, if you feel that this practice is something that helps you then presue it.

I am sure in the army there are people that are athiest, buddhist, jewish and other faiths. Buddhism will be no different.

But to be buddhist you need 3 things.

Firstly strong faith - This is faith in your self, your life, your family and your humanity and faith that you will have absolute victory in every thing you do.

Secondly practice - Chanting daily will raise your life state and help you cope with the heavy emotional and physical work you will undergo as you build your self up in the army. You can chant in the toilet quietly to your self, you can chant loudly in your room if noone is around, you can chant loudly in your room if there ARE people around and you feel comfortable, or you can chant in your head. It doesnt really matter how you do it but what matters is that you do it every day. Chanting connects you to your enlightend self.

It isnt easy and it wont be easy, but if you push forward you will succeed and you will recieve great benfit from this.

Lastly and most importantly is study - It is vital that you learn every day, even if it is just one line about what buddhism is about, the teachings and wisdom of the lotus sutra. Leanring more about how this practice can help you achieve unshakable happiness is key to your strength.

When you put your hands together and you chant, you are making a vow to your self that you are the one driving your life. You let go of blame and you focus on your own human revolution!

Be strong, chant an hour a day, ready books and ask questions. Never be embarrssed of yoru faith.

You are at the center of your religion and you have the power to change anything in your life.

Chant for security, happiness and success and the happiness of all humanity

Go well friend and feel free to ask me any more questions.

i am sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

All the best


Why do Buddhists pray? Who are they praying to?


My name is Faisa and I have been watching your videos.
I'm really fascinated by this whole Buddhism religion. You seem to be really at peace and content. I'm just confused by one thing.....I don't understand who you pray to. As I understand it (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that Buddhists believe that there is no god and everyone has the power to great their own world right? But yet Buddhists pray. So how does that work? I'm sorry that I'm ignorant I'm just curious.

hope that you are in good health and hope to hear from you

kind regards


hi Faisa,

Thank you for your message.

Please do not be sorry, it is good to ask questions. There are no bad questions, only bad answers! :-)

You have asked a very good question, who or what do Buddhists pray to?

In Christian faiths and religions where a deity is concerned people put their hands together and pray to their god or gods. Most people adopt a position of begging for help or forgivness or assistance for the lifes sufferings.

In Buddhism we do not believe in god, but a universal force that governs the universe, we are different to Christians because we believe that each and every human being is in control of their own destinies, this is all done with the direction of karma.

Good and bad karmic events occur in a persons life due to choices, words and thoughts made in this life and in others.

So when we are chanting, we are connecting with the part of our consciousness that stores the karma, the 8th conciousness or the alaya consciousness.

When we pray at the end of our chanting, it is a way of sealing off the chant or practice and wishing well our family, our friends, our communities and the world around us.

You could say that becuase buddhists believe that every living thing or every THING in the universe is connected, when we pray we send out positive vibrations.

The whole point of a religion is to lift people out of suffering and to help the transcend suffering.

All religions were created or manifested in to the world with the intention of helping people, well I would say all, but recent religions like Scientology dont seem to have hte best interestes of the people at heart.

Nichirine Buddhism is a religion of the people, it is about people and the lives of these people. The lotus sutra teaches that every single person is capabale of buddahood. this is a never ending supply of courage, goodwill, strength, compassion and wisdom.

But it teaches that this power is inside us, always. All we need to do is chant nam myoho renge kyo and connect with this higher state of being, that resides in the 9th level of consciousness. When we do this, our buddah nature comes forth and we are able to battle and win against any kind of suffering.

I hope all this makes sense. And if it doesnt please feel free to ask me some more questions.

All the best my friend



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