Buddhist Jihad, our friend and frequent sounding board, is suffering the loss of someone in Iraq. Unfortunately, this is something we at Tengu House understand all too well - and we're far from alone.
Politics completely aside, how do we reconcile support (for the war, for the troops, for fighting terrorism or whatever), after taking a vow to never to harm? Even without the vow, to a Buddhist, the over-arching precept is to avoid the taking of life, to avoid being connected with the cause of the end of sentient life - indeed, to avoid being the cause of any suffering in this illusory world.
So how to we reconcile all that? I'm not even talking about support, per se. The question still stands for those of us who don't support the war, or support the troops but not their mission, or not even the troops (again, I'm not talking politics here, but asking from a Buddhist perspective). Buddhist Jihad asks who's going to explain to the children who loved this most recent lost soldier about this sudden lesson in impermanence - which I think is a beautiful way to say it.
So you tell me. Does the idescribable loss of a loved one in an unpopular war become 'something that happens,' or is there something more that can be said?
Obviously I have strong feelings about this, like most people. But whether we support the war or not, whether we support the troops in the their combative roles or not, and whether we believe in the Dharma or not, we must at all times support each other. Far beyond fighting, winning and losing, there is still us, our Sangha, one of the things in life to which we turn for refuge.
So I'd offer the Sangha itself as a place of refuge when these lessons occur, and I'd offer the Sangha as a possible answer to the question. Do you think I'm right? You tell me.