Buddhist Military Sangha: Reconnect with the Three Treasures

Lieutenant Jeanette Shin is an American priest in the Jodo Shinshu tradition, and a Buddhist chaplain in the US military.

Molly De Shong
28 January 2009
Lion's Roar
Lt. Jeanette Shin

Today, in honor of the new year, Shin encourages us to notice the markers of stability and change, and to reconnect with the Three Treasures:

“In chaplaincy work, I’ve encountered many of two types of persons searching for a type of stability in their personal lives, and are curious about Buddhism. Although this is very simplistic, I can classify this into two types:

1) Persons interested in Buddhism, out of basic curiosity or looking for a “new” religion, philosophy, peace, “answers,” etc.
2) Persons (usually of ethnic Asian descent, but not always) interested in “re-connecting with Buddhism” having had some kind encounter with Buddhism as children, either through being taken to temple celebrations by parents, family traditions and customs, etc.

“I think it’s important to note that such people are not necessarily looking for the ‘same’ thing in Buddhism, or maybe even that the ‘ism’ that is Buddhism is what they are looking for! But there does seem to be something that is wanted. In both cases, it’s best to begin with small steps, even for persons who were raised in a Buddhist family, but never acquired (or forgot!) further guidance. Flinging shunyata and prajnaparamita at someone new to Buddha-dharma would be a little much to start out with. So perhaps this would be a good moment to begin introducing the Three Treasures…”

For Shin’s entire teaching, click over to the Buddhist Military Sangha.