Author Topic: Vipassana in the Miltary  (Read 3336 times)


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Vipassana in the Miltary
« on: January 19, 2013, 09:58:41 PM »
Just read an article about US Marines going through mindfulness training in Camp Pendelton to better cope with the stress of war. What's everyones take on this article? A quick google search and you'll find it. My initial reaction was not a good one. I wonder what their course is like. Whats added in by the military? Whats being subtracted or even co-opted by them as well. Another thiught is the nore meditators there are the better. But that thinking, in terms of this article could very well be a double edged sword.
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.


Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 10:29:40 PM »
"the military has been searching for ways to reduce strains on service members burdened with more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan."

I think they just want to find a way to get the marines to stop committing suicide, after they come back from the horrors of war.(doesn't look very good)

Mindfulness training must begin with a level of morality(precepts), first step stop killing living beings. This seems to contradict marine basic training. HUA


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Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 10:47:55 PM »
So true Red Alert. Like I said a lot of the method, whichever method they're being taught is subtracting many important elements. Interesting that the article speaks about observing bodily sensations and breath. If reduction in stress is their primary goal then it seems to be a losing proposition. On the surface it sounds like the Goenka method. I wonder what he would have to say about something like this! Maybe they should make it part of basic training, like before they are shipped off to war. Maybe then the soldiers will see the futileness in war. 
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.


Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 11:30:17 PM »
I don't know what method they are teaching, Goenka vipassana must be taught in a specific environment and the minimum time for anyone to recieve benefit is 10 days. The original courses were 6 wks but with the increased pace of life they experimented and shortened the courses to 10 days anything less did not give the same results.

Most meditation techniques use sensations but I'm not sure they place as much emphasis on them as Goenka does. Vedanupassana is only one part of the technique though.

If the military started teaching the 8-fold noble path there would be a sharp decline in their staff. Probably not to good for business.


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Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 09:42:20 AM »
The article says:
"Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training" or "M-Fit" was designed by former U.S. Army Capt. Elizabeth Stanley, a professor at Georgetown University who found relief doing yoga and meditation for her PTSD

Here is the recommended reading list of her institute:
Obviously, it is not Goenka-based, it is Kabat-Zinn based.
The reading list is impressive - also for non-soldiers.


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Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 09:01:36 PM »
Like any technology (internet, knife, stick) meditation can be used for wholesome or unwholesome purposes. The US military is clearly out of control and bent on world domination (well .. it's their stated policy aim).

Meditation can make more cold blooded killers.

Meditation can also wake soldiers up to the reality of what they are doing - and maybe win "hearts and minds" ... unlike all the bombings ....
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 01:41:15 AM »
Here's a link to an article about Anders Behring Breivik, the mass murderer who killed 77 people in Norway. He meditated, explicitly to learn to control his emotional response to the violence he had committed, or was planning to commit.

The 17th-century master Takuan told his samurai students: "The uplifted sword has no will of its own, it is all of emptiness. The man who is about to be struck down is also of emptiness, and so is the one who wields the sword".... Meditation, or any other practice, is just a technique. Its effects, for good or ill, depend on the system of values that guide how a person uses it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 01:54:56 AM by Irfan »


Re: Vipassana in the Miltary
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 01:45:49 AM »
Sounds a bit more like self-hypnotism or conditioning to me:

On Staying Motivated for His Mission

I do a mental check almost every day through meditation and philosophising. I simulate/meditate while I go for a walk, playing my Ipod in my neighbourhood. This consists of a daily 40 minute walk while at the same time philosophising ideologically/performing self indoctrination and the mental simulation of the operation while listening to motivational and inspiring music. I simulate various future scenarios relating to resistance efforts, confrontations with police, future interrogation scenarios, future court appearances, future media interviews etc. or I philosophise about certain articles in the book. This daily mental exercise or ritual keeps me fully motivated and charges my batteries. And I’m sure it can work for other people as well. 


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