[Buddha-l] Can an Air Force cadet have Buddha nature?

Jim Peavler jpeavler at mindspring.com
Mon May 16 13:12:50 MDT 2005

On May 14, 2005, at 10:18 AM, Richard P. Hayes wrote:
> One of the Harpers articles I suggested reading was about the city of
> Colorado Springs, which many born-again Christians are calling the new
> Jerusalem or the Mecca of Protestantism. The story is told in the
> Harpers piece of a mega-church that has been built on land visible from
> the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

And curt suggests: " Finding a local Sangha
that one can support - or starting one of one's own - would be a way
of helping to increase Buddhism's "visibility"."

I grew up on a ranch at about 8500 feet elevation, just 90 miles west 
of Colorado Springs, near what was then a little village called Buena 
Vista,  Colorado. We had about five churches and nine bars (one of 
which was where they served school lunches), so we were pretty 
civilized. Three sides of our place were bordered by US Forest Service, 
but two of these three sides were actually abandoned mine claims that, 
although we didn't know it at the time, could be condemned and bought 
at a song at auctions, particularly if the party wishing to buy the 
property could keep the auction pretty much hush hush.

There were two big summer camps run by xian missions out of Colorado  
Springs that were built on old ranch or mine properties that they had 
bought (Young Life was what they called themselves). They sent people 
to my school and they had programs for "young people". Being a pretty 
good non-believing baptist youth (and charter member of the First 
Baptist Church -- which was actually the first one in the area) I 
joined for three reasons: first, they had their programs in the 
evenings and I was allowed to go into town on those occasions (it was 
an xian program after all), girls were there, and they sang old 
religious songs and I loved to sing 'em.

A few years later, the same outfit "bought" a place adjoining us and 
began to build a huge lodge and a subdivision for important Colorado 
Springs xians. The whole resort was a "church" where they held 
retreats, so they paid no property tax. A few years later they bought 
an operating ranch just to the south of us, where they still raise a 
few hundred acres of hay that they cannot sell (non-profit outfit), and 
run they provide riding horses for the folks at the retreat. They also 
got the state to pay for a nine-foot fence to keep the elk out of their 
hay, so now the rest of us in the elk corridor are the only ones 
feeding the elk during their migrations.

People living in their subdivision sent their kids to our school and 
did things like try to force the name of the school mascot to me 
something other than the Demons, and they tried to force creationism to 
be taught in school. Some citizens pointed out that people who sent 
their kids to schools without helping support those schools should not 
be allowed to exert much influence on the business of the school.

A book could be written about the relations between the community and 
the large number of  "religious" encampments in the county.

I am nearing retirement age now and have no children who want to live 
on a semi-defunct ranch (they have to make livings). I am working to 
arrange for a Buddhist organization to get my place to use as a 
monastery and retreat. I have a small zendo already set up in an old 
hand-hewn-log cabin that my grandparents used to live in.

Of course, all these things arose dependently on myriad causes, and 
therefore have no inherent existence. Oh well, such is life.

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