As a Special Forces soldier, he stormed a hijacked Singapore Airlines plane. Now he's a monk

#1

Read this fascinating story here:

SINGAPORE: Fred Cheong, 55, has done a lot more than the average person across two starkly different lives.
The Special Forces commando graduated from the excruciating US Navy SEAL course, stormed a hijacked Singapore Airlines plane, and moulded multiple batches of officer cadets into soldiers.
After leaving the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Cheong became a Buddhist monk. Since then he has lived simply in a monastery, meditated on snow-capped mountains deep in the Himalayas, and led dharma retreats all over the world.
This is why Cheong prefers to be known as the Venerable Tenzin Drachom, a name given by the Dalai Lama and an acknowledgment of his 32-year military career.
“In Tibetan ‘dra’ means delusion, ‘chom’ means destroyer,” he told Channel NewsAsia at his temple-like maisonette in Pasir Ris. “In the military, I destroyed the enemy outside. Now I destroy the enemy inside.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/special-forces-storm-hijack-singapore-airlines-monk-fred-cheong-11279702

#2

read more about his motivation to become part of the Sangha here:

Page 4 of the PDF, under the article “An Inspired New Life”
http://www.fpmtabc.org/2014/download/newsletter/2014_V2_Mar_Apr.pdf

Here is a snippet:

Becoming a monk is quite a simple process. But I was thinking more that after becoming a monk, I would be able to do my practice well. That was part of the inspiration, not just to become a monk but what I would do after that. I am very inspired by the teaching of the Buddha, to be able to transform oneself and then to bring extensive benefit to people.

All the great teachers say the best body for practice is in the form of a fully ordained monk and keeping the three sets of vows, and by doing that, you can create the most amount of merit in an extremely short period time. That really inspired me, to try to achieve this, to quickly finish the accumulation of merit. There is some deep sense of purpose to want to do this, to benefit as many beings as I can. I thought by becoming ordained, having more vows, my prayers become more powerful.

#3

It is true that in the from of a fully ordained monk, you will take the accelerated path to Buddhahood. But one has to really keep to the vows and practice it well. Otherwise, if you were to break any of the vows, or to end your renunciation, the negative karma will have a great impact too.

Liken to driving a fast car on the highway, you can reach the destination faster. But if you meet with an accident, the crash impact will cause more injuries.

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