Walking the Tiger’s Path:
A Soldier’s Spiritual Journey in Iraq
by Paul M. Kendel
(Tendril Press, 2011)
Paul M. Kendel (SSG Ret.) deployed with his National Guard unit out of Georgia to Iraq in 2005 hoping to use his knowledge of that land to bridge the gap between American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. However, the realities of war crushed his idealism when his buddies began dying at the hands of the enemy six weeks after their arrival. Eventually, his ongoing concern for the Iraqi people alienated some of his comrades, and he felt the sting of growing conflict within himself.
Turning to the books on Buddhist teachings he had brought with him, he found solace in the written words, but he longed for more. On a whim, he emailed Shambhala International and requested assistance. An unexpected response and ongoing support from Buddhist teacher and meditation instructor Margot Neuman helped him to retain a sane and humble humanity in a situation that often plummeted into lethal insanity.
This book addresses the horrors of war from an extraordinary human perspective. SSG. Kendel did not lose his compassion in the face of grave risk, nor did he endanger fellow soldiers while he remained true to himself — rare feats in our violent world.
Click here to view Table of Contents for the book: Walking The Tiger’s- Path – Table of Contents
Click here to read an excerpt from the book: Walking The Tiger’s Path – Introduction
Click here to read another excerpt from the book: Compassion as a Sign of Weakness
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Praise for Walking the Tiger’s Path:
“Addressing the horrors of war from an extraordinary human perspective, SSG. Kendel did not lose his compassion in the face of grave risk, nor did he endanger fellow soldiers while he remained true to himself—rare feats in our violent world.
Sergeant Kendel has shown great conviction while faced with the brutality of human aggression, constantly using compassion and a meditative mind. He was therefore on the front line of applying contemplative discipline. This book reveals that extraordinary journey.”
— Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, author of Turning Your Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World
“Amid the chaos and horror of war, this soldier has discovered a profound truth: if we want suffering to lessen, the first step is learning that keeping the cycle of aggression going doesn’t help.”
— From Practicing Peace in Times of War, Pema Chodron
“…Whether you’re about to deploy to a foreign country or are simply searching for real tools to deal with fear, anger, and violence within and around you, this book provides a vivid and courageous guide to changing your world.”
— Susan Piver, author of The Wisdom of a Broken Heart
“I found SSG. Kendel’s descriptions of his actions on the ground, as well as his moral choices, very compelling. I am attempting to avoid the word “heroic” because I am sure he would reject it, but to me, his decisions of when to fire and when not to fire were heroic in the truest sense. To maintain sanity in the context of insanity is heroic. I am honored to recommend SSG. Kendel’s book.”
— Khadro Chagdud, author and spiritual director of Chagdud Gonpa Centers in South America