Author Topic: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?  (Read 2669 times)

Offline daimond

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Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« on: June 07, 2010, 07:26:26 am »


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ROSEMEAD, Calif. – MAY 11, 2010 – University of the West, the only accredited Buddhist university in Los Angeles County, will graduate on Saturday May 15 a former Buddhist monk from Thailand who will use his training to become the second Buddhist chaplain in the U.S. Army ranks.

First Lieutenant Somya Malasri, 39, of Rosemead, seemed an unlikely candidate for the U.S. Army in 2001, when he arrived in the United States garbed in a saffron robe, the traditional attire of a Buddhist monk. Originally from a small village in Buriram Province, Thailand, Malasri had been a Buddhist monk since he was 17 years old.

The U.S. military has been actively trying to recruit Buddhist chaplains since World War II, said Rev. Danny Fisher, program coordinator for the M.Div. in Buddhist Chaplaincy at UWest.

“At this point, there have only ever been two Buddhist chaplains in the U.S. military,” Fisher said. “Both are on active duty now.”

One of the two is also a UWest student; Jeanette Shin is earning her Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at UWest and is currently a Buddhist chaplain in the Navy. The other is Thomas Dyer, who is in the Army and became the Army’s first ever Buddhist chaplain, about a year ahead of Malasri, Fisher said.

The US Army currently has an estimated 3,300 soldiers claiming a Buddhist affiliation. It wasn’t until Malasri met some U.S. soldiers who were Buddhist that he realized their need for chaplains. So Malasri “disrobed” to join active service in the Army.

After graduation this month, Malasri expects to be deployed, although he is not yet sure where.

“I’m very happy and also at the same time I don’t know what to expect in the Army,” Malasri said. “When I adjust to everything it’ll be OK. I’m really happy.”

In 2007, Malasri became the first Buddhist chaplain candidate for the Army. He would have become the first chaplain, however Dyer, a chaplain from a Christian background converted to Buddhism, making Malasri the likely second Buddhist chaplain ever in the Army. He will become a full chaplain by the end of 2010, Malasri said.

Malasri did achieve a first by becoming the first student to graduate from UWest’s M.Div. in Buddhist Chaplaincy program. The M.Div. in Buddhist Chaplaincy program at UWest is one of only three accredited Buddhist chaplaincy training programs in the United States.

“Graduating our first chaplain is a joyous way to cap off the first year of the program’s existence,” Rev. Fisher said. “In addition, Somya, who has done so much training already as a former Theravada Buddhist monk and chaplain candidate in the U.S. Army, has set a wonderful example for his fellow students.”

“I learned a lot from the program,” Malasri said. “For example, I learned how to be a good facilitator, how to be a good counselor.”

“To have more Buddhist chaplains in the military is important because servicemen and women have been needing and asking for them for a long time now,” Rev. Fisher said.

University of the West is a Buddhist-founded campus open to all students and located in the Eastern suburbs of Los Angeles County. More information can be found at http://www.uwest.edu.


http://dannyfisher.org/2010/05/14/press-release-university-of-the-west-graduates-its-first-student-from-the-master-of-divinity-in-buddhist-chaplaincy-program/

question of the legality  this chaplain or priest who made from neighbor religion program?

this priest in question are this admitted or legalize by international sangha?

Quote
in 2007, Malasri became the first Buddhist chaplain candidate for the Army. He would have become the first chaplain, however Dyer, a chaplain from a Christian background converted to Buddhism, making Malasri the likely second Buddhist chaplain ever in the Army. He will become a full chaplain by the end of 2010, Malasri said.





Roman Catholic chaplains are generally organized into military ordinariates, such as the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Potential Roman Catholic chaplains must seek permission from their diocesan bishop or religious superior to serve as a military chaplain. While serving as a chaplain, the priest or deacon remains incardinated in his home diocese, but is temporarily under the direction of the prelate of the ordinariate for the duration of his service.

from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Chaplain

so this Militer chaplaincy in usa are under the theravada sangha, mahayana sangha, vajrayana sangha or Buddhayana councils?
or this chaplaincy are running wild without asosiation with this sangha?

how this usa sangha (theravada sangha, mahayana sangha, vajarayana  sangha or Buddhayana councils) speakes about this.

so how about our dhamma acariya?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 06:52:45 am by daimond »

Offline Caz

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 10:36:44 am »
Buddhists in the Military....Somehow i dont think Buddha would approve.  :smack:
I think theres a good reason as to why there has been little Buddhist chaplincy in the Military.  :pray:
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We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

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Offline catmoon

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 10:37:50 am »
I wonder if chaplains have to do basic training.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 11:12:35 am »
Reverend Kusala, a Zen monk in Los Angelas, is a Chaplain for the LA Police Department. In some of his podcasts (Urban Dharma), he tells stories about riding around with the officers in the squad cars, going out on actual 911 calls, and some of the questions and counseling he provides for police officers. It is fun and interesting material.

Somewhere I saw an article summarizing Buddha's teachings about military. I was actually surprised, Buddha advised kings that it was okay to maintain an armed border guard. Anyone know a citation for this?

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 11:31:42 am »
And I keep thinking about this thread. I am very grateful that the military is open to a Buddhist Chaplain. I am aware that in many countries, soldiers do not have a choice to be soldiers. And here in the USA, many young people pursue a career in the military for economic reasons (so sometimes it seems like they didn't have a choice either.) I include soldiers, people living in war-torn places, and prisoners in all of my metta practices.


Offline daimond

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 05:32:11 am »
well, my worry maybe off. certainly this are under sangha surveilance

http://dannyfisher.org/2008/04/30/interview-2lt-rev-somya-malasri/#comment-2975

so if you want to be chaplain or dhamma acariya for the militer you can contac them

http://buddhistchurchesofamerica.org/home/

NOTE: It is a requirement that military chaplains be able to provide an ecclesiastical endorsement. At the moment, the B.C.A. is the only Buddhist organization recognized as an ecclesiastical endorsing body by the U.S. Department of Defense.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 05:40:27 am by daimond »

Offline DJ Rheus

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 11:57:25 am »
This is something I was considering for the better part of my last year of High School. If anyone is interested, the best way to go into the chaplaincy program through the military is to go into the Navy, though a recruiter could give you much better information on that then I could.
Their requirements are basically These.

More discussion later.

Offline Quiet Heart

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2010, 07:32:44 pm »
To CAZ:
   With all humility, I wouldn't presume to know what Buddha would have approved and not approved. But for all it's advantages and disadvantages...I would think that having another Buddhist chaplin ib the U.S Army isn't a bad thing.

Offline Caz

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2010, 06:31:31 am »
To CAZ:
   With all humility, I wouldn't presume to know what Buddha would have approved and not approved. But for all it's advantages and disadvantages...I would think that having another Buddhist chaplin ib the U.S Army isn't a bad thing.

Its a safe bet to say an enlightened being would not support unethical conduct that leads towards suffering...As Hatred will not cease with more Hatred, But by love alone no ?
 :pray:
http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

Offline thecap

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2010, 03:28:58 am »
so this Militer chaplaincy in usa are under the theravada sangha, mahayana sangha, vajrayana sangha or Buddhayana councils?
or this chaplaincy are running wild without asosiation with this sangha?
so how about our dhamma acariya?

Hi diamond

i dont know about the politics regarding buddhist-military

but there is a good saying summing up the situation:

the ultimate act of a warrior is to lay down his weapon.

cheers
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 03:30:59 am by thecap »

Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 04:07:39 am »
I'm glad that Buddhism is getting its foot in the door.  When I was in the military there were no Buddhist options.  By the time my daughter served, there was only a nichiren center at her basic training post and it somewhat turned her off.

And Caz, being in the military does not mean that you are engaging in unethical conduct.  Without getting too deep or arguing ideology, think about all the medical professionals, other counselors, and family members of those serving.  There are also police, clerks, cooks, and other jobs in addition to the actual "warriors".  All of these people can benefit from a chaplain.

And for anyone who has been in the (US) military, you're familiar with their obsession with church.  It would be nice for a soldier/sailor to be able to participate without feeling indoctrinated.

Hopefully there will be more Buddhist chaplains in the near future.
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Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 10:58:30 am »
There's mixed opinions about Buddhist Chaplains in the Armed Forces... there's certainly some excellent ones currently involved in the program, but I've also had an unfortunate encounter with a candidate from the Reserves who liked spouting the US Army Soldier's Creed of "I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States" and he showed zero tolerance for any understanding of the Dharma other than his own esoteric Japanese sect.

Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: Buddhist Chaplain in USA?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2010, 01:48:29 pm »
Well, I guess in that case, it would be a problem with the individual and not the fact that he's a Buddhist Chaplain.  By not having more options, this is the type of person who gets through the system.  As more chaplains join the ranks, individuals such as this will be subject to more scrutiny.  In the meantime, unfortunately, there will be growing pains. 
You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


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