Buddhist Monastic Life to the US Army

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My Spiritual life Journey from Thailand to America

I was raised in a Buddhist family, ordained as a Buddhist Samanera (novice monk) when I was 13 in 1985 in Chiangrai, Thailand, and ordained as a Buddhist Bhikkhu (fully ordained monk) in 1993 at Wat Rajanaddaram, Bangkok. I served as a Buddhist Spiritual leader in Thailand for 12 years. This way of life is prevalent in Buddhist countries in Southeast Asian Countries, where young boys who are under 20 years of age renounce their families and join the monastic lifestyle and learn about the Buddhism. The candidates can become a novice or a monk for a few days, weeks, months, or years. Some monks spend their lifetimes in the temple for the rest of their lives. Actually, Being a Buddhist novice or a monk is not mandatory, but it is a personal choice. Also, it is not a career, but it is a spiritual commitment to follow the footprints of the Buddha at least one time in their lives. 

In 1997, after I earned a BA degree from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya, the Buddhist University in Bangkok  with a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities; I came to America to complete my internship at Wat Buddhanusorn, the Thai Buddhist monastery in Fremont, California. I had the opportunity to serve many Buddhist and non-Buddhist people from many different cultures. After ten years of my ministry in America, I wanted to share my experiences to benefit others outside the Buddhist communities to follow the Buddha's policy saying that "Monks, you should travel to villages, towns, and cities for the benefit and happiness of all people". (without discrimination regarding social status, race, and gender.) 

Join the US Army Chaplain Corps

After I reached my 21 years in the Buddhist monastery, I renounced my monkhood and attened school to earn a collaged degree. I earned an Associate of Arts in Education and an Associate of science in Computer Networking and Information Techonolgy from City College of San Francisco, CA. In 2011, I founded the chaplaincy program in the United States Army. I thought that it is challenging to introduce the Buddha's teaching in the Military environment because I could share the Buddhist teachings with Buddhist and non-Buddhist Military personnel. Therefore, I was ordained as a Buddhist lay minister by the International Order of Buddhist Ministers (IOBM). While in seminary, I accessioned to the U.S. Army Chaplain Candidate Program as a direct commissioned officer in the rank of second lieutenant in the Army Reserve, and enrolled in seminary to earn my Master of Divinity in Buddhist Chaplaincy from the University of the West. My ministry assignments include Chaplain Candidate at the 11th Military Police Brigade, Los Alamitos, CA, Battalion Chaplain at the 92nd Chaplain Detachment "Fight Tonight Unit", Meza, AZ, and the 387th Military Police Battalion, Scottsdale, AZ.  I performed a Buddhist service by leading the Buddhist chanting, meditation, pastoral counseling, and discussion in Buddhism to Buddhist and non-Buddhist soldiers. I accessioned to Active Duty in September 2019 as the Battalion Chaplain of the 703rd BSB 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, Fort Stewart, GA. Now, I am a Battalion Chaplain at the 53rd Transportation Battalion, JBLM, WA. This transition allows me to grow spiritually to serve men and women in the uniform on the other side of my culture, faith, and background to support the Command Team to nurture the living, care for the wounded, and honor the fallen. 

I ordained as a Buddhist Novice (Samanera) 1985-1993

I ordained as a Buddhist Monk (Bhikkhu) in 1993-2006

The Prince of Thailand (Now the King of Thailand) appointed me a rank as accomplishment of the Pali Language study (6th level) 1993. 

With my Family

My temple in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand

With my monastic friends