Tag Archives: somya malasri

Buddhists Celebrate Vesak at Fort Lewis

As has become a local tradition, military Buddhists at Fort Lewis recently came together to celebrate Vesak, which coincides with Buddha’s birthday.  They were led by US Army Chaplain (Capt) Somya Malasri.

[Chaplain Malasri] said that Buddhist should try to reach harmony with society by abstaining from killing or harming, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct, abstaining from telling lies and abstaining from toxins such as alcohol or drugs.

“Buddha will show us the path, but we have to walk it ourself,” Malasri said.

While it is somewhat easier for these troops because their local chaplain Read more

Buddhist Chaplain Evangelizes Around the World

US Army Chaplain (Capt) Somya Malasri is currently in Australia with his unit, where he is leading Buddhist services for both American servicemembers and their Australian hosts.

An Army article notes Chaplain Malasri is “evangelizing” in his travels around the world:

A chaplain for 10 months now, Malasri is spreading the teachings and philosophies of Buddha to soldiers on multiple continents.

In an interesting perspective, Chaplain Malasri says “it’s not necessarily Read more

Buddhist Chaplain Celebrates Vesak

As noted previously, Chaplain (Capt) Somya Malasri recently celebrated the Buddhist Vesak at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  Chaplain Malasri is reportedly the only active duty Buddhist Chaplain in the US Army.  (Buddhist Chaplain (Lt) Thomas Dyer is in the Army National Guard.)

Like Chaplains of other faiths, Malasri’s presence provides a unique support for members in the military of his faith:

Part of [Chaplain’s Malasri’s] service to others includes providing weekly Buddhist services on base. Spc. Lawrence Ross…attends regularly.
“(It gives me) a sense of belonging, where a group can connect without any animosity of judging,” he said.
Ross, who became a Buddhist in 2008, says that it has helped him become a better Soldier and that having a Buddhist presence on base helps people see another side of the Army.
“It’s not all about kicking down doors and killing people,” he said. “It’s all about helping people. Bottom line.”

Malasri has an interesting take on the apparent contradiction of a Buddhist Chaplain/Soldier — a religion stereotypically “peaceful.”  Read more

Army to Get Second Buddhist Chaplain

According to the University of the West, a Buddhist-founded university near Los Angeles, US Army First Lieutenant Somya Malasri will soon be the Army’s second Buddhist Chaplain (behind Chaplain (Lt) Thomas Dyer).

The Navy also has a Buddhist Chaplain; Chaplain Shin is currently deployed to Afghanistan and has been hosting Buddhist services there.

Shin also reported, courtesy of Chaplain Dyer, the Chaplain candidacy of the next Buddhist Chaplain for the US Army, 2LT Christopher Mohr.