Bhante Kassapa

Bhante Kassapa

Bhante Kassapa is an American Buddhist monk. He is often affectionately known as Reverend K. He is the first non-Vietnamese monk in the Vietnamese Theravada Sangha in America.

Early life

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He then began his formal training in the Jesuit Associate Program in Houston. Evenutally, Bhante Kassapa joined the Franciscan order as a monk. When he left that order, he spent 16 years studying Buddhism while working in the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority in Tampa, Florida.


He is the chaplain to the Buddhist inmates at the minimum security federal correction facility in Beaumont, Texas. Since he took over the prison ministry from the previous chaplain, the attendance went from 6 inmates to 20 inmates. He also runs a weekly meditation group that usually ranges from 20 to 30 people each week. Averaging every six weeks, he also speaks at the Unity Church of Beaumont to their weekly meditation group.


He gave one of the two keynote speeches at Oklahoma City University for the 10th Annual Oklahoma Buddhist Conference. Also, he spoke at the 2008 Human Rights Torch Relay Demonstration in Houston Texas, South East Texas World Peace Event in 2007, and Lamar University World Religions course.

Media Appearances

Most recently, Bhante Kassapa has appeared in a 3 minute special on the growth of Buddhism in America on the ABC affiliate, KTRK Channel 13, in Houston, Texas on November 16, 2008. He has also appeared on the live call in show, KFDM Listens, which aired on the CBS affiliate, KFDM Channel 6, in Beaumont, Texas.

Monastic Life

He was ordained as a novice monk in October 2006 at Phat Phap Buddhist Temple in St. Petersburg, Florida. After one full year, he became a fully ordained bhikkhu at Buu Mon Buddhist Temple in Port Arthur, Texas.

Bhante Kassapa is currently a resident monk at Buu Mon Buddhist Temple, a Theravada Vietnamese temple in Port Arthur, Texas.

External links

Bhante Kassapa's Website & Blog
Bhante Kassapa's Videos on YouTube
Port Arthur monk puts new face on Buddhism
Anglo-American to Join Vietnamese Theravada Sangha

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