Buddhist monk pursuing business degree at Wichita State

Local

Khamphou Milayome spends his days teaching meditation at the Lao Buddhist Associates temple south of town. By night, he becomes the student at Wichita State’s Barton School of Business.

The 32-year-old was born and raised in Laos, halfway across the globe. He studied at the University of Bangkok before coming to the United States. He’s been in Kansas serving Buddhists for eight years. In his meditation classes, he’s met many business men and women from the Wichita area.

“I want to compare business to my teaching meditation, how can I apply meditation in business,” Milayome said.

In December, Milayome will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

During his nights on campus, he gets questions from curious classmates and faculty.

“When I come to the university, a lot of students, a lot of professors very friendly and say, ‘Hi you are the monk? Yes I am the monk. Where do you live?  I live in the temple,” Milayome said.

It’s through learning that he hopes to better connect with those he meditates with on a spiritual level and now, a professional level.

“When the people have the two happiness, when we have the physical happiness and the mental happiness together, it’s a perfect happiness,” Milayome said.

After graduation, Milayome plans to return to get his master’s degree while continuing his teachings at the temple.

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