Professors practice Buddhism, have zendo for community practice

October 27, 2011

Ben Harris: Practicing Buddhism is more of a lifestyle than a religion for Don Socha and Brigitte Bechtold.

Socha, a lecturer at Central Michigan University, has been formally practicing Buddhism since 2000. He said he met a monk who taught in CMU’s Spanish department who introduced him to groups in Montreal where he went for meditation sessions.

He was ordained Bodhisattva in 2002. He said a Bodhisattva is someone who has devoted his or her life to the Buddhist precepts, such as not stealing and not lying.

“In a sense, we’re trying to alleviate suffering in the world. It’s one of the Four Noble Truths,” he …

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Silence is golden at Zen Buddhist Temple, Ann Arbor

January 28, 2011

If asked about the Zen Buddhist Temple on Packard Street in Ann Arbor, most people would probably think of the wall that separates the temple from the street.

“The wall is there not to separate us from the rest of the town,” said senior member Catherine Brown of Ann Arbor.

It serves, instead, as noise barrier. Silence plays a key role in a Zen Buddhist service.

Upon entering the temple, those in attendance sit in quiet meditation for about 20 minutes. This is repeated at the end of service.

Meditation is integral to the Zen Buddhist belief system. Meditation is how Siddharta Gautama reached enlightenment to become the first Buddha, according to tradition.

Kim McCusker … Read more »