Thursday, October 27, 2011

Professors practice Buddhism, have zendo for community practice

By Ben Harris || October 26, 2011

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 said. “The idea is that we don’t go to heaven until the last person’s suffering has been eased. (The Bodhisattvas) will go through hell for others if we have to. And that’s a real thing. We don’t deny reality.”

He said Bechtold, his wife and chairwoman of the sociology, anthropology, and social work department, started practicing Buddhism after he did....

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