WMU News

Spiritual teacher to speak Sept. 22

Sept. 11, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- A widely known monk and teacher from India, Swami Bodhananda, will present a demonstration and lecture at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, in Room 3508 of Knauss Hall at Western Michigan University.

The free public event is sponsored by the Committee on South Asian Studies and the Department of Comparative Religion at WMU. Its title is "Making Old Words Live."

"Swami Bodhananda is an unusually able teacher, instructing primarily in English even when in India," said Dr. Nancy E. Falk, professor of comparative religion at WMU. "He has a special ability to combine clarity and humor with a deep understanding of spiritual texts and keen observation of human quirks."

Swami Bodhananda is a modern representative of a 2,500-year-old tradition, Falk said. In it, a man or woman breaks all ties with family and home to take up a life of religious study, discipline and teaching. Followers pursue three aims.

"These include promoting understanding of India's ancient spiritual heritage, activating inner spiritual power through instruction in meditation and turning this power toward active social service," Falk said. "The Swami's efforts in this regard have been focused on founding an orphanage and school for children of slum dwellers in New Delhi."

Besides his appearance at WMU, Swami Bodhananda will speak in Grand Rapids and elsewhere in Kalamazoo as well as in Fennville, where he will conduct a retreat series of 14 talks between Sept. 21 and Oct. 2. More information is available from Falk at 616 387-4393 or by e-mail at nancy.falk@wmich.edu.

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