Sokukoji Zen Community in Battle Creek, Michigan – November 12 to 15
I just returned home after my Indiana and Michigan leg of filming. It’s nice to be back in my own bed at the moment, though I’m a bit sorry to say goodbye to all of the wonderful people I met while on the road. These last few days I was filming at Sokukoji Zen Community, led by Sokuzan Bob Brown of the Kobun Chino lineage. I interviewed Sokuzan and all of the other sangha members while there, and I realized why I love interviewing so much — it gives me an opportunity to get to know others in a way that casual conversation does not.
A Buddhist temple is not what you might expect to find in Battle Creek. On my first night there, Sokuzan took me with him to a local inpatient rehabilitation center he visits weekly to offer basic meditation instruction. In all, five men showed up for his talk and we all sat together (I didn’t film there for confidentiality reasons).
Several of the residents at the temple come from the program, though Sokuzan is fast to point out he isn’t there to proselytize. He simply goes in to offer some Buddhist teachings and meditation instructions, and it’s up to those who attend to demonstrate any further interest. Everyone I met at Sokukoji was accommodating and approachable and I hope to remain in contact with them and return to film again.