January 23, 2022
MACA: Making America Compassionate Again ... Let's Go!!!
Reflections on "Lojong", The ancient Tibetan, now global, mind training practice to build up our skills and power to push back against the current upsurge of popular ill-will. I've been working with this practice for a decade and will share and suggest some teachings that I've found helpful in taming the "wild elephant" of my own disposition ...
Bill is Dan's older, wiser, and, he claims, better looking brother. However, as Garrison Keillor might say, all the men in the Secrest family are good looking.
Bill Secrest was born in Detroit, raised and educated in a comfortable middle-class family in Dearborn. He enrolled in MSU, where he majored in Economics. It was there that, as he says, “The counterculture emerged in the face of the tragic war in Viet Nam, the rising awareness of an environmental collapse, and the cultural imperative of the civil rights movement.” Changed by this awareness, he went to New Zealand to “work and wonder on a communal farm with friends.” His goal was to fashion a sustainable, just, and seemingly reasonable way of living amidst the insanity of the 20th century with its hydrogen bombs and ongoing demolition of Mother Nature.
Returning to his homeland, the Motor City, he engaged in graduate studies at University of Detroit. The department head in Religious Studies in 1974, T.K. Venketeswaran. T. K. became Bill’s mentor and opened up the spiritualities of India and East Asia for him until Venketeswaran died in 2002. Bill went on to make a living teaching for the next 40 years … prayer, meditation and the religious traditions of the world, first at a Catholic high school, and then at a few colleges and Universities. He retired after 35 years from Henry Ford College, where he ran the Religious Studies Program.
During his tenure at HFC, Secrest facilitated the Student Environmental Association there, where he met Jack Smiley who had just founded the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy. It was “just his cup of tea.” For the last 33 years, he has served on the SMLC Board of Directors and worked to preserve several thousands of acres of wild nature in our region.
Order of Service