About this event
From the moment we wake up until we fall asleep, our minds are working. How familiar are we with what’s actually happening in our minds? And how attached are we to the stories that our minds create? When our minds are unexamined, we are likely to experience stress, anxiety, emotional pain and so forth. When we familiarize ourselves with the happenings of our minds, we can uncover and rest in the peaceful state that is always available to us.
In this four-part series, we will cultivate habits of seeing and relating to our own inner and outer worlds in a new way that bring us comfort and ease. We will discuss various types of meditation and their roles on the Buddhist path while focusing on the practice of Calm Abiding or Shamata.
Calm Abiding serves as the foundation for all other practices. It is a technique used to develop our power of attention and bring our thoughts to a peaceful state. Then we practice resting the mind in that state which feels like a vacation for our often scattered and distracted minds. Calm Abiding serves as the stable ground from which we can move into practices such as Vipassana (Special Insight) meditations on selflessness and emptiness.
Given the cumulative nature of the content, attendance at all four sessions is highly encouraged.
What participants can expect:
- In-depth instructions and discussions on preparing to meditate
- Shamata practice sessions
- Ideas and advice about integrating meditation into daily life
Location: In-person in Missoula or online (Address and Zoom link sent upon registration)
*In-person space limited.
Please note Mountain Standard Time
- Wednesday, February 8, from 5:30-7pm MST (click HERE to view in your time zone)
- Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30-7pm MST (click HERE to view in your time zone)
- Wednesday, February 22, from 5:30-7pm MST (click HERE to view in your time zone)
- Wednesday, March 1, from 5:30-7pm MST (click HERE to view in your time zone)
We will be recording this session and will provide access to it after the event. If you do not feel comfortable being recorded, we understand. You can turn your camera off, ask your question in the chat, and/or ask Namchak staff to ask your question for you.
Tuition: Our intention is to make this workshop financially accessible to all, so we offer a tiered fee structure. Please choose whichever level works best for you.
If program costs present a financial barrier or you are interested in a stipend to offset the cost of childcare, please contact [email protected]
About Justin Kirkwood
Justin has been studying and practicing Buddhism for over twenty years and has been working as a Tibetan translator and interpreter for more than ten. He lived in India for eight years, studying and practicing with many great teachers and spent three of those years as a monk, studying Buddhist philosophy in a Tibetan monastic seminary. He now works at the Namchak Foundation as a translator of texts, as Namchak Khen Rinpoche’s interpreter, and as a meditation teacher.
Namchak brings ancient meditation practices to modern life through online learning, in-person retreats, and a vibrant community guided by Tibetan masters and Western teachers. We support students on every step of the path, from those exploring mindfulness for the first time to more experienced students looking to deepen their practice. We offer a variety of learning programs, including in-person teaching, small group learning, online courses, and soon-to-be-established residential retreats at the Namchak Retreat Ranch in western Montana.
Our Community Commitments:
In order to co-create a brave, inclusive, anti-oppressive and learning centered space, in our community we each agree to:
- Be inclusive of diverse opinions and backgrounds through treating each other with respect and appreciation.
- Commit to words and actions of non-harm within our group interactions.
- Learn by immersing in and committing to the practices at hand.
- Hold personal sharing in confidence.
- Be present, practice mindful listening, and not offer unsolicited advice.
- Allow and invite for equal sharing of voices as well as the right to pass.
- Take care not to speak for others in the group.
- Assume good intent and come from a place of curiosity and care.
- Come as we are with permission to be “raggedy.”
- Be mindful of and take personal and collective responsibility for our own biases including the use of language that may “other,” “cancel,” or dehumanize any person, groups of people, and/or their experiences.
- Ask for consent before hugging or initiating physical contact during in-person gatherings.
- Use the “Ouch/Oops” tool to address hurtful comments and language in the moment and to allow space for repair.*
We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge
*Ouch/Oops . This is a tool for addressing hurtful comments/language in the moment. If someone says something hurtful, anyone can bring attention to it in the moment by saying “Ouch” and then explaining what was hurtful. If it is a word choice issue, be sure to give the first speaker the chance to rephrase and try again (remember, it’s okay to be raggedy, and we are all assuming good intent!) When someone says something that comes out wrong or hurts someone else, they should start with “Oops” – first, acknowledge the impact of their words, and then try again. This can also be done outside of the event if someone feels an “Ouch,” but does not feel comfortable sharing it with the group at that time. We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge.