Oct 04 2023

Intro to Meditation with Justin Kirkwood

In-person in Missoula or online

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 Daylight Savings Time

  • Wednesday, October 4, from 5:30-7pm MDT (click HERE to view in your time zone)
  • Wednesday, October 11, from 5:30-7pm MDT (click HERE to view in your time zone)
  • Wednesday, October 18, from 5:30-7pm MDT (click HERE to view in your time zone)
  • Wednesday, October 25, from 5:30-7pm MDT (click HERE to view in your time zone)


Zoom link will be provided upon registration. Please note: Confirmation emails from Eventbrite often end up in spam/promotions tab. Please check there if you do not see the confirmation email with the Zoom info.

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].

Invite a Friend! Sangha or community, is one of our favorite elements of the Buddhist path. That’s why we’re happy to share that when you register for the Introduction to Meditation course, you can bring a friend, family member, or loved one to the course for free!

Upon registering for the course, you’ll receive a discount code via email for your guest to use for complimentary registration. They simply have to register for the course through our website and use the promotional code that you received in your email. We look forward to seeing you and your friend at our next course! Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.


About Justin Kirkwood

Justin Kirkwood is a dedicated dharma student and teacher with over 20 years of experience in studying and practicing Buddhism. As a former monk who spent eight years in India, Justin had the privilege of studying and practicing with renowned Tibetan masters. He has also been working as a Tibetan translator and interpreter for more than a decade, deepening his understanding of the sacred texts. Currently, Justin is a vital member of the Namchak Foundation, where he serves as a translator of texts, an interpreter for Namchak Khen Rinpoche, and a teacher. With his vast knowledge, warm presence, and practical approach, Justin guides students on their spiritual journey, offering profound insights and practical tools for integrating the wisdom of the dharma into their lives.

To get a feel for Justin’s teaching style and for a brief introduction to Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices, see video below!

About Namchak

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 these practices and giving them a real test drive.
    • Hold personal sharing in confidence.
    • Be present, practice mindful listening, and do 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.
    • 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.