This month’s Sangha gathering is: Tuesday, March 12, 5:30-7:30 pm MDT
Before you can meditate, you first need to hear instructions from a qualified teacher and then contemplate them until you are certain of the method. In the tradition, they even call meditation without study “fool’s meditation.” This means that if you haven’t first heard the instructions and become certain of them, you won’t know what you are doing or where you are going with your meditation. Doubt is one of the biggest obstacles to meditation, so it is crucial that we gain clear up all of our questions and doubts before we embark on the path.
Additionally, hearing and contemplating the dharma without meditating on it is like cooking food and never eating it. It looks and smells nice but can’t nourish you unless you eat it. So, as we study the dharma, we must always apply whatever we learn to our own experiences and put them into practice in meditation.
This month’s Sangha gathering: Tuesday, March 12, 5:30-7:30 pm MDT
Location: Online or in person in Missoula, MT
Justin Kirkwood will be teaching in person in Missoula. For those located in Missoula, you are welcome to join a group who will be receiving the teaching together at the Namchak office. For those unable to join in person, the teaching will also be live-streamed via Zoom.
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 worked as a Tibetan translator and interpreter for over a decade, deepening his understanding of the sacred texts. Justin is a vital member of the Namchak Foundation, serving as a translator of texts, an interpreter for Namchak Khen Rinpoche, and a teacher.
About our One Community Gatherings:
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.