Sitting, Running, Catching Up

A look inside the life of a lazy Ph.D. student…

I feel as though I have ‘run the gauntlet’ this last month, filled with late nights – some working against deadlines, others enjoying a new relationship – a terrible sore throat and tooth pain (and the eventual extraction of a wisdom tooth), a lecture in Oxford, a proposal for the American Academy of Religion, and a poster and paper for a recent conference here in Bristol. Oh, and a chapter of my thesis and a few other matters all somewhat sorted out. All the while teaching a new online course in world religions.

Justin Whitaker - Bristol Postgraduate Conference

Yours truly at the Bristol Postgraduate Conference (after my talk and feeling good) - photo by Laura Frude

It has been fun… “Fun.” – and a real honour to have the opportunities that I have had, especially spending time with and/or conversing via email with several of my all time heroes of Buddhist Studies, but I’m more than ready for a little break.


Now I’m back to my sitting, running, and catching up.

Sitting: returning to my breath more naturally for short, spontaneous meditations.

Running: enjoying the ever-more frequent sunny days here in Bristol and renewed freedom to strap on my ‘barefoot’ running shoes (Vibram 5-fingers) and head to the parks.

Catching up: blogging (and old comments), friends, family, etc; slowly but surely returning missed messages and emails.

Tomorrow I’ll head off to the very scenic British city of Bath for a leisure day with my girlfriend. Friday I’m heading to Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) to lead a meditation at the kind invitation of Dave Webster and the Uni students there. Then I have a paper to edit for the Journal of Buddhist Ethics over the weekend. After that hopefully I’ll swing full circle to my own thesis again, along with some publishing opportunities.

And maybe I’ll clean my room. Maybe.

Justin's room in Bristol, March 2012... Yikes.

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  • Seon Joon

    I have to say…

    …your room is cleaner than mine…

    …and I thought I had cleaned my room.

    Not bad for a PhD student. But not so good for a monastic, I think. Congratulations on what sounds like an exciting spring! I hope you’re going to let us know what and when things of yours get published.

  • Justin Whitaker

    haha… Ohhhh… Thanks. I’ve imbibed a lot of those sayings that claim that clutter stifles the mind. But it seems to be a constant in my life and my mind does (usually) seem to be working fairly well :) Publishing… Oh yes, I will shout it from the rooftops, no doubt :)