Gratitude Journal

My good friend SJ left today, returning to Bristol after nearly two weeks with me in Montana and Yellowstone.Accepting life as it is, I had a wonderful time with my friend. Of course I had my slips, falling back into memories, conversations, attempts to grasp, to figure out, and so on. But bringing acceptance to these moments brought me back to the present, the ever-full and joyous present.1. Friends from afar will be my first gratitude item this week, SJ in particular, but there have been … [Read more...]

Dharma Tuesday: Causes and Conditions

Yellowstone Sandhill Cranes (more pics)This week, 7-1: causes and conditions, understanding the basis for our negative emotions to overcome them, and how our practice will set the foundation for positive feelings.In Buddhism everything happens for a reason. Or, better stated, everything happens based on causes and conditions.On one level we can say that the causes are what we bring to a given event or perception in our lives, while the conditions are the outside circumstances. These two come … [Read more...]

Friends, Travels, Hikes, and More

It doesn't get much better in life than late June in Montana. Something about the long days, the dry air, the lazy animals, or who knows what just seems to bring out the best in people - more energy, more smiles, more patience, more perspective on life. As I've said many times, watching a good sunset from Mount Sentinel can make almost any of my worries melt away.This week my good friend SJ is in town from Bristol, England to visit. Here he is at Upper Holland Lake in Montana's beautiful Swan … [Read more...]

The Most Important Image Ever Taken

The Hubble Deep Field: The Most Important Image Ever Taken... (thanks to video is a brilliant science lesson and meditation wrapped in one, absolutely worth watching and sharing.In peace. … [Read more...]

Gratitude Journal

The morning sun rises over my mountain (they call it Mount Sentinel for now, but I'm working on renaming it Justin's Mountain, ha!). I sip my second cup of coffee. Regina Spektor comes through the speakers. I am all dressed to run to the gym, but suddenly I feel quite content right where I am. So, to kill some time and soak up some sun.... A bit of what I am grateful for today:Little things - like Maggie (Magnus, my friend Jen's youngest boy). I really do look forward to being a father … [Read more...]

Campus Sangha Schedule

The UM Campus Sangha, a non-affiliated Buddhist meditation and discussion group, will be resuming weekly meetings and meditation at the Center for Ethics, 1000 E. Beckwith Ave. Gatherings will be Tuesday nights and begin at 7pm with a dharma talk and meditation beginning promptly at 7:15pm with discussion to follow.This summer we will be focusing on metta, the Buddhist practice of loving-kindness. The schedule (with fuller details below) will be as follows:6-17: phases of the practice, … [Read more...]

Setting the place for Meditation

We all hear of the great Tibetan masters who, locked in Chinese prisons, tortured, in forced labor, find compassion and depth of practice. These rare and exceptional beings may serve as lights in the darkest of our spiritual nights. Yet for most of us, a prison or other state of heightened, extended stress will only bring out the worst in us (See the Stanford Prison Experiment). Part of spiritual practice is knowing our limits and being honest with ourselves and others about them.Many people … [Read more...]

Gain and Loss

Tonight I stumbled upon a quite remarkable sutta over at accesstoinsight. It is titled the lokavipatti sutta, the discourse on the Failings of the World. To be honest, I was searching for something - ostensibly inspirational - about failure. Something like, "'always fall upward,' says the Buddha." Or, "don't worry, be happy."You see, I had a good talk with a friend last summer. He was and is by most any account a very successful man: excellent education, great job, intelligence, good looks, … [Read more...]