I have found great benefit from Mindfulness Meditation practices and the teachings of the Buddha. My journey of self discovery began around 2003 when I was inspired by the audio book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and then taking an Ann Arbor Rec & Ed Insight Meditation class, and teachers Susan Weir and Barbara Brodsky. With exposure to teachings and through my own practice I knew I had found orientation to meet and make sense of life’s experiences, all of which are captured and known within the mind.
I have a daily practice and enjoy Dharma readings and talks and have attended over 20 meditation retreats. I have assisted with and taught classes for 3 years.
I began formal practice in 2002 in the Goenka tradition. Beginning in 2004 I spent five years volunteering in Theravada Buddhist monasteries including the Bhavana Society, Abhayagiri, Amaravati, and Santi Forest Monastery where I trained as an anagarikaa (lay postulant). In Buddhist community, we were supported to practice mindfulness and metta both in meditation and throughout our daily lives.
The Dhamma seems to me an immersive practice of acceptance and unfolding that brings our hearts freedom and the courage to meet the extreme challenges of life. I draw inspiration from devotional practices like chanting and reading Ch’an poetry, and engaged practices like chaplaincy and social justice activism. I love working close to the early texts and exploring with others how these beautiful teachings come to life for us.
Still Mountain Center Teacher
Jim began meditating in 1997. Searching for assistance in dealing with his grief over the loss of his father, he read about a variety of different meditation approaches. He was drawn strongly to insight meditation and mindfulness practices as soon as he came across them. He practiced on his own initially, until he joined Deep Spring Center, where he studied and practiced for several years.
Jim trained as a teacher of vipassana meditation and mindfulness practices at Deep Spring from 2004 to 2009. He was a member of the Deep Spring Teachers’ Circle and taught classes there and through the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ Rec and Ed program. Presently, he is at Still Mountain and is a member of the Teachers’ Council there.
Jim’s current understanding of and approach to practice are eclectic and secular in orientation. While insight meditation and mindfulness practices are his personal favorites, he believes there is no one “right” practice for everyone, or even for any given person at different times and under different circumstances. He is especially interested in learning how to apply the skills and insights gained in practice to our daily lives.