About Mindful Montana:
Mindful Montana is an outgrowth of the practices and studies of Justin Whitaker and the needs of the community and state for a place for quietude and mental cultivation.
Vision: A welcoming space for mindfulness. Accessible to the modern student, and tailored to the needs of every individual. Bringing lasting peace and harmony for individuals and our communities.
Mission: Guided by the three pillars of mindfulness practice, scientific insights, and Buddhist philosophical and ethical inquiry, Mindful Montana will offer courses, workshops, and presentations to inspire, educate, and guide participants in the direction of greater wisdom and compassion. We do so by combining 2500 years of Buddhist thought, the latest developments from Western innovators, and our own real-life experience.
Grounded in the Buddhist tradition, Mindful Montana embraces wisdom across traditions and cultures, striving always for practicality, accuracy, and respect for others. We are conscious of our White Privilege in borrowing from Asian traditions as well as our footprint on Native American lands.
Our philosophy is grounded foremost in an ethics of loving-kindness and justice. Loving-kindness can begin on the meditation cushion but it must move into life to have deep and lasting effects. Justice is the virtue of lawfulness and fairness; it requires living with both recognition of one's privilege(s) and seeking harmony in society. Our hope is to contribute to thriving communities through our work with diverse individuals.
About our teacher, Justin Whitaker:
I am an almost-life-long Montanan; a baptized Catholic; an ardent agnostic; practicing Buddhist things; a lover of Wisdom. I find solitude to be as essential as air, though I am at times gregarious, and very often joyful, alone and with others. I laugh at my own jokes almost as much as my father, love learning, and love those who truly love… anything. I have certainty in little, and little time for those who are certain of much, though admire those whose certainty leads to service of humankind.
I hold a BA in Philosophy (with Honors) from the University of Montana, an MA in Buddhist Studies (with Distinction) from the University of Bristol, and (almost) a Ph.D. in History/Religious Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London.
I have practiced Buddhist meditation formally since 2000 and studied the philosophy, history, and practices of Buddhism for over 15 years. I began teaching meditation in 2003 with a campus sangha (community) and have continued off and on throughout the years. In 2016 I completed a Certified Meditation Teacher training and began offering classes in Helena, Montana at Hot Yoga Helena (owned by my good friend, Nicky Twitchell). In the summer of 2016 I began collaborating with Marisa Diaz-Waian and Merlin CCC. I have also taught courses in religious studies and philosophy in colleges and universities since 2006 in the US, England, India, and China.
My current academic post is in the Philosophy Department at Carroll College, Helena, MT.
P E O P L E
Justin Whitaker, Teacher
Megan Black, Organizational and Marketing Guru