Director’s Column

There’re no words for it

There’re no words for it

An old bit of peasant wisdom has it that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb. At Georgetown, where the campus was shut down in the first days of the month by yet another heavy coating of ice and snow, things looked pretty leonine around here. Does that(…)

Don’t burn that book!

Don’t burn that book!

If you ever kept a diary or journal in adolescence and came across it years later,you know from personal experience the unique sort of cringe produced when faced with one’s own primitive attempts to be articulate, sincere and truthful. And just in time for Valentine’s Day, click below for the latest research on meditation and(…)

Escape obsession with meditation

Escape obsession with meditation

Robert Frost wondered, more than 90 years ago, whether the world would end in fire or in ice. (With a name like Frost, though, can we trust him to be impartial?) Records for cold temperatures in New England that were old in Frost’s day have already been broken this season, while other parts of the(…)

Christmas Letter

Christmas Letter

Many years ago, in very late December, John Main turned to me and said, without warning or context, “Gregory, I recommend you take up karate!” Main (who was 46 at the time, and I was 18) was teaching me the rudiments of meditation. His instructional style could be unpredictable and eclectic, but I was eager(…)

Balance your portfolio

Balance your portfolio

Dear Friend of the John Main Center, I’d like to talk to you about your portfolio.  Don’t worry, I don’t mean your stock portfolio. Well, actually, yes: let’s start with your stock portfolio.  Even if you don’t have a brokerage account, you’re in the stock market, big time. The health of the companies and institutions(…)

Autumn Leave, Here and Now

Autumn Leave, Here and Now

The autumn foliage in this part of North America these days is like slow-motion, organic fireworks: just as one species of tree has peaked and its yellow and gold leaves have begun fluttering to earth, even more spectacular displays of crimson and vermilion burst into view.  Oaks, maples, myrtles, ginkos, and dozens of other species(…)

Look backward to move forward

Look backward to move forward

Most people who come to the John Main Center are already convinced that meditation is a good thing. They don’t need to hear from me about how it improves health, focuses the mind, enhances memory, and so forth. Meditation, mindfulness and other kinds of inner work are already increasingly recognized as legitimate and powerfully transformative(…)

Write your scripture

Write your scripture

Many years ago, when trying to impress some life-lesson or other on one of my sons (or, more likely, trying to encourage him to clean his room), I reminded him of a cherished saying handed down by generations of our family’s pioneer forebears: “You must first clear the land before you can build or plant.” (…)

Sunrise, sunset

Sunrise, sunset

       Our mediation center here at Georgetown is named for Dom John Main, OSB (1926 – 1982), an Irish Benedictine monk who devoted the last ten years of his life to reminding his fellow Christians of their own ancient contemplative tradition at a time when a burgeoning fascination with Eastern contemplative practices was(…)

Got calm?

Got calm?

In the week or so since the academic term has started, hundreds of students have visited our little meditation room in historic and centrally-located McSherry Hall at Georgetown.  Newly arrived freshmen, together with upperclassmen and graduate students – many of whom have never meditated before – join a growing contingent of regulars in taking advantage(…)