How to Become a Meditation Teacher – Some Basic Fundamentals and Tips
Our mind plays various roles in our life. It can be our greatest friend or greatest enemy, it can either create problems or solve them, it can alert us about our enemies or can remain completely oblivious. Meditation helps us build a more positive and fruitful relationship with our mind and if you manage to help your students to be able to do that, consider yourself the most gifted teacher ever because that’s what brings the real joy and happiness in anyone’s life.
Meditation is the best way to achieve that. But, unfortunately, most of us shy away from it. While practicing Asanas give a fresh sense of physical well being, refreshes our body and makes us feel energized while Meditation, on the other hand, is more about training our minds.
Different Stages of Meditation
Self-regulation, Self-exploration and Self-mastery; these are the three stages of meditation. The first step involves teaching the students to alter consciously the way their body and mind function together and how they process their feelings. It mainly consists of breath awareness, which induces relaxation and peace of mind.
Once self-regulation has been taught, the second stage is about self-exploration, which is mainly about combining concentration with self-awareness. The basic idea behind this exercise is to develop stability and inner strength.
The last stage called self-mastery brings self-realization as self-exploration opens the door to self-liberation and growth of spirituality, the link between our awareness and higher consciousness.
Understanding The Mind Of Your Students
Running away from your problems is not a good practice, and that’s the reason why most of the people choose the path of meditation, as they want to be free from anxiety, pain and all kinds of physical and mental issues.
But that’s not what meditation is actually about. It brings you closer to reality, shows you what exactly the situation is and how important it is to accept the truth and challenges in life. It teaches us how to handle problems with strong determination and high spirits and using these problems as stepping-stones to achieve higher consciousness.
A good teacher is highly important for one to be able to learn the right meditation techniques. Only through proper guidance once can achieve the desired outcomes from meditation. But, as we all know that to be able to teach, one must become a student first and to be a good meditation teacher, one has to be an excellent student.
Different Types Of Meditation
- Transcendental Meditation: In this type of meditation, one achieves a settled state of mind called as “transcendental consciousness” with the help of mantras.
- Guided visualization, as the name suggests, uses some imagery to bring the mind to a balanced state. It is considered as one of the easiest types of meditation as the students are more comfortable in connecting with their teachers with the help of a visual medium.
- Zen meditation requires one to have a focused seated meditation, which helps one to connect with a genuine nature of reality. In this meditation style, posture is of great importance.
- Osho meditation is more about beginning with physical activities and then concluding with quiet time.
- Taoist meditation relies on concentration and stillness. One’s primary focus is on breathing techniques to achieve better concentration and will power.
The Challenges Faced As A Meditation Teacher
Everything comes with some fundamental challenges, even meditation. The biggest challenges one has to face while meditating is the undisciplined mind. An untrained, new to meditation brain tends to wander off quite frequently. It is restless and oscillates between various thoughts and emotions. It is quite normal and nothing to be worried about. That’s the responsibility of the teacher to make sure that the students are not panicked or discouraged because of this.
The other challenge is the resurfacing of older emotions and undigested experiences, which are quite common as we attempt to relax the mind. The best way to handle this kind of situation is to detach ourselves from our brain, take a step back and observe our mind as a third person.
It is also important to switch to yogic diet and lifestyle to enhance the meditative experience. Too much stress will make you sleepy during meditation, and if you eat excessively, you will feel heavy. We get what we bring in during the meditative state; it’s as simple as that.
10 Responsibilities As A Meditation Teacher
- Understand Your Students: As you teacher, you can be approached by all kinds of students; some advanced, some medium and most of them are beginners. So you need to prepare yourself accordingly, as a teacher. Also, they can belong to different age groups, and each age group requires special technique and approach. While with adults, you need to be more careful and there has to be a proper structure, with children, on the other hand, need to be handled gently and in a less informal way.
- Gain mastery as a student: As mentioned above, once must become a good student to become a good teacher. Finding the right teacher and dedicating yourself towards his or her technique is the best way to learn. Also, a good teacher is the best source to learn teaching methods and how they handle their students. Continue with the classes until you can guide yourself without anyone’s assistance.
- Get in touch with other meditation teachers: Finding the right teacher is not enough. You need to connect with other meditation teachers and talk to them about their life experiences regarding meditation and its benefits. Follow blogs, forums, etc. Email them and try to arrange personal meetings with as many teachers as possible.
- Certification: Find a professional and reputed certification program for the type of medication you are interested in. There are both online and in person programs available, and each varies regarding expense and time. Look for the one accredited by the professional organization. Try to apply for any of those international professional associations once you have completed your course. Doing so will help you expand your network and get in touch with other meditation teachers.
- Set up your meditation studio: Depending on the size of your class, you need to arrange a space. You need to feel comfortable and relaxed while meditating. So, make sure space is clean, big enough for your class, away from the noisy area and reflects positive energy.
- It’s always advisable to mix the different meditative practices. Start with some premeditation using your breath and a mantra. It helps you build concentration. Then, engage into soft throat breathing which helps you stay grounded in meditation.
- Gather the proper material: Meditation is more than just a mat sitting and talking to the students. Visualization meditation, for example, requires a TV screen or a projector. Create an ambience and appropriate environment for mediation with candles, music and proper lighting in the room.
- Create a website and other promotional stuff: Hire a professional to create a good, easy to follow, professional-looking website. The business cards are also important, as people tend to hold on to them if they are even a little bit curious about you and your work.
- Spread the word: You friends, family and neighbors can be a good medium to promote your work. Tell them to mention it to their friends and acquaintances, in case someone is looking.
- Start slow and keep improving your skills as you go: It is a very important factor. Don’t be too greedy in the beginning. Try to start with a smaller group, gain some reputation and people will follow.