Mindfulness teacher training



Quick links: Monday Group on Zoom / Saturday Group on Zoom

Session I - What is Meditation Anyway? - APRIL 8TH/13TH

Building on the initial immersion video, we will take an around the world look at the various traditions and styles of meditation, what we mean when we say “mindfulness,” where it comes from and how we will practice it. There will be time to get to know one another and setting group commitments to one another in terms of how we would like to work together.

Reading (each reading is to be completed thereafter): Points of Posture: Tricycle / Sonima / Samye

Session II - Posture Clinic - APRIL 22ND/27TH

Shamatha can be broken out into body, breath and mind. This session we focus on the somatic experience, in particular the science behind the body scan, the traditional points of posture one can touch on when guiding people into practice and then each participant will have a chance to guide the group in executing that body scan (yes we’re diving deep quick, but you will be great).

Reading: Ways of Working with the Breath: Lions Roar / Sonima / Sutra

Session III - Ways of Working with the Breath - MAY 6TH/11TH

Mindfulness of the breath is not just one thing! Here we move into talking about the second aspect of shamatha, the breath, and review a number of ways we can guide students to consider the breath, as well as how to talk about it and work with common misconceptions (like you have to manipulate the breath - not true!). Half the group will have the chance to practice leading the full mindfulness practice.

Reading: How to Hold the Mind in Meditation: Psychology Today / Sonima / Headspace

Session IV - Gentleness and Discipline - Ways of Working with the Mind - MAY 20TH/25TH

After body and breath we will discuss how to hold the mind with gentleness and discipline. So many new meditators beat themselves up, thinking they are failing if they can’t stay with the breath. How can we best support them as they gradually relax into the practice, working with them to reduce judgment and shame? The second half of the group will have the chance to practice leading the full mindfulness practice.

Reading: This chart on the types of thoughts that arise alongside “What Was It Like for You” by Susan Piver and a piece I wrote a million years ago on Do’s and Don’t’s of Becoming a Meditation Teacher

Session V - How to Structure Talks - JUNE 3RD/8TH

Well you can’t really just sit down and start telling people what to do with their body, right? You have to introduce the practice, explain why we do it, and share about its benefits. In this session we learn about how to structure talks from a traditional Buddhist framework. We will have lots of time to experiment and ask questions during this session.

Reading: Compendium of mindfulness and race, trans-awareness readings here and the one I emailed to you

Session VI - Looking at our Power, Positionality and Unconscious Bias - JUNE 17TH/22ND

When we begin teaching we may not always be aware of the way we come across and our own lens through which we view the world. Here we will engage in an open exploration and exercises around how to hold space for people who do not look like us or share our background. The breakout time will allow for half the group to lead their very short dharma talk.

Reading: TBD, based on where we as a group may be struggling/what may be needed

Session VII - Fielding Questions - JULY 1ST/6TH

There is an old Zen saying, “After the ecstasy, the laundry.” Similarly, after leading meditation, there often should be time for Q&A. How do we hold space for and normalize people’s experience? How can we be thoughtful in drawing out the meaning behind long-winded, not clear questions? What to do if we don’t actually know the answer? All will be revealed. The breakout time will allow for the second half of the group to lead their very short dharma talk.

Reading: Reflections on Money

Session VIII - Relationship to Money - JULY 15TH/20TH

Everyone has their own relationship to money. Some of us have a healthy relationship, others…not so much. If we are going to walk the line of being meditation teachers and even (gasp) charging for our time and training, we need to be very clear around our motivation, our poverty mentality, our habitual ways of thinking about money and finances. We will map the three yanas of Buddhism onto how we can consider our relationship with money. The breakout time will allow half the group to lead shamatha once more.

Session IX - Authentic Networking and Branding - JULY 29TH/AUGUST 3RD

What does it mean to launch a business as a meditation teacher from a place of authenticity? In this session we will work together to consider everything from building a website to a newsletter to how we want to show up with integrity on social media and who we may want to be in partnership with. The breakout time will allow the second half of the group to lead shamatha once more.

Session X - Building a Livelihood - AUGUST 12TH/17TH

In our final session we let the rubber hit the road and map out where we want to go from here. How can we support one another and hold one another accountable for our growth moving forward? Please bring all unanswered questions to this session so we can discuss!In this section we dive into what the Buddha taught on how we create suffering for ourselves and how we can stop doing that. It also includes the very applicable topics of Wise Speech, Wise Livelihood and the many ways we can “hack” mindfulness into our everyday experience off the meditation cushion.