How to Guide Meditation: A Weekend Workshop

With Jeff Warren and Julianna Raye
The Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York

The world is crazy.  Meditation is sanity. The intention of this residential weekend training is to empower everyone – including people not remotely interested in becoming a “teacher” –  to think about and care for their own mental health and the mental health of others. Learning to guide meditation is that fundamental. As we get clearer about the practice of guiding meditation, our own practice and understanding deepens immeasurably.

Register with Omega here (coming soon)

Who’s this for?

  • Anyone with a basic understanding of meditation who is interested in learning more
  • Anyone who wants to share a practice with friends and colleagues
  • Anyone from yoga teachers to book club leaders interested in including simple meditation techniques in their class or group
  • Experienced meditators interested in facilitating groups in their communities

You will learn about:

  • The power of holding space for other people’s experience
  • The fundamental attentional skills that underlie meditation practice and how they work together to create healing, empowerment and transformation
  • How these skills can be threaded through different “forms” or techniques of practice (from meditating on the body to sound to imagination to movement), and how they can be more deliberately applied to life – which is the point!
  • How to find your own style and form as a meditation guide
  • How to language your guidance to make it maximally honest and accessible to your audience
  • How to respond to people’s questions and reports, so you can help them find a practice that works for them
  • How to respond to and work with common meditation-related challenges. This includes the basics of trauma-informed mindfulness, and the wider context of mental health, including the importance of other approaches and modalities
  • The developmental arc of meditation practice over a life-time, and how to think about where meditation leads
  • The developmental arc of the meditation teacher or guide – how it develops and deepens, and how to find your own support
  • The absolute centrality of honesty, humility and teaching exactly where you’re at

If you’re interested in learning more about Jeff’s philosophy of practice – including tips for how to guide meditation and much more – download a free copy of the CEC’s Community Practice Activation Kit here.

This workshop explicitly looks at the experience of guiding meditation, how guiding is itself is a deep and transformative interpersonal practice. That is, we don’t only look at the external form of what we do and say; we also look at the internal form of how we are and relate. We explore the intimate feedback loop that exists between us, and how to negotiate these connections with presence and compassion, humility and responsibility.

We’re all about hands-on learning, so all creations will be workshopped as we go. This means, in small groups, you will practice both the writing and the guiding of meditation, always in a way that fits with your particular experience-level and interest. We are excited to share our passion for practice and community – this is always a provocative and transformative three days.

A Note on Certification

Although it’s a start, this workshop alone does not certify you to be a professional-level teacher. For that we recommend an advanced 200-hour training program. Of these, the program we know best is Julianna’s Unified Mindfulness (UM), which trains people in our primary teacher Shinzen Young’s rigorous system of mindfulness. For those who are interested, this workshop counts as credit towards UM’s “outside learning” requirements.

That said, the real intention of this workshop is broader and more ambitious than any one profession or specialization: we want to help normalize and democratize the sharing of meditation practice, which at its most elemental is about basic inter-personal hygiene and responsibility. We think everyone should have a rudimentary understanding of the role of meditation and the dynamics of self-regulation, just as everyone should have a rudimentary understanding of the value of a healthy diet and physical exercise.

This is my fiercest personal belief, one I’ll defend until my dying day. Which isn’t a very meditative thing to say, but then, I’m not a very meditative meditation teacher. The good news of this workshop is you don’t need to be!

Register with Omega here (coming soon)

Other Omega perks

  • Daily Open classes in Yoga, Meditation, Dance/Movement
  • Access to the campus – Long Pond Lake (canoes and kayaks available), hiking trails, tennis courts
  • Access to the Wellness Center (fee based services including massage and wellness treatments) and access to a free hot sauna room
  • Access to the Omega Café, Bookstore, and Library

When you sign up for your housing option, your fee also includes all meals in the Omega Dining Hall, which serves a mostly vegetarian mostly farm to table menu.

About the Teachers

Jeff Warren is a meditation instructor and journalist, celebrated for his accessible and pragmatic style of teaching. He is the co-author of The New York Times bestselling Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, and founder of The Consciousness Explorers Club, a nonprofit meditation educational group based in Toronto. Warren has successfully taught meditation to police officers, young offenders, social workers, and Google executives, among many others.

 

Julianna Raye is devoted to deepening people’s understanding of research-supported mindfulness and empowering anyone to guide others in its practice. She has been training individuals and groups in the Unified Mindfulness system for nearly two decades.

With more than 120 weeks of immersive silent retreat training in both the mindfulness and Zen traditions, Julianna has completed over 20,000 hours of formal practice. As CEO, lead content developer and head trainer at Unified Mindfulness, she is dedicated to disseminating Shinzen Young’s comprehensive mindfulness meditation system through the creation and presentation of educational programs and teacher-training certification programs.

Julianna is also a founding member of Brightmind Meditation, LLC—the developer of the Brightmind mindfulness app. In addition to her work at Unified Mindfulness and Brightmind Meditation, she consults and offers private coaching, onsite and online mindfulness trainings. She is also the Mindfulness trainer for the Flourishing Leadership Institute; she delivers keynotes; privately coaches executives, celebrities, and entrepreneurs; and leads group trainings for company leaders aiming to support preventative health care and improve the work environment through mindfulness meditation. In these roles, she delivers specific mindfulness strategies tailored to the individual’s or company’s needs.

Julianna led the training for a workplace mindfulness study at Fathom Digital in Ohio. Rigorously designed studies are a rarity in the workplace setting and she co-authored two papers detailing the positive outcomes, which were recently published in the peer-reviewed journals: Mindfulness and The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

 

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