The world is crazy right now. Meditation is sanity.
The intention of this 6-week online training is to empower participants to create and guide simple meditations of their own design, as a way to care for their community and themselves. It’s for anyone who wants to safely and intelligently share practice with friends, family, and colleagues. Amateur guides can absolutely do this, and maybe right now should be doing this. This is The Moment, a pause in the momentum of business-as-usual, where we have a rare opportunity to implement new practices and take on new roles.
Guiding others accelerates the personal benefits of practice. It amplifies our own presence and compassion, and then sends a wave of both out into the culture. Caring for others IS caring for ourselves, and vice-versa. It’s one version of a collective immune-system response to our current planet-wide crisis.
For the training, expect a mix of guided practice, sharing, and discussion.* Participants will workshop their meditations in small breakout Zoom groups, and will also be asked to guide their meditations virtually – for friends and family – between sessions. Everyone will have access to a private Facebook group, where we can continue the conversation between sessions and after the course has completed.
This is the first time I’ve offered this workshop online (as opposed to in-person), thus it is a work-in-progress. For this reason, I’m keeping the first group small: only 19 people will be accepted.
I offer this workshop in the spirit of the democratization of mental health. Here are some free resources for starting your own local community practice group.
Who’s this for?
- Anyone with a basic understanding of meditation interested in learning more
- Anyone who wants to share a practice with friends and colleagues
- Anyone from yoga teachers to book club leaders to healthcare workers interested in including simple meditation techniques in their class, group, family or team
- Experienced meditators interested in facilitating groups in their communities
You will learn:
- What it actually means to “hold space” for other people’s experience
- The fundamental attentional skills that underlie practice
- How these skills can be threaded through different “forms” or techniques (from meditating on the body to sound to imagination to movement)
- How to find your own style and form as a meditation guide
- How to language your guidance to make it maximally honest and accessible
- How to respond to people’s questions, reports and feedback
- 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 lifetime
- The developmental arc of the meditation teacher or guide
- The absolute centrality of honesty, humility and teaching exactly where you’re at
*While the sessions will be recorded for participants to view later, this workshop will be HIGHLY participatory. Please only register is you believe that you will be able to attend ALL of the sessions.
DATES: Thursdays, April 30 - June 4, 2020 (six sessions total)
TIME: 1PM - 2:30 EST. Sessions will be 1 - 1.5 hours long. Please allow 2 hours for the initial session on April 30.
LOCATION: A meeting room on Zoom. We will be asking all participants to enable video on the calls so that we can see one another. The sessions will be recorded, but only course participants will be given access to the recordings.
COST: US $300
Some scholarships available. For questions about this and anything else, direct your email to Lilli at email@example.com.
If you are unable to attend this workshop, we plan to offer one at a future date. Please enter your email address below to be alerted when the workshop will be offered again.
“After two decades as a meditator, with experience in many traditions, I am pleased to say that this was one of the most amazing meditation workshops I have ever attended. Jeff had an extraordinary capacity to bring clarity, simplicity, kindness and joyful creativity to the practice of mindfulness meditation and the practice of guiding others. If you are interested in deepening your personal practice and coming to understand the intrinsic connection between guiding yourself and others along a path towards greater concentration, sensory clarity and equanimity, then this is the workshop for you! I am deeply grateful.”
“It was quite extraordinary that such a relatively short, super noisy and fun weekend was able to bring a clarity and depth to my personal practice that I thought reserved for longer silent retreats. Wow! It is hard for me to remember a situation I have been in where there was more love in the room.”
“The link between guiding and community, community and practice and the honour of sharing practice with others is an exceedingly important message and one that very much resonated with me. The way in which guiding (as a form of service to others) can deepen one’s own practice and experience was a really important take-away.”
A Note on Certification
Although it’s a start, these six sessions alone do not certify you to be a professional-level teacher. For that I recommend an advanced 200-hour training program. Of these, the program I know best is Julianna’s Unified Mindfulness (UM), which trains people in 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: it is about democratizing the sharing of meditation practice, which at its most elemental is about basic inter-personal hygiene and responsibility.
I think everyone should have a rudimentary understanding of meditation and self-regulation, just as everyone should have a rudimentary understanding of healthy eating and exercise.
This is my fiercest personal belief.
About the Teacher
Jeff Warren is a meditation instructor and journalist, known 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 others. You can read more about Jeff here.