With Jeff Warren
The Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, New York
The world is crazy. Meditation is sanity. The intention of this training and retreat is to empower participants to guide others in meditation, as a way to care for themselves and others. It’s for anyone who wants to safely and intelligently share practice with friends and colleagues.
I am super excited for this week! It’s the first time I’ve offered a hybrid meditation retreat with a how to guide workshop (my friend Julianna Raye and I co-teach a weekend version of this training here). My hope is that by extending the training to five days, and by giving participants an opportunity to continually dip into their real-time meditation practice, everyone will bring their own personal insights back with them into the collective learning.
Expect a mix of meditation, workshops and discussion. Each participant will write and guide their own meditations in small groups. We learn through feedback and – always – mindful attention to our own experience. As we get clearer about how to share meditation, our own practice deepens immeasurably.
Omega has just released their new Covid safety protocols, the highlight of which is required vaccinations for all staff, faculty and attendants. So there’s that. Also please know: this retreat is still subject to cancellation. It all depends on what else is happening with Covid and travel-safety and all the rest. As a Canadian, I may not even be able to cross the border! We’ll make a final call about this in early June. For now, registration is open.
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 interested in including simple meditation techniques in their class or group
- Experienced meditators interested in facilitating groups in their communities
You will learn:
- The power of holding 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
If you’re interested in learning more about my philosophy of practice – including tips for how to guide meditation and much more – you can download a free copy of the CEC’s Community Practice Activation Kit here.
“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. The teachers 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 five days 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, 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 news of this workshop is you don’t need to be!
Registration now open: Click HERE
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 Teacher
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 others.