What Is Meditation Teacher Training?
What is meditation teacher training? The simple answer is that it is a training course to help you obtain a meditation teacher certification but truthfully, it is so much more. Throughout your meditation training you will learn to lead meditation but you will also go deeper into your own meditation practice. Different courses will cover different content, so be sure to research and make sure that the content resonates with you and your practice. This may be the most important decision you make along your journey. what is meditation teacher training
In a foundational level meditation teacher training topics covered may include the Eight Limbs of Yoga which can be found in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. While the three stages of meditation are the fifth, sixth and seventh limbs, the limbs include:
- The Yamas (restraints)
- The Niyamas (observances)
- Asana (the postures)
- Pranayama (breathwork)
- Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (enlightenment)
In a meditation course, the focus will be on Dhyana. However, it is important to acknowledge the other seven limbs as well, especially Pratyahara and Dharana. The path to enlightenment includes living and practicing all of the eight limbs. In order to practice and teach meditation we should understand the stages we go through while meditating. This will help polish our practice while also helping to bring a deeper understanding of meditation.
The history of meditation is deep and rich and deserves to be honored in a meditation course. Many courses will cover at least a portion of the history. How old meditation is, is a complex subject. In many cases, it is traced to the Hindu traditions of Vedantism and can be traced to 1500 BCE in India. While in China, it has been traced to the 3rd and 6th century BC. You can see why it is important to honor the history of meditation.
There are many styles of meditation to suit many different needs. Meditation courses will cover one or more of these styles. Some styles of meditation include mindfulness, guided meditation, focused attention meditation, sound meditation, silent meditation and moving meditation. It is important to find a style that resonates with you and your practice. This will help keep your practice consistent.
There are many myths surrounding meditation and often times breaking down the myths is covered in a meditation teacher training. These myths may include statements like “I can’t shut my mind down to meditate,” “meditation is a religion,” “you have to practice for so many years to meditate,” or “meditation has to last at least an hour.” As a meditation teacher it is important to learn how to guide your students through their journey to overcome these myths. Meditation can be as simple or complex as a student needs.
Another topic of discussion that may be included in a course is how to prepare for meditation. Preparing for meditation can include your environment, getting settled into a comfortable seat, choosing background music and/or choosing an incense or essential oil. Many of these options are personal preference but should be considered when teaching. A student will have a better experience when they are comfortable in their surroundings.
The benefits of meditation are vast. Learning these benefits and how to discuss them with your students is very important. In recent years, research on the benefits of meditation has been growing deeper and becoming more abundant. Some of the benefits of meditation include decreased stress and anxiety, improved sleep quality, improved concentration and mental clarity and this is only a few.
Meditation scripts are one of the most important details of leading meditation and is another topic which should be covered in your course. There are many meditation scripts readily available online or in books however, if you are using a prewritten script always acknowledge the original author. You can also write your own meditation scripts and guidance on how to do this should be provided in your course.
Once you have completed your meditation course, any questions regarding how to lead a meditation should be covered. Often times, options for how and where to host meditation are discussed within the course or group work. The possibilities are endless and the most important thing to remember when leading meditation is to be authentic!
One of the last but certainly not least important things to consider is whether the course is registered. There are many different organizations that trainings may be registered through and it is important to do your research. A couple of registered organizations include Meditation Alliance International and Yoga Alliance. If registering is important to you, be sure to inquire prior to signing up for a course.
Overall, make sure that the course aligns with your journey and helps you be your most authentic self!
what is meditation teacher training