Opportunities for learning how to meditate in 2020 have never been greater -- from free phone apps, to YouTube videos, to online and in-person classes, to group and private instruction via Zoom. The Covid-19 pandemic has led many to adopt this life-changing practice to minimize stress, anxiety and better manage constant uncertainty and change.
While there are people who can teach themselves how to meditate, it’s a real challenge to simultaneously have two roles as the person who wants to learn how to meditate: teacher and student. You’re learning a new skill that includes calming your thinking mind in order to manage your attention, which creates an inner tension not conducive to letting go, breathing and relaxing.
Most people benefit from having a professionally trained meditation instructor/coach, just like any other skill (i.e. tennis) they want to learn that requires mental and physical training.
A professionally certified mindfulness and meditation instructor/coach can:
1. Provide you expert guidance, support and feedback that goes far beyond watching videos or reading books,
2. Demystify the typical barriers that might keep you from being able to meditate on your own,
3. Explain their meditation skill development process that leads to you being able to feel more relaxed, calm, centered and enthusiastic about your daily meditation time,
4. Increase the chances that you’re able to meditate on your own once foundational training is completed,
5. Explain the research-based mental, physical and emotional benefits of meditation,
6. Teach you a variety of meditation techniques so you can decide what works best for you, and
7. Train you to find calmness wherever you are in a matter of minutes.
People who are not professionally trained meditation instructor/coaches can certainly lead others through a meditation; however, there is a big difference in leading a group meditation and properly teaching others how to begin and sustain a meditation practice. A professional meditation instructor/coach knows the in's and outs of meditation, can answer your questions and connect you more deeply to your own internal wisdom, while helping you navigate the challenges that come up while you’re learning.
The McLean Meditation Institute, an accredited meditation training organization, recommends that anyone seeking a meditation instructor/coach make sure that the person has the following:
•A dedicated personal meditation practice, one that they’ve been doing every day for a substantial length of time,
•Deep knowledge of the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual science-based benefits of meditation,
•A commitment to their practice even when times are tough… or, if they started because times were tough, they remain committed to their practice when life got easier,
•Experience in the tangible benefits of meditation in their own lives and the ability to articulate them,
•Mental, physical, and emotional balance,
•A grounded, yet light-hearted approach to life and meditation,
•Respect for other people’s personal beliefs and credo, no matter how different they may be from their own, and
•Respect for nature and the world around them.
In addition to these recommendations, it’s important to find someone who you can relate to, feel connected to, and be inspired by to live your life at a higher level.
My own meditation journey began with an unexpected trip to an emergency room on January 15, 2007. As a professionally certified mindfulness and meditation instructor, I specialize in coaching professionals how to integrate mindfulness practices like meditation into their lives and live as mindfully as possible every single day.
If you’re interested in learning more about my approach, schedule a complimentary call with me by clicking here. Together, we can figure out if my method is a fit for you, and if you’re best suited for small group training or private instruction. At a minimum, I’ll be able to recommend some good next steps for you, which will be well worth your time.