What You Need to Know
Meditation Teacher Training - Overview of What You Need to Know
To teach meditation effectively and safely, one needs to have a good feel for and be versatile with the full range of human
-naturally occurring meditative techniques
All these are to help you to meet people where they are and guide them so that meditation feels like it comes from inside, and leads there.
Add to this a tool kit of about 6 classic meditation practices:
- 3 or so breathing meditations
-an acoustic or mantra meditation
-visual or imagery meditation
-movement or kinaesthetic meditation
... And a sense of the dangers and counter indications of meditation, and how challenging stress release is, and what people experience during unstressing ...
You need to know in your own body, and through listening to others, the “Paradox of Relaxation”
“Paradox of Relaxation” - put simply, when you relax deeply, you let go of stress, your muscles release tension, and you replay inwardly what you were tense about. Often you see mental movies of the situation that provoked your stress response, you hear conversations in your mind, and you feel in tremendous detail the sensations that go with the alarm response. Thus, a successful meditation is often a sequence of relaxation, leading to a review of stressful feelings and situations, followed by deeper relaxation, followed by more cycles of stress-review and release. These cycles are totally unpredictable and last from a couple of seconds to a few minutes. People commonly feel they have failed at meditation when they are releasing stress; but in truth it is the relaxation during meditation that makes it possible for tension to be released, and this is one of the major benefits of meditation.
yuktiyukta - experienced, skillful, suitable, proper, fit, established, proved, very probable, argumentative
Skills of Practicing and Teaching Meditation
Meditation is a natural ability we all have, and it can be enhanced by learning the skills of cooperating
with the natural. In Instinctive Meditation and Pranava Meditation, we meditate, and teach others to meditate, you can be working with the natural flow of prana.
Note the distinction of anuloma
, going with the grain, going with the natural direction, versus pratiloma
, going against nature. There are thousands of different approaches to meditation, quite distinct, with different purposes. Instinctive Meditation is a system for developing individualized meditation practices that can be modified to suit the nature of different types of people.
From this perspective, meditation is an innate survival response of the body and a set of skills that can be taught and learned and practiced.
These are skills you can learn and communicate - coach others to learn. People need to accept all their emotions, sensations, and instincts, within a few seconds of beginning meditation, or else they may begin to develop repression and an attitude of strain. The repressive attitude, once established, can take a long time to unlearn.
When you begin meditating, within seconds, begin to learn your own unique gateways into meditation, your rhythms, the patterns of surprise in your senses.
And if you are teaching meditation, create a context in which your students can learn this.
The temptation to try
to repress one’s inner life can be strong, because when people close their eyes to meditate, often they are flooded, quite quickly, with an intense series of sensations, emotions, mental images, mental movies, and inner conversations - all of which were there before you closed your eyes to meditate, but you weren’t paying attention.
Each time an individual stops their practice and seeks to begin again, they have a chance at a new beginning, afresh, leaving behind the old attitudes, and developing skills appropriate for the person they are now.
1. Recognizing your own and other’s natural gateways
into meditation. Being awake to new doors appearing.
2. Noticing the senses
at play in meditation, in both exterior (bahya ) and interior (abhyantara): touch, hearing, vision, balance, smell, taste, motion, and others. All the senses have interesting inner aspects that are enchanting and inviting.
3. Accept all sensations
- from everywhere in the body. Fatigue, release, tension, pain, sore, tender sensitive, bruised, achy, tight, nauseous sensations that just won't stay still: shaky trembly throbbing pounding fluttery shivery queasy wobbly bubbly dizzy spacey breathless sensations that have a nerve-quality: prickly electric tingling nervy twitchy burning radiating referring buzzy itchy the ugh and blah category: wooden congested dull dense frozen icy disconnected thick blocked contracted heavy suffocated cold numb closed dark hollow empty the 'feel stabby much' list: tense tight constricted clenched knotted hot full sweaty sensations that often signal wellbeing and vitality: calm energized smooth streaming warm cool relaxed open light spacious airy releasing expanded expansive flowing floating fluid draining.
4. Accept all emotions.
There are a LOT of emotions.
A major purpose of meditation for those on the Path of Intimacy
is a time and place to sort through feelings and process all those emotions you didn’t have time for in the rush of a day.
You have your own list, but be prepared to accept new ones and many nuances:
fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, interest.
Thus, we get: •abasement •acceptance •adoration •adventurous •affection •agreeable •aggression •agony •alarm •amazement •ambivalence •amusement •anger •anguish •animosity •annoyance •antagonism •anticipation •antipathy •anxiety •apathy •appalled •appetite •apprehension •approbation •approval •ardor •arousal •assertive •astonishment •attentive •avarice •averse •avid •awe •balky •bashful •bewildered •bitter •bliss •boastful •bold •boredom •broad-mindedness •calm •capricious •captious •careless •caring •caution •censorious •cheerful •cockiness •compassion •complacency •conceit •concern •confusion •consternation •contempt •content •contrary •cooperative •cranky •critical •curiosity •cynical •daring •daunted •decisive •defiance •dejection •delectation •delight •depression •desire •despair •desperation •despise •despondent •determination •detestation •devotion •diffidence •disagreeable •disappointment •discomposure •disconcerted •discontent •discouragement •disdain •disgust •disheartened •disinclination •disinterest •dismay •disobedience •displeasure •disquieted •dissatisfaction •distaste •distress •distrust •doubt •dread •eager •ecstasy •effrontery •egocentrism •egoism •elation •embarrassment •empty •enjoyment •enmity •enthusiasm •envy •euphoria •exasperation •expectancy •fault-finding •fear •fervor •foolhardy •frenzied •fretful •forward •froward •frustration •fury •gaiety •gall •generosity •glad •glee •gloom •greed •grief •grouchy •guilt •happiness •hatred •haughty •helplessness •hesitancy •homesickness •honor •hope •hopelessness •horror •hostility •humiliation •humility •impassiveness •impatience •impudence •impulsive •indecision •indifference •indignation •inhospitable •insecurity •insolence •interest •intolerance •irresolution •irritability •irritation •jealousy •jocular •jovial •joy •lasciviousness •lethargy •liberality •lighthearted •loathing •lonely •love •lust •malice •malignity •meek •melancholy •merry •mirthful •misanthropy •miserable •modesty •mortification •mysoginic •mysoginism •narcissism •nervous •nosiness •nostalgia •obedience •obstinate •offense •optimism •outrage •pain •panic •paranoia •partiality •passion •passivity •patience •peaceful •peevish •penitent •pensive •perplexity •perturbed •perverse •pessimism •petulance •pique •placidity •playful •pleasure •possessive •precocious •prejudice •pride •puzzled •querulous •quiet pleasure •radical •rage •rancor •rapture •rash •rebellious •receptive •reckless •refractory •regret •rejection •reluctance •remorse •repentant •repugnance •resentment •reserved •resignation •resolute •restive •restlessness •reverence •revulsion •sadness •sarcasm •satisfaction •savage •scorn •self-conscious •self-control •self-deprecation •self-destructive •self-reproach •sensitivity •serenity •shaky •shame •shock •shy •skepticism •sociable •solicitude •sorrow •spite •spontaneity •startled •stoic •stubborn •submissive •suicidal •sunny •surprise •surrender •suspicion •sympathy •tension •terror •thoughtful •timid •tolerance •tranquility •trepidation •triumph •troubled •trust •umbrage •unassertive •uncertainty •uneasiness •unfriendly •unhappy •upset •vanity •vehemence •vengeful •venturesome •vexation •vigilance •violation •wariness •warmhearted •watchful •wayward •woeful •wonder •worry •worship •worthlessness •wretched •zeal
5. Accept the interplay of relaxation and stress release
. When we become aware of how tense we are about something, the feeling can seem almost intolerable. So uncomfortable. Then it releases, and Ahhhh. Study The Journey of Meditation
6. Accept all instincts
. These are the innate wise motions of life, the way pranashakti manifests as our most basic impulses. Setting boundaries. Nesting. Resting. Sleeping. Dreaming. Stretching. Feeding. Bathing. Exploring. Trail making. Gathering. Homing. Pair bonding. Mating. Nurturing young. Grooming. Socializing.
7. Accept the tones of savoring – The Rasas
. ▪Śṛngāram (शृङ्गारं)
Love, Attractiveness. Presiding deity: Vishnu. Colour: light green. ▪Hāsyam (हास्यं)
Laughter, Mirth, Comedy. Presiding deity: Pramata. Colour: white. ▪Raudram (रौद्रं)
Fury. Presiding deity: Rudra. Colour: red. ▪Kāruṇyam (कारुण्यं)
Tragedy. Presiding deity: Yama. Colour: grey. ▪Bībhatsam (बीभत्सं)
Disgust, Aversion. Presiding deity: Shiva. Colour: blue ▪Bhayānakam (भयानकं)
Horror, Terror. Presiding deity: Kala. Colour: black ▪Vīram (वीरं)
Heroic mood. Presiding deity: Indra. Colour: yellowish ▪Adbhutam (अद्भुतं)
Wonder, Amazement. Presiding deity: Brahma. Colour: yellow  Navarasa Abhinavagupta suggested a ninth rasa when only eight were accepted and it had to undergo a good deal of struggle between the sixth and the tenth centuries, before it could be accepted by the majority of the Alankarikas, and the expression Navarasa (the nine rasas), could come into vogue. ▪Śāntam Peace or tranquility. deity: Vishnu. Colour: blue In addition to the nine Rasas, two more appeared later (esp. in literature): Additional rasas: ▪Vātsalya (वात्सल्य)
Parental Love ▪Bhakti (भक्ति)
Everyday PracticesEvery day Orient
. Find east. Know where east is. And North. South. West. Take a breath with each direction. Then orient to Down. Up. Gaze at the horizon
. Any horizon that is available to you - the top of the roof, a hill, a view, the ocean, a river, looking out over a valley. Gaze for 20 minutes and get used to what happens.Senses scan
: salute your senses of vision, smell, taste, touch, hearing, motion, joint position, light touch (hair), inner touch, kinaesthesia. Just touch each sense lightly with your awareness. Elemental Love
: Every day for 5 minutes, make love to the elements. Let the air, the sun, the earth, water, and space itself love you. Let yourself love the elements. Rest there in the caress, the embrace, the loving qualities of each element. The tone can vary continually, resting, snuggling, being massaged, nurturing, communing. Just like a relationship, and this is a relationship with life itself. Let the prana in you love the prana all around. Within you and all around.Sacred Gestures
: Boundaries. I am in charge of my boundaries. Greeting. I send forth greetings to all. Grooming. I take care of myself and those I love. Nurturing. Inquiring. I wonder. I explore. Protecting. I put my protection over that which I cherish. Charging Charge your field with your desires. Then orient to the world and visualize - hear - feel the results you want. Use all your senses in imagining the outcomes you desire. Awareness Moments Insert awareness moments into your daily life. You can use any transitional sequence: Waking up, getting up, showering, drinking tea or coffee, getting ready to leave the house, taking a break in midmorning, sitting down for lunch, taking an afternoon break, walking in the door in the evening, getting ready to go to sleep. Overall Rules
Be good to your inner life. Your mind is supposed to wander during meditation. Wander and come back, that is the discipline.Explore being early
to everything this month. Give yourself more time to get from point A to point B. Explore adding 10 minutes extra, then notice how that feels. Make notes
. During and after class, make notes on what you are learning. Practice
During the Week and month. Give yourself exquisite moments – sit in a garden and breath. Go to a botanical garden. Go to a museum and look. Make times to listen to your favorite music.
Turn your phones off (or the ringers off) when you meditate. Play with being out of touch with the electronic world for half an hour, and being in touch with your inner world of magnetism and dreaming. Walk for an hour a day. It's the best exercise there is. Read a page a day of Meditation Secrets for Women, or Meditation 24/7, or The Radiance Sutras.