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Sharing the skills of meditation and mindfulness …

Learning to guide others at a Lifeflow Teacher Training Course

If you are reading this article, then you may have been guided through many meditations at Lifeflow. But what about learning to guide short meditations yourself? This is what our Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Levels 1 & 2 courses cover in detail – how to do it, what you need to know, what pitfalls to avoid.

Starting with our Level 1 training course . . .

Crucial to successfully guiding meditations is the quality and tone of your voice. Your voice conveys your emotional state, your fluency with what you’re doing, and many other (often unconscious) habits of speech. Sorting this out makes for a much better experience for both your audience and yourself! This is where the bulk of the practical time in our Level 1 course is spent.

Integral to striking the right note, is maintaining a light meditative state yourself as you are guiding a meditation. How is this learnt? It comes back to the personalised feedback and coaching that we provide – training you to maintain the delicate balance of being absorbed in the meditation that you are leading, but not going in so far that you disappear and forget the audience. You can’t learn this from a book or training video – it needs the direct and immediate responses of another teacher to guide you.

Along with the fundamental aspects of voice training, the course also covers key aspects of meditation and mindfulness theory. This gives you a solid foundation for answering a wide range of questions, and a better appreciation of what you have learnt in our Lifeflow classes as well. This enhanced understanding serves to protect you and your clients – knowing about the different uses of meditation and how it can be applied, where it is helpful, but also where the limits are to what you can safely do with meditation. To help you embed these understandings, we include a short open book theory assessment.

The final day of the course finishes with a practical assessment in front of the teachers and the whole training group. Does this make everyone feel nervous? Yes. Does this amp up the pressure? Yes. All of this is deliberate – if you can guide meditations in front of Lifeflow teachers – knowing they are critiquing your body language, nuances in your voice and general familiarity with the meditations – then you can guide meditations anywhere 😊.

Lifeflow Learn to Meditate

This course has been an excellent preparation for me to provide meditation to staff and our foster families.  John Burston’s teaching and modelling of the Lifeflow program is inspiring/concise and perfectly paced for anyone wishing to teach the life changing skill of meditation.

Markella Tsalikis

This has been one of the best run courses I have attended.  Gretta is an excellent facilitator who inspired confidence, has knowledge and capacity to respond to the group, speaks of her experiences and competence. The participants in the course, with their generosity of spirit added to the valuable learning experience.

Diana Michaels

And moving onto our Level 2 training course . . .

Having learnt the basics of guiding meditation, then where to next? Our Level 2 course builds on everything covered before and goes into more detail.

You’ll be taken through a deeper exploration of the different uses of meditation, particularly exploring the different approaches of the therapeutic, self-development and spiritual goals of the training. This area is crucial in setting expectations and knowing what is safe to explore or better left for another setting.

You’ll also learn about the distinctions between meditation and mindfulness – where do they come from in the context of the meditation tradition, and what are the differences and overlap of these skills. The terms are often used interchangeably and it’s a common area of misunderstanding. We go right back to the original definitions and build up from there, so you can gain a clear understanding yourself.

Whenever you are guiding meditations, your audience will be gaining a window into your inner emotional state. How do you keep yourself emotionally healthy? This section of the course is all about self-care – another crucial skill for leading others in meditation, and a vital skill for your overall mental health as well.

A valuable part of this course is learning the fundamental building blocks of how meditation scripts are constructed and then learning how to effectively use different types of suggestion. This gives you the confidence to build and adapt meditations, having a much better understanding of the principles of how they work.

And throughout the second part of our training, you’ll learn a range of new meditations and have a great opportunity to compare experiences, ask questions about issues that have come up when guiding, and generally extend both your practical and theoretical understanding in guiding meditation.

“Excellent and professional training in meditation teaching. Provides valuable knowledge and skills in a supportive environment”.

Bridgitte Cummins, Occupational Therapist, Griffith Rehabilitation Hospital

An excellent blend of theory and practical teaching.  This balance of teaching style has given me the confidence to teach straight away.  The cue cards are an excellent resource.

Dan Hales, Social Worker

So, who attends these courses?

We’ve had a wide range of people participate in this course. In the last few years, the majority have been Yoga/Pilates instructors, personal coaches, psychologists, counsellors, workplace trainers, many who work in the health and allied health disciplines, and those who lead community and church groups. It’s a broad cross section of our community – anyone who needs the skill of leading short meditations.

But what if I’m not going to guide meditations? You can still benefit enormously! Over the years many have attended just for personal development and interest. All have been happy with the outcome. It gives you a sneak peek into the ‘behind the scenes’ operation of what’s happening in Lifeflow classes.

Overall, the courses give you great experience in guiding meditations skillfully, extending your knowledge of self-care, learning from others’ experiences, and gaining a much greater understanding of the principles of meditation and mindfulness. The teaching team look forward to seeing you soon – please reach out if you have any questions at all. 😊

 

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