finding a local mindfulness meditation teacher

How to Get a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in Your Locality

meditation

You have just discovered and fallen in love with mindfulness and meditation and you would now like to get started with your journey. You strongly desire to experience what mindfulness is like and begin cultivating it in your life. And since you need guidance to get yourself started with the practice, you wish to get the best mindfulness meditation teacher you can get in your locality, right?

Well, when you do a local search for experienced and reliable mindfulness meditation teachers around you, you are going to get countless results of mindfulness centers that offer mindfulness meditation as well as individual mindfulness instructors willing to help you through your practice.

However, you may not know which one to go for because maybe you don’t know what to look for in a good meditation teacher and how to determine if they are the right fit for you.

Here, we are going to delve into the art of getting the best meditation teacher near you by understanding the aspects to look for and the best places online to do your search.

What Mindfulness Teaching is All About

Mindfulness teaching consists of various aspects that are aimed at helping the meditation beginner or learner or practitioner know and understand the essence of mindfulness and how to build it in their lives. It focuses on sharing the knowledge of why we practice mindfulness and how it improves our lives in different areas. It also goes a step further in training us how to do the practice from beginning to the end and not only get an experience of it but also master the steps taken to make it work in every session.

The mindfulness teacher who is guiding us through our practice helps us know and understand the experiences we get through our sessions and how to handle them in the best way possible so as to make our sessions fruitful.

We have new experiences when we practice mindfulness, and knowing how to deal or interact with them as our sessions are in progress is critical to ensuring we are benefiting from our practice. Since we are always having thoughts racing in our minds naturally and we don’t really tame them, it becomes hard to work with them during our mindfulness meditation sessions. They constantly get in the way and can make us get disappointed with our practice to the point of giving up on it.

However, with a mindfulness teacher, we can learn how to use the natural occurrences in our lives like thoughts in our favor so as to make mindfulness useful in our lives.

Mindfulness teachers also help us learn how to take the virtue of mindfulness that we build in our meditation sessions and work with it outside of meditation. Mindfulness can be handy as we go about our lives as it can help us be effective in our work and relations with our friends, colleagues, and family. It also brings deep peace and inner harmony that we all crave for even when things are not going as we expect them.

So with the help of our instructors, we can learn how to spill over the mindfulness into our daily lives and improve the quality of our lives, relationships, and our overall well-being.

When it comes to mindfulness meditation training, top mindfulness organizations, that regulate the mindfulness practice around the world, have come up with the standards that mindfulness programs and individual instructors have to meet to ensure that they offer well detailed, in-depth, and comprehensive programs for people who are interested in learning and practicing mindfulness in their lives. Although, that concept is being challenged by the individual instructors and programs.

Now, the definition of a good mindfulness meditation program comes down to what you as an individual are looking for in mindfulness.

Skills to Look For in a Mindfulness Teacher

There are certain skills and personal attributes that the mindfulness meditation teacher you are going to work with should have if you are to get a smooth learning experience and good results. These skills and attributes include:

1. Should be an embodiment of mindfulness – Have you ever met someone so calm, patient, and in harmony with themselves that you said to yourself, “Man, I want to be like that person”? Well, it should be the case with your mindfulness teacher. They should have the outer and inner aspects about them that scream mindfulness. You should see what being mindful is like in them. On the outer side, they should be calm, composed, aware, peaceful, and in good harmony with themselves. And on the inner side, they should have the qualities of being non-judgmental, patient, welcoming, open, good control of emotions, and easy to work with. You get to know if they have these things by listening to how they speak and act.

2. Encourages questions and a sense of curiosity in students – A good teacher naturally knows that anyone learning about a given topic for the first time and they are truly interested in it, is bound to have many questions and will have quite some curiosity on different aspects of the topic they are learning about. This being the case, the teacher will create a favorable environment for the students to explore and get their curiosity to run wild. And this helps both the teacher and the student have fulfillment in that the student satisfies their curiosity and the teacher fills in the gaps for the student which helps them achieve their goal of effective teaching.

3. Proper organization and approach to mindfulness – A good teacher of mindfulness meditation has learned, understood, and mastered mindfulness meditation. They know almost everything there is to know about the practice. And since they are also experienced with teaching the practice, they have come up with a well-organized curriculum that is structured in a way that will help the students or practitioners learn the fundamentals of mindfulness without struggling and increase their knowledge progressively towards the more complex aspects seamlessly. When they teach practically and walk the students through their meditation sessions, they ensure that they walk them through the new experiences that they have and explain to them what they mean as well as how to interact with the experiences in a way that won’t affect their progress with their meditation sessions. In essence, the teacher should have a well-figured out a theoretical and practical approach to the practice that makes it easy for the students to ground themselves in the practice.

4. An authentic touch – A reliable teacher should have a unique touch in their personality as well as in their way of teaching. Most teachers who are not well experienced usually follow a common teaching template that doesn’t always speak to the needs of all the students who are being taught. A teacher who covers everything about mindfulness but adds their authentic touch that makes the teaching more effective are people who have interacted with the practice well and who have also taught several students and figured a structure or approach that has a higher impact on the students than using the common template.

5. Connect well with students – Have you ever been in a class with a teacher you feel you don’t have any bond at all with? You just feel there is nothing about them that you relate with? And their style of teaching just doesn’t help you learn efficiently as you desire? Well, make sure you don’t get the same teacher for your mindfulness meditation practice. Look for someone who has a personality you admire and like to be around. Someone open, attentive to you, compassionate, empathetic, willing to repeat a topic happily to ensure you understand it well, respectful, warm, and always looking out to see if you have fully grasped an aspect they have just explained to you.

6. Cuts across different personalities – If you prefer learning in a group setup, then you will want to go for a teacher who understands and appreciates the diverse personalities that come with a group of people and knows how to handle them well in a caring and compassionate way. Someone who can speak to the talkative person as well as the quiet person in the back in the same way and have the same effects on both.

Extra Crucial Things to Look Out For

Other than the skills, other essential things are worth checking as well to improve your odds of landing the best teacher you can get include:

* Their credentials. It is always important to verify their papers to be sure you are working with someone who has gone through the right training from a well-known mindfulness center and they can prove it. You may have to ask the teacher about the institution they studied mindfulness meditation and make an effort of checking with the institution to confirm if it is true. Although, it is worth noting that some teachers may have been taught by ancient mindfulness teachers who viewed meditation as a sacred practice. Maybe they attended monastery training and stayed with the monks there for a while as they studied under them. Look for a way to reach out to the monastery and find out. If it is covered in a lot of myths and mysteries, consider finding someone else.

* Their experience and background. Most of the time, well-experienced meditation teachers have interacted with other instructors and mindfulness and meditation centers, and they are known in the industry. Perhaps they were invited to give a speech, talk to some students or teach mindfulness to a popular institution. Check to see if other well-known mindfulness experts are in their circle. Asking them questions directly about their experience and also doing your due diligence to know how long they have been teaching will help you establish their experience in teaching mindfulness meditation. Also, talking to students they have trained before can go a long way in understanding the kind of experience you are also going to have with the teacher you want to settle for.

* Their availability. How available they are to teach you as well as answer or solve any issues you may have with your practice is of utmost importance. You always want to stick with someone available and reliable. Some teachers may be having thousands of students they are training across the world and it may take time before they get back to you on a matter you are having problems with. Or even find that they are barely able to attend all the meditation sessions you agreed on despite them being really great teachers.

* They are value-oriented. The last thing you want to have is a teacher who has their eyes on what they are getting from you instead of what they are offering. Meditation has become pretty popular and many people are jumping on the bandwagon. The popularity of meditation has enticed many people to want to be meditation teachers as it appears to be the hottest trend at the moment and it is a good money-making opportunity. So you might get a teacher who is only interested in creating an extra source of income through you and doesn’t really give value for your money. Always determine what their motivation and intentions of teaching are. If they have depth in how they explain and teach you meditation and they are not constantly on your neck about the payment even before the agreed payment is due, that’s a sign they might be good to work with.

Top Directories to Consider For Finding a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher

Now that we have seen the attributes and skills to keep an eye for when searching for a mindfulness teacher, here are some well-known and dependable sources and directories to use to get one:

Mindful Directory

This is a directory that came as a result of Sharon Hadley, the founder of Eventlist, and Bryan Welch, the CEO of Mindful collaborating to create a platform that matches mindfulness instructors who get to advertise their services on the platform and practitioners who are looking for mindfulness instructors in their locality. It also features the pieces of training and events on mindfulness that are being held around the world in the near future so that both practitioners and teachers can attend if they have been looking forward to them.

Mindful Leader

This is a directory that allows you to get and verify mindfulness teachers who have received certification in the Workplace Mindfulness Facilitation and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. There is a filter that allows you to search for names and qualifications and their credential ID so that it is easy and fast for you to do the verification. There are also notifications on upcoming mindfulness events and retreats as well as other tools and insights for people to deepen their practice with.

Access MBCT

This is an international listing that helps with finding an MBCT therapist in your area and also provides therapists a platform to register as MBCT therapists and get found by clients.

The Mindfulness Center at Brown University

This is a website page on the Brown Public School of Health that offers a teacher recognition list for MBSR (Mindful Based Stress Reduction) trainers. Here, teachers are required to provide verifiable credentials for the teaching skills in MBSR for them to be added to the list.

The International Mindfulness Teachers Association

This is a website that allows you to find a certified mindfulness teacher in your locality and an accredited mindfulness teacher training program if you would also want to become a mindfulness teacher at some point in the future.

Conclusion

Ideally, you should aim to get a mindfulness teacher who can prove they know mindfulness at a deeper and personal level and with whom you can easily relate with. Using the directories mentioned above will help you find a range of potentially effective trainers who can give you a good start with your mindfulness meditation practice and help you keep going in the right direction.

As you now begin your search, we encourage you to follow the list of aspects to keep in mind as well as the other key factors. Most importantly, follow your gut instincts and meet them in person before fully making your choice. Having a one-on-one talk will help you gauge how comfortable and at ease you feel with them and see if there might be any other red flags you missed as you were interacting with them online.

We wish you all the best in your search and we believe you will get someone who will enrich your journey and practice. Please let us know in the comments where you are in the world, which teacher you chose in your area and why. We look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “How to Get a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in Your Locality

  1. Thanks for this helpful resource. Sometimes it is very beneficial to have local resources to help guide and support your efforts. It’s great that we have all kinds of help available online, but there is no substitute for finding a good resource that you can spend face-to-face time with. It’s only helpful when you align with the right people/groups though, so this is very helpful advice!

    1. Improve Your Brain Power Team says:

      Hi there Aly, 

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      We couldn’t agree more with you. 🙂

      We wish you all the best with your practice.

      Cheers, 

      The IYBP Team

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