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Updated on:

April 22, 2024

In 2024, we don’t have to look too hard or too far to find reasons to turn from the way we’ve always done things and explore a new way of living and being in the world. As more people turn toward meditation for a lasting sense of stability, clarity and purpose, demand for skilled meditation teachers is also increasing. 

According to the US National Institutes of Health, the number of people meditating tripled between 2012 and 2017 to over 14%. [1] That number is still growing. After a pandemic surge in 2020, it’s estimated that nearly 500 million people now meditate worldwide. [2]

Perhaps you too, are feeling this shift and considering becoming a mindfulness meditation teacher. But how do you know which meditation teacher training program is best for you? We review the top online meditation teacher training programs available in 2024.

meditation teacher training, Top Online Meditation Teacher Training of 2024

Mindfulness Exercises Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Certification Program: Best Overall

The Mindfulness Exercises Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program, led by Sean Fargo, is at the top of our list. This is an affordable, self-paced program that offers graduates an internationally recognized accredited certification. 

Although it is entirely online, students in the program receive live weekly mentorship from Sean Fargo and his senior teachers. In addition, there are once-monthly guest teacher appearances by some of the world’s most well-known experts in mindfulness and meditation. Access to the course, materials and resources, including future guest teacher appearances, is lifelong. 

meditation teacher training, Top Online Meditation Teacher Training of 2024
  • Key Features: Opportunities for live mentorship and community connection.
  • Length and schedule: This self-paced program can be completed in just 80 hours.
  • Cost: Under $2,000 USD
  • Certification Details: Accredited by the Continuing Professional Development Certification Service (CPD) and the International Mindfulness and Meditation Alliance (IMMA).
  • Resources: Includes 200 guided meditation scripts, 300 mindfulness worksheets, and a brandable 10-session mindfulness curriculum you can use to start teaching right away.
  • Curriculum: Students must complete a 21-lesson course on Mindfulness Teaching Fundamentals, plus a 5-lesson course on Guiding Meditations. 
  • Format: Students participate at their own pace and receive certification upon completion of the requisites. Requirements include the submission of audio or video that demonstrates an understanding of how to teach the foundational principles of mindfulness.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Reviewers love Mindfulness Exercises and rate it at 4.7 on TrustPilot. The certification program in particular receives a clean 5 stars.

The Path: Best For Buddhist Wisdom

For those interested in an online training that leans decidedly more Buddhist, The Path offers a meditation teacher training certification in mindfulness and compassion. Classes take place online, but live attendance is required. Sessions meet at times most convenient for those in the US Eastern Time Zone.

Due to the live attendance requirement, this 12 week program has specific start and end dates. Students benefit from the community that’s fostered by meeting directly with mentors and peers. 

meditation teacher training, Top Online Meditation Teacher Training of 2024
  • Key Features: Learn to guide mindfulness and compassion meditations in a live, group setting.
  • Length and schedule: This program meets approximately 2 hours per week for 12 weeks.
  • Cost: Under $1,000 USD (optional add-ons cost extra).
  • Certification Details: Students receive a certificate from The Path.
  • Resources: Includes on-demand videos for self-study.
  • Curriculum: This Buddhist online meditation training focuses on Buddhist teachings and the neuroscience of meditation.
  • Format: Students watch on-demand videos on Buddhist wisdom topics then meet once weekly in a live Zoom session.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Google reviewers give this program 4.9 out of 5 stars. 

Kripalu Meditation Teacher Training: Best Hybrid Online Training

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in western Massachusetts offers a hybrid learning experience that combines 3 months of online classes with a 5-day in-person retreat. The online portion of the course meets live, although sessions take place on weekends.

Not a mindfulness meditation teacher training, this program focuses on relaxation practices, mantra and chanting, yoga nidra and other meditation styles, in addition to breath and body awareness. The curriculum fosters empathy and intuitive teaching skills. Students will graduate with an understanding of the fundamentals of meditation in the Kripalu tradition. 

meditation teacher training, Top Online Meditation Teacher Training of 2024
  • Key Features: Learn diverse tools and techniques for sharing meditation with others.
  • Length and schedule: This 3-month program meets online each weekend and culminates with an in-person 5-day retreat.
  • Cost: Approximately $2,500 USD.
  • Certification Details: Those who complete the full program become certified Kripalu Meditation Teachers.
  • Resources: None mentioned.
  • Curriculum: Students will explore several different meditation practices drawn from ancient yoga traditions. 
  • Format: Includes self-study, day-long online weekend sessions and a 5-day in-person retreat.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Kriplau is a well-respected yoga and meditation center.

Brown University School of Professional Studies: Best Mindfulness Programs for Professionals

In partnership with the famed Mindfulness Center at Brown University, the School for Professional Studies offers two online mindfulness meditation teacher training programs for professionals. The first, a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training program, is rooted in the evidence-based program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The second offering, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), focuses on the use of mindfulness to help those struggling with Chronic Depression. 

Both programs take over 2 years to complete, and require the completion of several silent retreats. They are excellent choices for professionals who would like to integrate mindfulness into their clinical practice as therapists or counselors. 

meditation teacher training, Top Online Meditation Teacher Training of 2024
  • Key Features: Learn to teach secular-based mindfulness for helping people meet the challenges of daily life and living with depression.
  • Length and schedule: Participants are qualified to teach in just one year, although it may take over 2 years to receive certification.
  • Cost: $14,225 USD (not including pre-requisite or retreat costs)
  • Certification Details: Receive a certificate in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teaching.
  • Resources: None mentioned.
  • Curriculum: Ground yourself in the science of mindfulness, understand trauma-sensitive teaching principles and cultivate the skills to lead guided meditation.
  • Format: The full training consists of six courses and one final review, including the completion of silent retreats and teaching requirements.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Brown University and the School for Professional studies are well-respected institutions with qualified, skilled instructors.

How We Choose These Meditation Teacher Training Courses

We searched worldwide to see who offers a meditation teacher training course that can be completed primarily online. Next, we narrowed the field to programs that met the following qualifications.

  • The program can be completed primarily online
  • The program has 2024 dates available
  • The sponsoring organization is well-respected and trusted
  • The curriculum is presented by experts in their field
  • The program is focused on the fundamental skills of teaching meditation
  • The organization has experience offering meditation teacher training online
  • The program has searchable reviews from past participants

There are other excellent meditation teacher course offerings that did not make our list, primarily due to their specificity. These include trainings that fall into niche categories such as Buddhist meditation teacher training programs or advanced trauma-sensitive programs.

Choosing the Right Program for You

The meditation teacher training online program that works best for you is the one that most closely aligns with your current values and future goals. Consider where you are in your mindfulness journey, and where you would like to go. How do you hope to use your certification?

For those seeking to develop both personal practice and professional prospects, an all-around offering like the Mindfulness Exercises Certification Program may be best. If you’re specifically interested in learning about Buddhist philosophy, explore the offering by The Path. Some have a diverse interest in several types of meditation, including movement-based practices. For them, a Kripalu training may be of interest. Others have an interest in following an academic path or using their teaching certificate in a clinical or professional setting. For these people, an MBSR or MBCT training might make the most sense.

Most people put cost at the top of their consideration list. The meditation teacher training that’s best for you will not only be affordable, but accessible. Consider your time and schedule. Is the program self-paced, such as the Mindfulness Exercises offering? Or does it require live attendance or lengthy, in person retreats?   

FAQ | Best Mindfulness Certification Program

How much do online meditation teacher training programs cost?

The best online meditation teacher teacher training programs on our list cost anywhere from just under $1,000 US dollars to well over $15,000. Typically, you are paying for more than just a video recording. The top, most trusted programs will offer you live mentorship opportunities. What’s more, your certification will be approved by a real human being who will take the time to look through your materials and offer an honest assessment.

What types of meditation will I learn to teach?

Asking what types of meditation you will learn to teach is a great question for the programs you are considering. Some of the top online meditation teacher trainings on our list teach only mindfulness meditation. Others include compassion practices, or meditation styles that fall outside the realm of ‘mindfulness.’ This may include mantra, chanting, visualization or relaxation practices.  

Is there a difference in the quality of online vs. in-person meditation teacher training?

Sometimes online and in-person meditation teacher training courses differ greatly. That said, this difference is not something you should experience if you choose from the best online teacher training programs on our list. These programs offer a combination of pre-recorded and live online classes. So, you’ll still meet with real mentors and teachers, even if on a Zoom call. 

Is there a demand for meditation teachers?

Yes. Demand for meditation teachers is increasing as more and more people are turning to meditation, seeking a more effective way to face life’s challenges and live with greater happiness and ease. As meditation becomes increasingly popular, it’s important that those beginning a mindfulness journey find skilled, compassionate and qualified teachers.

Can you make a living as a meditation teacher?

Yes. People make a living as a meditation teacher in many ways. Some teach within educational institutions or as wellness professionals in corporate settings. Others teach in religious or spiritual spaces. Meditation teachers are needed in healthcare settings and any place people go to make changes to their lives and feel better. Many meditation teachers work for themselves, offering meditation in person or online, to groups or individuals.

Summing up

The world needs more trained and trustworthy certified meditation teachers, especially as meditation’s popularity continues to grow. A meditation practice offers a great many benefits, but only when practiced correctly and compassionately. 

Whether or not you’re ready to teach, an online meditation teacher training will deepen your personal practice and understanding. Having completed the requisites for a meditation teacher training, you’ll share mindfulness with others simply by being a more mindful version of you. 

About the author 

Sean Fargo

Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]