Mindfulness Teacher Training
Mindfulness has been growing in popularity in recent years – and for good reason. Our human collective is more anxious and more stressed out than ever before. Despite advances in technology and healthcare, and an increase in the standard of living in much of the Western world, we are experiencing less overall satisfaction with our lives.
Mental health issues are rising as our sense of connectedness, focus, resilience, and overall well-being are in decline. For this reason, mindfulness has become a topic of interest and important practice for many of us, offering an alternative approach to navigating our way through life.
If you’ve been practicing mindfulness in your own life for some time and are looking to share your knowledge, practices, and personal experience with others, you may be considering taking a mindfulness teacher training course. While the path may currently feel unclear, or while various doubts or concerns may be arising, there are some fundamental components to look out for when choosing the course that will take your own practice and teaching ability to a higher level.
What is mindfulness?
While we might have some inner knowing about what mindfulness is, it is useful to put it into clear and concise words:
Mindfulness is nonjudgmental moment-to-moment awareness.
In other words, to be mindful is to simply be aware of whatever exists in the present moment. It might entail awareness of all five senses, of the breath, of the physical body, of the emotional body, or of any other form of energy that is noticeable to us. It does not require us to get anywhere or to change anything; rather, it is a deep acceptance for anything present, from pleasant to unpleasant experience or sensation.
Mindfulness is not about achieving any desired outcome – even though desirable outcomes are likely to be the result with continued practice. Mindfulness practice is about harnessing our present-moment capacity to sit with whatever is arising. It is a “tuning into”, or a “turning towards”; it is an opening to everything, allowing anything and everything to be compassionately witnessed without judgment.
Why teach mindfulness?
Most of us come into mindfulness through our own personal challenges and suffering. Whether our own mindfulness journey has been forged by experiences of stress, anxiety, trauma, pain, insomnia, or anything else, we hold first hand experience of the more challenging aspects of what it means to be human.
Teaching mindfulness is of great importance because our entire human community needs growing support to help manage the challenges and suffering we all face throughout our lives. Having practiced mindfulness ourselves, we understand just how helpful and empowering it can be.
When we get down to the heart of the matter about why we want to teach mindfulness, we come to see that it rises out of a desire to help others. Having begun to navigate the murky waters of our own lives, we have likely reached some intuitive sense about what mindfulness is and how it can help. The tangible ways it can influence the lives of others is as vast as our human experience, but benefits fall into the following categories:
Through teaching mindfulness, we help others in countless ways; it is really a ripple effect that impacts life on continual and countless levels. We might choose to teach mindfulness to help others with a variety of personal challenges, including but not limited to:
In what professions is mindfulness training applicable?
Mindfulness impacts all areas of life and therefore has a variety of personal and professional applications:
As mindfulness promotes both mental and physical health, it can be incorporated into a variety of existing healthcare settings. Mindfulness can be woven into the work of social workers, psychologists, physiotherapists, physicians, nurses, yoga practitioners and countless others, adding a unique and beneficial lens to traditional healing modalities. Integrative approaches such as this help to address the mind-body gap that still exists in many healthcare settings.
2. Professional or Corporate Settings
From international organizations to start-ups, mindfulness can be applied to help assist with employee and organizational wellbeing. Human resource professionals, consultants, and business owners with an interest in improving emotional regulation, stress management, communication skills, resilience, and communication within the workplace can employ the use of mindfulness to achieve their goals.
Teachers, school administrators, parents, and other educators within the community can use mindfulness to help address some of the challenges that youth (and all generations for that matter) are facing. Learning to teach mindfulness practices and techniques can help to address increasing global challenges such as screen addiction, anxiety, depression, insecurity, and safety concerns. Mindful educators have the opportunity to help both children and adults alike with feelings of isolation and unworthiness, exposing the individuals they work with to lighter ways of engaging with oneself and the world.
Who should become a mindfulness teacher?
While there are no prerequisites to becoming a mindfulness teacher, anyone who has explored mindfulness in their own lives and is interested in sharing the potential of this work with others is a suitable candidate for becoming a mindfulness teacher. Because of the diversity in applications, the following types of individuals may find benefit from adding mindfulness teaching to their offerings:
What types of mindfulness training courses are there?
There are a variety of mindfulness training courses that vary in focus, duration, structure, and cost. Some courses are branded while others offer a more open-ended approach to understanding and offering mindfulness as a facilitator. While program types extend beyond the ones listed here, these are a couple of the recognized acronyms within the field.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
MBSR is a formal eight-week mindfulness program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979. Through immersion in this course, participants learn to respond more effectively to stress, pain, and illness and find a greater sense of inner balance and ease. To become a certified MBSR teacher, this eight-week program is to be completed first, followed by a variety of teacher intensives and trainings.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
MBCT is an approach to mindfulness that works specifically with depression and other mood disorders. Advanced degrees in the mental health field are recommended before application to this program.
Other programs offer a wider approach, exposing participants to a wide variety of meditation techniques and approaches. While more traditional courses are held in-person, high-quality online offerings are being offered to meet the flexibility demands of the modern world. In some of these courses, such as in the Mindfulness Teacher Training program offered through Mindfulness Exercises, one-on-one coaching is still offered despite course delivery being online.
Does accreditation of a mindfulness teacher training program matter?
Some programs are accredited and offer recognized certification upon completion while others do not. It is important to keep this in mind when choosing a program. Enrolling in a course that offers recognized certification will help to build your credentials, which may prove highly valuable when it comes time to share your offerings with the world.
While the skills you learn will take you the furthest, the credentials obtained will help you to get your name out there. Gaining credibility is an important way to get your feet off the ground in this field. Not only is an accredited program highly valuable in the long run from a business standpoint, it also speaks to the quality of the teachings.
Accredited programs ensure that integrity and quality in course offerings are met and upheld. Accreditation ensures that the training you receive adheres to standards recognized as fundamental to quality education; in other words, the course offerings of an accredited mindfulness teacher training program are recognized as up to par with what the program is meant to provide.
The Mindfulness Teacher Training program offered online by Mindfulness Exercises is one such program that is internationally accredited by The Continuing Professional Development Certification Service. This organization is a fully recognized governing body based in London that ensures programs offer effective professional development.
How to Become a Mindfulness Teacher
With the advent of the Internet, mindfulness teaching training has never been more accessible. Since much of mindfulness training is an inner experience, it is more than possible (and often beneficial) to complete your course from wherever you are. With course material available online, you can access teachings and practices from anywhere, at any time, and at your own pace.
Through the online teacher training program provided by Mindfulness Exercises, you will receive one-on-one personal support to help address all of your questions about what it means to be a mindfulness teacher and how to take your knowledge further.
How long does it take to complete training?
Through completion of this program, you can become a certified mindfulness meditation teacher in 40 hours of at-home practice. You will complete these hours on your own time and at your own pace with the ultimate breakdown of hours looking like this:
20 hours of personal practice
Self-record your hours as you strengthen 4 to 5 mindfulness techniques. Together with your instructor you will review your progress and determine new avenues for personal growth.
10 hours of reflective reading
Depending upon your personal goals in the field of mindfulness, you’ll choose, together with your teacher, 1 or 2 books to expand upon your knowledge of the subject. You’ll learn new ways to apply what you’ve read so that what you learn moves from theoretical understanding to practical and experiential embodiment.
10 hours of creating something useful
With one-on-one support, you’ll spend 10 hours creating something to directly offer to your clients. This could be anything from a coaching program or course, to videos, audio, or e-book, to planning and organizing workshops, keynotes, and other events. Once you have narrowed down your chosen demographic, a process that the instructor can assist you with, you will begin this process of creating something beneficial and useful to those you will offer your services or teachings to.
What skills will I learn?
This online mindfulness teacher training course covers six foundational domains to help you succeed in your new career as a mindfulness teacher. These domains relate to all applications of mindfulness training, so whether you are incorporating mindfulness into your current career as a healthcare provider, bringing it into a business setting, or educating a section of the community around you, this foundation will cover the necessary bases to help you succeed.
1. Pacing and organization
Learn how to pace and organize your teachings effectively. From structuring content effectively to choosing and using themes appropriately to exploring flow and pace, you will gain a better understanding of how to share your message with your audience or clients.
2. Relational skills
Teaching mindfulness requires a high degree of compassionate relation to others. This program will help to explore ways to understand and enhance one’s capacity for authenticity, curiosity, respect, and compassion.
3. Embodiment of mindfulness
Understanding and speaking of mindfulness is not quite the same thing as fully embodying it. In order to teach mindfulness to others, it is important that we have learned to embody the practice ourselves – that we display a calm and natural presence. This program will help you to integrate your knowledge about mindfulness, promoting your ability to be more highly focused on and responsive to the changing needs of the present moment.
4. Guiding mindfulness practices
Language is important when it comes to offering mindfulness teachings and services. A teacher training course can help to you fine-tune your words and tone of speech so that it is clear and accessible for your audience or clients.
5. Enhancing interactive inquiry
Various techniques and tools can help to convey the power of mindfulness to those soon to be your clients. Through this teacher training program, you will learn to incorporate a range of approaches into your offerings, from poems and stories to exercises and more direct teachings.
6. Increasing engagement
Once the skills to become a mindfulness teacher have been developed, getting your services out there is the next step. You will develop new tools and techniques to help you focus on your chosen demographic, gain new clients, and package your curriculum in an effective, heart-centered manner.
What in-depth topics will be covered?
Through this program, you will receive in-depth instruction about:
Beyond this, you’ll gain hands-on experience practicing a variety of mindfulness techniques and applying what you learn to a creative project that suits your goals and passion.
What are the benefits of taking a mindfulness teacher training course?
Mindfulness teacher training is far more than just an opportunity for professional development; the benefits start within and then expand outwards to impact the community outside of ourselves. Teacher training provides the support and guidance required to move even further into our own practice.
As you become more aware of and intimate with your own inner world, you gain the skills to understand and work with others who may be interested in exploring the healing potential of mindfulness.
In that way, mindfulness teacher training is experiential. By practicing a variety of techniques and by working one-on-one with an experienced teacher, you as a student come to a more in-depth understanding about what you have to offer others. This intensive personal practice is what touches the core of what this work is about and sets the groundwork for personal and professional success.
These training programs can connect you with other people who are passionate about sharing mindfulness, help you to market and sell your services and products, and help you to tap into what niche or demographic you would like to serve. Accredited programs, like the one offered through Mindfulness Exercises, cover all of the bases to help your compassionate new career to thrive.
Why should I study through Mindfulness Exercises?
The teacher training program offered by Sean Fargo at the Mindfulness Exercises Institute offers a range of benefits that will help to further you both personally and professionally.
1. Study at your own pace
Most people become certified within 3 to 6 months, but you can deviate from this norm in any direction. You may wish to complete your training in one month or prefer to extend it over the course of a year - the choice is yours. With online access, there is no requirement to travel anywhere to become a mindfulness teacher.
Learn to ‘be’ wherever you already are. As you work through the many mindfulness exercises and resources available to you, you will be able to not only grow as a teacher, but as a student as well.
2. Deepen your personal practice
With up to 5 hours of one-on-one training with Sean, paired with a combined 40 hours of personal practice, reflective reading, and creating, you will have the opportunity to really explore your own relationship to mindfulness. Where are your opportunities for growth? Where are your strengths? This course is highly personalized, which means you have the opportunity to take it as far as you wish to dive.
3. Increase your confidence with the foundations of mindfulness
Your inner critic may be quick to point out your weaknesses, but in this program, you’ll learn to view this voice from a place of clear-sightedness and compassion. Through personal practice and with your teachers support, you will disarm inner doubts and increase your confidence to teach, coming to really see what your strengths are and what you have to offer.
4. Learn to teach clearly and accessibly
Teaching mindfulness is largely about delivery. You’ll learn how to convey these insightful messages with clarity and compassion and in ways that suit your audience. Different clients will require different teachings and modes of delivery; this program will help to you understand what to say, how to say it, and when to say it for maximum efficacy.
5. Translate theory into experience with experiential learning
Mindfulness is not just a way of thinking – it should expand to become a way of being. Learn how to translate mindfulness theory and practices into bodily experience – and learn how to share this experiential knowledge with others.
6. Learn a wide variety of techniques and tools
This expansive program offers a variety of teachings, techniques, and tools to help you understand mindfulness from numerous angles. Types of practices offered in this training include: anxiety-reducing meditations, loving kindness meditations, confidence-building meditations, body scan meditations, mindfulness of sounds, mindfulness of emotions, mindfulness of walking, mindfulness of eating, gratitude practices, breathing practices, and a multitude of others. Whatever you wish to teach in relation to this field can be addressed through a variety of techniques and tools. You’ll learn the ones that best suit your goals.
7. Create something useful
With guidance and support, you’ll spend 10 hours of this course creating something to support your aspirations in this field. From ebooks to workshops to talks to videos, the opportunities to share your knowledge and expertise are endless. When questions arise, you’ll be able to receive the support you need to help build your project.
8. Gain access to hundreds of resources
Receive hundreds and hundreds of resources to help further your own practice and to offer to those you work with. Download full meditation scripts, mindfulness trainings and worksheets, assessment forms, research papers, infographics, and presentations to help build your new career.
9. Study affordably
Mindfulness training should be accessible to many, which is why this program is priced the way it is. With no hidden costs and no extra expenses required to travel to a new campus or country for training, becoming a mindfulness teacher is an affordable and conscious way to build your business.
Upon completion, how do I become a certified mindfulness teacher?
Once you have successfully completed the Mindfulness Teacher Training course, you will receive your certificate that designates you a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. With certificate in hand, you can add “Certified MMT” to your resume, LinkedIn profile, and email signature.
Who instructs the Mindfulness Teacher Training course?
The Mindfulness Teacher Training program at the Mindfulness Exercises Institute is facilitated by founder Sean Fargo. Sean devoted his life to mindfulness after spending 2 years as a Buddhist monk.
He went on to assist world-renowned mindfulness leaders like Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock Meditation Center before developing his own program to help others reach their full potential as teachers.
He has helped hundreds of individuals gain certification as mindfulness meditation teachers, coaching them every step of the way to facilitate both their personal and professional development.
What if I have doubts about my potential as a prospective mindfulness teacher?
We never know what we are capable of until we try something, and we never know our true potential until we explore it, step by step. Doubts, insecurity, and anxiety are signs of our growth and expansion; they do not need to restrict us from sharing what we care about with the world. It is our humanness that makes us great teachers; it is our ability to listen with compassion and understanding and to connect with the stories and experiences of our shared humanity.
Through Mindful Exercises’ Mindfulness Teacher Training course, your confidence in who you are and what you have to offer will be expanded as you become deeply connected to the necessity and heart-centered purpose of this type of work.
There are no hard rules or prerequisites for joining a mindfulness teacher training course other than an openness, willingness, and interest in exploring how deep mindfulness can go. You will explore new opportunities for personal growth and fall upon insights that will broaden what you thought possible.
If your inner critic doubts your skills and potential for becoming a mindfulness teacher, the best way to disarm this voice is to bring it to class. Through opening to our own struggles and less-than-supportive mental chatter, we learn to better embody what mindfulness is all about – nonjudgmental moment-to-moment awareness of whatever is (unplesantries included).
When doubts arise, use them as an opportunity for personal practice. Can you sit with this feeling? What does it feel like in the body? Can you notice these thoughts as waves coming and going? As you become curious about your own inner landscape, the thoughts that come over you will have less power to control your actions.
Once you’ve sat with what is rising within you, you might take your inquiry further through exploring meditations and videos about confidence. Since mindfulness is about the process rather than the destination, allow these feelings to simply exist – to come and to go as they may.
None of your experience needs to be changed or fixed. Instead, open to all of it compassionately. During the course, you will have the opportunity to receive support and guidance from your teacher, gaining a better understanding of your strengths and your unique voice to help you overcome your doubts and gain confidence.
How do I enroll?
Enrollment is easy. Pay upfront or by monthly installments and get working towards becoming a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher.
Come as you are and allow your goals, passions, and strengths to lead. It may sound like a cliché or pun, but there is really no better time to become a mindfulness teacher than in this present moment.
The world is in need of more mindfulness; your skills, focus, passion, and experience are likely just what many people are looking for. Learn more and see what others have said by clicking here.