2020/21 Meditation Teacher Training
Hamsa Meditation Center and/or Online
I’m delighted to offer the Hamsa Meditation Teacher Training Program to those of you interested in deepening your own meditation practice, learning more about meditation, and, of course, how to teach meditation.
Sixty years ago, when I was just a kid, this was no career called, "Meditation Teacher." Nor were there many books or opportunities for online learning. You had to go to Burma, India or Nepal to learn about meditation. But now it's an expanding part of our culture. How lucky are we!
I invite you to scroll through this page and our website to get a sense of Hamsa Meditation Center and if we’re the right fit for you. If you decide the program is for you, then please apply! Your community is in need of knowledgeable and trained meditation teachers.
Not only will you be of benefit to your friends, family and community, you will be able to experience the same delight I feel when someone asks,
“What do you do?”
“I teach meditation.”
They usually get a quizzical look.
And then I add with a delighted laugh, “It’s the best job on the planet!”
It almost always makes them smile.
Hamsa Meditation Center provides a supportive friendly environment for you to learn how to meditate and also learn how to use meditation to improve your day-to-day life.
Caren Prentice, our founding teacher, began her practice of Kriya Yoga over twenty years ago and is currently training in advanced practices with her Tibetan Buddhist Teachers. Over the years she has studied and trained in Mindfulness, Stress Reduction, Kriya Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Kashmir Shaivism, Vipassana, also known as Insight Meditation, and many other types of meditation.
She has found that having a "Toolbox" or "First Aid Kit" or "Treasure Chest" filled with many types of meditation techniques has proven invaluable. Meditation is always beneficial, but the technique to work with extreme fear or anxiety is not necessarily the best technique for settling into presence or cultivating loving kindness. There are times when a Guided Visualization is most effective and times when settling our attention on the breath is what's needed. Add to this the very human reality that a given technique will not work the same, or even be effective, for everyone.
So what do we teach?
Let's let Caren take it from here.
"I teach what I use and I encourage our teachers to teach what they use. I have found teachings and techniques from many traditions THAT WORK and that's what I share with my students.
Here at Hamsa, we are not Buddhist or Hindu or Shaivite or Mindfulness or any other kind of label. We explore the techniques and teachings from different traditions and teach you how to adapt and use the techniques in ways that work for your body, your lifestyle, your personality, and your belief system.
Yes! You can keep your own religions and philosophies. I will share the teachings as I've understood them from my guru and my teachers but they are never shared as dogma or doctrine. I encourage you to take them with a grain of salt and test them out for yourself to find what works for you.
Ultimately, the wonder of meditation is that there is a technique for everyone. The fun is in figuring out what techniques work best for each person. and then using meditation to become kinder, happier, and less judgmental so we can be of benefit to those around us."
We focus on Doing!
The whole point of meditation is to make your life more harmonious and happy. To help you break out of the mental and emotional habits that trap you in “dissatisfaction and discontent” so you can discover the joy and contentment that is already within you.
The key to that is “doing”. You can think about it, talk about it, but it's in the actual doing of meditation that transformation happens. You will learn how to “do” meditation on the cushion in formal practice, and also how to "do-apply-use" meditation off the cushion in what we call the “informal” practice of your life—which is where it really counts.
In other words, we focus on helping you integrate your meditation into your daily life.
And here’s the best news. Contrary to myths about meditation, here at Hamsa we know something to be true that no one talks about. You don’t have to meditate perfectly to benefit from meditation. And you will learn about that too.
The Hamsa Meditation Teacher Training is for meditators who:
- Are ready to deepen their personal meditation practice.
- Want to broaden their understanding of how to apply meditation in their day to day life.
- Feel a call to teach. But not from an, “I’m all that!” kind of way. But more from an, “If the best way to learn more about meditation is to teach, then I’ll teach… even though it scares the crap out of me,” kind of way.
It is not for:
- People who have never ever meditated before.
- Anyone looking for a program that will train you in one main technique or school of meditation. This program is not that.
A personal note:
Over the years, as I've continued my development as a teacher— I take at least one or two trainings a year—it's become clear to me that personal contact is what provides the most meaningful and transformational experience possible. There are many programs available online or on CD as digital downloads, which sounds great because you can go at your own pace and rhythm. But the reality is—and I've seen this play out too many times to count—the vast majority of students never finish the program. They end up abandoning the course or paying to retake it and then, yep, you got it, they still never finish. It's happened to me and I've watched it happen to countless others.
This isn't what I want for my students; rather, I want to set you up for success.
The Hamsa Meditation Center Teacher Training focuses on personal interaction between teachers and students. The vast majority of your hours are spent learning and practicing in class together! The personal interaction makes a world of difference in the richness and depth of your learning experience. And, if you show up, whether online or in-person, you will finish the course!
My hope is that you will develop an intimate love affair with meditation and get to know the different techniques so intimately that they will become dear dear friends. And like friends, you don’t always hang out with all of them all the time. But you know who to call when you need them.
Some meditations you will only use once or twice in your lifetime. Others you may use daily. Others you will use when stressed. Others when so angry you need to throw or kick something. Others when you are grieving. Others when you are so content and happy tears of joy flow freely. Just as different friends fill different needs and bring out different qualities in you, it’s the same with meditation.
Meditation changes us. It transforms us.
What can you expect to gain from this program? You can expect to learn how meditation helps you:
- Discern the difference between you and your thoughts, your emotions, your mind.
- Be kind, compassionate, and authentic with yourself—to love yourself.
- Identify the source of stress, anxiety, and worry and know how to deal with it.
- Move through anger, shame, grief, and fear, and heal yourself.
- Cultivate the wisdom to accept life as it is and let go of resistance to the way things are.
You can expect to:
- Improve your sleep and to feel at home and relaxed in your body.
- Get along better with the people in your life.
- Become less reactive.
- Touch deep places of calm and ease.
- Fill your heart with love and delight.
- Feel the touch of the Divine and know that you are loved and appreciated.
You can also expect…
You can expect to struggle a bit on the way, as you bump into places inside you that you haven’t been aware of. You can expect resistance, judgement, self-criticism, feelings of failure and “not worthy of being here.” These are part of the path for most of us.
BUT—and this is the most important BUT of all time— you can also expect to learn how to heal and balance those very same places as you travel this path to wholeness and happiness.
And then, as a teacher, whether in the classroom or simply teaching by the way you live your life, you can share that hope and joy with others.
In this Teacher Training you will:
- Learn and practice meditation techniques from Kriya Yoga, Buddhism and Mindfulness Traditions. You will also become familiar with the science behind meditation.
- Become aware of the styles, schools and teachers of meditation being practiced today.
- Experience for yourself that there is more than one "right" way to meditate.
- Learn how to replace the guilt that comes from not meditating perfectly with authentic kindness and joy.
- Learn how to lead and teach meditation.
Here’s a sampling of the meditation techniques we will learn:
- Correct posture
- Breath Control / Pranayama
- Quieting thoughts and re-training your mind.
- Identify, reduce and eliminate stress.
- Improve sleep
- Body relaxation.
- Mindfulness and how to become present.
- Transforming intense emotions into positive states of being.
- Forgiving and healing.
- Balancing and staying centered.
- Awareness of your true nature.
- Guided Visualization
As a teacher:
- How teaching affects your personal practice
- Using your practice in your teaching
- When and how you can adjust and modify techniques
- How to analyze and understand the essence of a technique
- Checking your students’ progress.
- How to support and guide students through their practice.
- Traditions around meditation.
- Myths about meditation
- The dark side of meditation no one talks about.
We are happy to announce that the program is being offered both:
- Online, for those of you who don’t live nearby, or can't be there in-person at all times.
- In-person at Hamsa Meditation Center.
You have the option to choose either a daytime or evening session, which makes it much easier for those of you who live in Eastern or Central time zones.
We use the Zoom.us platform so you can easily join us from your computer, laptop or tablet. Phones will work but don’t have the same flexibility as other devices.
Nine month, 200 hour Intensive Program.
Daily Practice, Journaling and Homework not included in 200 hours
20 Group Meditation
5 Meditation with Other Teachers
- Wednesdays, 1:00 - 3:00 or 7:00 - 9:00
- Saturday Mini-Retreats, 8:30 - 1:30
2020 - 21 Calendar
Fall Term 8 weeks
Winter Term 9 weeks
Spring Term 10 weeks
In-House Retreat at Hamsa Meditation Center:
February 19 - 21
Required – Included in tuition
Residential Retreat Off-site at Alton Collins Retreat Center:
May 13 - 16
Optional – Not included in tuition
Payment in Full $2435
Payment Plan $2535 (3 installments of $833)
- First things first, you will need to apply. Apply online here.
- There is a $35 non-refundable application fee. If you are accepted we will apply that towards your tuition. If you are not accepted, you can apply it to classes at Hamsa Meditation Center.
- Once we’ve received your application we will schedule a personal interview either in person or via zoom.
- We will let you know via email if you have been accepted into the program. Your acceptance letter will include your link to complete the registration and payment process.
When you complete the program you will receive your 200 Hour Certificate from Hamsa Meditation Center. You will be qualified and trained to lead group meditations, teach beginning meditation classes, and create classes of your own.
Closing Thoughts ...
My guru would say to me,
"Caren, if you want to learn about meditation, teach!"
And, he was right! What I've learned about meditation over these years has transformed me. It's also transformed my relationships and my life.
If what you’ve seen here resonates with you, I would be honored to be your teacher.
Feel Free to Contact Me
If you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to contact me.