13 February 2017


Meditation is the greatest gift you can give to your self or to someone else. Learning to teach meditation accomplishes both things. There is no better way to learn something than to teach it; and to teach meditation you need to understand it well and to practise regularly.

So this week, a call for you to consider training as a meditation teacher, or to pass this information on and encourage a colleague, friend or family member to take it up.

In this dynamic world we live in, where so much is changing, where there is so much uncertainty and fear; there has never been a more urgent time for more people to take up meditation. One suspects that if a significant percentage of the population meditated regularly, the world would be a far more liveable, sane, happy and meaningful place.

What then happens during our meditation teacher training programs? This week, we get to find out, but first

             Thought for the day

A hundred times every day 
I remind myself that my inner and outer life 
Depend on the labors of other men, 
Living and dead, 
And that I must exert myself 
In order to give in the same measure 
As I have received. 

                            Albert Einstein

Ruth and I love teaching others to teach meditation.

People who aspire to teach meditation are such a fine bunch. They may be health professionals – doctors, psychologists, counselors, natural therapists etc; they may be teachers or leaders in their corporate workplaces, they may be meditators who have felt the benefits of their own practice and are inspired to pass on those benefits.

When they come together to learn, these people create an incredible atmosphere.

We really enjoy their passion. In our view, meditation is the best of all self-help techniques, because as we know, the mind decides how we think, how we react, what we do. Meditation helps us to get to know our own mind – how it does work, what it is capable of. And our aspiring teachers are committed to helping others receive the benefits of a calm and clear mind.

Our training then, consists of a 5 day residential program. 

It is conducted amidst the natural beauty and comfort of the Yarra Valley Living Centre, and is presented as part of a complete training package.

The Gawler Foundation has been teaching meditation teachers since I first started doing this in 1988.

These days The Foundation presents two 5 day modules.

One is presented by our colleagues and friends Paul and Maia Bedson (Remember Paul is the co-author of Meditation – An In-depth Guide). The Bedson’s module focuses on preparing to teach an 8 week Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation course.

The module Ruth and I present prepares the teachers to teach two 4 week courses; one on Contemplation, the other Guided Imagery. This includes theoretical and research aspects of how the mind functions and how this knowledge leads into understanding and utilizing the benefits of affirmations and imagery.

The program itself is highly experiential. While there is a good theoretical background that we study, during the training there are also many sessions where we break into small groups for supervised practice in leading meditation sessions.

There is also good time devoted for questions, answers and discussion.

There are very thorough manuals all participants receive that give explicit detail on how to present the material.

It may be worthwhile to point out that as yet, not so much is taught these days on Contemplation or Guided Imagery, despite both being profoundly helpful. Many people report how these techniques have transformed their lives for the better, and my sense is that with more and more people taking up and benefiting from basic mindfulness practices, there will soon be a big wave of people having the sense there is more on offer and enquiring as to what comes next.

Also, perhaps not surprisingly, most people who attend these trainings report how beneficial they are for their own practice. There is a deepening of their understanding and of their experience.

Completing both modules will meet the training requirements for Provisional membership of the peak professional body for meditation teachers, The Meditation Association of Australia (MAA) - see their website for current details. Other Meditation Retreats facilitated at the Yarra Valley Living Centre could contribute to these registration requirements.

So, is this something for you? 
A new vocation perhaps? Something extra you can add to what you are already doing???

Is there someone you know how may be interested? If so, please do share your enthusiasm. Speaking personally, it is wonderful to teach anyone to meditate, but when we help another person to take up being a teacher, we know there will be a big flow on effect.

What better time than now?

For details, click here
or phone the Gawler Foundation directly on +61 3 5967 1730.


April 7 – 13th     Meditation in the Forest - MEDITATION and CONTEMPLATION

This is our annual Pre-Easter 7 day retreat at the Yarra Valley Living Centre. Each year we learn a little more about relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, and we practice together. Then each year there is a specific theme; this year it is contemplation. There is not so much written on contemplation, and very few retreats on this specific topic, yet in my experience it is one of the most useful and profound elements to add to our practice. 


April 24 – 28th Cancer and Beyond

For many people these days, living with cancer is an ongoing reality. So how to do that? How to live fully and well in the potential shadow of a major illness? It seems to me to be virtually essential to regularly take time out, to stand back, to re-assess, to keep on track, to get back on track when necessary, to clarify the confusion that is so easy to get into with all that is in the Press and on the net, and to perhaps most importantly, to be re-inspired and re- enthused for the journey ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ian - always good to read your words. This is probably not the forum for answering this question but I would appreciate your perspective. I am a psychologist and find great benefit from mindfulness practices. I have come across some articles claiming meditation/mindfulness can have negative effects. I have never found this myself or when I have led groups. An example is here https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jan/23/is-mindfulness-making-us-ill and I have seen others. I would be interested in any perspectives on this if you have time.CheersMichael michael@fatiguesafety.com.au 0409 554 1554