FAQs (Meditation Teacher Training)

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+ What type of meditation do you teach, and why is this the most beneficial type of meditation?

Research is showing that different types of meditation practices have different effects. For example, mantra meditation which focuses on the repetition of words facilitates growth in the parts of the brain that regulate language. Meditation that focuses on self-awareness facilitates growth in parts of the brain affecting self-control and self-regulation. Research by Dr. Norris and others is showing that meditation that focuses on cultivating self-awareness and self-regulation have the most profound beneficial effects on our mental and physical health. Meditation focused on self-awareness through the breath and other interoceptive stimuli activate parts of the brain that promote coordination of healing mechanisms of the body, and thus have been found to have the most profound healing benefits (Lazar, 2014). Self-compassion practices were found equally effective in activating regions of the brain that regulate mood, emotion, and physical well-being.

In addition to affecting structural changes in the brain, mindfulness practices have been shown to activate biochemical changes in the brain and throughout the body, associated with well-being, including increased circulating levels of serotonin and endorphins, and decreased stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. Dr. Norris teaches students to cultivate a personal practice that is most rewarding to themselves. By tuning in to the capacity for self-regulation, students are able to self-modulate the focus of their practice, and find optimal well-being in this self-care practice.

+ Can I just come for the purpose of deepening my own personal practice, and not for the certification? And if so, which program should I take?

Yes. You can take the Advanced Meditation Seminar for either 3 hours on Friday night, 5 hours on Saturday, or come for both days and enjoy the weekend immersion simply for the pleasure of the experience.

+ Do you offer CE’s or CEU’s for any professions?

Yes. The National Association of Social Workers offers CE's for Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counselors and other counseling professionals. Yoga teachers may receive CEU’s with Yoga Alliance. Independent study credit hours may be arranged through the American University.

+ I want to take your Meditation Teacher Training. How do I keep track of completion of my requirements?

Our Program Director will help you to keep track and guide you as you progress through the program. You will also receive a course checklist for your personal use.

+ If I have pre-registered for the MTT, and paid for the course, will there be any other expenses for me to receive my teacher certification?

The course registration fee covers all of the required and elective courses, up to 140 hours of coursework, and supervision for 20 hours of community service teaching meditation. Students may attend retreats and participate in workshops with special guest presenters for an additional cost. In some instances, these retreats and workshops may be counted towards the hours for completion of the certification. Students who have completed the training and received the Meditation Teacher Training certificate may continue to attend the Advanced Meditation Seminar and receive a 20% discount off of the program cost.

+ Is the training done in groups or individually?

The Meditation Teacher Training is done in groups. During the training, there may be break-out sessions of smaller groups or triads, for more intensive practice. The Advanced Meditation Seminar (200), the Meditation Practice Leader (250) and the Group Meditation Practicum (260) all meet at the same time, but have different requirements during the training. Private meditation sessions are available with Dr. Norris, but are not a part of the teacher training. There is an additional cost for private sessions.

+ If a student cannot make a session can they make it up in next session?

Yes. The Advanced Meditation Seminar, the Meditation Practice Leader and the Group Meditation Practicum are recurring. You may take the training whenever it fits your schedule, with no need to worry about missing. While classes are typically offered once a month, you may attend whenever you are able - if you miss a month or more, you just pick up where you left off when you are next able to attend. The classes are typically offered on Friday night and the following Saturday afternoon, in 8-hour sessions.

+ What are the required courses like?

The main portion of the training is the 120 hours of required courses. These courses are referred to as the Advanced Meditation Seminar, the Meditation Practice Leader, and the Group Meditation Practicum. These courses all meet at the same class, however the students' responsibilities in the class change with experience. After 40 hours of attending (5 sessions), the student begins to practice leading the meditations for the group. After 4 more sessions, the student leads the interactive guidance, responding to other student's experiences in the class, and facilitating a deepening of others' practices. The other requirements (Mind-Body Therapies: Clinical Applications) and electives can be taken at any time throughout the training.

+ When are the elective classes offered?

Elective classes are offered throughout the year on a recurring basis. Students enrolled in the Meditation Teacher Training program will be notified by email and can check the website for upcoming electives. Classes include specialty areas such as dealing with trauma, pain, cancer or addiction, and specialty populations, such as children, veterans, or the elderly. Electives also include specialized training in mind-body practices, such as yoga nidra meditation, pranayama, etc.

+ How long do I have to complete the requirements to obtain a teacher certificate?

Learning to teach meditation to others is a transformative process in and of itself. Permit yourself the time that it takes to undergo this transformation, so that you may enjoy the process. It is possible to complete the training within eighteen months, and it is recommended that you complete the training within no more than two years. If more time is needed for extenuating circumstances, please discuss this with the Program Director.

+ Is there a certificate of completion or other credential obtained for the classes taken?

Yes. The Mindfulness Center provides a Certificate of Completion of the Meditation Teacher Training. Teaching meditation is not presently a licensed or otherwise regulated program.

+ Can I enroll in both the In person and Online Meditation Teacher Training Program?

Yes. You can enroll what we refer to as the Hybrid program, which gives you access to both the onsite training as well as the online program. In this way you get the benefit of both programs. You can complete the training at your own pace, and you can join the onsite community at any time. You also have access to online materials and research updates, as well as conference calls and office hours. The Hybrid option is great for those who may be moving to or from the D.C. area and want to get started before or finish after they move. It is also ideal for those who live in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, but whose schedule is more demanding. There is an administrative fee added to the cost of the onsite training for administering of records.

If you have any further questions, please contact Roxanne.