“How do you do what you do?”, she asked. That question came right after she complemented me on my ability to completely focus on one thing at a time.
What should the practiced meditator-on-the-street do next? When asked this sort of question, this is the crucial moment where I share that I meditate.
How they respond could start them on a meditation journey that levels them up to a next level of life optimization. When you’re prepared to share the wisdom and they’re ready to learn, you’ve both begun a new journey together. As someone who has taught meditation for decades on and off, there are some things you should know.
Sharing meditation tips once in a while is completely fine. However, there’s going to come a time when you need to lead a person through a meditation. Where to do that? At first glance you might consider doing it where they live. That can go badly.
My First Rich House
Once, I responded to the request to teach a nurse meditation. The only place available at that time was her beautiful large house. Since I can appreciate the beauty of a wealthy home, this was looking to be a fun and novel experience.
After I walked up the long lit path while admiring the beautiful flower garden and lush green lawn, I rang the doorbell and her son answered the door. He looked up at me like “What are you doing here?” and yelled for her mom. With a smile, I mentally wished her son lovingkindness and let go of the “What are you looking at?” thought that arose in the mind.
After the usual exchange of greetings and her thanks to me for coming over, we went into the living room. All of us. The nurse, her kids, and me. We all took a seat on her extremely comfy carpet.
I’m Not Your Dad
I started with the basics of mindfulness meditation. After the introductory meditation session was complete, her son looked at me with an accusatory look and said:
Why are you teaching her? Are you here to replace dad?
I still remember me saying “I’m not trying to become your new father. I am here to teach meditation.” This later led to a deeper conversation with the nurse about how her family life is not a happy one. Such discussions would never have happened if we had another location.
As I mentioned in Meditation, Neopagans, and Sex, it was risky anyway for me to teach meditation where someone lives. I do not recommend it. At least this time, I was not offered sex.
What’s Traditionally Available For Teaching Meditation?
Typically, meditation can be taught at meditation centers where they receive proper instructions. However, syncing up the needs of the meditation student and the needs of the meditation center can be tricky. A perfect example is when I asked a center when the next beginners meditation course is starting and the response I got was “In the fall.” That was months away. Too long of a wait for people who feel the call of starting down the meditation path now.
Where Online Can They Learn?
The 10% Happier courses on the mobile app and website are wonderful. 10% Happier has coaches that come with real life experience. Yet due to the nature of the situation, conversations with them will be slow. You send a message and wait for about a day for a response. Although I absolutely love my online coaches and have gained special insight from Rae in particular, there’s no substitute for a realtime conversation.
Where Can Meditation Be Taught Outside of a Meditation Center?
Chatting with your local meditation center instructors can reveal new ideas. I had a wonderful chat with Armine Alioto at the Show Me Dharma meditation center. (A description of the center is covered in the Show Me Meditation post.)
She pointed out that the Unity Center of Columbia church may have some space available for us. She also said I might pick up a few others who want to learn as well. The key is to have an uninterrupted safe area.
Outside of churches, I have taught meditation in the backroom of a store, a townhome clubhouse on a quiet weekend, and in library study rooms. I have also shared insights online in the new online Discord Meditation community.
It’s Worth Sharing Your Insights
It’s worth figuring out the logistics so that you can help others begin. By teaching, you’re sharing and learning. If you let the wisdom flow through you, it will feel as natural as breathing. It’s a natural choice which brings you closer to oneness and wholeness. For me specifically, it’s a natural expression of my Personal Mission as shared in Resilience and Optimism. Good luck and happy sharing.