The tools of meditation instruction differ quite a lot from any other classroom you have ever been in. And its natural it would be unique because the things we are teaching are so much different. Teachers utilizing the tools of meditation instruction are not just teaching facts and figures. The training of meditation seeks to guide the student along the path of learning relaxation, contemplation and serenity as much as meditation techniques.
So too the tools of meditation instruction and the “classroom” are drastically different from any school you ever spent time in. But if we use the right tools for meditation instruction, our students will enjoy enhanced learning and come away with a training that will last a lifetime.
The Classroom as a Tool of Meditation Instruction.
We probably didn’t think about it when we were in school but a classroom is carefully designed to focus the students on learning. You will do “whatever it takes” as a teacher to make the environment a meditation instruction tool itself. So what teaching techniques can we use to make our room the best tool for meditation instruction it can be?
- Focus on Relaxation. Look at the room where your meditation training will take place. Unlike a class where we want stimulating thought, the room should communicate relaxation and serenity. Remove anything in the room that would draw the mind away from learning successful meditation techniques.
- Calming Colors. Color is a silent teacher. Some colors are naturally stimulating and can literally change the blood pressure of a student. To make our classroom setting a tool to enhance meditation instruction, we want to employ soft relaxing colors. Pastels, yellows and bright but subdued colors communicate relaxation and learning.
- Make the World Go Away. One of our goals in meditation training is to help our students maintain a sanctuary from the cares of the world. So help your classroom become that sanctuary and a tool for your meditation instruction by removing pictures, globes or other items that would take the student’s mind away from their meditation training.
Knowledge as a Meditation Instruction Tool.
Like any area of learning and training, meditation is something we have to grow in our knowledge of. Of all the tools of meditation instruction that will help our students master their meditation technique and grow in their ability to conquer greater challenges, the knowledge that you bring is the best tool you can give them.
But you did not invent the wisdom of inner peace through meditation. There are great meditation “bibles” that will pass the great wisdom of the masters to your students. In that way, their sage counsel through these revered texts can be the best set of tools for meditation instruction of them all. A few to include in your library include…
- Theravada Meditation by Winston L. King
- The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali : A New Translation and Commentary by Georg Feuerstein
- The Practice of Tranquillity and Insight by Amadeo Sole-Leris
- The Heart of Buddhist Meditation by Nyanaponika
- The Yoga Matrix: The Body As a Gateway to Freedom
- Seeking the Heart of Wisdom : The Path of Insight Meditation by Robert K. Md Hall
These are just a few of the wonderful texts that can help your student’s training in meditation technique. Always be open to new books, tapes and teachings to enhance your ability to be a meditation teacher.
Furniture and “stuff”
In addition to the fine tools for mediation instruction we have already listed, there are numerous other helps you can provide to enhance the learning experience of your students. As their teacher, you can reflect on your own mediation techniques and the training in relaxation that you received.
In doing so you will get a vision for the perfect training environment and the meditation instruction tools that will make that setting perfect for training students in relaxation techniques. Some meditation instruction tools that have worked so well for others in the past include…
- Candles – Provide a soft lighting, a sweet aroma, a calming environment and an excellent point of focus for learning relaxation techniques.
- Pillows to help you and other teachers of meditation guide your students in using posture and position in their meditation discipline.
- Gongs – are a melodic and appropriate tool of meditation instruction to be used to signal the beginning of a session and call students to attention in a tranquil way.
- Incense – to utilize all of the senses in the moments of contemplation that are central of the learning setting.
- Music – It has powers to sooth the savage beast they say. But as a tool for meditation instruction, music can guide the student into deeper realms of contemplation and self discover like nothing else.
What is great about your quest to enhance your skills as a teacher and your tools for instruction in meditation is there is always more you can do. It’s exciting to continue to improve from week to week in our skills and in how we present this very important part of life.