About Meditation

How can I find a good teacher?
What is the advantage of having a teacher when learning meditation?
How do I know what kind of meditation I need?

How can I find a good teacher?

Some ways to look for a suitable meditation teachers:

Meet the teacher or speak to the teacher over the phone. Let the teacher talk about what he or she has to offer. Let the teacher talk about views of life. Do you feel at ease? Do you trust the teacher? Does the teacher make a balanced peaceful impression on you?

If you cannot meet your teacher easily before you commit yourself to learning with the teacher, listen to the experiences of others. They can tell you things about the teacher and his/her techniques you will need to decide whether to trust him or her.

Get to know the teacher for a time before you commit yourself to him/her. Find out how the teacher takes criticism. The good ones accept and thank you for justified corrections; the inexperienced ones, the ones with much ego, immediately explain to you why they seemed to be wrong but were actually right. The very best ones will even accept criticism that is partly wrong.

Some teachers try to impress you with the force of their personality, say that unless you become their students your life will remain useless. They are not there to serve their egos.

The best teachers know teaching is not about themselves but about helping people evolve. The best teachers are those who are humble.

Be careful, some teachers will promise you anything you ask for. They may need new students. If you feel disappointed after a few weeks or months without result, they will tell you to be patient.

Does the teacher ask much money? What does the teacher say if you say that you need meditation very much, but you can pay only ten percent of the price the teacher asks. The only one I would trust are those who try to determine how much you want to learn about meditation, and if you are sincere, they do adjust their price to your financial capacities.

Good teachers may not always be pleasant! Spiritual growth means overcoming our laziness and other weaknesses. And we often need such a push. A very intuitive teacher gives you a helpful push or tests your desire to grow. You may feel frustrated, but try to distinguish carefully; does the teacher frustrate with a loving intention behind the words? If so, the teacher is invaluable. Follow such a teacher as long your ego allows you.

Does the teacher take the credit for the kind of meditation that that is being taught If your teacher suggests that he or she designed the type of meditation that he/ she teaches, chances are that the teacher has a big ego, and a low level of spiritual achievement?

If you want spiritual teachings, not just relaxation or concentration, check if the teacher’s goal is to help you. Avoid teachers who are in it for the money.

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What is the advantage of having a teacher when learning meditation?

There are three contributions of a meditation teacher:

First, a teacher is to be a reminder. In a world so strongly outer-oriented, knowing someone whose priority is their inner condition is inspiring. As others are busy living, teachers are concerned about living from the heart. Teachers may make mistakes, but have aspirations and are, perhaps, exemplary in parts of their lives where they are our models.

Second, the teacher is to impart a meditation method to others. Some methods are complex, with steps and stages to complete. Questions arise during the learning of meditation techniques. When we get blocked or stuck at crucial points, a teacher can move us beyond them.

Third, a teacher is to Open the Window beyond the example of life, beyond teaching technique. Teachers perform an intervention that makes it possible for a student to go beyond their usual solitary experience. The teacher activates the connection which always existed between the student and the Divine.

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How do I know what kind of meditation I need?

Meditation can be used to achieve various goals:

Meditation for relaxation. Often people begin to meditate to acquire concentration or to learn to relax. You will find many teachers who can help you with this.

Meditation for concentration. If you meditate to grow mentally and spiritually, to become more open and broadminded and loving, be selective when looking at techniques and teachers.

Meditation for spiritual growth. If you meditate to find your Inner Self, or G-d, or feel the Oneness or interconnectedness of all things, look very hard for a good teacher. Helping others is a necessity if you want to grow spiritually. It helps you gradually overcome the natural habit of thinking more about your own welfare than about that of others. Spending at least some time and energy on others will help you in your spiritual and personal growth. If your teacher never mentions this, a key element is missing.

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