Confessions Of A Meditation Teacher: Five Things I’ve Learned
| Written by Diwa Tharan Sanders
Have you ever thought of doing something that really excited you, but instead of jumping to it, your first reaction was ‘No, I can’t do that’ or ‘I know I won’t be good at it’ or ‘Can I really, is there any point in doing so?’ This was the very conversation I had with myself before I started teaching meditation classes.
There had been a little voice stirring in me, asking me to teach, but I kept brushing it off. I ignored it, telling myself to focus on my mala jewellery business instead and that this was just a passing ‘whim’. But unbeknownst to me, this little voice kept persisting, refusing to take ‘No’ for an answer, until finally one day, as I was speaking to a spa manager, the words literally came tumbling out of my mouth, ‘Can I teach guided meditations at the spa?’ He replied with a bright smile - ‘Sure, when would you like to start?’ It was if he had been waiting for me to ask all along.
I eagerly started holding ‘practice meditations’. I made notes and memorised sections from my favourite meditations so I would always have the ‘right things’ to say. It felt awkward and unnatural, but I kept at it, afraid of sounding silly and inexperienced. But as much as I practiced, the tone and energy didn’t feel quite right and as I know now, didn’t even sound like me at all.
So one day, I decided to ‘wing it’ and to go with my own words, guided by my intuition. And what a difference it made. The words came naturally and using my intuition to feel the energy of the group, I guided them into a beautiful meditation that left me surprised and excited. I had found my flow and my voice. And most importantly, I had found my confidence.
A few days later, my first class at the spa went pretty smoothly thanks to the new ‘notes’ I now had. And although it took me a while to find my groove, I learned some important lessons:
1. What You Ignore Doesn’t Go Away
If something pulls at you, don’t ignore it. When we’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to ignore the signs that our higher Self wants to communicate. If something attracts you, brings you joy, tugs at your heart strings or excites you whenever you think of it, then chances are this is something that you desire. Give it attention, as it will keep finding a way to tell you it’s there until you do.
2. Fear Is Something You Create
To overcome your fear, realise that fear is a created concept, not our natural state of being. Most times, without realising it, we put the fear out there ourselves. When I asked if I could teach meditation, the response was not laden in anger, it was a bright, positive ‘Yes’. So why was I feeling afraid and insecure? Well, it was probably the voice of my ego, the self-controlling “voice in the head” as author Eckhart Tolle calls it. The voice that isn’t really truly who you are, but who you think you are. Identify this voice and let it know that it’s okay to express yourself and believe in yourself. Once I chose to love the decision I made to teach meditation instead of fearing it, it became a lot easier for me to move forward.
3. Trust Yourself, You’ve Got This
You are your biggest, most loyal and important supporter. Yes it’s scary embarking on something new (we’ve just discussed why above) but always remember that this journey; be it a new hobby, job, project or even relationship is unfolding because you made a decision that you trusted was good for yourself. Once I learned to trust myself, I found that I was transferring this into the way I meditated and taught. The more my trust grew, the better I became at creating intuitive, guided meditations and the better I became at connecting with participants.
4. What You See Is What You’ll Get
Gandhi said, “We but mirror the world.” Once you learn to trust and support yourself, you’ll realise that people around you are doing the same. I saw this happen at one of my very first large group meditations. As it was a larger group in a new environment, I had high expectations for myself and was feeling anxious. On the day of the class, as people began filling the room, I noticed how friendly, open and encouraging everyone was. They were all there in happiness and at ease, trusting whatever I had prepared for them would result in a beautiful meditation, and it did.
5. Your Heart Knows Best
As cliché as it sounds, follow your heart. Your heart is the seat of your inner voice, your intuition and the gateway to your soul. The great Persian-poet Rumi once said, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” In my experience, this has been most true. So perhaps the next time something tickles your heart’s fancy or if there’s been a persistent knocking at your heart’s door, why not go on and answer it and see what lies in store.