Our Level I & II Meditation Teacher Training Program will be offered online for 2020-2021.
The program will be divided into ten modules, each between three and six weeks long.
There will be one 90 minute class each week, so each module will consist of three to six classes.
All classes will be taught live via Zoom.
Each week's class will be offered at two different times.
Participants can choose to attend whichever live Zoom class is most convenient for their schedule, or they can view later via our private YouTube channel.
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Eastern time)
10:00 am to 11:30 am (Eastern time)
Introduction to the course
Introduction to meditation
Research into the benefits of meditation
Basic sitting meditation
Subtle body theory
Basic energy practices
Calm abiding meditation
Ethics of meditation and mindfulness
Arriving at clarity
Meditation in education
Meditation in the workplace
Open heart-mind meditation
Project proposal due
Advanced energy practices
Pure mind meditation
Working with trauma
Introduction to dzogchen
Role of technology in meditation
Community teaching due
Early Bird Special: $1,200. Payment in full 90 days before class
Regular price: $1,500. Payment in full 30 days before class
Financing is available
Limited scholarships are available
Qualifies for Yoga Alliance continuing education (CE) requirements
Click the "Registration Information" button for more information, or to request a phone call to discuss the program.
Linking Body, Breath, Energy & Mind
$10 per person (or via Class Pass)
In this weekly online Zoom class, we will explore a progressive approach for linking body, breath, energy and mind to achieve a state of deep relaxation that promotes healing and peace. Deep, sustained relaxation is not only the basis for physical and mental health and well-being, but the foundation for spiritual awakening.
Each week we will learn and practice new methods to relax the body, slow and deepen the breath, and gain control of our subtle inner energies. These techniques lead the mind into a state of relaxed awareness that cultivates calm, clarity, and wisdom, enabling us to rest in a fully integrative experience of mind itself.
Join us for a free weekly online mini-meditation hosted by Ruah Yoga Studio in Annapolis, MD.
No instruction, just a short guided meditation to wind down the day.
Register for free via Zoom at:
Linking Body, Breath, Energy & Mind
Adding Pranayama to your Yoga & Meditation Practice
$45 per person
In this three-hour online (Zoom) workshop we will explore the importance of breath control and internal energy practices within the progressive approach to meditation taught in both the Hatha Yoga and Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
This progressive approach leads us from the external, physical practices of the body (asana) through the internal practices of breath (pranayama) to the subtle practices of the internal energies (tsa lung) and finally to the most profound meditative practices which work directly with the mind. This natural progression forms the basis of the yogic study of the eight limbs, five koshas (sheaths) and five vayus (winds), as well as the 'outer, inner, secret' approach of Tibetan Buddhism.
Our workshop begins with a general discussion of the body, breath, energy and mind approach, and then turns to the role of the subtle body in pranayama and tsa lung practice. We explore the energetic physiology of the channels, winds, chakras and subtle essences as they relate to these practices of breath and internal energy. We learn nine increasingly challenging breath and energy exercises including the eight postures, three bandhas, two mudras and four stages of breath that are utilized in the various techniques. We discuss the benefits of each exercise, as well as hints and cautions for safe practice. Finally, we practice each of the techniques to ensure that participants are well equipped to integrate them into their regular yoga and meditation practice.
Hacking Consciousness by Resting in Awareness:
--- The Pinnacle Practice of Dzogchen
$30 per person
Hacking consciousness means changing our relationship to the world, rather than changing the world itself. We want to hack consciousness to discover who we really are, to explore and ultimately to raise our consciousness. Of course, as we raise our individual consciousness, the world collectively follows suit.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the most profound mediation is called Dzogchen, often translated as the Great Natural Perfection. To accomplish Dzogchen meditation is to simply rest in Awareness itself. We call this Awareness our natural state or the Nature of Mind. It is our true condition, primordially present and spontaneously arising, without manipulation or fabrication of any sort. To simply rest in the freshness of this present moment experience, in a state of luminous and clear non-conceptual Awareness is the pinnacle of meditation practice. This the Great Natural Perfection.
During this workshop we will discuss mind and meditation from the perspective of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We will discuss a progressive approach to practicing Dzogchen that ties together all of the meditation practices of the hatha yoga and Buddhist spiritual traditions. This approach begins with outer practices of the body and progresses inwards through practices of breath and subtle energies. Ultimately, we reach the most profound experience of simply resting the mind in Awareness itself.
Linking Body, Breath, Energy & Mind
A Yoga & Meditation Retreat with Michael Hess & Laura Flanagan
I will be leading this retreat together with Laura Flanagan, the founder of the Socrates Center (www.socratescenter.com) and a spectacular western yogi. Since the Socrates Center retreat facilities are currently under construction, the majority of retreat activities will take place at Kinkara, a nearby luxury mountain resort and retreat center (www.kinkara.com). Tucked away at the foot of Mt. Chirripó in Costa Rica's biodiverse Southern Zone, Kinkara is an experiential luxury resort for one-of-a-kind activities, personal relaxation, and collective group adventures. Whether swimming in a jungle waterfall, savoring exquisite farm-to-table cuisine, or finding inner peace through yoga and meditation, Kinkara provides not only the physical container for our retreat experience, but offers moments of self-discovery, a path to renewed ideas, and amazing connections with nature.
Our retreat was created to introduce a unique approach to integrating physical, mental and spiritual health and wellness based on a progressive approach designed for westerners but adapted from the Eastern spiritual traditions.
Our progressive approach begins by working with outer phenomena and gradually moves inward, exploring increasingly subtle and ultimately the most profound experiences available. We begin our work with practices of the body, progressing and integrating the breath, energy work and ultimately the most profound meditation practices from the Hatha Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism traditions.
Laura will be guiding our participants in daily Yamuna Body Rolling, a revolutionary body practice designed to re-educate muscles, stimulate bone, release tension, increase blood flow and promote healing--all of which create positive, permanent changes in the body.
In addition to the Yamuna Body Rolling, Laura will be leading us in daily yoga asana practice to promote strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular endurance which links the outer body practices with the inner breath and energy practices of pranayama and tsa lung.
Then, I will be leading you in daily pranayama or breath practices, along with the Tibetan Buddhist tsa lung or energy techniques and a seven-step progressive approach to learning meditation.
We begin by exploring the basics of the subtle body or energetic physiology system from both the Hatha Yoga and Tibetan Buddhist perspectives. The subtle body provides the foundation for all pranayama, energy and meditation practices and teaches us to work directly with the energy systems of the channels, winds, chakras and internal energies.
By working with the subtle body, we can develop a foundation for the outer and inner practices of body and breath. We learn how pranayama and tsa lung practices link yoga asana practice and meditation within the progressive approach of working with body, breath, energy and mind. We will learn nine pranayama and tsa lung exercises along with the relevant postures, gazes, bandhas, mudras and stages of breath that constitute a complete pranayama practice.
After learning and practicing the various breath and energy practices, we begin to work directly with the mind in mediation. First, we discover the importance of working with objects of meditation to cultivate a calm, relaxed focus. We learn the various types of objects utilized in the "outer, inner, secret" approach, as well as basic meditation practices using breath and objects of the senses. We learn the benefits of working with mantra and the visualization techniques used in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Then, we begin to discover how the relaxed focus developed through calm-abiding meditation leads to a profound experience of stillness. From this stillness, we discover the innate qualities which naturally arise within the stable, relaxed mind. We learn to distinguish the qualities of mind from the qualities of experience that arise within the various stages of stability. We begin to explore the mind at rest and are introduced to the qualities of mind's true nature. We learn how to identify and maintain the optimal energy level for meditation.
Finally, we begin to re-integrate the stable, stillness of our inward focus with the realities of the external world. We practice Tibetan Buddhist techniques for cultivating a heart-level connection grounded in unbiased compassion, leading to boundless equanimity and an expanded experience of wide-open, spacious mind. We explore objectless meditation to cultivate a vast and uncontrived awareness, free of thoughts and worries, from which arises the deepest qualities of mind itself. Ultimately, we allow the mind to simply rest with effortless ease in this non-dual state which is our true natural condition.
c/o Laura Flanagan
Teaching meditation, pranayama and yoga to private clients and small groups throughout the Baltimore and Washington, DC metro area. Clients range from complete beginners through experienced practitioners, and from both Tibetan Buddhist as well as secular perspectives. Clients have ranged in age from children (age 10) through teenagers, college students, adults and senior citizens (2014 to present).
Leading online meditations for staff and clients focused on breath, subtle body techniques and healing while India and the USA are in lockdown due to global health concerns (April 2020).
Our 2020 programs include:
- Leading subtle body, pranayama and meditation "open teacher training" workshops for 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training programs (Summer 2019, Fall 2019)
- Sunset Samadhi, a free weekly online mini-meditation (every Thursday)
Leading weekly classes focused on meditation in the workplace for the employees of Hannon Armstrong at their corporate headquarters location (ongoing).
Co-leading a seven day yoga and meditation retreat called "Linking Body, Breath, Energy & Mind" that includes daily Yamuna Body Rolling, yoga, pranayama and meditation. (Fall 2020)
Our 2020 programs include:
- Every Tuesday – Mind Massage (weekly online class)
- June 27 – Adding Pranayama to your Yoga & Meditation Practice
- October 31 – Hacking Consciousness by Resting in Awareness: The Pinnacle Practice of Dzogchen
Our 2020 workshops include:
- January 22 - Hacking Consciousness by Resting in Awareness: The Pinnacle Practice of Dzogchen.
- April 18 - Relax. Release. Rest. The Seven Step Approach for Mastering Meditation
Led an on-site corporate meditation workshop for the Baltimore employees of Amobee focused on reducing job-related stress and tension and preventing burnout (October 2019).
Led a half-day workshop entitled "Relax, Release, Rest: An Introduction to Meditation" for the clients of Sarathi Wellness and the Abhibindu Wellness Foundation (May 2019).
Led a 90 minute workshop for the staff of Micah Ecumenical Ministries called "Meditation for Stress Management" focused on reducing job-related stress and tension and preventing burnout (June 2019).
Led workshops and classes and provided private instruction for clients of this Tibetan healing center during a week-long teaching tour in Vienna, Austria. The half-day workshops and classes covered the Seven-Step Approach (March 2018).
Led a corporate workshop for employees at the county government's headquarters location. The workshop was entitled "The Heart of the Matter: Deepening our Relationship to Mindfulness Practice" and covered meditation techniques from a corporate wellness perspective (April 2018).
- Worked with individual clients and weekly group meditation classes at North Star Therapy's office (2019).
- Led a full day workshop for North Star Therapy clients and friends in Stafford, VA. The workshop was entitled "Discovering the Relaxed Mind: A Day Long Immersion into Deepening Meditation Practice" and covered the first four lessons of the Seven-Step Approach (April 2018).
- Led weekly drop-in meditation classes (2019).
- Led four different pranayama and meditation workshops for yoga practitioners including a series of three 90 minute workshops that covered the first four lessons of the Seven Step Approach (2017 - 2018).
Taught general Tibetan Buddhism and Mahamudra meditation classes during the four to six months each year that Lama Phurbu Tashi Rinpoche travels overseas. For several years, I led a weekly Monday evening meditation class on a year-round basis. I also taught a smaller group of more experienced meditation students for several years (2008 through 2016).