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Choosing a Mindfulness Teacher:

  • What is the teachers background?
  • What is the length of personal practice experience? While length of time is not the only indicator it is a useful one in assessing the degree of commitment to practice.
  • Who are the teachers teachers? Both past and present.
  • What traditions have influenced their practice? Are these traditions consistent with your values? Are they traditions that emphasize mindfulness?
  • Are the values of the group consistent with yours?
  • Do the session times suit your schedule? There is little value in choosing a group that becomes too difficult to attend.
  • How long has the teacher been teaching mindfulness and to whom?
  • Are they open and honest in their conversations with you?
  • Look at the people who have been involved in the class for a long time. Do they reflect values that are consistent with yours?
  • What is the motivation of the teacher? Is it all about their own importance? (i.e. their ego). Is it about money?
  • Does the group have a cult feel about it?
  • Is there any pressure to contribute or enroll in particular programs?
  • Are their rigid and/or excessive rules?
  • Does the teacher encourage independence or is their an attempt to encourage dependency on the teacher? (This should not be confused with Guru Devotion rituals which in the appropriate context may be beneficial but not essentially a mindfulness practice).
  • Is the teacher compassionate both in the teaching setting but also in other aspects of their life?
  • Does the teacher demand an acceptance of their every word or do they allow you to experience the accuracy of their words through your own experience?
  • Is mindfulness presented as an awareness and acceptance process rather than a controlling your mind and world perspective?
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