Adam Snider

Meditation as Therapy

In Spiritual Practices on November 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I have taken to meditating, lately, as a spiritual discipline. I find the quieting of the mind and body to be a valuable experience.

It opens me up to the possibility of spiritual experiences—whatever those may be—and I find it to be rather therapeutic. It centres me and calms me before or after a hectic day. It reduces my stress levels and I find that I am more able to “not sweat the small stuff” when I’ve made a point of meditating that day or the day prior.

Recently, I have thought about the possibility of sharing this valuable and therapeutic practice with others, as a meditation guide/teacher.

I’m obviously not really experienced enough to do this in any meaningful way, and certainly not in a way that I could turn into a business (hey, a guy’s got to eat, right?). So I have been looking for ways to gain more formal training and experience in this realm.

There are a few ways that I could probably approach this. The first would simply be to attend various classes and retreats. Learn by doing and build my own knowledge base as a result.

The second way, which would be more conducive to setting up some sort of therapeutic practice, would be to pursue a graduate degree in Counselling and then add some meditation and spiritual training on the side. This way, I would have the skills to be a true, professional counsellor, while also having the added bonus of being able to bring a holistic element to my practice, in the form of guided meditations.

With this second option, I’d also have the option of pursuing the degree from a distance, while maintaining my current job (and, in fact, my current employer would pay for a portion of my education).

The third option that I have seen is to pursue a Holistic Health Practitioner diploma from MacEwan University.

When I first discovered this third option, over the weekend, it seemed intriguing and like a great opportunity. However, upon closer inspection, it seems to be filled with a lot of pseudo-science that I just can’t get behind. I cannot take seriously a 3-term course about the therapeutic value of “flower essences.”

I try not to be judgmental about people’s spiritual beliefs, but when you start claiming that your mystic/spiritual beliefs are science, well, I find it very hard to respect that. And I can’t imagine throwing my time and money at something that I could only take half-seriously, in order to gain a designation that would allow me to be “qualified” to do the type of work that I’m considering.

What, then, does one do? It’s either option one or two, I suppose.

Either way, I’ll need to figure out where and how to get the training to develop and use guided meditations as a therapeutic tool. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find anything about this online. All of my Google searches turn up results about yoga classes. Either that, or they turn up a lot of wooey New Age stuff that claims to be science when it is, in fact, little more than a pseudo-science.

Where, then, do I begin to look for these resources? How, then, do I begin to find the teachers/courses that I would need in order to gain the sort of knowledge that I’m seeking?

If you have any information to help me along this path, I would really appreciate it.

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