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Mindful : October 2014
46 mindful October 2014 Do you have good chemistry with them? Think about qualities you'd like to develop and see if the instructor embodies them. If you’re going to learn from someone on an ongoing basis, you need to connect strongly. Are they open and accessible? You want someone who’s relaxed and at ease, who comes across as present, caring, and compassionate. Equally impor tant, you want someone who can work with your schedule. 12 Could they regard you like a friend? They may not be a "friend" per se, but they're like one. Friends look in the same direction—not toward each other, but toward what's best for each person. Can you and the person teaching you communicate at eye level? 4 Do they have a deep understanding of the practice? While it’s impor tant that you and your insruc tor get along well, it’s also impor tant for them to be credentialed and have a strong personal practice to draw from when teaching. 3 Choosing an Instructor If you want to make mindfulness a part of your life, you'll probably want to consider working with a meditation teacher or instructor. You can even do that online using a video chat format of some kind, but even then the same principles apply. Lea rning mindfulness is a relation- ship. Even if you start with a book, you're learning from the author. If you and your teacher begin a dialog ue, you can dig deeper into your life and be more pres- ent for it as it unfolds f rom moment to moment. That dialogue—much of it held in silence—will help your mindfulness practice unfold more creatively. But how do you find a person who's right for you? Here are a few questions to consider. Looking for instruction from someone? It’s important to have your eyes open and make an informed choice. Getting Started: Fitting It In was compiled by writer Teo Furtado and Barry Boyce, editor-in-chief of Mindful, in consultation with: Brenda Delgado Director of the East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland, California Donald McCown Author of Teaching Mindfulness and director of the Center for Contemplative Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania Sebene Selassie Executive director of the New York Insight Meditation Center Diana Winston Author of Fully Present and director of mindfulness education at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center getting started: fitting it in