Teaching

I offer mindfulness facilitation: private tutoring and instruction in meditation and associated skills.

Concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity are attentional skills which can be improved with training. Indeed, consciousness itself is a skill which you learned to “do” when you first learned to speak, and which you can actually learn to do better through mindfulness practice.

  • Perhaps you have already tasted the benefits of meditation, and maybe you even have a regular practice, but you want to proceed faster or further on the path and you seek a teacher to help you make the best use of your precious time.
  • Perhaps you are recovering from an addiction and it has dawned on you that you are going to have a very hard time if you don’t get a handle on this “meditation” thing soon, preferably yesterday.
  • Perhaps you suffer from depression or anxiety or some other putative “mental illness” and you have had quite enough, thank you very much, and you are resolved to take responsibility for the way you experience yourself and the world.
  • Perhaps you are struck by the uncanny calmness and extraordinary presence of serious meditators, but you have a scientific or technical world-view and you cringe when these people (whom you otherwise admire and would like to emulate) start explaining what they do in terms of frankly unpalatable mystical-shmystical mumbo-jumbo.
  • Perhaps you just simply enjoy being human and you want to continue becoming ever more so.

I would love to help you develop and execute a custom program. I can help you spot windows of opportunity, deal with common pitfalls (or avoid them entirely), and provide encouragement and accountability. If you want to make progress, progress can be made. I have also worked with teens and even introduced total beginners to meditation.

There are countless groups, centres, courses, and other opportunities for free or very-low-cost meditation instruction. If that works for you, great! I work with students who want the experience of intense and personally focused instruction, scheduled at your convenience. If you are in Toronto, we can meet in person — otherwise via phone or Skype.

Apropos cost, my teaching is informed by the traditional “dana” system of mutual generosity rather than a conventional fee-for-service model. I make myself available to teach as freely as I can, but my time cannot be free if I am to function in modern society. There has to be a fair exchange of value. Therefore, although I do not issue bills or invoices, I do expect students to pay something on a voluntary basis. Any money that you give me is a gift from one individual to another and there is no tax receipt. Any money that I get from you is business income that it’s up to me to report for tax purposes. The regular suggested rate is $50 per 45-minute session. Benefactors who pay more than the standard rate in effect subsidize those who opt to pay less and evidently require scholarships. Answering emails also takes time. Just sayin’…

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So far this has proven sustainable; I have yet to turn away any serious student and I hope to keep it that way. I positively delight in sharing what I know and working with others. Please let me know if I can be helpful to you.

Here are some questions to ask yourself and reflect upon if you are considering working with any teacher:

What do you think mindfulness could do for you, in a best-case scenario?
What problems or pitfalls do you foresee or fear?
Why, exactly, are you interested in working with a teacher?
What, specifically, are you trying to shed or move away from?
What, specifically, are you trying to get or move towards?
How much time & effort are you willing to commit to in each of these areas:

  • practice “on the cushion” (with a timer, logging your progress)
  • reading & study (articles, books, videos, podcasts, public talks, formal courses, etc.)
  • coaching/guidance with a teacher (face-to-face, phone, or Skype)

For context, here are what Shinzen Young and Daniel Ingram respectively have to say about meditation teachers.