Has someone recently said this to you? It probably means you have that “peacefully enlightened” vibe, a relaxing demeanor, and definitely a comforting, soothing voice. But if you’re really toying with entering the meditation field, you will need to use phrases (ad nauseam!) that could literally make your friends lose their ever-loving mind(fulness).
Nevertheless, if you’re still curious about becoming one, here is a resume of the 9 most important qualities needed to be a Guided Meditation Leader:
- The ability to direct people to let themselves “Arrive,” ignoring the fact that they are actually already there, sitting in real upholstered chairs, listening to your droning voice (which should be dripping with butter or honey or something else decadent that none of these people will ever let their bodies ingest) Yes, this ceremonial act of “Arrival” is extremely important, so execute it with pronounced enunciation.
- Able to conduct Individual Intention Settings. It’s crucial that anyone who is about to listen to your guided meditation tapes or Youtube videos first set their intention. Warning: A few smart alecs will state, “My intention is not to set any intentions.” Ignore them and do an Intention Intervention instead.
- Must possess creativity to command your listeners to breathe-in a large variety of different things. (Although seriously, when did breathing plain old oxygen become such a scarce commodity?) Make certain they’re breathing in something they might potentially want to embody (being mindful not to choke them by telling them to inhale a new Mercedes!) and then direct them to breathe out something else entirely different — preferably something you think they might want to rid their life of. (Hint: If they are listening to you with their children nearby, avoid telling telling them to exhale their ex-spouse!) And then tell them to do it all over again. Sixty. Three. Hundred. Dang. Times.
- Be adept at issuing reminders.You’ll want to regularly remind them to notice lots of body parts. “Notice your arms, notice your hands, notice your fingers, notice your ear-lobes (always a fun one!) notice ankles, knees, calves, thighs, etc.” If they start to notice another participant’s feet, they might have a fetish and become aroused and you should gently guide them back to a state of complete relaxation.
- Should have strong observation skills in the area of respiration (you may think the act of observing is similar to the act of noticing, but shame on you — it’s incredibly different!) Say things like, “Observe how your breath flows in and out. Make no effort to change your breathing in any way, simply Observe how your body breathes. Your own body can Observe how much air it needs. Observe in your mind’s eye, your breath flowing gently in and out of your body, etc. Etcetera! As long as you string together certain key words into a fun tongue-twister, nobody will be the wiser that you’re a Guru who just made a boo-boo.
- Able to Help Someone Conjure Up a Serene Meadow. This is self-explanatory, but having a vast knowledge of classic Crayola crayons is useful here. Water should be imagined as Turquoise Blue, Aquamarine, Periwinkle, but most likely it’s always Cerulean, while the grass is either Pine Green, Forest Green or Fern. Remind them there’s no need to color inside the lines in their mind’s eye meadow. Ahhh, freedom!
- Must Be a Thought Killer. Approach this one gingerly. You can’t let them know you’re straight out of George Orwell’s novel, 1984 with “The Thought Police” so say things thusly — “When your attention wanders, as it will, just focus gently back again on your breathing. Notice any stray thoughts, but don’t dwell on them. Simply let all your thoughts peacefully pass away.” Shouting out “Die, thoughts, die!” might rile up all the gun-control issue folks.
- Continuously use the word “Mindful” even when you’re not leading a class. Here are creative ways to incorporate this great new buzzword. “If you don’t stop kicking the back of my seat, I’m going to lose my mindful!” And, “Do you mindful?? I’m trying to get some sleep here and I can’t with your damn snoring!” As well as, “Mindful your own damn business!” And don’t forget to say this to your teen daughter, “I have a good mindful to let you freeze to death in those skimpy shorts.” You can also take liberties with the trendy word “authentic.” i.e. “Seriously the price is $85? Is this just a plain old suede purse or is it genuine, authentic leatherette?”
- Ability to Self-Soothe. When you suddenly find yourself out of a guided meditation job because everyone and their bloody Uncle wants to live in the present moment and do this woo-woo work. But no worries! With all the skills you’ve just cultivated, you can still use that terrific voice of yours – – as a Phone Sex Operator. Just know in advance that all the cleansing breaths you’ll help elicit from your customers will be the “Heavy Breathing” kind.
Thanks for reading and Namaste! (How the heck do you pronounce that??)
“Remind them there’s no need to color inside the lines in their mind’s eye meadow.” 🙂 Freedom!
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I have #9 down to a pat. Three a.m. and I am self-soothing.
Brilliantly fun article. Wow, you’re amazing. I took your advice. however, a few things I discovered. When giving directions about “arriving” make sure SIRI is in the OFF setting. Also, the buttery honey works well although I felt a little like Whinny the Pooh eating but why not the class has their eyes closed, right? Yes, good reminder with intentions, some of those in my class had the intention of just getting away from the kids and taking a nap. Good reminder with the reminders, I noticed my breathing really starts to increase when I think of my fiance, but I should not divulge those thoughts here. Oh, and then I didn’t care for the last item of advice. I figured okay, I think I’ve got this why not have two businesses. So I started the Cultivator of Dial Up Eroticism but when my fiance found out, WOW, did I get mindful, well actually she gave me HER mindful.
Something tells me that Fran Drescher types are not even permitted to apply as Guided Meditation Leaders! I have a good mindful to strangle them with their own pilates bands!
Right! During the interview there are Voice Recognition Sensors and any twang or nasally NYC inflections are rerouted to Human Resources for a new upcoming career, “Rent-A-Yenta.”
That’s much better suited anyway!