Teacher training

learn to manifest

"What we cannot imagine, cannot come into being" 

Tuesday evening, we invite you to join us for a meditation to imagine ..

And help manifest ..

Whatever you want to bring into your life.

click here to join us

Meditation and yoga master Marlie McGovern will guide us, and we'll gather at 7pm in our beautiful home at The Standard, East Village.  

click here to join us

This is our third to last Tuesday evening meditation, so we warmly welcome you to join us. We'll have delicious ZICO on hand and .. it will be better with you!

Cheers to expansion and see you Tuesday,
Dina

p.s. Marlie helps lead our meditation teacher training program, which we just sold out! SO excited to welcome everyone this weekend for our opening retreat!

p.p.s. Marlie also runs a restorative yoga teacher training program, and I have to say .. to have someone so knowledgable in both yoga & meditation is a gift. I'm excited for Tuesday myself :). 

On Meditation Teacher Training :: Sonali Nigam

It's hard to believe our second meditation teacher training has come to an end! We're beyond proud of all the students who took this journey. We'll be sharing interviews with some of the recent graduates, to celebrate. 

Read below for a beautiful essay by Sonali Nigam. 

Sonali has an interdisciplinary background in the technology, policy and business of healthcare. She has always been obsessively curious about the intersection of wellness and technology and geeks out on reading research articles on this topic. Sonali lives in New York City with her husband and their cat Naomi. You can find her on instagram @sonalaholic  

One of my earliest memories is of 7-year-old me sitting cross-legged on the cool floor of my aunt's meditation room, chanting mantras with my eyes closed. At the time I didn’t necessarily understand what meditation was supposed to be but it felt like a happy space, so the practice stayed with me. 
 
Fast forward twenty-five years later, I found myself wishing for more of that space and (some sanity) in New York City. The meditation apps and weekend retreats were helpful but I wanted more. I was constantly reading the scientific research about how great meditation was for my brain. But I couldn't quite figure out how to integrate it into my life in a consistent way. 
 
That's where The Path came in. I had heard about a meditation community through word of mouth and signed up to attend an event with a friend. I instantly loved the accessible nature of the Weekly Sit. It was held in a friendly and secular community, with wise teachers and a beautiful setting. To me, it was the perfect way to get away from the stresses of the city and incorporate a few moments of contemplation. 
 
So a few months later when I received an email about their upcoming Teacher Training program I felt goosebumps. The time felt right to take a deeper dive and immerse in a meditation practice. I wasn't 100% certain that I would want to teach afterward, but I knew that the training would support my desire to create a daily practice and also provide me tools for contemplation and self-reflection. 
 
The training was a three-month long commitment: four weekend retreats in addition to weekly Monday night classes. On my way to the first class, I witnessed two women on the subway trying to pull each other's hair out. 

Ah, the joys of living in New York City... I walked into class that night eager to find some quiet and compassion.
 
Happily, I found the teacher training to be that and much more. Each week, we learned core meditation concepts and discussed how they were applicable to modern life. The teachers Dr. Loizzo, Geri Loizzo, and Marlie Mcgovern were knowledgeable and approachable. In particular, Dr. Loizzo would break down the science into more palatable pieces which meant that everyone could follow along easily. The class discussions were friendly yet wide-ranging. We discussed everything from Buddha's life, to how to teach non-meditators, to the neuroplasticity of the brain!
 
Our homework was to meditate each day in order to practice what we learned that week. Of course, it was not always easy to find the time. There were many tempting distractions to deal with every single day, but I stuck with it and slowly began to feel the changes. If I didn't meditate one day, I felt like I was missing something. Over time I became creative with the practice. I tried meditating in the park during lunch my breaks, while sitting on a plane, and walking meditations whenever it was possible.  
 
Every few weeks we would be asked to lead a group of our peers in teaching a meditation and provide each other constructive feedback. Initially a nerve-racking experience, this quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the course. 
 
The training went by so quickly that before I knew it the twelve weeks were over. I look back now and am amazed at how many unanticipated changes took place in that brief period of time. Before the training, I didn't think that I could teach at all, much less teach meditation, but the positive experience of teaching my peers combined with my teachers’ support gave me the confidence to believe that I could. 

The bigger change was even more unexpected. As an introvert, I had always struggled with faking extroversion in order to fit in. The mindfulness training helped me to become aware of this struggle between my authentic self and the image I wanted to project to others. And the loving kindness practice we learned continues to help me be more accepting of myself the way I am.
 
I remember Dr. Loizzo saying during our last class, "The world will be a better place if there were more people meditating and teaching others how to meditate." I couldn't agree more. For me, the teacher training was a critical step on my path towards mindfulness and compassion. As I continue my practice and begin to teach, I firmly believe that the tools I have been given will continue to support me and the communities that I live and work in. 
 

On Meditation Teacher Training :: Catrina Armendariz

As we approach our second meditation teacher training (today's the last day to apply!) we're sharing interviews with members of our community who completed the program the first time around. 

Read below for a beautiful interview with Catrina Armendariz, Founder and Executive Producer of Revived On. 

What initially drew you to the teacher training program? 

I began meditating when I was 8 years old and had a solo practice for 20+ years.  I met Dina while in the midst of expanding my meditation practice into social and collective settings and that's when I first heard about her program.  Though I had a pretty disciplined (and what I thought was a well-informed and supported) practice for many years, I experienced a lot of challenges in my sits that I couldn't navigate effectively on my own.  I decided to enroll in the program because I recognized a need to share the experience with others (teachers and fellow students), especially like-minded peers who were in a similar creation and companionship phase of life (career, friendships, relationships, etc.).  

The practice is wonderful, but as I experienced and learned, not meant to be a solitary practice.  The support I received through the curation of experienced and well-informed teachers and like-minded peers was priceless.

How did it impact you and your career and/or personal life?

The teacher training connected me with a world-class mastermind of Eastern and Western science and philosophy, Dr. Joe Loizzo, who distilled ancient knowledge in the most authentic, scientific and relevant ways possible.  It also connected me with an amazing cohort of students - all movers and shakers in their respective fields: parents, doctors, tech entrepreneurs, teachers, etc.  

The synergy was great for my practice and for my development as a conscious start-up founder.  I left with more clarity around my desire to share these conscious lifestyle practices with the world and with a network of people to support that path.

Were there any unexpected results from your time in the program? 

I didn't realize how popular meditation was until I joined this cohort.  Suddenly, it no longer felt like an esoteric practice that was reserved for the monk or nomadic hippie (or our modern-day version of the wandering messicant).  Everyone is becoming hip to meditation: corporate and entrepreneurial modern city exponents alike are looking for more authenticity in their lives.  

I also felt more connected with people in my life as a result of hearing a common thread coming through every student's question or story: that we all desire connection, with ourselves and with those around us.  

On Meditation Teacher Training :: Maritza Puello

As we approach our second meditation teacher training (applications are now being accepted!) we're sharing interviews with members of our community who completed the program the first time around. 

Read below for a beautiful interview from Maritza Puello! An Integrative Life Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Puello completed our program while she transitioned out of working in TV news - a critical time in her career.

What initially drew you to the teacher training program? 
I started meditating years ago. Like many other people, I was introduced to meditation via yoga.  My practice was mostly on and off until I began to study regularly with my first teacher, Alexandra Marquardt, who was based out west. I learned so much from studying with her, but it was hard to travel to the west coast for classes. Along the way I became certified as a yoga instructor and started teaching meditation. When I came across the Facebook post announcing The Path and Nalanda Institute meditation teacher training program, I was very excited. I could continue my studies without having to travel outside of New York City. I also noticed that the teachers leading the training came from diverse backgrounds which was different from any other programs I had looked into. I thought it would be great way to continue developing my teaching skills and give me new ways to share the numerous benefits of meditation with others. I was sold. I couldn’t wait to start the training.

How did it impact you and your career and/or personal life. 
When I came across the training, I was at a crossroads in my life. I was in the process of transitioning out of a career working in 24- hour television news and looking to do something related to wellness, yoga and meditation. I had always wanted to work in TV news and had done so. It was a dream come true, but that was done. Then I was faced with making a change, and I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to work out. While I had experience teaching meditation, the training gave me the opportunity to learn completely new techniques. It also provided me with a different structure to deepen in my own practice and get feedback from my fellow classmates and teachers. This not only strengthened my skills as a teacher but also deepened my own commitment to keep learning and exploring new things. Going into the training I didn’t have much clarity as to what course of direction I would be take with my career but I was definitely was looking for something fresh.  On a more personal note, the training helped me see myself and the choices before me, in a new light, which helped propel me to take the much-needed steps towards living a new dream. Being in the class and having the support of the group really helped accelerate my process and made it easier to make decisions with ease. I created a strong practical foundation that helped me navigate life's ebbs and flows. This allowed me to be much more fluid with what life brought my way. I found my relationships, both personal and professional, were greatly strengthened and the relationships that needed to fall away simply fell away without effort, conflict or drama.
 
Were there any unexpected results from your time in the program? 
One of the biggest unexpected impacts of the training was being able to learn, study, and practice with a diverse group of people all who were equally committed to the practice of meditation. It was great to have that kind of support during and after training. My biggest surprise was the newfound clarity and commitment by which I decided to embark on a completely new business venture. I’ve now started my own business venture as an integrative life coach, yoga and meditation teacher. I help people who are going through planned or unexpected, life changes discover new tools to help them clear the obstacles that prevent them from living joy-filled, happy, healthy, satisfying lives.

I’m beyond thrilled and excited to take on this new venture. I don’t think I would have done so had I not done the teacher training. I have tremendous gratitude for having participated in the program. I knew it would bring me many positive results, but this by far exceeded my expectations. My life is fuller, richer, and more fluid that ever before!
 
 

My Journey To Become a Meditation Teacher :: a guest post from Hillary Wright

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As we approach our second meditation teacher training (applications are now being accepted!) we're sharing personal essays and interviews from members of our community who completed the program the first time around. 

Below is a beautiful personal essay from Hillary Wright, a NYC-based yoga instructor at Y7 Studio. Read on for Hillary's insightful take on how the program had a profound impact on her personal life and career:

I’ve been studying yoga for over ten years now and teaching for almost as long. I have spent many, many years learning and sharing the practice of yoga. However, I have not spent a lot of time studying meditation. I have worked to build a consistent meditation practice over the years all while still feeling like I am an “extreme beginner” in the practice. For as much as I feel I understand about yoga, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of the practice of meditation. I’ve been meditating for several years now, but couldn’t figure out what I should do next (mainly proving the point that I wasn’t quite “getting it" because of my constant need to find what was next).  

Last year I turned 30 and decided that I would make it my personal goal to meditate every single day as an attempt to feel more grounded, more stable, to have more clarity and as a symbolic way of bringing in a new decade based around health and happiness. Things were going well on this journey. However, I still felt like I needed to do something else to solidify this practice in my life. I recently had a fairly serious surgery (the second in one year’s time) to help me with a chronic illness I suffer from. During this time my “rocky” meditation practice seemed to be the only thing getting me through some really rough patches.  I knew this practice was powerful, and I knew if I were able to truly understand it that it could get me through my recovery, both physically and emotionally. So why shouldn't I try to go deeper?  Six months to the day that I made my goal to meditate every day, I signed up for the Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Science and The Path’s Meditation Teacher Training.  I hadn’t spent much (read: any) time with the instructors that would be leading the course, but having spent many mornings and evenings in the presence of The Path instructors, I knew I would be in good hands. 

The first day I walked into class I was instantly struck by the other students, both the wide range of age and background but also their commitment to the practice of meditation. The teachers, Dr. Joe Loizzo, Gerri Loizzo and Marlie McGovern, were warm, welcoming and instantly reassured my decision for being there (without saying a word about it).  Up to this point, I had been questioning myself, wondering if I had made the right decision signing up for a training with people I had never met, but something kept telling me to trust the process. Still in pain from surgery, especially in the first few weeks of training, I realized that this was the exact place that I needed to be. 

Week after week we met with our three teachers, and week after week I continued through my deep healing process.  I was always struck by the amount of knowledge that was being shared and how it always landed at the exact moment that I needed it.  It always amazed me how Dr. Loizzo could possibly know so much about the brain or how Gerri could lead such a beautiful meditation or how Marlie knew the exact yoga asanas to teach us that day to compliment our meditations. As the time passed, and we were “required” to turn in our meditation journals from our daily sits, I came to notice that my sits were no longer forced, that my pain was becoming manageable, and that I was looking forward to meditating each morning.  Throughout our journey, we studied the Four Foundations of Mindfulness as well as Loving-Kindness.  We spent time breaking each down, taking these techniques home and digesting them, practicing them, and journaling about them. I could feel myself putting these techniques directly to use to deal with both the physical and emotional trauma that I had been dealing with through my surgery and illness. And more importantly, I could see myself creating a habit. 

After 12 weeks of a consistent practice along with the encouragement of our sangha, or community, I knew that I had officially made meditation a part of my daily life.  My “goal” for this training had been - at minimum - to learn a few techniques to deepen my own practice and possibly share these with my yoga students, however, I gained so much more: a life-long, solid meditation practice and the true and utter healing I had been looking for. 

-Hillary Wright

Our 100-hour teacher training is for those who want to master mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation, become a meditation teacher, or for doctors, yoga teachers, therapists and other professionals who seek to skillfully and knowledgeably integrate meditation teaching into their work.

All students who pass this training will receive a certificate for Teaching Mindfulness and Lovingkindness Meditation from the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, The Path and Pure Yoga. This program is compliant with Yoga Alliance programs. Click HERE to apply.