by Lara Ferrarotti
It has been nearly a year since I completed the Online Ananda Meditation Teacher Training, and I am so grateful I made that decision!
I think I have been truly blessed and I believe I received a lot of guidance in bringing the teachings to life in Vancouver, Canada!
When I finished the training last year, I was not sure how I should approach people here, as I am still a newcomer. It took me nearly an entire summer to figure it out, and I started with some “Meditation in the Park,” for free, for anyone who wanted to join in. That was the first step, and it was quite disappointing. (As you can imagine, Vancouver’s rainy weather didn’t help an outdoor meditation!). But I never felt discouraged; I just felt that I had to keep going.
In September I approached the Italian Cultural Centre and offered to do a meditation series of 4 classes, in Italian. The manager was very happy about it, so I started. It turned out that I didn’t have any Italian-speaking participants, and I had to teach in English! At first there were 3-4 people, then over time it increased to 9 or so! I am now going to run the 4th series there! I have had people who keep coming, and it has been very rewarding. Above all, it has been meaningful.
I also had a short experience in a local yoga studio, but it didn’t work out. I felt there was a strange energy in that place.
As time went on, opportunities kept coming, and it seemed that all of a sudden something clicked.
I did a workshop in a beautiful, tiny yoga studio, and 13 people joined in. This coming Saturday I am going to start a permanent drop-in meditation there!
I also started to go to 2 assisted living facilities to teach seniors, and it has been a very interesting experience. The first class was a disaster—I was exhausted! I think that was mainly because it was a new audience, and I wasn’t totally comfortable. I was worried about what they would think of me. Then Diksha’s words came to me: “Do not worry about what they will think of you; think about what you want to give to them.” And that was it: I just relaxed and felt in my heart the reason why I was there. 🙂 Since then, everything has gone well with the seniors, and I have learned how to preserve my energy!
I have committed myself to offer people Ananda Meditation teachings only, and I have shared as much as I could about the Guru, Swami Kriyananda and Ananda lifestyle. I still think this is the way I want to do it, and people seem receptive to it.
I always pray to Master [Yogananda] before every class, and it gives me so much strength.
Interesting fact: Wherever I have taught, I have been asked whether I have received certification training. So it looks like teaching meditation is becoming a real skill.