Meditation Instructor Course
About the Course
The comprehensive Meditation Instructor Course has been developed by Phra (monk) Dhammamongkolyarn-Luangphor Viriyang Sirintharo, a master teacher of meditation with over 80 years of devotion and experience. Accordingly, Luangphor Viriyang has compressed the course’s content from 20 years of meditation practice to 6 months of intensive instruction, in an effort to better accommodate the expectations and demands of our fast-paced postmodern world. The distinctive feature of this renowned Meditation Instructor Course is that it fully and conscientiously describes both theory and practice of meditation—which composes, unifies, and concentrates the mind. The theory of meditation is vital because it gives students an indispensable guideline and context in which to better comprehend the personal experience of meditation.
Luangphor Viriyang’s scholarly roots are based in the philosophies of Buddhism. However, meditation is not considered religious, but rather a discipline and practice of self-improvement. The focus of the Meditation Instructor Course is to teach meditation theory and practice, not religion. People of all faiths, or of no-faith, are always welcome.
The Learning Approach
The course focuses on Samatha meditation. “Samatha” (Pāḷi) refers to calm abiding tranquility and serenity, which portrays both a state of mind and a particular meditation technique. The practice of Samatha meditation, or serenity meditation, aims to develop a poised, concentrated, unified mind as a means of experiencing inner peace and a sense of ease in the present tense, which serves as a basis for progressing in wisdom. Samatha meditation is considered to be an essential foundation of any good meditation practice, including Vipassana (insight meditation). The Meditation Instructor Course will discuss the theory and practice of Vipassana; however, it does not conduct Vipassana in daily practice, as it takes time to establish a firm foundation in Samatha meditation to develop “Samādhi” (or concentration), which is necessary for Vipassana practice.
Course Format and Class Schedule
The Meditation Instructor Course accepts new students once a year and runs for approximately 6 months: from mid-August to mid-February, depending upon the location. The Meditation Center encourages potential students to contact the specific location for additional details. There will be two breaks during the course—one in October and one during the New Year’s Celebration.
The meditation class will consist of a series of lectures on the principles of meditation, practical applications of the theory and practice, guided discussion, and review sessions. The course includes 96 lessons and takes 200 hours to complete the instructor program. Students who are taking the course to become Certified Meditation Instructors are further required to take an exam and will have an opportunity to attend a Meditation Retreat (Dhutanga in Pāḷi or Thudong in Thai) at the Doi Inthanon Mountain in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where Luangphor Viriyang originally created the course’s textbooks.
The meditation class meets on weekdays: Monday through Thursday from 6.45 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. The course will use the actual textbooks written by Luangphor Viriyang as the major focus of the class. The Guided Meditation Practice will consist of 30 minutes of walking meditation and 30 minutes of sitting meditation (Pali: ānāpānasati or mindfulness of breathing) two times each day. Students are encouraged to practice both meditations on their own during weekdays, as discipline and consistency is the key to advancement in the practice of Samatha meditation. The guided structure of the 6-month program assists students in establishing the good habits that provide lasting (lifelong) benefits.
The Willpower Institute is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote world peace through meditation. Therefore, the course is free of charge. The only expenses are nominal textbook and audio CD fees, in order to cover production costs. However, students are not required to purchase any medium; although it is recommended if you are planning to become Certified Meditation Instructors. Furthermore, the instructors and facilitators of the Meditation Instructor Course are former students who have completed the course, experienced the unique benefits of meditation, and have voluntarily undertaken this educational service to help others experience the inner peace and gladdening-of-the-mind that appertains to meditative practice.
Mission and Ultimate Goal
Luangphor Viriyang Sirintharo’s Mission is to train new instructors to help spread the theory and practice of meditation. His reason for this is analogous to the aquatic ripple effect—which reaches beyond its origins. The ultimate goal of the Willpower Institute Meditation Centers in the USA is to help promote happiness and world peace through meditation. Luangphor Viriyang Sirintharo believes that spiritual enlightenment can be attained and world peace achieved if a sufficient number of people in the world consistently participate in the cultivation and practice of meditation.
Go to ‘How to apply’ for an instruction on how to apply to study medication with us.
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