You might know that meditation can help bring calm and clarity into your mind and body, but have you been able to put these principles into practice?
Mindfulness expert Noah Pomeroy is hosting a 4-part series starting February 5 that allows attendees to experience the expansive benefits of mindfulness for themselves. The series (which can be attended as one class or a series) will help you learn the basics mindfulness training and develop your own practice over the month.
Noah is a certified professional mindfulness teacher by the International Mindfulness Teacher Association and he completed his training in mindfulness facilitation at UCLA. Noah draws on mindfulness teaching experience from a variety of contexts working with individuals and groups, including teaching this practice at the University of Hawaii, UCLA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Halawa State Prison. The classes will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and guided meditation exercises.
I chatted with Noah about his coming workshop so that we could learn more about this practice, his background, and the upcoming classes.
Andrea B. (AB): What’s the quickest way to describe mindfulness to someone that has never heard of this concept before?
Noah Pomeroy (NP): Mindfulness means directing your attention to the present moment experience with openness and curiosity. It sounds simple enough, but it’s not easy. We all have the capacity to do this to some degree, but we can get much better at it by practicing mindfulness meditation.
AB: What originally (or continues) to keep you excited about mindfulness?
NP: Mindfulness is simply the best tool I have come across to actually engage with each moment of life, rather than being passively carried along on auto-pilot as we are so prone to do. This is why mindfulness is such a game-changer for both our personal and professional lives. As we practice, focus improves and what matters to us and our work becomes clearer. We’ve known for decades that training the body is good for our health – we now know that training our minds is critical as well.
AB: Tell me a bit more about your certification? How long have you been teaching?
NP: After 10 years of a personal practice and 2 years of guiding mindfulness sessions at work, I decided to complete a year long training in mindfulness facilitation at UCLA. As mindfulness has become a wellness buzzword, “2-day teacher certifications” are popping up; the UCLA program grew out of a need to thoroughly train teachers to meet the growing demand for mindfulness training. The program is rooted in the growing body of science that supports the benefits of mindfulness and proven techniques for working with different communities. I’ve worked as a meditation guide at the University of Hawaii for the last 2 years, coaching individuals and groups and delivering lectures for UH’s popular mindfulness classes.
AB: What can people expect in the workshop? What if they are totally new to mindfulness, meditation, and other practices like this?
NP: These classes are designed for people who are new to mindfulness practice, and over the 4-week class series, students will have the opportunity to develop their own daily practice with the support of my guidance and fellow participants. While anyone can take each individual class to learn about a particular aspect of mindfulness practice, participants that choose to do all four will get the most out of the series. Beginning any new daily habit (even for 10 minutes) a day sounds easy, but we all know it is not. In order to experience the benefits of mindfulness, you must practice regularly. I want people to actually start a daily practice that will serve them the rest of their lives. I welcome people who think mindfulness is “woo-woo” or “soft–” through this practice one learns quickly that this practice takes courage, discipline, and the spirit of adventure to meet your experience of life exactly as it is… and those who bring these elements to the practice will be rewarded accordingly.
AB: What is the goal of the workshop – after the workshop, participants should be able do what?
NP: After each class, participants will takeaway their firsthand experience with guided mindfulness practice and an understanding of a particular aspect of practice. Participants that are able to commit to 2-4 weeks of the series will have the best chance to establish a daily mindfulness meditation practice that will allow them to experience the benefits of mindfulness in their lives, work, and relationships. They will have a grasp the fundamentals of practice and how to overcome common obstacles. They will have a taste of the freedom and joy that comes from regular practice that will fuel the momentum of practice they have built through the course.
Thanks Noah for sharing your thoughts! Register for the classes here; members can use discount code MEMBER to get 15% of ticket prices for either the full series or individual classes.