What is The Sacred Art of Metta: Buddhist Meditation Teacher Training in Ladakh (India)?

The Sacred Art of Metta: Buddhist Meditation TT is an immersive training that provides the participants with in-depth understanding of what Buddhist meditation is, how it can be practiced, and how it can be taught to others. Based on techniques that help to develop concentration and mindfulness, the main focus of this TT is learning Metta Bhavana, or the ancient practice of of loving-kindness.

What is Buddhist Meditation?

Meditation is an ancient practice of mental and emotional training that helps to awaken the heart-mind, gain an insight, cultivate positive emotions, and expand consciousness. Meditation itself can come in various formats — contemplation, reflection, concentration, etc. Depending on a particular tradition, meditation can be a silent contemplation performed in a seated position, or it can be a moving/walking meditation, dancing, praying, chanting, mandala drawing, etc.

Buddhist meditation is a practice of meditating according to a particular Buddhist tradition and guidelines. In the Buddhist tradition, it is usually agreed that all practices are focused on either finding inner peace and serenity (samantha) or gaining an insight (vipassana). In many cases, it is a combination of both.

We can say that the Buddhist meditation techniques can be roughly divided into 1) concentration meditations known as dhyana, chan or zen 2) mindfulness meditations known as sati or smrti 3) brahma-viharas, or four heart practices that include loving-kindness (metta or maitri), compassion (karuna), joy (mudita) and equanimity (uppekha). All of these meditations can lead to serenity, shifts of consciousness, and profound realizations and insights.

Is Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan meditations are different from other Buddhist traditions?

Tibetan Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism, and is rooted directly in Indian Buddhism with Tantric influences. Tibetan Buddhism classic Buddhist teachings contain classical Mahayana teachings (such as the four noble truths, karma, dependent origin, emptiness, etc.) and also various teachings from Tantric tradition.

In terms of the meditation practices, besides concentration, mindfulness, and metta, Tibetan Buddhist tradition also uses visualizations, prayers and mantras.

What is Metta Bhavana?

Please, read the article on Metta.

Who can apply?

Anyone who is interested in learning about Buddhist meditation, getting a solid foundation and guidance for a regular practice, and understanding how meditation can be used for self-healing and self-realization, and also how it can be taught to individuals and groups. The training is particularly beneficial for spiritual seekers, Yogis, meditation practitioners, mindfulness coaches, therapists, psychologists, healers, social workers — anybody who may use meditation as a therapeutic modality or a healing tool.

Do I need to be a Buddhist to become a Buddhist Meditation teacher?

No, you don’t have to be a Buddhist practitioner to become a Buddhist meditation teacher. You can continue following/practicing your religion or use Buddist meditation as a secular practice.

Do I need to be a meditation practitioner to apply?

Ideally, you should already be familiar at least with the basics of the practice of meditation. However, even if you are a complete beginner, you are still more than welcome to apply, because as master Suzuki said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

What will I learn during the training?

During the training you will learn:

  1. How to use meditation and other Buddhist practices for self-healing and self-empowerment.
  2. How to tame the monkey mind and work with stress, anxiety, negativity bias, compulsive thinking, etc. 
  3. The foundations of mindfulness and the essential principles of Buddhist psychology and philosophy.
  4. The art and science of Metta Bhavana and how to use Metta as a therapeutic modality in your personal and professional life.
  5. How to teach various kinds of Buddhist meditation to individuals and groups: sitting meditation, walking meditation, mantra, mandala, visualizations, etc.
  6. How to prepare the body for meditation with Yoga asanas and movement therapy, and how to enhance the meditation practice with Somatic Awareness practices.
  7. How to be a confident & reliable guide for people who need support and encouragement in their meditation practice.
  8. How to find your voice as a meditation teacher/facilitator.

What study materials will I get?

You will get a training manual with all the important information.

What kinds of meditation will I learn during the training?

Sitting, walking, moving, contemplative, anapanasati/mindful breathing, vipassana/insight, Metta/loving-kindness meditation, and special Tibetan Buddhist meditations.

Why the training is called The Sacred Art of Metta?

Because the main focus is to explore the art and science of the ancient practice of Metta Bhavana and how to use this practice as a healing modality.

Will I get a certificate? 

Yes, you will get a 50h Buddhist Meditation Teacher Training Certificate that will allow you to incorporporated your knowledge and skills in your teaching and coaching.

What can I do with my certificate?

You can teach the practices you will learn at the training to individuals, groups and online.

Will I be able to teach meditation to big groups of people?

Yes, but it depends on how confident you are working with big groups of people.

Where will we be accommodated during the training? 

The participants will be accommodated at the nunnery of Thiksey Monastery.

Where is Ladakh? 

Ladakh is located in the Indian Himalayas in the region called Jammu and Kashmir.

Is Ladakh safe?

Yes, Ladakh is very safe, but you souls always be mindful of your possessions and health, no matter where you go.

Health:

Ladakh lies at a very high altitude: 3600 m above the sea level. One of the major challenges which you may encounter on your trip to Ladakh is altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness, which is caused by exposure to lower percentage of oxygen. Acute mountain sickness may bring dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, breathing problems and increase in heart rate. Therefore, people with a medical history, especially with cardiac or respiratory problems, are strongly advised to consult a doctor before deciding to join our retreat.

Gradual acclimatization is probably the best way to avoid altitude sickness. It involves giving the body sufficient time to adapt to lower levels of oxygen step by step. For example, the altitude increases gradually when travelling by bus from Srinagar to Leh, or from Manali to Leh, so gradual acclimatization can be a better choice than flying to Leh directly from Delhi. If you choose to fly to Leh, make sure to take a few extra days to get acclimatized before the retreat starts.

There are some medicines, which can help to deal with health problems due to the oxygen deficiency: Diamox, Dexamethasone, and Aspirin. You can also bring an oxygen mask.

Other health challenges you may encounter while travelling in India: indigestion, gastro-intestinal distress,  “Delhi Belly” or Traveler’s Diarrhea, headache, etc.

Do I need to get a visa to travel to Ladakh?

Yes, you need visa and medical insurance.

Medical Insurance and Visa:

  • Make sure you get your insurance before coming to Ladakh!
  • You must obtain your own tourist visa at the Indian Embassy in your country or online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/

What kind of food will we have in the monastery?

During the retreat, you will be offered healthy vegetarian meals — the same meals that eat the local monks. Vegan and gluten-free options are possible upon request.

What should I wear at the monastery?

We encourage you to make sure you dress appropriately, especially during our stay in Thiksey monastery. Shoulders and legs should always be covered.


What will be our daily activities?

Morning Yoga, study, meditation, working at the monastery school, consultation with the teachers, group sharing, journaling, various workshops, etc.

Will I have free time during my training?

Yes, you will have some free time for self-reflection, study, rest, and exploration of the surroundings.

What should I take with me for this training? 

What-to-Bring List:

Comfortable clothes for Yoga and Meditation

Your personal Yoga mat (the monastery does not provide Yoga mats, so please make sure to bring your own!)

Warm clothes: jacket, pants, woolen sweaters, gloves, hats, balaclava, scarves, woolen socks, etc.

Thermal undergarments 

Meditation shawl, a warm blanket and a light blanket

Sturdy shoes for walking/exploring

Pajamas

Sunscreen 

Sunglasses

Personal care products (shampoo, toothbrush, etc.)

Moisturizers, creams and lip balm

Medicines for common problems, such as diarrhea, headaches, fever, etc.

A few notebooks and pens

A flashlight and batteries!

General advice: Please, respect the environment and leave nothing but footprints. Try to avoid buying anything in plastic bottles as there is no recycling system established in Ladakh and plastic is often burned, which causes pollution.

Remember to be kind to the local people and always be very respectful towards their privacy, especially while taking photographs or recording a video. Always ask a permission if you want to take a photo. In case the answer is negative, please do not insist.

What happens after the training?

After the training, you will have access to the WA group and a secret FB group. The participants and the teachers will stay in touch to support each other on the journey. You will be able to reach anybody from the group in case you need a piece of advice or want to share something. 

How can I book my spot?

Due to a very demanding organization of the training and a very limited number of places, to secure your spot we require a 50% deposit to confirm a booking, with full payment due 14 days before the training begins. You can make a bank transfer or pay via paypal. 

The deposit is non-refundable. In case you would have to cancel your training, you can use the deposit for other trainings and retreats with Metta Pilgrims, or give your spot to a friend or relative who will go on the training instead of you.

Bookings & information: lola@lolamalaika.com

Can I have a payment plan?

Yes, we can discuss this option.

What happens if I need to cancel? 

The payment is non-refundable but you can give your spot to a friend or transfer your money to our next training.