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Meditation Instructor Training Program: Fall 2018

A nine week E-Course with Susan Piver and Jenna Hollenstein

September 21 - November 20 ET

A 9-week online training for coaches, yoga teachers, healthcare providers, and anyone who wants to deepen their practice for greater wisdom, joy, and confidence.


    • Develop a skill that will set you apart from others in your field.
    • Learn from trained meditation teachers to offer this ancient technique with confidence.
    • Support your clients to create lasting change.
    • Stabilize your own mindfulness practice to be of greater benefit to others.
    • Attract clients who are interested in mindfulness.
    • Run additional classes at your studio or in your practice.
    • Experience the profound benefits of this ancient practice to create more happiness for yourself and others.


cce_blackOur program has been recognized by the International Coaching Federation. Federation members may claim 47.5 CEUS (15 core competency and 32.5 resource development) toward maintaining their coaching certification.

Current Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) with Yoga Alliance may register 47.5 Non-Contact Hours as part of their Continuing Education


Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of nine books. Her next work, The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships, will be published in June 2018.  A student of Buddhism since 1995, she graduated from a Buddhist seminary in 2004 and was authorized to teach meditation in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage in 2005.

In 2011, Piver launched The Open Heart Project, an online meditation community with nearly 20,000 members who practice together and explore ways to bring spiritual values such as kindness, genuineness and fearlessness to everyday life.


Jenna Hollenstein, MS, RD, CDN, is a writer, nutrition therapist, mindfulness teacher and Open Heart Project Meditation Guide.

She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who works with individual clients and small groups. She is the author of Understanding Dietary Supplements, a handy guide to the evaluation and use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals for both consumers and clinicians, and more recently the memoir Drinking to Distraction. Her third book, Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transform your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life, will be released in January, 2019.



The Open Heart Project’s Meditation Instructor Training Program has been a gift! Through this program, I have grown in my own personal practice and have received the knowledge and encouragement to share this simple yet profound technique with others. I am certain that the experience of this program will continue to benefit me in ways I have yet to see for years to come. –Jaysen W.


Mindfulness meditation is now a cultural phenomenon. It may appear that teaching meditation is a simple thing—what is so complicated about sitting down and breathing?! However, 2600 years of mindfulness-awareness practice has shown us that though the technique is simple, the results it produces are not. A skillful meditation teacher has knowledge of how to guide others as this ancient practice takes root. This program will help you to become that guide.

You can’t find this kind of training anywhere else online. It is a one-of-a-kind program specifically constructed for those who want to offer meditation instruction to individuals and small groups as part of their professional offering. It was developed by Susan Piver, Buddhist teacher and founder of the Open Heart Project, and Jenna Hollenstein, a meditation guide and nutrition therapist.

In our nine weeks together, we will really get to know each other. We will support you to navigate the obstacles and develop a strong personal practice. Through weekly talks, group discussions, reading assignments, mentoring, and giving instruction to each other, you will learn to teach the meditation technique clearly, answer the most frequently asked questions with confidence, gain insight into the teacher-student relationship, and guide others to explore their potential with the support of mindfulness.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a certificate confirming that you have been trained by the Open Heart Project to teach breath awareness meditation in the Buddhist tradition.


The foundation of the Open Heart Project Meditation Instructor Training program is two-fold:

To support you to develop a strong personal practice and a personal understanding of the guiding principles of mindfulness and awareness as the necessary foundation for sharing the practice with others.

To explore the particulars of offering the practice responsibly, setting appropriate boundaries, understanding what the practice can and cannot help with, and how to support others as their practice develops.

This program is not about becoming a spiritual teacher. It is about learning to impart this ancient technique responsibly, kindly, and skillfully.


This program has been transformational. Susan and Jenna’s ability to transmit an ancient practice through a modern online format is unparalleled. I felt connected to the practice, the teachers, and the community of fellow students the entire time through weekly teachings, check-ins, mentoring, and private discussion forums. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this training and feel confident in my abilities to share it with others moving forward. –Angela B.


  • 28 hours of class time plus 19.5 hours of homework, reading, and personal daily meditation practice over 9 weeks
  • Classes will be held on nine consecutive Tuesdays from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET. Each class is recorded.
  • There will be eight mid-week check-ins on Fridays from 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm ET. This is a chance to discuss your practice, share reflections about the homework, and ask questions.
  • Attendance at the Opening Session, all Classes and Check-ins is mandatory. If you foresee a conflict, please email us to discuss before completing an application. If necessary, you may miss one class or check-in, however the first and last classes may not be missed.


Week 1: Introduction
How meditation can support you, your clients, and your work in the world

Expectations and requirements for this program

Why is meditation important to someone working as a coach, therapist, or wellness teacher?

The foundation, process, and expected outcome of this course

An overview of the three-tiered learning objectives:

  • To help clients become more mindful;
  • To develop a personal mindfulness practice, and
  • To become more present within the coaching flow

Introduction to shamatha (breath-awareness) meditation

Guided meditation practice by Susan

Discussion and homework

Week 2: Entering the Path
Go beyond the hype: Deepen your knowledge of the history, purpose, and meaning of mindfulness

Introduction to the philosophy and principles of mindfulness

Review of the three main cycles of Buddhist teachings, the qualities emphasized by each cycle, and where our practice fits within the arc of Buddhist meditation practices

Overview of the most common obstacles to practice and their antidotes

Breakout groups

Discussion and homework

Week 3: Keeping it Genuine
Your personal practice: The essential foundation for teaching from the heart

Establishing a lasting foundation for your personal practice

How to create a strong personal practice

The secret to personal discipline

Three steps to keep your practice sacred (instead of self-help)

Discussion and homework

Week 4: Opening Your Heart
Explore the value of strong emotions and how to work with them mindfully

How meditation opens the heart, how to support yourself and others who may feel increasingly vulnerable, and how to view vulnerability as a source of power

Insight into working with strong emotion during meditation

Introduction to the Four Immeasurables: Lovingkindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity

Breakout groups

Discussion and homework

Week 5: Turning Your Practice Outward
Meditation is not just something you do on the cushion: Create a mindful environment that will support you to have greater impact

Creating the container for teaching

Bringing mindfulness off the cushion and into real life

Creating a lifestyle of mindfulness: the importance of elegance

How your practice can benefit others, especially your clients or patients

Five steps to creating a mindful environment

Breakout groups

Discussion and homework

Week 6: Sharing the Practice with Authenticity
How to introduce the practice to others with confidence

How to offer this practice to others with confidence and authority

Beginning to sense the unique state of mind of your student (and yourself)

Three centers of intelligence and how to discern which one is operational in your client

Three instinctual drives and how they guide attention

Three reactions to threat and how they create habitual reactive patterns

Practicum intensive: Students break into dyads to provide meditation instruction to one another

Discussion and homework

Week 7: Teaching Skillfully
How to give a talk on mindfulness to a group

How to give a talk on meditation to a small group

The threefold logic of a great talk

Three personal qualities that make your presentation memorable

A process to help you prepare to give a talk with confidence

Practicum intensive: Students break into dyads to provide meditation instruction to one another

Discussion and homework

Week 8: Creating a Strong Bond while Maintaining Boundaries
How to keep the practice sacred for your students and yourself

How to establish an appropriate relationship with meditation students

How to protect the sacred nature of the practice for them (and yourself)

How to prepare to give meditation instruction to someone for the first time

Money: should you charge, how much, when, and why?

Practicum intensive: Students break into dyads to provide meditation instruction to one another

Discussion and homework

Week 9: Testing Your Knowledge: The Warrior’s Circle
Bringing it all together and how to take it forward

The “Warriors Circle” is a different way of testing knowledge. It is both more gentle than traditional testing methods and more intense. Each student must be prepared to verbally answer every one of the test questions in front of the group, but only one question will actually be posed to him or her.

Going forward: How to bring mindfulness into your business to create more value for yourself and your clients or patients.

Through this course, I reconnected with meditation as a meaningful spiritual practice that offered me the opportunity to deepen my spirituality and open to acceptance and compassion. Susan and Jenna thoroughly covered the key components of effective meditation instruction, as well as how to harness our own meditation practice and experience to help our students as they begin a practice and encounter obstacles. I wholeheartedly recommend the course to those committed to deepening their own practice and to bringing the practice to their clients and community. –Kristyn J.


Successful completion of this program is predicated on the following:

  • Full attendance at the Opening Session, Class Dates and Check-in Dates below.
  • Completion of homework and exercises.
  • Accepting honest feedback from your teachers and fellow classmates.
  • Evaluation by Susan or Jenna (between weeks 7 and 9, you will meet online with either Susan or Jenna to give 1:1 meditation instruction).
  • The ability to answer the most frequently asked questions, to be tested during week 9.
  • A commitment to your own personal practice. This is the strictest requirement.

Please be advised that graduation is not guaranteed. Full attendance and completion of assignments are not the sole measures. We want to make sure you are really ready to go out and offer this practice from your heart, in your own way, with full respect for the ancient tradition. We will do everything in our power to help you! If we foresee any issues with your readiness to provide meditation instruction, we will work with you to develop a plan for additional practice and study.


  • September 21: Opening session 2:30 – 3:30 pm ET


  • September 25: Class one 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • October 2: Class two 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • October 9: Class three 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • October 16: Class four 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • October 23: Class five 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • October 30: Class six 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • November 6: Class seven 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • November 13: Class eight 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
  • November 20: Class nine 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET


  • September 28: Check-in one 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • October 5: Check-in two  2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • October 12: Check-in three 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • October 19: Check-in four 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • October 26: Check-in five 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • November 2: Check-in six 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • November 9: Check-in seven 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET
  • November 16: Check-in eight 2:30 – 3:00 pm ET

Use The Time Zone Converter to see what time the class is held in your city. You can use Boston as the class location.




Limited to 50 people.

Please email Lisa to be added to our course

registration announcement list. 

While I signed up for the course to primarily deepen my own practice, I came out of it feeling very comfortable with the prospect of teaching meditation someday. This course was effective at helping me commit to and strengthen my own practice. I gained a solid foundation regarding basic meditation instruction and theory and I am grateful for the opportunity! –Sara S.

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