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Meditation Instructor Training Program: Fall 2018 - SOLD OUT - Susan Piver

Meditation Instructor Training Program: Fall 2018 – SOLD OUT


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Meditation Instructor Training Program: Fall 2018 – SOLD OUT

September 21, 2018 - November 20, 2018


A Training Program Presented by The Open Heart Project

September 21 – November 20, 2018

A 9-week online training for:


yoga teachers



change agents

anyone who wants to take a deep dive into meditation practice for greater wisdom, compassion, and confidence


In this one-of-a-kind online program, you will:

  • 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.  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.


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 new book, The Four Noble Truths of Love: Buddhist Wisdom for Modern Relationships, was 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.



Susan and Jenna discuss the program:


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. Here is what sets this training apart:

  • It is live and in-person; no pre-recorded material for you to figure out on your own
  • It is taught by deeply trained meditators with a combined 30 years of experience
  • It is unapologetically spiritual–meditation is not presented as self-improvement but as a means to access wisdom, compassion, and confidence
  • The curriculum is rooted in Buddhist wisdom; there is nothing new-agey about it
  • It is crafted specifically for those who want to offer meditation instruction as part of their professional offering as yoga teachers, coaches, counselors, and so on
  • Each student has the opportunity for a one-to-one consultation with Susan or Jenna
  • Once the program is completed, you are not left on your own. There is an active alumni program that meets once a week for ongoing support

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, readings, 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 mindfulness-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 in-person 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. Led by Susan.
  • 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. Led by Jenna.
  • Attendance at the Opening Session, all Classes and Check-ins is mandatory. If you foresee a conflict, please email Lisa 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. Use The Time Zone Converter to see what time the class is held in your city. You can use Boston as the class location.
  • Each class will begin with a guided meditation practice for the entire group.


Week 0: Opening Session
September 21: 2:30 – 3:30 pm ET
Review requirement for this program
Review program tools

Week 1: Introduction
September 25: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
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 yoga 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
October 2: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
Go beyond the hype: Deepen your knowledge of the history, purpose, and meaning of mindfulness

Guided meditation practice by Jenna

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
October 9: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
Your personal practice: The essential foundation for teaching from the heart

Guided meditation practice by Susan

Establishing the foundation for your practice

  • How to create a strong personal practice
  • The secret to personal discipline
  • Three steps to keep your practice sacred (instead of self-help)

Breakout groups

Discussion and homework

Week 4: Opening Your Heart
October 16: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
Explore the value of strong emotions and how to work with them mindfully

Guided meditation practice by Jenna

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: Loving-kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity

Breakout groups

Discussion and homework

Week 5: Turning Your Practice Outward
October 23: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
Meditation is not just something you do on the cushion: Create a mindful environment that will support you to have greater impact

Guided meditation practice by Susan

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

  • Five steps to creating a mindful environment
  • Creating a lifestyle of mindfulness: the importance of elegance
  • Creating the container for teaching

Breakout groups

Discussion and homework

Week 6: Sharing the Practice with Authenticity
October 30: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
How to introduce the practice to others with confidence

How to offer this practice to others with confidence and authority

Beginning to sense the state of mind of your student

  • Three centers of intelligence
  • Three instinctual drives
  • Three Hornevian directions

How to protect the transmission quality and sacred nature of the practice

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

Discussion and homework

Week 7: Teaching Skillfully
November 6: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
How to give a talk on mindfulness to a group

How to give a talk on meditation to a small group

  • Threefold logic
  • Three qualities to bring to a talk

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

Discussion and homework

Week 8: Creating a Strong Bond while Maintaining Boundaries
November 13: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
How to keep the practice sacred for your students and yourself

Establishing a relationship with your students:

How to let prospective students know you offer meditation instruction

How to create and maintain an appropriate relationship with students

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

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

Discussion and homework

Week 9: Testing Your Knowledge: The Warrior’s Circle
November 20: 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET
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, but only one will actually be posed to him or her.

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



When my friends and coworkers started asking me to lead a meditation group, I began researching a number of certification programs across the country. It happened that the Open Heart Project was hosting their next class in just two weeks and I knew I had to apply. I was familiar with Susan Piver and felt a deep trust in the wisdom of her teachings. I’m so glad I was accepted into the program because Susan and Jenna are extraordinary teachers who complement each other so well. The program strengthened my knowledge of the practice and offered me valuable tools in teaching others. I also loved my classmates and the energy they brought to each class. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to deepen their own practice and share it with others! –Nazmina M.


The Open Heart Project – Meditation Instructor Training program has taught me how to instruct meditation and consider other important things and behaviors that impact my life. I am an activist, yoga teacher, workshop leader, and the practice of meditation has calmed the noise in my mind, and enhanced my daily life. There is more order in my life; more realistic compassion for others and myself; and a heightened awareness of being present. How did this occur, you might ask? Well, the study of meditation not only taught me how to sit and follow the breath, but also how to examine the patterns or ways of being that have hindered my path. Susan and Jenna are marvelous teachers! They share their confidence and knowledge in a facile, and relatable way. As the training progresses you come to understand that this course is a gift. –Maya B.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to become a Meditation Instructor under the wisdom and guidance of Susan and Jenna. I am a gym owner and endurance coach for athletes so I understand what it takes to teach a group of individuals. Teaching is no small task, especially when your students are literally from all over the world with very varied reasons for why they are participating in your class. Susan and Jenna were able to teach in a clear and concise way while creating a loving and personal space for all of us to learn and develop as instructors. Their instruction was organized and professional while being simultaneously warm and flexible based on our individual needs. I graduated from the course feeling fully prepared to share this beautiful meditation practice with my students. Since completing the course I have had the honor to teach meditation to many different people and right from the first instruction I was able to share the technique clearly and completely because of the wonderful instruction I had been given in the course. It is truly an honor and joy to be able to share Shamatha Meditation with others and I am grateful to be so well prepared. Thank you Susan and Jenna for your teaching and support. Thank you most for the continued gifts of your love, positive energy and wisdom. –Mary Ann S.


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.




EARLY BIRD PRICE: $1,295.00 (until September 1st)


Please email to sign up for 2019 course announcements.

Limited to 50 people.

Once accepted, applicants must pay within 10 days to secure their spot in the program.

Because space is limited, we do not offer refunds. Please contact us before payment if you have questions about this.

Questions? Please email Lisa.


I applied for the OHP Meditation Instructor Training thinking I was simply going to learn the proper way to guide others through meditation practice. While that did happen, this class took me on a wonderful and revealing journey that prompted me to examine my own mind, practice, obstacles, outlooks, and more in a vigorous way. I learned meditation practice is not just something I do. It is something I carry into every aspect of my off-the-cushion life. I emerged from this class feeling fully prepared to teach others. — Lisa L.

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.

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.

I completed the Meditation Instructor training in 2016. Soon after it ended, I realized that something was missing in my days and weeks, which was that I missed the community of meditators and deep thinking and awareness that I had been part of with Susan Piver and Jenna Hollenstein. Participating in this community and learning meditation skills and teaching skills were significant experiences for me, and I have gone on to participate in an immersive program for teaching mindfulness to teens. Besides that, I have been inspired and “anchored” by the practice of logging my daily meditation, which was introduced to me in this OHP course. To date, whether it is for 45 minutes or one minute (probably an average of 15-20 minutes), I have meditated daily for 539 continuous days, during which time I have learned an immense amount about my mind, my heart, and the beings around me — and that is just a tiny aspect of what Susan and Jenna’s course offered. Go OHP!!
— Ingrid K.

Taking the meditation instructor training course with Susan and Jenna, for me, is one of those gifts that keeps giving. Susan and Jenna have a way of radiating not only their knowledge, but especially their love for the practice and they share it generously. They encouraged us to make our own practice committed and consistent too; they got us practicing teaching together in a supportive environment. I especially loved meeting and learning from the other participants from all over the world. In hindsight, if I had to say just one way I benefited from the course, it would be that I’m getting better at shifting “How am I doing?” to “How can I relax into this situation, let go of expectations, and listen?” That seems like some of the best meditation instructor training (and life training) that I can think of.
— Laura C.

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September 21, 2018
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