7 best meditation teacher trainings in 2023
We’ve made it to 2023. The last few years have been “eventful”, to put it mildly. That said, the world is still in dire need of more calm & clarity. So, there’s never been a better time to invest in a meditation teacher training.
Whether you want to learn how to lead guided meditations for your clients, start a meditation business, lead group meditation sessions or classes, or simply teach meditation techniques to those you love, you will be providing an essential service by becoming a certified meditation teacher.
So, I commend you & your soulful intention!
The problem is that there are a myriad of options out there, so it’s important that you know exactly what your intentions are before investing in any meditation training. Many online meditation teacher trainings sound similar but teach completely different material.
Confusion/disappointment often stems from a misunderstanding of esoteric terms, general ambiguity characterizing most of the course descriptions, and a lack of alignment between course content & the student’s professional goals
I won’t go into depth on the subject in this article, but if you’d like to gain some insight on how to find training that aligns with your goals, check out my article on choosing the right meditation training or certification.
The purpose of this article is to give you the definitive guide of the best meditation teacher training in 2023.
My intent is not to rank one training better than another, because I think that would be misleading.
Each of the following trainings serves a different purpose or specializes in a specific niche in the meditation training industry. So, consider each training as a completely different path for you to take, rather than a comparison.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to clarify for you the various opportunities each training makes available to you, enabling you to make the best decision possible on where to invest your time & money.
So let’s get to it…
#1 The Guided Meditation Framework™’s Immersive Meditation Leader Training
The Guided Meditation Framework™ tops the list for guided meditation teacher training. Strictly speaking, it is a meditation facilitator training, meaning it is for those who want to lead guided meditations, not for those who want to teach meditation techniques.
The content is pragmatic & business-oriented, providing students the tools they need to become drastically more effective in their 1-on-1 work & in their ability to lead captivating, memorable, & transformational workshops and/or retreats. It’s also Accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), The California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, The International Mindfulness & Meditation Alliance, and The National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
This program covers the fundamentals of meditation delivery & vocal coaching, how to integrate guided meditation & coaching, how to create workshops & lead groups, how to create meditation audios, how to create an online meditation business, and much more.
The Guided Meditation Framework™ teaches a unique method of meditation developed by Heather Hayward over 20 years as a Results Coach & Clinical Hypnotherapist and 40 years of experience leading immersive meditation.
Students receive lifetime access to the 6 core modules consisting of systematized videos, action items, cheatsheets, resource lists, +100 meditation scripts, and meditation audios.
Perhaps the biggest bonus of The Guided Meditation Framework™ is the community, group coaching & mentorship. On Weekly Live Q&A Calls with Heather Hayward & Hunter Varnum, you can get expert feedback & strategic advice to ensure you have the knowledge and confidence you need to implement your training.
Students also receive a 1-on-1 coach to hone & develop your skillset and access to the community of other facilitators, so you can receive support, network, and get answers to the important questions that will arise when you begin implementing in the real world.
In 2022, a full business & marketing training was added to the program. This marketing program trains GMF students on how to build a profitable business as an Immersive Meditation Coach. It covers topics such as picking a high-ticket niche, building a high ticket funnel, how to run ads on YouTube, Facebook & Instagram, optimizing your website’s SEO, email marketing, etc. Additionally, students are handed a pre-built website, funnel & email campaigns to customize to their unique business, to reduce as much friction & enable each student to get profitable in their business in as little time as possible.
So, if you’re looking to build a meditation business, lead meditation groups, or to become a meditation coach, The Guided Meditation Framework™ could be a great option for you. If you’d like to learn more, you can check out a full program demo HERE.
#2 Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program
Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program is the best option I could find for those looking for a deep dive into the practice of teaching mindfulness meditation.
This 2-year program focuses on creating teachers & facilitators of mindful awareness & loving compassion-based practices of meditation. Both Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield are reputable leaders in the field of mindfulness meditation, with both expertise & integrity, so I don’t doubt their ability to fill a two-year curriculum with valuable & engaging practicum.
As a student of this mindfulness certification program, you’ll learn how to teach mindfulness meditation & practices of compassion, lovingkindness, forgiveness & joy. You’ll develop skills to guide both individuals & groups, and receive ongoing support and mentorship throughout the training via their international group of meditation teachers.
Two in-person workshops are also held to facilitate a connection between aspiring teachers, and specific applications of mindfulness in the areas of relationships, conflict, trauma, organizational wisdom & societal change are also taught.
Graduates will be certified by both the Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley, and continuing education units are also provided for those who need them.
2 years is a commitment, but for those who want to grow & deepen their spiritual path, and help others to do the same, this mindfulness meditation certification could be the one for you.
Check it out HERE.
If you’re still a little hazy on the difference between mindfulness & guided meditation, check out some of the content I’ve written on the benefits of mindfulness for reducing anxiety & going beyond mindfulness with guided meditation.
#3 Sacred Breath Academy’s Breathwork Facilitator Training
When it comes to meditation experiences, breathwork meditation is a personal favorite of mine, so this list would not be complete in my view without the addition of a solid breathwork meditation training.
After doing my research, Sacred Breath Academy’s Breathwork Facilitator Training seems to be hands down the best option in this field.
The curriculum is very comprehensive & covers far more than just how to facilitate breathwork meditation. This training teaches everything from the science of breathwork to essential leadership techniques to the fundamentals of breathwork facilitation to the spiritual side of being a breathwork facilitator.
Their website has an in-depth description of everything that is included, tons of testimonials from both facilitators & participants of Sacred Breath Academy’s students, and even a personal testimonial from the famous Deepak Chopra that I suggest you check out if you are interested.
The Breathwork Facilitator training includes 8 web-based modules, 200 hours of mentorship, 15 Breathwork Journeys led by SBA’s founder, and much more. Additionally, the testing process for earning your Level 1 Certificate is thorough, but not overly demanding.
However, what really struck me about this training & solidified its place on this list for me was the prerequisite reading. Specifically, the focus on ethics & the most common mistakes made by breathwork facilitators, which is required reading before you are able to join the meditation teacher training.
Breathwork is a serious form of meditation, and as they clearly state in one of their ethics articles, it’s not for everybody. The teaching of proper ethics & safe practices in breathwork facilitation is essential and demonstrates to me that Sacred Breath Academy is a responsible steward of this powerful form of meditation facilitation.
So, if you’re looking to become a breathwork meditation facilitator, this may be the meditation training you are looking for!
Check it out HERE.
#4 Unplug Meditation Teacher Training
Unplug was one of the pioneers in the boom of the meditation industry, creating one of the first meditation studios in Santa Monica, CA, and developing a meditation app used by many across the globe. It’s not surprising that they led the way in creating one of the first online meditation teacher training programs too.
The Unplug Meditation Teacher Training is taught by Unplug teacher Davidji and focuses mainly on the discipline of mindfulness.
The program is 6 weeks in total. The first 5 weeks are completed via an online course, consisting of weekly lessons, webinars, assignments, and parallel engagement with the Unplug meditation app. The final week of the program is a virtual intensive, facilitated on Zoom, where you lead classes, attend lectures & get 1-on-1 coaching.
This meditation training is a great choice for those who desire to teach meditation or simply want to learn how to deepen their own practice.
Check out the training HERE.
#5 Soundbath Academy’s Sound Bath Practitioner Training
Sound bath meditations are right up there with breathwork on my favorite ways to engage in meditation, so this list would also feel incomplete without a teacher training focused on this amazing art.
Soundbath Academy’s Soundbath Practitioner Training, taught by Jamie Bechtold and Robert Lee, is a great option for aspiring sound bath practitioners. This program has two levels, with an additional “Practice & Play™” private mentorship & coaching sessions available to graduates of either Level 1 or 2, to help new practitioners hone their skills through practice & constructive feedback.
The curriculum from Level 1 covers everything from sound theory, differences between different instrument material types, playing techniques with crystal bowls & gongs, instruction on how to facilitate individual or group sound bath meditations, experiential learning, and more. Level 1 is currently being offered virtually as well!
The Level 2 curriculum picks up where Level 1 left off, introducing advanced playing techniques, developing your transitions, learning how to play multiple instruments, and much more. Level 2 is recommended for students who want to play sound baths at the professional level.
Obviously, you’ll need some instruments (i.e. gongs, crystal bowls, etc.) to practice & get your first sound baths kicked off. So, Soundbath Academy also sells gongs, bowls & any other accessories you may need to get started.
If you’re looking for a meditation teacher training that will enable you to facilitate transformative experiences through the universal language of sound, this Sound Bath Practitioner Training could be the one for you!
Check it out HERE.
#6 The Chopra Center’s Meditation Instructor Certification
Last, but not least (remember, I’m not ranking here, just providing 7 unique options), is The Chopra Center’s Meditation Instructor Certification. This training is unique in that it focuses on something called Primordial Sound Meditation, a practice derived from Vedic Tradition.
Out of all the trainings listed, this one puts the “teacher” in meditation teacher training, as much of the curriculum is designed to help you teach meditation, in the strictest sense of the words.
The entire program is 10 weeks & is taught online by a variety of teachers, including Deepak Chopra & Roger Gabriel. You’ll learn how to put together presentations & lesson plans to teach to and facilitate classes of various sizes & experience levels.
Additionally, you’ll learn the art of practicing & teaching mantra centered Primordial Sound meditation, how to answer student questions about meditation, how to teach about higher states of consciousness, philosophy, strategies to build your business & much more.
In order to enroll, you will need to have graduated or be concurrently enrolled in the Primordial Sound Enrichment program as well.
For those looking for a meditation teacher training in a form of meditation handed down from the ancient Vedas, this meditation instructor certification could be the one for you!
Check it out HERE.
#7 Brown University’s MBSR Teacher Training
The Mindfulness Center at Brown is a global leader Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training field. This MBSR teacher training has the most thorough curriculum I could find, and is a great option for therapists who already have some experience in the field of MBSR.
Brown’s MBSR Teacher Training is quite lengthy & requires serious commitment. The program is divided into 3 consecutive stages: MBSR Training Level 1, MBSR Training Level 2 & a final MBSR Teacher Training Completion process.
On top of the course curriculum, each level requires you to attend at least 1 retreat hosted by a qualified MBSR teacher. It’s hard to make out from their website, but the total completion time to earn your MBSR Teacher credential seems to be at least 2 years.
Individual mentoring sessions are provided as part of the curriculum & students are required to begin teaching an 8-week MBSR curriculum after completion of the level 1 training.
I think it’s safe to say that this training is not for the faint of heart and only for those who are absolutely sure that mindfulness-based stress reduction training will help them achieve their professional goals.
Check it out HERE.
If you’re unsure if this kind of meditation teacher training is right for you, check out my article on MBSR training for clarification.
How to Choose the Right Meditation Certification for You
When it comes to making any big decision - like making a 4 figure investment in a meditation certification - it's helpful to start with the end in mind. Ultimately, you want to ask yourself: "What outcome, change or opportunity am I trying to realize through investing in a professional training?"
I want to emphasize this because - after working with hundreds of students - I've found that many of them had previously purchased programs that simply did not deliver what they were hoping for.
And since wasting money isn't good for anyone, here is the major point for you to consider before making any investment..
Do you want to do this as a business or a hobby?
I've found that many people get into this space with aspirations of creating a business, however, those aspirations aren't always considered when selecting their meditation certification.
Now, if your goal is to do this as a hobby, then by all means, choose whichever training or meditation technique that is the most appealing to you.
However, if your goal is to do this as a business & you want to make money guiding people to clarity, then consider the following:
- Does the program teach you how to get clients & make money? If you want to do this as a business, learning a modality is only half of the equation. You'll need to learn how to create an offer, how to get clients to buy that offer, and likely, you'll need a lot of support & guidance throughout that process as well.
- How practical is the meditation method for solving specific problems? This is an important thing to consider, because not all meditation techniques are suited for helping people solve problems - and solving problems is a basic function any business must do to succeed. So, make sure you consider how adaptable & applicable the meditation technique you're considering to facilitating high-value transformations to your clients.
- Do you want to teach at a studio or create your own business? If your goals is just to teach meditation classes at a studio, that's great if your just looking to do something part-time. However, if your goal is to make a full-time income, then a training focused on teaching meditation is likely not for you. Many people don't realize that with the right meditation facilitator training, you can learn to create 1-on-1 or group coaching offers that each client will happily pay $2,500 to $5,000 for - provided you have a meditation technique, offer & business training to create a high-impact program that delivers results.
- How much support is provided to ensure your confidence & capability? This is a big one. Guiding meditations is a sort of transformational performance art. To do this confidently, you'll need lots of feedback, guidance & support throughout your learning process AND beyond. And on the business side, you'll likely need help developing the structure & idea of your business, who you want to serve, how to design your process & offer, how to market & communicate your offer effectively to your ideal clients, etc. So, make sure to properly vet any training to ensure you have all of the resources you could possibly to not only get a return on your investment but also to develop a prosperous business doing work you love that changes lives for years to come.
From Immersive Guided Meditation to Mindfulness to Sound Baths to Breathwork, there are so many different paths you can take in the meditation industry, each one of them offering a different set of unique benefits & advantages.
Whatever you choose, in one capacity or another, you will be doing the world a great service by becoming a meditation teacher or facilitator.
I hope this list of the 7 Best Meditation Teacher Trainings will help you discover the training & path that is right for you!