• In meditation, yoga, and yoga therapy

    Mentoring

  • Why mentoring?

    In the 40 years or so I've been practicing, I see a dramatic difference in well-being between students who do and don't use mentoring, myself included.

     

    ... and the times we try (fitfully!) to practice at home without such guidance, mainly relying on retreats, recordings, and dharma talks from assorted teachers.

     

    These practices have been designed to be transmitted via individual mentoring, supervision, and care, without profit as a driving goal.

     

    Maybe we're learning that now in the highly commodified yoga and meditation market.

     

    Since 2000, when I began mentoring students one to one, I've seen them achieve their vocational dreams, experience deep well-being, gain inner and outer strength, and move toward deeper self-connection, and spiritual renewal through embodied contemplative practices.

     

     

     

  • Common to all contemplative traditions ...

    before the age of certification and group classes ... there was "skillfulness" (Upaya-kaushalya) of on one-on-one support

     

     

     

    Having begun contemplative practice in the decades before mass trainings in Modern American Buddhism and commercial yoga, I was lucky to understand the importance of a sustained personal practice which comes from working with a teacher closely.

     

    I'm grateful that I've served hundreds of my students as they meet life's challenges. My own supervising teacher, Paul Harvey, has taught for almost fifty years.

     

    The people who work with me vary in age and interests. That means I can put to use many hours and observation of a diverse range of goals. The ability to connect practices and individuals has enriched my life.

     

    There is no single "secret sauce" for teaching individual home practice in today's climate.

     

    The difficulty of home practice today is not primarily time (we can always start with committing to a short home practice of 15 minutes per day).

     

    Look around -- we see a theme of busyness and stimulation that pervades our every waking moment. Unhooking from that theme is tough, like getting rid of an earworm ...

     

    How to counter this environment? Together, we elicit the inner song ... the deeper values that drive you. We work closely with those vaues throughout our work together, supported by the resources of the traditional teachings of Buddhism and Yoga.

     

    Thanks for reading this. I hope to speak with you soon about your interest in meditation and yoga.

     

     

     

  • Credentials

    VINIYOGA & MEDITATION MENTORING

     

    I am one of the few recommended US teachers of viniyoga (individually adapted . yoga) by YogaStudies.org,. I am also a certified yoga therapist of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

     

    This reflects over 1000 hours in traditional-style, closely supervised training.

     

    One-on one vipassana (insight meditation) was my earliest study and background in meditation, and continues to inform the breath-based practices as I teach them

     

    With the support of Martha Jefferson Hospital, I opened the first independent yoga and meditation center inside a Virginia medical center. I also designed and taught the hospital's meditation/stress reduction program for cardiac and cancer care. And I've been certified to teach yoga for cardiac care & cancer care by the leading teachers in those specific fields.

     

    To work safely in the clinic, I obtained certification as an Integrative Health Professional Coach, at Duke University's Integrative Health Coaching program. And to work traditionally I studied early 1st century Buddhism, Tantra, and Yoga-Samkhya at the University of Virginia, and with Paul Harvey.

     

    I can be found teaching in the Viniyoga and modern mindfulness traditions regularly at Tibet House in NYC and also at Mindful Living Space in Kingston, NY.

     

     

    REFLECTING ON COMMUNITY

     

    From a dharma perspective it is good to help other beings live in fruitful social environments so their minds can settle, so we cultivate love, and move toward a path of awakening together. There really is no concept of social justice as such in Buddhism, but there is a drive and aspiration to help everyone awaken.

     

    The goal of bias training in the mind/body community is not to fragment and retaliate. It's holistic, and promotes both individual healing and collective liberation.

     

    My dharma teacher, Ruth King, led me to to grow into a more powerful and true "radical acceptance" of the realities of privilege and race , internalized in our minds and bodies.

     

    The inner wisdom of the body calls us to heal our own trauma. To support my students healing, when needed, I have trained in Somatic Experiencing I, an embodied healing practice.

     

    I'm also affiliated with the Contemplative Psychology program led by Joseph Loizzo MD PhD at Nalanda Institute in NYC where "radical dharma" is an integrated part of the curriculum. I have an MPhil in humanities, and was a graduate student for some time in the UVA department of Religious Studies.

     

    RESUME link:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fnVTqpaqaxMAqkT6cyJ9ckeN-mZpXd84qakzeLMLwIQ/edit#heading=h.3p5dwokqiu6m

  • LET'S TALK

    Consider scheduling a one-hour consult with me, free. We can talk about what you're doing now, and options for further study, coaching, and yoga therapy, by phone or in person.

    Phone

    434.977.0030
    Email
    Email

    susannanicholson@
    gmail.com
    Email
    Email

    susannanicholson@
    gmail.com