Why I Created the World’s First Online Meditation Training

Imagine a meditation class. You’re probably seeing some students, a softly lit room, the slight smell of lavender wafting through the air. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for these things. I even have all of these things at Ziva Meditation’s studio in New York City. But about a year after I started teaching in-person courses, I sat down and really thought. I thought about the mark I wanted to make on the world. I thought about how important it is to bring meditation to as many people as possible. Then I thought about the numbers.

There are approximately 7.4 billion people on the planet and if the goal is to get meditation to even 1% of them, that is 74,000,000 people. I would need to teach 1,480,000 people a year for the next 50 years to even come close! This is when I went meditation teacher rogue.

Enter zivaMIND: the world’s first online meditation training.

I created zivaMIND simply because I wanted to design a program that could bring this life changing practice to people all over the world. I had zero technical experience and was still arrogantly thinking I could have three careers (I was acting, teaching acting, and teaching meditation all at the same time, ha!). I remember one week I was in final callbacks to play Velma in the Broadway musical “Chicago”, I was teaching 4 acting classes AND we were launching zivaMIND, which meant a new video training was ending up in people’s inboxes at 5am. Sometimes I wouldn’t get the finished video from my editor until 2am!

It was one of the most intense weeks of my life, and the only reason I made it through was meditation. That week I realized that the thing I was most passionate about was sharing meditation with the world. My agents and I parted ways the next week and I went all in with Ziva.

I was so excited about this new direction, but there was some trepidation, too. Birthing something is hard work, especially when you are stepping out of your comfort zone and innovating. My biggest fear was that the practice wouldn’t translate online. To be honest, I didn’t know if it would. It was an experiment. No one had really created a full meditation matriculation at this point; this was pre-Oprah /Chopra challenges and even pre-Headspace!

I also had to push through my fears about how the program would be received or judged by other meditation teachers. There are a lot of purists out there, and I too consider myself a meditation “snob” in that I really want to protect the purity of these ancient and powerful traditions. At the same time, I knew the world needed access to these tools.

I have to say, I’m pretty amazed by the way everything turned out. To date, over 2,000 people have taken the training and counting, and it’s been my honor to watch the zivaMIND community continue to learn and grow in their practice. But we still have work to do if we want to reach our goal of sharing meditation with 1% of the world’s population.

Now, there are two more totally killer things about zivaMIND that I want to talk about.

  1. The community of zivaMINDers. Every single time I log on I am flooded with joy reading everyone’s comments. It really is changing people’s lives. Insomnia is reduced, people’s panic attacks go away, and they report generally enjoying life a lot more- going through their days feeling calm and clear-headed. Even the struggles are inspiring — I see people sharing openly about the highs and low of the practice, and other people reaching out to support them. Incredible, right?
  2. One of my other favorite aspects of the program is that once a year we offer an interactive version. You can enjoy zivaMIND anytime and customize your start date, but in the interactive version is a group of people that all go through the training at the same time (this year it will be Oct 1–8). Selfishly, I also love this yearly event because it includes 3 live calls with me. This gives me the awesome opportunity to interact with the group and dive a little deeper in the practice. The zivaMIND interactive course really shows that there is power in a group! It creates a sense of community and a sense of urgency around a 6,000 yr old practice. People learn from each other as well as from me. There is also an added level of accountability, which helps people commit to the practice.

I am incredibly proud of this program, and it has been awe- inspiring to see the life changing effects it had already had on thousands of graduates. I like to imagine them all spreading bliss throughout their days instead of stress as they up-level their performance and their life from all corners of the world.

You can learn more about zivaMIND here, enjoy a free masterclass “Stress Less, Accomplish More” here, and join zivaMIND 2016 happening interactively Oct 1–8 while there are still spots left. It was a long journey to create zivaMIND, but one that was totally worth it. I’d love to share this life changing practice with you.

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