What Meditation Teachers Need to Know about COVID-19
2 min read – This articles discusses how meditation teachers can navigate their meditation groups with the development of COVID-19 and social distancing.
It’s so interesting where we find ourselves isn’t it?
People in Australia are being sent home from workplaces, children starting school holidays early and for now we are no longer gathering in large groups for fear of the COVID-19 virus.
A range of responses has emerged. From the panic buying of toilet paper, to relative calm, to moderate confusion and a general lack of ease.
It would seem that where we find ourselves right now, is the ideal time to harness the calming power of meditation and mindfulness to bring some soothing sanity and relief to our responses to the pandemic of COVID-19.
As meditation teachers we need to ask ourselves, how do we keep our meditation participants feeling comfortable about coming to meditation? What is the best practice for conducting small gatherings?
Let’s look at what you can do to help your participants feel calm and safe:
#1 Set Some Guidelines for your Meditation Group
People need to be assured that you are doing all you can to create a safe and comfortable environment. Ask participants not to attend if:
- They have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
- They have had close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
- They have a cold or flu-like symptoms.
- They feel uncomfortable doing so because they are physically vulnerable.
#2 Demonstrate Good Hygiene Practices
- Remind participants to sneeze or cough into their elbow if needed.
- Maintain high levels of hygiene and cleanliness by disinfecting your mats, cushions, seats, floors (everything!)
- Ask people to bring a towel or sarong to sit or lie on if using your mats and cushions.
- Request that people bring their own water bottle rather than sharing glasses or cups.
- Replace fabric towels with paper towels (recycled of course) or even better – air dry!
- Provide hand sanitizer (if you can get any) as well as somewhere to wash hands.
- Ensure the room is not overcrowded so that everyone has plenty of space (1.5m is the recommended distance between people).
- Wipe commonly touched items or shared objects such as door handles, hard surfaces etc.
- Remember that you have the right to turn someone away if they turn up and are visibly unwell.
#3 Stay in Contact with your Group During These Uncertain Times
Keep communicating regularly with your group well before events and sessions as to what you are doing as well as any updates. You might also like to create a contingency plan for alternative means to deliver your meditation sessions (possibly online).
#4 Set an Intention to stay Positive with your Group
If you can, try and keep things upbeat, have a laugh and be compassionate to those who are feeling fearful and anxious. These times can trigger old trauma or anxiety for people and crazy scenes of panic buying or eerie empty shelves at the supermarket can be distressing and unsettling.
Additionally, here are some National Public Health Resources that are super useful and can be consulted every day or two days for updates:
- The Australian Government Depart of Health provides the latest information about the spread of COVID-19
- Stay up to date with the government advice for organising public gatherings
- The following is a list of the most recent COVID-19 information by state:
I trust this will support you in managing your communications and practices when it comes to holding your meditation groups in the face of COVID-19.
I have personally found a greater need for self care and a more extended meditation practice supportive.
Some participants will choose to stay home and not attend their meditation groups, so the subject of my next blog will be
How to take your meditation business online.
Read you again soon!
Love Lisa x