5 min read
Written by Wendy Lee, Co-Founder Lifespark
An online meditation course can be a great way of starting a meditation practice.
And the latest research suggests that doing so could be extremely good for your health, as meditation has been shown to promote improved mood, less anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, and improved immune functioning, just to name a few of its many benefits.
At Lifespark, we offer free resources to help get you started with mindfulness meditation as well other forms of mindfulness practice, such as Tratak meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing, and forest bathing.
But even with these resources, keeping up a daily practice can be challenging. And it can help to have someone there to keep you motivated and troubleshoot issues that inevitably come up.
But who can afford to have a private meditation coach guide you through the process every step of the way? The good news is that there are now a wealth of meditation resources online. And it’s never been easier to access information and tools about meditation from experts all over the world.
But not all programs are created equal. So, we decided to take a close look at Live and Dare’s ‘Master Your Mind’ course for beginners—one of the most popular online programs of its kind. This beginner program provides 5 weeks of meditation instruction, access to a community of meditators, and a private forum for questions and discussion with the instructor, Giovanni Dienstmann.
Here’s everything you need to know about the course:
Program Entry and Registration
To give some background, I’ve meditated before but don’t have extensive experience with it. And historically, when I’ve tried to meditate, it’s been hard for me to stick with it.
So, you might call me a ‘yo-yo meditator,’ having made a few solid attempts to start a practice, sandwiched between long periods of time when ‘more important’ matters took precedence, like compulsively checking my phone, attending to work emails, or catching up on Netflix.
It’s after my latest binge of mindless inattention that I entered Live and Dare’s ‘Master Your Mind’ 5-week beginner program, hoping for greater mental clarity, peace of mind, and a roadmap for building a reliable meditation practice.
The sign up process was relatively easy, with options to pay with Paypal or credit card. To start out, I opted for just the beginner course (priced at $59 as of this writing). However, Live and Dare offers a variety of bundled packages for those wanting intermediate and advanced instruction.
Online Meditation Course Content
The ‘Master Your Mind’ course consists of 35 daily lessons, each of which briefly introduces a new meditation technique and provides instruction on how to practice, sometimes in the form of a guided audio meditation led by Dienstmann.
Five topics are covered across the 5-week program, including:
Week 1 – Counting breaths: Teaches basic breathing techniques, emphasizing the importance of making meditation a habit.
Week 2 – Breathing sensations: Dives further into meditations that focus on the breath and provides instruction on how to work with distractions and other obstacles that might get in the way.
Week 3 – Mantra: Details the basics of mantra meditation and covers a host of issues pertaining to such practice, including how to work constructively with emotions that might arise.
Week 4 – Chakra: Focuses on integrating mindfulness into everyday life, concentrating particularly on cultivating greater body awareness, while assuming a non-judgemental stance.
Week 5- Loving-Kindness: Provides meditations for building greater compassion and reframing difficult emotions.
I found the program to be well-organized, and I learned a ton about the variety of meditation practices that exist out there.
Dienstmann emphasizes that even though the program is marketed as a ‘5-week course,’ it should be self-paced and tailored to meet the unique demands of one’s lifestyle. That was a huge relief for me, because despite my resolve, some days I simply wasn’t able to carve out the space for it. And ultimately, it took me 6-weeks to get through the program and devote the time I felt it deserved.
Quality of the Program
Dienstmann does a great job of walking you through the process and makes meditation engaging and not intimidating at all. He’s very motivating and emphasizes making meditation a regular practice, even if you can only do it for a few minutes. Considering my history as a ‘yo-yo meditator’that was an important lesson for me!
Dienstmann’s voice is very soothing, and he’s perfectly cut out for narrating guided meditations. Even though his instructions for each practice were clear and easy to follow, I actually would have liked even more guided meditations led by Dienstmann, because I felt like they really accelerated my learning.
Of course, if you have questions or want to dive deeper, he makes himself available to communicate with students in a private forum. And in my experience, I found him to be quite responsive.
The Bottom Line
Because of the discipline it takes to meditate (almost) every day, this program challenged me. But ultimately, I stuck it out and am extremely glad for it.
The lessons on integrating mindfulness into everyday life really hit home. Dienstmann offers practical strategies for being more present and aware of our mindless habits, which for me was compulsively checking my phone. Now, before I reach to see the latest alert, I take 3 mindful breaths.
It slows me down and forces me to act with intention. At the end of the day, I think that’s what the ‘Master Your Mind’ program is really all about.
This is a promotional Lifespark post, in partnership with Live and Dare. We carefully vet all courses and products to make sure they’re relevant to our readers, and make a share in the profits of any sales.