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The decision to choose which meditation school to attend is going to be determined by location, cost, style, school reputation, and focus. There are some types of meditation that integrate yoga as a physically strenuous exercise, while others take a more holistic, spiritual approach. It is a good idea to witness a class taught at a meditation school, either in person or through virtual means. Talking to current and past students, as well as the faculty, can also aid a student's selection process.
A meditation school may administer its classes and instruction through retreats that require the student to travel. During the retreats, which may last for a weekend, several weeks, or several months, the student will be required to focus exclusively on mediation instruction. This is an important factor to consider since these retreats are similar to a residency program. There will be little time for anything else and the instruction will require the student to put his "normal" life on hold for the duration of the retreat.
For prospective students who aren't able to travel or give up their working lives, a meditation school that offers evening or weekend classes locally may be the best fit. Regardless of where and how the instruction is delivered, it is important to consider the style of meditation that is taught. Some schools focus on one style while others incorporate several. There are meditative techniques that stem from certain religious practices and cultures, while others are more generic in nature and focus on specific concerns, such as stress relief.
A great way to determine the best meditation school to attend is to get a first person account of what the classes are like. Many schools will send out promotional videos or display web based video streams that allow prospective students to get a feel for their style. It may be helpful to research the instructors' backgrounds, including educational qualifications and main areas of focus. Observing how yoga is incorporated into the instruction is also a great way to determine whether the school's style will be a match.
There are some students who want a more physical challenge. A meditation school that incorporates a number of yoga poses and stretches will probably be a better fit for those who want to improve their physique. Those who want to learn meditation and yoga as a more relaxed, calming technique will need to attend a school that places more importance on the spiritual aspects of the practice.
Cost can be an important factor when choosing a meditation school. It is important to investigate whether a full package needs to be purchased or if payment can be arranged for individual classes. Some schools charge based on income, while others administer flat fees based upon the type of instruction.