The popularity of meditation in the community has grown significantly in recent years. In line with this growth, there has been an increase in the availability of meditation teacher training courses. These courses range in duration from a few weeks or around 30 hours, to two years or around 200 hours part-time, with varying degrees of face-to-face contact.
As the national body for registration and representation of meditation teachers from all traditions and styles of meditation, the Meditation Association of Australia (MA) has an important role in guiding the direction of meditation teaching in Australia. As such, we have a responsibility to carefully set standards for membership to protect both the public and the tradition of meditation. In the case of the public, it is important to ensure that students of meditation can trust that meditation teachers registered with MA have at least an adequate level of training and experience, as considered by their peers.
Levels of membership
Provisional membership is available to those who have had a personal practice of meditation for a minimum of two years and have completed 80 hours of meditation teacher training in the areas of competency described in the table. It is to be understood that Provisional membership is a pathway to Full membership, which can be achieved on completion of a further 30 hours training in the first three years of membership. Commonly this additional training can be achieved through actual teaching (see ‘practicum’ in the table) under a system of supervision or peer review. MA provides a straightforward mentoring structure and agreement for this purpose.
Full membership is available to those who have had a personal practice of meditation for a minimum of two years and have completed 110 hours of meditation teacher training in the areas of competency described in the table.
Senior membership is available to those who have had a personal practice of meditation for a minimum of five years, have completed 200 hours of meditation teacher training in the areas of competency described in the table, and can show evidence of at least two years of regular teaching experience.
Registered teacher logos
Registered teacher logos for each level of membership are available to members to use in their promotion. This is an important way for members of the public to see that meditation teachers are registered with MA and therefore have met the standard required for membership.
Categories of membership
Meditation teaching has traditionally taken place in some quite different contexts, for example, in the context of a spiritual tradition or for personal development. In addition, meditation has increasingly been applied in therapeutic (healthcare) settings. For this reason, and to ensure that meditation teachers teach within the scope and intention of their training and experience, there are three broad categories of membership, being Personal Development, Spiritual and Therapeutic. These categories also assist members of the public to identify the right teacher for their needs.
When applying for membership, you should select the category (or categories) of membership for which you are trained and experienced.
More information about these categories can be found on the MA Membership Application form.
Benefits of membership
All MA members enjoy the full privileges of the Association – they may vote, be elected to the Committee, and be included on the MA website’s “Find a Teacher” listing.
Benefits of membership are described in more detail on the MA website but include:
Advocacy, representation and support from a professional national association
Optional discounted insurance tailored to meditation teaching
Discounts on workshops, seminars and conferences organised by MA
Networking opportunities with other meditation teachers
Listing on the “Find a Teacher” website page on the MA website
Access to list events in the “Calendar of Events” on the MA website
A regular monthly email newsletter with the latest news, events and training opportunities
Use of the MA registered teacher logo appropriate to your level of membership. Please note, logo usage is subject to guidelines.
Importantly, MA members support the work of the Association to further the cause of meditation as a professional discipline, promoting meditation to the public and developing meditation teaching standards in Australia.
Cost of membership
Meditation Association of Australia membership renewal occurs annually on the 1st of July.
Costs associated with membership include a one off joining fee of $90
Plus a pro rata annual membership fee of:
$85 (Joining between 1 July and 31 December)
$45 (Joining between 1 January and 30 June)
Members of the Meditation Association of Australia are offered the option to access tailored insurance policies at heavily discounted rates through our endorsed insurance broker, Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG). Cost-effective premiums start from $155 per annum, depending on liability limits and your turnover.
For more information on obtaining insurance through Arthur J. Gallagher, call 1800 222 012 or email
Membership criteria and curriculum guidelines
The forms, traditions and philosophies of meditation teaching, the training and experience of individuals, and the structure of teacher training courses may vary widely and differ in emphasis, but overall, applicants for membership must demonstrate the following competencies.
The number of hours shown for each competency is indicative, not prescriptive, and is intended to provide a conceptual basis for achieving the competency. Hours shown are ‘learning hours’ not necessarily ‘contact hours’, however a minimum proportion of contact hours is required, whether that is direct contact within the structure of a teacher training course or supervisory contact in a mentoring or peer review setting.
Applicants will need to demonstrate their commitment to a personal mediation practice for at least two years prior to making their application for membership.
An additional 80 hours of education and training in any of the areas of competency described. Plus minimum of two years regular teaching experience.
Areas of Competency
Description of competency
Theory and Guided Practice or Meditation Technique/s
This field of study aims to provide the student with a depth of experience of various meditative techniques and awareness of the effects and implications of different practices. Incorporates development of a vocabulary to enable the articulation of meditation techniques and practice both subjectively and objectively.
Study and practice of teaching methodologies including
how to present meditation in easily understood terms; how to guide meditation skilfully; how to recognise signs of altered states; how to structure group/individual sessions; how to adapt a teaching environment to meet specific needs.
Integrated Practice and Teaching
Teaching practice of students in various settings, under the supervision of a more senior teacher (including under a mentoring/peer review system).
Ethical responsibilities including confidentiality, legalities, insurance, membership with professional bodies, referral to and from health and mental health practitioners.
Physiology, Psychology and Neuroscience of meditation
Introductory understanding of brain functioning and the impact of meditation on behaviour and cognitive functions. Understanding of therapeutic aspects of meditation on stress, anxiety, pain and illness.
Philosophy, History and Complementary forms
Study of meditation history and philosophies from various texts. Investigation into use of meditation in complementary forms such as Yoga, Chi Gong, Tai Chi meditation.
Specific areas of study, for example, teaching meditation to children. Learning hours in a specific competency may help demonstrate competency in some of the above areas.
Overall Contact Hours
30% minimum contact hours are required across all curriculum areas.
Membership application form
The following links will open the membership application form and the mentorship agreement template in a new web page. If you would like to apply for membership please contact us at or phone the Executive Officer on 0402 938 401 and a copy of the application form will be emailed to you.
Learning hours are the anticipated hours spent learning in order to achieve a competency. For example it may take one student four hours to read set material and write a reflective response, however, it may take another student in the same course six hours to complete the same task. Therefore it is to be understood that learning hours provide an approximate indication of competency. Learning hours must be able to be demonstrated and compliance assessed, for example by curriculum documents, course notes, a participation diary, course assessment, etc.
Can some of my teacher training be online? What if I don’t have enough hours in each of the curriculum areas?
Meditation teacher training courses may have an online component. This is of particular relevance for those who live in rural and remote areas. However, a minimum proportion of contact hours are required, whether that is direct contact within the structure of a teacher training course or supervisory contact from a third party in a mentoring or peer review setting. MA provides a convenient mentoring structure and agreement for those who are not able to obtain direct contact within the structure of a teacher training course. Please see the Mentoring Guidelines on the MA website for further information.
What if I don’t have enough hours in each of the curriculum areas?
The number of hours shown for each competency is indicative, not prescriptive, and is intended to provide a conceptual basis for achieving the competency. There are also variances in the forms, traditions and philosophies of meditation teaching with different emphasis on competencies. However, your overall training and experience must demonstrate the competencies required. Where there is a gap in your training or experience, you should seek out specific training to address the competency. You may also be able to bridge this gap by entering into a mentoring arrangement with a more senior teacher. Please see the Mentoring Guidelines document on the MA website for more information.
How many ‘contact’ hours are required?
Generally, at least 30% of the learning hours shown should be contact hours, meaning face-to-face contact with your teacher. In cases where a meditation teacher training course is primarily delivered online, a proportion of 30% contact hours is still required, but this may be able to be achieved through a formal mentoring arrangement with a third party, eg: assisted by supervision or peer review from a recognised local meditation teacher using the MA Mentoring framework to record the mentoring process. All learning hours must be able to be demonstrated, as mentioned above.
What if don’t feel experienced enough as a new meditation teacher?
Engage in a mentoring arrangement with a more senior teacher for a period of time to increase both your competence and confidence. Doing this in a structured, documented way may also increase your hours of practicum in the table above.
How can I make the most of mentoring?
Mentoring involves undertaking regular (usually weekly) supervision or peer review of your teaching by a more senior teacher and can be structured in a way to best suit both you and your mentor, eg: teaching as a trainee teacher under supervision or assisting the teacher in class. Notes should be kept of each session and at the conclusion of the mentoring period your mentor should provide you with a letter confirming the length and nature of the mentoring. Please see the Mentoring Guidelines on the MA website for further information.
How can I use the MA registered teacher logo?
Members can use the MA registered teacher logo in their advertising and promotional materials. Use of the logo is limited to locations directly related to your teaching, eg the logo cannot be used in such a way as to suggest that MA has recognised any other aspects of your business, only your meditation teaching. Your right to use the logo is at all times at the discretion of MA.