Since I started my daily mindfulness meditation about three weeks ago, I was looking for a frum Jewish teacher of this meditation method in Jerusalem. Yesterday morning I stumbled upon an announcement about an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation starting on the very same day and immediately arranged my registration, feeling as if it were bashert. We had our first weekly session last evening.
The greatest benefit of and my main reason for participating in such a course is that one can't acquire skills, including mindfulness meditation. fully and accurately, only from books. In our first weekly session I could confirm that my practice of mindfulness meditation based on books is alright.
Since I consider training of the soul as the main purpose of my life, I find lifelong learning crucial and have always like to learn new life skills in various aspects of life first by myself and then sometimes also formally. The life skills I tried to acquire in the past ten years this way include navigating in the sea of the Talmud (I spent a year learning it at Ohr Somayach, a haredi yeshiva in Jerusalem), Chi Running (from a private teacher), Total Immersion Swimming (from a private teacher). I also continue practicing these skills in order to improve them for my spiritual and physical well-being.
After I was diagnosed with OCPD, I started to take an interest in acquiring new life skills for my mental and emotional well-being. Mindfulness meditation, which is recommended in a number of therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectal and behavior therapy, it was the first life skill I decided to learn formally.
Now I'm seriously thinking of learning three more life skills formally in the next several years not only for myself but also hoping to share my newly acquired practical knowledge to help others, mostly spiritually and physically: Conscious Transformation (in an online course), life coaching (at a school in Jerusalem, probably during my next sabbatical), and shiatsu (at a school in Jerusalem I can attend in my free time). I have no plan of leaving my present occupation and start working exclusively as a life coach and a shiatsu practitioner, but I feel like learning these life skills systematically now even if I have few or no chances to practice them for others immediately after completing formal learning and receiving certificates. I have been interested in shiatsu as both its receiver and (non-professional) giver since I was a child, whereas my interest in life coaching is very new.
I feel I'm at an important turning point in my life now. Especially since I got married last summer and was diagnosed with OCPD a few months afterwards, I've been looking for more and more ways for my self-empowerment not only for myself but hopefully and eventually also for others. I'll probably encounter other life skills I want to learn formally to complement my lifelong learning.