Teacher Feature: Martine O’Neill
Martine O’Neill, has attained the level of Vedic master by becoming a Chopra Center-certified instructor of Primordial Sound Meditation, the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, and the Perfect Health Ayurvedic living program. Now living in southern Spain, Martine teaches yoga in the area’s beautiful resorts and will offer meditation retreats and workshops there in 2009.
In this month’s Teacher Feature, Martine shares her story with Namasté readers, describing the journey that has finally brought her the experience of true fulfillment and peace that eluded her for many years.
The Path Leading to The Chopra Center
"I started teaching meditation about six years ago, changing direction after years of working long hours as a company secretary in the Netherlands, where I was born and have spent most of my life. I had a relatively stable, comfortable environment, and yet throughout my life I always had the feeling that there was a missing element. As a child, my parents would tell me I was a ‘different one,’ and I always felt different from everyone around me. There was always a form of loneliness that I couldn’t define. It became more manifest in my mid-thirties when I started to read books about the various Eastern philosophies. At that time my circle of friends wasn’t very interested in this subject, so I had no reference points or discussions with anyone about this.
"Then one Sunday morning – and that is a day that I will never forget – I switched on the television and there was a BBC program featuring an interview with Deepak Chopra. I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude as I knew at that instant that I had found the element that had been missing, or dormant if you like, in my life.
"I went to the bookstore and purchased Deepak's book Perfect Health. I also visited the teacher directory on The Chopra Center's website, where I found Natasha, a wonderful Primordial Sound Meditation teacher in Rotterdam, where I was living at that time. The meditation classes were a complete eye-opener, and from that time on, I felt like I was in the flow of what was happening around me. I just could not wait to continue my practice of meditation, and I lived from one session to the next.
"Meditation twice a day made me feel like I could fly and overcome all obstacles. The hardships of my life as a child became distant, and I started to understand how we all live in our own consciousness. I learned to be able to forgive and be free because meditation allowed me to see all aspects of life as if for the first time.
"Meditation literally allows us to see things in a wider spectrum . . . we get this inkling of what will happen next. Practicing gratitude for what we have now makes room for life in all its wonderful aspects. My circle of friends gradually changed as I found like-minded people with whom I could share information and experiences. I read anything I could find about meditation and, at Natasha’s suggestion, I contacted The Chopra Center to see how I could become a meditation teacher.
Becoming a Chopra Center Certified Instructor
"With the help of Neal, my program consultant at The Chopra Center, I planned my teacher training course in San Diego. I told my boss at work at that time that I had very important things to do. He asked me about it, and being a businessman, he wanted to see ‘hard evidence’ for the value of meditation. Before long, we were engaged in weekly chats over coffee as to how this ‘meditation thing’ works.
"I found so much love at The Chopra Center, which helped me to let go of all the pain I was still carrying from the past. I strongly felt that becoming a teacher was my way forward, that it would allow me to live life to the fullest in every sense. As soon as I had finished my Primordial Sound Meditation teacher training, I began my certification in the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, which was another beautiful experience with Claire Diab.
“Things started to flow even more. I was living in the U.S. at that time, so it was easier to travel to the courses. In 2007 I did a week of Perfect Health and Panchakarma at The Chopra Center, and then completed the teacher training to become a certified Perfect Health teacher myself! I volunteered at several of the Center’s seminars, and it became even clearer this was what I was meant to do all along.
"During the meditation classes I always feel a heartwarming response from my students. To be able to give such a beautiful message to others is very fulfilling. At the same time, I have a wonderful feeling of expansion from my interaction with the students, and I personally learn so much from the entire experience.
"The reactions from students from all walks of life, including lawyers, business executives, nurses, and people with life-threatening diseases, made me thrive and have always been my motivation to study more and teach. For example, when I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, I worked closely with a hospital and taught The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga classes with cancer patients and those in remission. The classes were a true blessing as my students really felt better and reconnected with their inner selves even after the yoga sessions ended.
"I always incorporate the Law of the Day in every class, and most of the time people are very eager to learn about these easy-to-practice laws of nature as described in the books The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. I include a very brief meditation after the yoga session, and more often than not, my students don’t want to get up and go home!
“Now that I’m back in Europe, living in the south of Spain, I plan to organize yoga classes at various resorts, and offer retreats incorporating the teachings of The Chopra Center. I hope to be able to offer some retreats with another Chopra Center-certified instructor, Mary, a beautiful and gifted friend I met during our teacher training.
Words of Advice
"For all of those Namasté readers who have not yet decided or are contemplating the Teacher’s Path, I can only say this: Once you decide to step into the field of all possibilities, you will find that things will start to unfold without effort. I started the prerequisites for the teacher training in the Netherlands, and most of the time I had to travel across the big pond for the various seminars and courses. But where there is the will, there will be a way. I am happy to share more information with anyone who may be interested regarding how I went and succeeded on my path to happiness and bliss.
A Deeper Understanding
"As I was returning home from The Chopra Center after I completed my Perfect Health teacher training in December 2007, I felt a strong intuitive message telling me that I was now 'on my own.' I initially felt a sadness coming over me, and I hoped this would not mean that I would never return to The Chopra Center. In the next moment, however, I had a deep knowing that I was meant to share the wisdom and gifts I had received with the world. I felt blessed, lighthearted, and humbled.
"My life is dedicated to this philosophy because I have personally experienced and seen that healing can and does take place on all levels through the practice of meditation, yoga, and Ayurvedic principles.
"I am forever grateful for Deepak and David, all my other teachers, and the never-ending support from The Chopra Center staff."
Vedic Master, certified in Primordial Sound Meditation, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, and Perfect Health
El Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz), Spain
Go to Martine's website
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