Ingrid Rentel interviewed by Carina Heimdal
Ingrid Rentel lives in Hamburg, and works in Human Resources in a large company. She has also trained as a teacher. Last autumn she became Germany’s second assistant instructor.
Acem runs courses in nine cities in Germany. In total 12 moderators and two assistant instructors, helped by instructors in Norway, are responsible for Acem’s activities in the country. More than 400 Germans learn to meditate every year, and with a new assistant instructor, Acem Germany is better equipped for arranging beginner’s courses and other activities.
How did you discover Acem Meditation, and what made you continue?
10 years ago, I was looking for something that would help me be myself in spite of any external challenges and pressures. After searching for some time, I ended up on a course in Acem Meditation at the local ‘Volkshochschule’ or centre for adult education. It turned out that Acem Meditation and I fit well together.
She says a lot happened in her life after she started meditating:
I discovered that I was a more anxious person than I was aware of, and I slowly grasped why I had become like that. I have learnt to accept this part of myself. At the same time I understand that this is not my entire self. I still have the anxiety, but I have also learnt to take on challenges that previously I was not ready for.
After years of meditation, she is still not always the courageous woman she would like to be.
But one of my most important experiences through Acem Meditation is accepting parts of myself that have always influenced me, but which I struggled to accept.
Three years ago, something she had feared for a long time happened. Her father died suddenly, and she was left with her mother, who needed care and help.
It has been a demanding time. Without Acem Meditation, I probably wouldn’t have managed to take care of my mother while continuing to live my own life.
What does meditation mean for your everyday life?
I meditate morning and evening. Thanks to my daily meditations I am calmer at work during the day, and in the evening it helps me quickly forget the stress of the day. Through Acem Meditation, I have become more self-confident. I have also learnt to be more present, and that gives me a good feeling. My family and friends also appreciate the fact that I’ve become more flexible and spontaneous!
Why did she chose to contribute to Acem as a moderator, and then assistant instructor?
I am a curious person, and I wanted to know how Acem Meditation works. I wanted to volunteer in order to give something back to others. So when my instructor asked me if I could contribute to Acem, I felt it was the right thing for me. With Acem Meditation, I’ve learned to live with my worries and yet still do what I need to do. I think this is something many people could benefit from.
What did you learn during the assistant instructor training?
I learned a lot, and I can’t list everything. The most important thing is: you try again and again, and then continue to try. And in the end, you will find a good way to do things, a way that fits you.
- Training in Acem takes several steps.
- The first and most basic is moderator training, where the trainee learns to conduct one of Acem’s follow-up courses.
- The second step is assistant instructor training, where the trainee learns to take partial responsibility for beginners’ courses, give basic meditation guidance, and to represent Acem in a number of areas.
- Trainees at all levels are expected to contribute to coordination work and practical tasks.
- All work is done on a voluntary basis.