Growing Into the Heart of Teaching MBSR:
Dharma, Embodiment and the Refinement of Intention
An advanced MBSR teacher training, qualifying on the UCSD Certification Pathway, and open to all MBSR teachers with all levels of experience for personal enrichment, and community building.
While MBSR is emphasized, this training is also open to MBCT teachers and will count towards certification as well.
The experience of teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is unlike most other experiences in life, and the opportunities for growth, expansion and transformation are almost limitless. This advanced training is intended to enrich and deepen this journey of teaching MBSR through practice, learning, reflection and sharing. Intended for those who have taught at least two full MBSR courses, this program will draw upon your own experiences, challenges, breakthroughs and insights within a community of fellow teachers as a means of learning from each other for the good of our participants, and of ourselves.
Key components and intentions of this highly experiential 5-day training include:
- Exploring and Refining Intentions of Core Practices and Teachings Within the framework of stated intentions for key elements of MBSR, we will explore through experience how these come alive in the classroom, and with each other. Integral to this training will be a close look at how “drift” from the core curriculum can unfold in various subtle and obvious ways, and how we might work skillfully with these “dissipative forces”.
- Revisiting the Buddhist Underpinnings of MBSR Seeing the way that the Dharma emerges in the MBSR curriculum and how core Buddhist teachings and practices can “hold us through the storms” that arise in teaching can provide a solid foundation for enriching our teaching. This theme will weave throughout the entire program.
- Celebrating our Strengths and Working With Our Challenges Each participant will be invited to reflect beforehand on their “joys and sorrows” in teaching thus far. Each of us will come prepared to share a particular memorable moment or appreciation for a particular strength or talent we bring to teaching. Furthermore, participants will also be asked to identify and reflect upon an area of teaching where they would like some support, a teaching “edge” or struggle, and be given opportunities to work with it within a safe, constructive and collaborative environment. We will consider questions like “What creates the conditions for these moments? What experiences in our lives have contributed to them? How might we work with all of this in a skillful way?
- Deepening Teaching and Refining Our Means This portion may include attention to languaging, intention, methods and theory, but equally likely is that it will lead to self-exploration, possibly looking at deeper issues that may inform our teaching of various aspects of the program. Beyond specific practices and teachings, we will explore holding our seat while in our own “full catastrophe”, working with challenging participants, reflecting with our own expectations around home practice and attachment to specific outcomes.
- Inquiring into Inquiry Beyond simple reflection, there will be ample opportunity for participants to explore in real time the emergence of these challenges and opportunities through practice in inquiry of practice with support and brainstorming from the program trainers and drawing upon the wisdom and experience of the group.
- The MBI-TAC as a Support For Growth The Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC) provides a useful means of not only assessing competence while teaching, but reflecting on our process and directing our growth as teacher. Opportunities to reflect on questions like “Where am I?” and “Where would I like to grow?” will be built in to the program.
- Building a Teacher Community Creating a mutually supportive community of teaching will be a core aim of this training, and that includes the creation of an ongoing support system that continues after the training ends.
This course satisfies the requirement for advanced teacher training in the UC San Diego Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI) certification pathway for teachers of MBSR.
Registration will be limited to 40 participants for this advanced training in order to provide an environment that promotes in depth learning in an atmosphere of intimacy and shared experience.
At the completion of this training, the participants should be able to:
- List and identify guidelines for creating a safe learning environment
- Describe and apply awareness of cultural and racial diversity
- Plan and deliver information about stress physiology and the effects on health
- Demonstrate mindfulness skills to maintain health in the midst of stress
- Identify and describe the difference between acute and chronic stress
- Demonstrate that they can describe the difference between internal and external stressors
- Describe and apply the skills of "Inquiry"
- Identify and list common patterns in difficult communication
- Apply mindfulness tools to improve relationships
This 5-day advanced teacher training intensive is intended for MBSR teachers who have completed a 6-day professional MBSR Teacher Training Intensive (formerly known as MBSR Foundational Teacher Training). Participants will have taught several 8-week MBSR. All participants will have an ongoing personal mindfulness practice and have attended an annual 7-day silent teacher led mindfulness meditation retreat; MBSR and MBCT professional trainings are not considered silent mindfulness retreat.
- Advanced degree in a health-related field
- Attendance at a 6-day professional MBSR Teacher Training Intensive (formerly known as MBSR Foundational Teacher Training)
- Teaching experience; the facilitation of a minimum of 2 MBSR and have completed Phase One of the Certification pathway
- Personal on-going mindfulness meditation practice
- Have attended annual 5-night (minimum) silent teacher led mindfulness meditation retreats .
During the registration process, you will be required to fill out an online application form.
Your application for this training will not be taken under consideration until the application form has been submitted. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.
Tentative Schedule For Live In-person Training
Registration: 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
First Session: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Day 2-Day 5
Morning Session: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Breakfast 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Dinner 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Evening Sessions: TBD
Morning Session: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Breakfast: 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am – 11:30 am
Lunch: 12:00 pm
Tentative Schedule For Live Online Training
Day 1: Orientation & Welcome 4:00pm-6:00pm (PDT)
Day 2-5: 6:30am-5:30pm (PDT) with breaks
Day 6: 6:30am-12:00pm (PDT) with breaks
The utilization of mindfulness in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health field in the past few years. The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially each year and the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. The first level training in MBSR has been offered for the past fourteen years through the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, with increasing enrollments each year, as well as at other sites across the country and around the world. This has led to a growing number of practitioners who have some experience in teaching MBSR and are seeking further opportunities for professional development in the field.
Continuing Education Credit
Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 30.0 CE credit.
California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 30.0 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.
Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 36.0 contact hours.
CE credit fee: additional $75
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness; By Jon Kabat Zinn
- Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine; By Saki Santorelli
- The Dharma of Modern Mindfulness: Discovering the Buddhist Teachings at the Heart of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; By Beth Mulligan
- A Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness: The Comprehensive Session-by-Session Program for Mental Health Professionals and Health Care Providers; By Christiane Wolf & Greg Serpa
- Awakening Together; By Larry Yang
- Mindfulness of our Time by Crane, R.S., Callen-Davies, R., Francis, A., Francis, D., Gibbs, P., Mulligan, B., O’Neill. B., Pierce Williams, N.K., Waupoose, M., Vallejo, Z. (2023)
- Resources to support a socially engaged Mindfulness Based Program pedagogy
- Teaching Mindfulness (2010) Donald McCown, Diane Reibel and Marc S. Micozzi
- The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness; By Williams, Teasdale, Segal & Kabat-Zinn
- A Contemplative Dialogue: The Inquiry Process in Mindfulness-Based Interventions (2016) By Susan Woods MSW LICSW, Patricia Rockman MD CCFP FCFP, and Evan Collins MD FRCPC.
- Cognitive Therapy of Depression; By Beck, Rush, Shaw and Emery
- Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches. Clinician’s Guide to Evidence Base and Application; By Ruth Baer
- Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness (Pages 463-476, Training Professionals in Mindfulness: The Heart of Teaching); By Susan Woods; Edited by Fabrizio Didonna
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy; By Rebecca Crane
- Mindful therapy: A Guide for Therapists and Helping Professionals; By Thomas Bien
- Mindfulness and the Therapeutic Relationship; Edited by Steven Hick & Thomas Bien
- Mindfulness and Psychotherapy; Edited by Christopher Germer, Ronald Siegel, Paul Fulton.
- The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology; By Jack Kornfield
- The Sanity We Are Born With: A Buddhist Approach to Psychology; By Chogyam Trungpa
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive and Emotions; By Christopher Germer
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha; by Tara Brach
- The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being; By Daniel Siegel
- The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life; By Parker Palmer
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Embodied Presence and Inquiry in Practice (2019): Woods, Rockman & Collins
- Building a Framework for the Practice of Mindful Inquiry by Susan Woods (pdf file)
Frequently Asked Questions
- I am flying in for the training. What are my options and what do you recommend?
See our LOCATIONS page for details about travel to the retreat centers and preferred airports. The UCSD Center for Mindfulness will set up a Ride Share Bulletin Board in coordinating shuttle rides for those arriving by air at local airports.
- What time should I plan to arrive? When do we finish?
We will begin checking people into the retreat at 3 pm on the first day of the training. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 3 pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5 pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at dinnertime. We plan to end the retreat by 12 pm on the last day so please plan your travel accordingly, using the time guidelines above. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.
- Is there wireless service/cellular phone use?
Please do not expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature of the training, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the training there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.
- Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?
The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat is over is not likely to be a possibility. You can of course arrange to stay at lodging near the retreat center if you would like to extend your stay. Contact the retreat center to make such arrangements.
- What do I need to bring?
If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a few cushions but not enough to go around, so if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.
The relatively remote location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.
- What should I expect regarding the format of the training?
This training is taught in a retreat format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the training, and we want to reiterate that now so you are not surprised when you get here. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious.
- What should I read prior to arriving?
Check the “Required Reading” section to find a list of books you should read prior to the training.
- What if I require some special accommodations or have dietary restrictions?
While you are asked to note specific food restrictions on your registration application, if there are any additional food or medical concerns we should be aware of please let us know of these in advance so we may assist you.
Continuing Education Credit Fees
Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Psychologists, Psychotherapists (LCSW, MFT, LPC)$75
Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable minimum deposit of $300 USD is due upon registration.
Please be aware that the early-bird rate is available for all participants who register and pay their balance in full by the early-bird deadline (see registration information above). All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance on or after the early-bird deadline will have their fees automatically adjusted to the General Session Rate.
All remaining balances must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the training or your registration will be cancelled for non-payment and you will not be permitted to attend.
A refund (minus your $300 non-refundable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date.
In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.
Cultural and Linguistic Competency Statement
California Assembly Bill 1195 requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. It is the intent of the bill, which went into effect on July 1, 2006, to encourage physicians and surgeons, CME providers in the state of California, and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to meet the cultural and linguistic concerns of a diverse patient population through appropriate professional development. The planners, speakers and authors of this activity have been encouraged to address issues relevant in their topic area. In addition, a variety of resources are available that address cultural and linguistic competency, some of which are included in your syllabus or handout materials. Additional resources and information about AB1195 can be found on the CME website.
It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to an educational activity being delivered to the learners through one of the following mechanisms 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review. All persons are also required to disclose any discussions of off label/unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Persons who refuse or fail to disclose are disqualified from participating in the activity. Participants will be asked to evaluate whether the speaker’s outside interests reflect a possible bias in the planning or presentation of the activity. This information is used to plan future activities. All faculty members listed above have no relevant financial relationships to disclose. The MBPTI staff, meeting planners, planning committee and MBPTI committee reviewers do not have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. The views and opinions expressed in this activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine or University of California, San Diego Medical Center.