Navigating Life’s Challenges: A 5-Day Intensive Inspired by MBSR

“If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing…
We may only go in circles…”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn

Navigating Life’s Challenges is a 5-Day adaptation of the empirically-supported 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. In this program you will experience the key components of the 8-Week MBSR program as developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Participating in Navigating Life’s Challenges is an ideal experience for anyone who does not have access to being able to participate in a formal 8-week MBSR program. Holding the heart of the 8-week MBSR program we journey together to mindfully explore ways of navigating and cultivating a new healthier relationship to the challenges and struggles in our lives. Navigating Life’s Challenges is for anyone who would like to learn more effective coping skills that have the potential to lower and change their relationship to stress.

This highly participatory program will include:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • Gentle stretching and mindful movement
  • Inquiry exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life
  • Individually tailored instruction
  • Group dialogue
  • Guided audio files for home practice and workbook


  • Identify the key aspects of mindfulness as it relates to stress reduction, coping with pain and illness and enhancing well-being
  • Articulate the difference between NLC from relaxation and other distraction techniques that may seem similar but are fundamentally and theoretically quite different in contending with difficulty and enhancing quality of life
  • Apply mindfulness techniques in both personal and professional settings as a means of contending more effectively with the demands of both settings
  • Apply mindfulness into social interaction with patients, colleagues, supervisors, family and friends to facilitate more effective and mindful communication.
  • Describe the potential benefits of the program (and mindfulness in general) to educate patients and their families about the benefits of such programs in their own lives
  • Utilize brief mindfulness practices with patients and family members as a means of contending with acute pain, anxiety and distress.

Target Audience

This intensive training is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate mindfulness into their work. Participating in the Navigating Life’s Challenge’s program satisfies a prerequisite for becoming an MBSR program teacher. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this 5-day Residential Intensive. All are welcome!


Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and reflection. The goal is to access and cultivate one’s own inner wisdom for the ability to be non-judgmental, compassionate, passionate, present, and aware. Through this way of being, one can cultivate and navigate a different relationship between themselves and the things that challenge them in life. For more information on mindfulness and it’s potential benefits, please visit the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction webpage.

Participant Guidelines

Although participants take primary responsibility for their own safety and well-being in an NLC program, we would also like to be sure that this program is a good fit for you at this time. In order to assist you and the teachers in making this determination, you will be asked to fill out a survey (application form) during the registration process. The information you provide will only be reviewed by NLC teachers and not by administrative personnel. After completing the registration, you will be notified of your formal acceptance to the NLC program. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you receive a formal acceptance.

Continuing Education Credit ($75 additional fee)

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 27.0 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 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 32.0 CE credit.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency Statement

This activity is in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1195 which requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. Cultural competency is defined as a set of integrated attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enables health care professionals or organizations to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities. Linguistic competency is defined as the ability of a physician or surgeon to provide patients who do not speak English or who have limited ability to speak English, direct communication in the patient’s primary language. Cultural and linguistic competency was incorporated into the planning of this activity. Additional resources can be found on the UC San Diego CME website.


It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego Center for Mindfulness 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 learners through one of the following mechanisms: 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over CE content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review.

Tentative Schedule for Non-Residential Program

Day 1
Registration: 8:30 am-9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm-2:00 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Day 2-Day 4
Morning Session: 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Lunch: 12:30 pm-2:00 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:00 pm-5:30 pm

Day 5
Morning Session: 9:00 am-12:30 pm

Tentative Schedule for Residential Program

Day 1
Registration: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm-6:30 pm
First Session: 6:45 pm-8:45 pm

Day 2-Day 5
Morning Practice: 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-2:30 pm
Afternoon Session: 2:00 pm-6:00 pm

Day 6
Morning Practice: 7:00 am-8:00 am
Breakfast: 8:00 am-9:00 am
Morning Session: 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Recommended Reading

  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness; By Jon Kabat Zinn

Registration Fees

Fees for this offering are variable. To determine exact fees, please view your specific course of interest in the calendar listing at right.

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a $100 non-refundable and non-transferable minimum deposit 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. All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance after that date 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.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus your $100 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing on or before a date 30 days prior to the start of the training (email No refunds will be allowed after this 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.

Note: CFM requires a minimum of 10 registrants per program. Classes with fewer than 10 registrants will be cancelled and provided a refund. Please be aware of this when making arrangements to attend this program.