Offered every other year. Next cohort starts September 2017. Apply Here.
The program provides a deep training in the skills, personal presence, and background knowledge needed for a deeply embodied, thoughtful and skillful presentation of mindfulness to diverse audiences. The program leads to possible certification by Mindfulness Northwest as a Certified Mindfulness Teacher.
The MTTP is a highly integrated experience including retreats, home practice, distance learning, weekend seminars, regular peer contact, experiential exercises, practice leading mindfulness and creating a mindfulness program, and strong cohort relationships.
We will meet in person 8 times in the Bellingham region over the 9-month program and interact extensively over distance learning in between meetings.
The intended outcome from this training is a high degree of comfort teaching mindfulness classes and workshops and also the ability to adapt and design programs for the communities and organizations you are most familiar with. Mindfulness training is not one size fits all. This program prepares you to assess the needs of a target population and provide a suitable mindfulness training that maximizes engagement and benefit for participants. This foundational training is also a great support for teaching established mindfulness-based curricula and interventions.
The per person cost is $5,900 for the 9-month MTTP program including all retreats, seminars and ongoing instruction and support. There is an additional $500 fee to review for Teacher Certification if participants accept the invitation to move forward towards certification after satisfactory completion of the program. There are no additional fees. Tuition payments are made according the schedule on the 2017-18 Key Dates page. And note that the fee does include room and board at all four residential retreats. Limited scholarship funds are available.
The tuition covers:
- All 4 retreats, all 4 weekends, all distance learning time and all materials provided except for books.
- Note that our tuition includes room and board at the retreats, but not at the Study Weekends in Bellingham.
- Comparing to another program? Check if room & board at retreats/trainings is included, often it's not and can add significant cost...
- Access to course websites and materials
- Access to instructors between meetings
- Completion of an 8-week, in person, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class.
- Establishment of a daily practice of mindfulness meditation and mindful movement
- Attendance at at least one silent, teacher-led, meditation retreat of at least 5 days (some concurrency may be allowed).
Upon completion of MTTP participants will:
Step by Step Outline
- Be familiar with the history of secular mindfulness training and with principal mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), especially Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
- Understand the Buddhist roots of mindfulness from the perspective of the three major schools of Buddhist thought.
- Be familiar with current science of the brain, and research into the physiological and psychological effects of meditation.
- Understand the primary mindfulness practices deeply, from the inside-out, through extensive personal experience and guidance from a skilled meditation teacher.
- Be able to lead others in mindfulness practices using appropriate and helpful language.
- Be comfortable weaving poetry, story, and appropriate personal disclosure into mindfulness class to "moisten the hearts" of participants (supporting affective engagement with material that opens the heart).
- Learn essential presentation and classroom management skills.
- Understand compassion, kindness, and gratitude practices and how they support, and are supported by, mindfulness training.
- Be ready to develop mindfulness workshops, classes and interventions, and to create supporting materials (guided practice recordings, manuals, handouts, PowerPoint slideshows).
STEP 1 - PRE-REQUISITES
- Participate - Take Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or similar intensive training in mindfulness as a participant.
- Practice - establish near-daily mindfulness practice including sitting meditation and body practices to continue through the teacher training process. If possible, do formal meditation regularly with a group and work with a meditation teacher.
- Retreat - attend at least one 5-7 day silent teacher-led retreat prior to beginning the MTTP program. Some exceptions (and concurrency) to this requirement may be granted at our discretion.
- Apply - we will begin accepting applications in January 2017. Written application plus interview. A selective process as we are limiting this initial cohort to 16 people. Upon approval for enrollment the registration process will be completed with a $600 Enrollment Deposit. See the key dates and fee schedule. Links for the application and key dates are the top of this page.
STEP 2 - 9-MONTH SEMINAR IN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MINDFULNESS TEACHING
- Opening Retreat (September): a three day retreat to explore our intentions and begin the journey together.
- Five 4 to 6 week long distance-based Learning Blocks with daily practice assignments, readings, short videos to watch and reflection papers to write, supported by a small group conference calls with a supervising teacher.
- Four Study Weekends in Bellingham exploring essential topics in teaching mindfulness and practice teaching with peers as well as receiving topic instruction from Tim and guest instructors on papers, videos, and books exploring during the preceding Learning Block.
- An intensive seven day silent mindfulness retreat (October) featuring teachings on the Mindfulness Sutra (the primary Buddhist root of MBSR).
- A Weekend Mindfulness Retreat (April): You'll join a weekend retreat for intermediate mindfulness students, observing the joys of retreat practice for those still fairly new to it and, with your new-teacher eyes, how the retreat teachers lead.
- Practicum Project (Spring) - on your own or with a co-teacher from the MTTP cohort, design and deliver a one-day introductory workshop on mindfulness in your community. Support from MNW staff with logistics and teacher supervision.
- Closing Retreat (early June): this three day retreat is largely a student-led retreat in which we teach each other all of the elements of MBSR in a retreat setting and take stock of our experience together.
STEP 3 - CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
Upon satisfactory completion of all Seminar events* and assignments** including the Practicum Project completed you will receive a Certificate of Completion showing completion of the Mindfulness Northwest Mindfulness Teacher Training Program. The Certificate of Completion demonstrates your attendance and full participation in the program. Certification is an additional step, please see below.
* Completion of events - excused absences are included here, life and illness do happen. You must attend 85% of in-person events and complete at least 85% of all of assignments given. Absences must be arranged ahead with instructors. Mindfulness Northwest reserves the right to withhold the Certificate of Completion due to unexcused absences, inadequate involvement or disruptive choices.
** Completion of assignments - each learning block will include written responses to readings and videos on online discussion forums, logged near-daily formal practice, participation with a partner, a meeting with Tim, and a whole group distance meeting. You must attend 85% of in-person events and complete at least 85% of all of the assignments given.
STEP 4 - TEACHER CERTIFICATION (PORTFOLIO REVIEW)
After successful Completion of the Seminar, and by invitation from Mindfulness Northwest, trainees are invited to submit a portfolio for evaluation of Certification. The certification offered by this program is to become a Certified Mindfulness Teacher (Additional training is needed for certification in specific curricula such as MBSR, see below.)
- Portfolio - any time within 12 months of completion of the MTTP program you may submit a portfolio demonstrating your teaching competence, including:
- recordings - your own practice guidance recordings of the principal mindfulness practices (body scan, mindful movement, seated meditation, walking meditation)
- materials - written materials (manual, hand outs) you created to support a mindfulness class or workshop
- video - of yourself teaching showing the three primary modalities of mindfulness training: didactic instruction, practice leading, inquiry
Note: you may collect materials and video from the Practicum Project for use in your Portfolio, or use material collected from additional teaching after the MTTP program. Most newer teachers should plan on doing additional teaching before submitting a Portfolio for review. Experienced teachers may be fine using their Practicum Project or other teaching they've done.
- Review and Discuss - the Portfolio Review process includes up to two hours of video chat or in person conversation with the instructor to guide, refine, and explore your understanding of teaching. If additional time is needed, it can be requested at the rate of $90/hour.
- Certification - Trainees will be evaluated for certification according to mindfulness industry standards (the Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria: MBI-TAC) in some cases additional training and adjustment may be requested and re-submission of some parts of the portfolio before certification is granted. We will make every effort through the Seminar and the Supervision process to prepare trainees for successful Teacher Certification.
NOTES, PROGRAM BENEFITS, and PROGRAM LIMITATIONS
- Graduate Directory at Mindfulness Northwest - we will provide a listing on our website of all graduates of MTTP programs and facilitate continuing contact between graduates with online forums, email lists, etc.
- Mindfulness Northwest has developed and extensively tested and documented a 5 meeting course "Introduction to Mindfulness." Program participants will receive this curriculum and have the option to teach it. We hope to create training programs for a deep immersion and Certification in this and other curricula.
- Mindfulness Northwest is not able to provide mindfulness teaching placements or set up teaching opportunities for the Practicum Project or Supervised Teaching. You will need to create these teaching opportunities with your own initiative (and our support!).
- Mindfulness Northwest in no way guarantees future employment as a Mindfulness Northwest instructor to MTTP graduates.
- It is our intention to offer additional classes, workshops, and support for graduates of our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program and support our ongoing development as teachers together.
- This certification is not in the specific 8-week curriculum called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), although the training received is completely congruent with the delivery of that curriculum. To be certified as an MBSR Teacher specifically we recommend additional training. This training is currently offered by several other groups internationally and Mindfulness Northwest is considering an additional unit for those who wish to be certified specifically in the 8-week MBSR curriculum.