Practicum Project

We believe that transformational learning occurs in the context of doing, reflecting, learning, and doing again. The Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP) is highly experiential and also includes a required practicum project in which participants will create and deliver a one-day mindfulness workshop with support from the MTTP leaders on each step of that process.

Between the 3rd and 4th Study Weekend participants will work together or individually to create and deliver a one-day mindfulness workshop in their local community or workplace. This Practicum Project will integrate learning from the first 4 blocks and provide a rich learning opportunity.

Note that you may use materials created for the Practicum Project (and any video collected of the teaching) as part of your Certification Portfolio, or you may find it wiser to collect this material using teaching you organize after the close of the MTTP program.

Retreat-Based Learning

Mindfulness is deeply rooted in our personal experience, study and "from-the-inside-out" understanding of the practice. For this reason we're delighted to offer a full 7-day meditation retreat during which we'll explore some of the Buddhist roots of mindfulness.

We'll also have the opportunity to observe facilitation of a weekend mindfulness retreat for newer mindfulness students. In April, we'll join with other mindfulness students in a weekend mindfulness retreat led by Tim (primary MTTP instructor) and other Mindfulness Northwest faculty.

Daily Practice and Meditation Instruction

Embodiment of the practices - and teaching from that direct, personal experience - is a core aspect of mindfulness teaching. The MTTP strongly supports daily practice, including a structured program of practice through each Learning Block and regular check-ins with faculty around personal experience of daily practice.

Learning Blocks & Study Weekends

Much of the learning will happen during five 4-to-6-week-long, distance-based Learning Blocks. Each of these Blocks is followed by a Study Weekend in-person in Bellingham, WA.

During the Learning Blocks we will be:

  • Studying: reading and watching content assignments.
  • Responding: responding to what you learn and to the learning of the other participants via an online discussion forum.
  • Practicing: having a daily practice assignment that ties into the progression of mindfulness practices we'll learn how to lead.
  • Discussing: being paired with another participant for regular check-ins.
  • Mentoring: each participant will meet (distance or in person) with lead instructor Tim Burnett individually.
  • Meeting: everyone in the program will meet at least once online with video conferencing to check in mid-Block.

Approximate total time commitment during the learning blocks:

  • Daily practice: 30 minutes (6x/week, 3 hours total)
  • Readings & Video: approx 3-4 hours/week
  • Posting and responding on the class discussion forum: approx 1-2 hours/week
  • Distance meeting (once/Block): 1 hour
  • Buddy Conversations: approx 1 hour/week
  • Total weekly commitment: 10-12 hours/week
Past participants may be willing to discuss the level of commitment required - please ask.

Study Weekends

After each Learning Block we will gather in Bellingham, WA for an in-person Study Weekend.

During the Study Weekend we will:

  • Discuss: clarify, discuss, and consolidate what we learned during the Learning Block.
  • Receive instruction: receive topical instruction from Tim and visiting expert faculty (in-person and/or via video conferencing).
  • Practice: do mindfulness training together in person.
  • Lead: practice leading practices with each other.
  • Grow: together as a learning community.

The Study Weekends are full, rich, and a lot of fun. Note that food and lodging in Bellingham is not included in the program fee. These are non-residential weekend retreats. (Room and board are included at the retreats in the program.)

Study Weekend General Schedule

Study Weekends are held  in Bellingham, WA.
Arrive Friday dinner time in Bellingham and plan to spend Friday and Saturday nights in Bellingham, leaving lunch time on Sunday.

    7pm-9pm: evening meeting

   6am-8:30am: optional Buddhist meditation
        <Breakfast break>
   10am - 1pm: morning session
        <Lunch break>
   2pm - 5pm: afternoon session
        <Dinner break>
   7pm - 9pm: evening session

   9:30am - 1pm:  Sunday session

MTTP Content and Process

In this comprehensive mindfulness teacher training we will study:

  • The Buddhist roots of mindfulness: we will focus on all three major branches of Buddhism (Early/Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana) and consider both ancient texts and teachings and modern commentaries, applications, and even criticisms of the modern mindfulness movement.
  • The Scientific roots of mindfulness: here we'll learn about the physiology and psychology of stress response, consider the positive and destructive aspects of our relationship to stressors, and study positive psychology, the science of meditation, and cognitive neuroscience. As with Buddhism we'll read original "texts" (scientific papers) as well as commentaries, essays, and critical thinking on the effects of evidence-based mindfulness-based interventions.
  • The Principal Practices of mindfulness: we'll practice deeply with all of the principal practices used in mindfulness training, including the body scan, mindful yoga, sitting meditation and walking meditation. Our teaching faculty's deep background in meditation training allows us to explore the three major areas of sitting meditation practice (body/movement practice, settling practice ("shamatha"), inquiry practice ("insight" or "vipassana"), and cultivation practices) with tie-ins to both Buddhist roots and scientific research into each practice.
  • Facilitation skills: from the first we will start practicing the leadership skills needed to lead subtle, quiet, and powerful mindfulness and compassion practices. And the skills needed to organize and run a learning community oriented classroom. The best compliment we hope you will someday receive from a client or student is that you know how to show up, how to run the program, and how to get "out of the way" and allow participants to learn and develop in ways most appropriate for their own needs.

The MTTP process emphasizes transformational learning. We learn most deeply by doing, considering, studying, conversing, and doing again. Accordingly, the MTTP is highly experiential - emphasizing daily practice, retreat work, peer practice, reading and reflection, and the completion of a hands-on Practicum Project in which you'll design and  deliver a mindfulness workshop in your community or workplace. 

The MTTP is broadly about learning to teach mindfulness and create mindfulness programs in a flexible, creative way. We will consider the classic curriculum of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) but we'll also study adaptation and creation of new programs based on the proven success of the MBSR model. Lead instructor Tim Burnett has extensive experience creating new courses and workshops to suit a variety of situations in institutions and community settings.

Our goal is for MTTP participants to become both deeply grounded and highly flexible and adaptive. The MTTP is about learning core components of mindfulness and ways of assembling those components into a course or training that matches the situation you find yourself in.

Program Details * Key Dates: Current Cohort * Key Dates: Next Cohort * Syllabus * Further Details * Testimonials * Application

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