New Retreat Offered to Meet the Needs of Teachers of Mindfulness-Based Programs

By Susan Woods, LICSW


Susan Woods

In time everything changes and the field of mindfulness is no exception. Over the years one of the recommendations for becoming an instructor interested in teaching a mindfulness-based program (MBP), has been the requirement to attend silent teacher-led mindfulness retreats. This is because teaching mindfulness-based programs profoundly relies on the teacher having a personal working experiential knowledge of what happens to the mind/body when engaging in mindfulness meditation practice.

The field of MBPs is becoming professionalized and that includes continued discussions about developing consensus and standardization for the training of MBP instructors. This means that specific training pathways are being identified for the development of best practice skills. Many professional people are attracted to offering MBPs and unlike in the early days of MBPs, most do not have established meditation practices.

One of the questions the field is now facing is how to best support trainee MBP teachers in developing and sustaining a personal meditation practice and importantly how this influences the development of mindfulness-based teaching skills. There will always be the option to attend silent teacher-led meditation retreats. Indeed, over the long term, there is no better way to nourish mindfulness meditation practice for MBP teachers.

But many experienced MBP teachers believe the time has come for the field to consider the development of specific mindfulness retreat trainings that take into account sustained periods of silence and teacher-led meditation practices alongside explicitly designed teaching modules that address and support the teaching of MBPs. This would help to bring a clearer identity to the field of MBPs as a profession and in turn place less reliance on the traditional form of Buddhist practice centers.

Faculty: Susan Woods, LICSW
& Helen Vantine, PhD
Chapin Mill Retreat Center, Batavia, NY

In March 2017, the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI)  at UC San Diego, is sponsoring just such a Mindfulness Meditation Retreat. This five-day training, offered at the lovely Chapin Mill Retreat Center in Batavia, New York, designed by myself and Helen Vantine will offer the opportunity to experience sustained periods of silence with teacher-led mindfulness meditation practices combined with teaching modules that relate to answering the question, how does sustaining a personal mindfulness meditation practice influence the ability to become a skilled MBI teacher.

The retreat meets the requirements for a teacher-led silent retreat training as a part of MBSR/MBCT/MSC Certification through the MBPTI at UC San Diego and at the Center for Mindfulness Studies, Toronto, Canada. We look forward to having you join us.

6 responses to “New Retreat Offered to Meet the Needs of Teachers of Mindfulness-Based Programs

  1. Hi
    It certainly would be wonderful if we could have this type of retreat for mindfulness teachers here in San Diego!


    Non Satis Scire: To Know Is Not Enough

    Lucy A. Vezzuto, PhD
    Student Mental Health & School Climate
    Orange County Dept. of Education
    Instructional Services Division
    200 Kalmus, Costa Mesa, CA 92628

  2. I agree that there is a need for this type of retreat, and I too will look forward to seeing it offered in California, or at least on the West Coast!

  3. Agreed & agreed… living in SoCal & would love to see this on West Coast…even better in CA 🙂

  4. I completed the 8week MBSR course at Scripps Integrative Medicine in 2014 with Karen Sothers and would like to go to the next step in becoming a teacher of MBSR. I have a consistent meditation practice, guide students at the end of my Silver Sage Yoga & Wellness classes for 10-15 minutes each week. Recently attended a 1/2 day retreat at UCSD Center for Mindfulness in San Diego. I have taught Hatha/Raja Yoga for 20 years and have the E-RYT 500 certification. Carolyn Boline

    • Hi Carolyn, Thank you for your inquiry and interest in the next steps towards becoming an MBSR Teacher. We have a Professional MBSR Teacher Certification pathway listed on our website at Please feel free to give me a call at 858-334-4636 and I would be happy to speak with you.
      Allan Goldstein, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Managing Director

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