The Heart of the Matter: Advanced Seminar for MBSR Teachers

The proliferation of mindfulness teacher education and training programs is further driving the need for fidelity to MBSR standards of teaching, which is critical to the integrity of our field.

In our first Fall Teaching Institute, we have developed a new online seminar, "The Heart of the Matter," as an opportunity to virtually experience an MBSR class taught at the CFM by senior teachers.  Each of the seminars is limited to ten participants who will receive access to a video recording of each class after it has been taught. An online seminar meeting will be held the following week.Florence Meleo-Meyer

What you will learn and experience:

  • Enter a two-hour dialogic practice with the teacher and seminar participants
  • Share experiences from viewing the class video
  • Hear details about the teacher's perception and ways of meeting challenging and insightful moments
  • Learn why certain decisions were made during the class; why one branch point and not another
  • Ask questions regarding the curriculum and participants
  • Share reflections and questions from your own teaching experiences
  • Participate in a brief meditation which reflects the meditation taught in the class


How it works:

Participants will receive online access to a video of each class after it has been taught.

2:00 - 4:00 pm EST - Participants will review and discuss the previous weeks' class with the teacher.  

Who can participate:

  • Each seminar will include 10 participants, for a total of 30 participants
  • Participants must apply online, answer questions regarding experience and indicate availability for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday seminars.Elana Rosenbaum
  • Applications Closed
  • Lottery for each seminar will be drawn and participants notified on September 22, 2014


  • Seminars begin the week of April 28, 2015 and continue through to June 16, 2015.
  • Videos of the MBSR classes will be sent with 48 hours following the class, to allow seminar participants 4 days to review and prepare for the next seminar
  • There will be 8 online seminars, one each week starting the week of April 28, 2015


  • Application Fee: $50 (USD)
  • Tuition: $500 (USD)

Background & Philosophy

For the entire thirty-five years of our work we have been engaged in the continuing development and ongoing assessment of our MBSR teachers. This has occurred through:

  • Informal, in-class observation of our teachers
  • Weekly teacher’s meetings
  • Self-reflection
  • Peer-supervisionSaki Santorelli
  • Mentorship
  • Formal Apprenticeship and co-teaching supervision
  • Formal, structured classroom observation by senior teachers
  • Formal, in-class conferring between junior and senior teachers

To make our MBSR teacher assessment process more explicit and transparent, we at CFM have made the decision to significantly enhance both the assessment of our MBSR teachers and our  MBSR teachers-in-formation.

To do so, we have made a major commitment to integrating the Mindfulness-Based Interventions-Teacher Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC) into our work. We have done so by entering into an ongoing collaboration with our colleagues Rebecca Crane of Bangor University, Willem Kuyken of Exeter University and their colleagues at Oxford University who developed this teacher competency criteria tool and are member organizations in the UK Mindfulness Research and Practice Network.

Using the MBI-TAC requires filming our teachers during each weekly class of our 8-week MBSR program and then using these films in a structured method as the basis for MBSR teacher competency assessment. Towards this goal, we began filming our teachers in January 2014.

Since one of the guiding principles of being an MBSR teacher is to never ask of others what we ourselves don’t do, during our inaugural CFM Fall MBSR Teaching Institute, Florence Meleo-Meyer, Elana Rosenbaum and Saki Santorelli, will each be filmed teaching their 8-week MBSR courses. In parallel, they will each lead a 8 weekly Advanced Seminars in MBSR "The Heart of the Matter," using their classroom teaching films as the foundation for these sessions and with online participation of seminar participants.

We believe this process will serve the ongoing formation and development of MBSR teachers and expand the boundaries of our MBSR teacher community.