Detailed Training Information

Course Description and Requirements

Phase 1: Fulfill Oasis Institute Prerequisites (required)

1. Completion of an eight-week MBSR course as a participant.

Attending a full eight-week MBSR course as a participant rather than as a professional trainee will give you an opportunity to experience MBSR classes directly, understand what it means to be an MBSR program participant, know the context within which MBSR teaching takes place, and learn from other class participants.

You may take the eight-week MBSR program at the Center for Mindfulness in Shrewsbury, MA, or at an MBSR program near you.

OR (if you do not have a live 8 Week MBSR class in your area)

Participation in the MBSR Online course offered through Sounds True in addition to the  5-Day Mindfulness Tools, a 5-Day Residential Program, fulfills this prerequisite.

If you choose this online option and intend to apply for the 9-Day Practicum in MBSR, you must take 5-Day Mindfulness Tools Program as a stand-alone course as a prerequisite to the Practicum. The embedded 5-Day Mindfulness Tools portion of the 9-Day Practicum in MBSR does not count toward this prerequisite.

2. Participation in at least one mindfulness meditation retreat.

Teaching MBSR is a direct outcome of your experience and understanding of mindfulness meditation practice. Therefore, to begin foundational study and training, you must complete one or more 5-10 day, silent, teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreats within the last three years.

Phase 2: Foundational Study And Training

Phase 2 consists of three principal courses –

To begin the process, you may take either the Practicum in MBSR or MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine. After completing the Practicum in MBSR, you are encouraged to begin preliminary teaching based on elements of the MBSR curriculum.

After the successful completion of the TDI you will have the minimum qualifications to begin teaching complete 8-week MBSR courses.

Practicum in MBSR: Two Versions

The Practicum allows you to immerse yourself in the Center for Mindfulness approach to the Stress Reduction Program, explore issues and questions arising out of the experience and principles of the MBSR program, guide formal and informal mindfulness practice, and study the MBSR curriculum and contextual background.

  • An 8-week Practicum, which includes participation in the eight-week MBSR course as a participant-practitioner, plus eight weekly seminar classes (the seminar class is held on the same day as the MBSR class); and a
  • 9-day Practicum, the 5-Day Mindfulness Tools Program training followed by a 4-day residential seminar.
  • Practicum Schedules and details

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine: A 7-Day Residential Training with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, and Saki Santorelli, EdD, MA.

This participatory training program is an opportunity for you to practice mindfulness meditation as it is taught in the Stress Reduction Program at the UMass Medical School, and explore the practical application and integration of MBSR in health care and other settings. MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine may be taken at any time before participating in the TDI. Click HERE for more information.

Preliminary Teaching Experience

After completing the Practicum in MBSR, you are encouraged to begin teaching short classes and workshops based on elements of the MBSR curriculum. Examples of preliminary teaching experience are:

  • One-hour introduction to mindfulness
  • Half-day workshop on working with stress
  • Two-hour interactive dialogue and practice session on mindfulness in everyday life
  • Other workshops and classes grounded in mindfulness practice and MBSR principles

Once you have completed three such preliminary teaching experiences, you are able to apply to the Teacher Development Intensive (TDI).

Essential Study

After completing the Practicum in MBSR, you will have access to a number of free or low-cost online study modules to help you broaden your knowledge of key themes that are essential to an understanding of how to teach MBSR. These study programs will include topics such as the science of mindfulness, the basics of stress physiology, the use of story and metaphor in teaching, the pedagogy of experience, and an understanding of group dynamics and interpersonal mindfulness. Some of these programs will be required and some optional.

Continued personal and professional development, which includes ongoing daily mindfulness meditation practice; yoga and other body-centered awareness practices; and relevant professional education and training.

Two or more 5–10 day, silent, teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreats are required before participating in the TDI.

Teacher Development Intensive (TDI)

This eight-day residential intensive training program focuses on MBSR teacher formation and readiness. It will help you refine your teaching skills through highly focused and sustained inner work in the context of a rigorous teaching laboratory. This environment allows you to cultivate a practical and in-depth familiarity with, and a deepening experience with, multiple aspects of the MBSR curriculum. This includes presentational elements, guidance in meditation and yoga practices, inquiry and group dynamics, and preparation of supporting materials. For more information on TDI.

By successfully completing the Teacher Development Intensive you will have the minimum qualifications for beginning to teach complete MBSR courses on your own.

Phase 3: Deepening MBSR Teaching Experience

Begin Teaching MBSR

Teaching MBSR is an expression of mindfulness as a way of being in wise relationship with your experience, and is never a matter of merely operationalizing techniques. Thus, the non-instrumental dimension of the work and of the practice of mindfulness is the foundation for effective practice and teaching. In Phase 3 you will develop, deepen, and refine your understanding of MBSR and its methodologies through further study, mindfulness practice, teaching experience, reflection, and supervision.

Culminating in preparation for Teacher Certification Review, Phase 3 includes the following work:

  • Supervision in MBSR - Teach at least one complete MBSR course with supervision. In the Oasis Institute supervision program you will actively engage in dialogue with a CFM senior instructor by phone, online (Skype), or in person, to explore issues and questions that arise out of your own MBSR teaching.To prepare for Teacher Certification Review in MBSR, you must teach with supervision during at least one complete eight-week MBSR course (8-10 supervision sessions required).
  • Continued personal and professional development, which includes daily mindfulness meditation practice; yoga and other body-centered awareness practices; and relevant professional education and training.

At this stage, three or more silent, teacher-led mindfulness meditation retreats are required.

Phase 4: Teacher Certification

Teacher Certification in MBSR is the recognition by the CFM of your in-depth understanding and skillful delivery of the MBSR curriculum. The minimum qualifications for participation in the Teacher Certification in MBSR Review are:

  • Completion of all Phase 3 requirements
  • Experience teaching at least eight complete MBSR courses
  • Completion of at least four mindfulness meditation retreats
  • Ongoing daily mindfulness meditation practice; and yoga and other body-centered awareness practices
  • Professional graduate degree or equivalent experience

Teacher Certification Assessment

Following MBSR Teacher Certification Review, you may be asked to refine your understanding with further study, practice, teaching, and/or supervision. Once you meet all criteria for teaching competency deemed satisfactory according to practice standards for MBSR teachers as established by the Center for Mindfulness, you will be granted Teacher Certification in MBSR.

If you wish to receive Teacher Certification in MBSR, you must have a graduate degree, or demonstrate an equivalent understanding through working experience in a related field.