Heart of the Matter Advanced Seminar for Teachers

The Heart of the MatterThis course meets one of the pre-requisites for the Oasis Institute MBSR Teacher Certification Pathway.

The Heart of the Matter, is a unique learning opportunity to virtually experience and observe an MBSR class taught at the CFM by a senior teacher. Participants receive access to a video recording of each class in the 8-week MBSR cycle, and then engage in a two-hour, live videoconference seminar the following week, meeting with a small cohort of MBSR teachers from around the world, along with the senior teacher of the class.

The intention of the class is to co-create a learning community that—through engagement, analysis, investigation, reflection, dialogue, and inquiry—opens a spirit of curiosity and transparency into the intention and action of teaching MBSR.

What you will learn and experience:

  • Engage in the filmed recording of the live MBSR class as a “participant/observer”: Practicing with the recording, observing your own responses to the class’ unfolding, and reflecting and journaling on your experience
  • Engage in a two-hour dialogic seminar with the teacher and up to 23 other seminar participants
  • Use the Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teacher Assessment Criteria (MBI-TAC) to hone and refine clear seeing, and from that to skillfully and with developing capacity, express one’s perceptions, view, and experience
  • Analyze and address the domains of knowledge, teacher attributes, and the ethos of MBSR to understand the dynamic interface between the curriculum and the person of the teacher, the better to strengthen one’s own teaching
  • Share experiences and reflections from viewing the class video
  • Hear details about the teacher's perceptions and decisions on ways of meeting challenging and insightful moments in the class
  • Explore 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 experience
  • Investigate the role of assessment in the development of an MBSR teacher
  • Participate in a brief meditation reflecting the meditation practice taught in each weekly class


Lynn Koerbel, Oasis Institute, Umass Medical School Center for MindfulnessHeart of the Matter is being taught by Lynn Koerbel, Director of MBSR Teacher Education and Curriculum Development, who is a Senior Certified MBSR Teacher and Teacher Trainer.

How it works:

Online-Live Sessions via videoconference
Date and time TBA
Technology requirements

  • Participants will receive online access to a video of each MBSR class at the CFM within 48 hours after it has been taught.
  • Participants will review and discuss the previous weeks' class with the teacher, the following week.
  • Participants are expected to attend all Heart of the Matter seminars, and to watch and reflect on each class video, staying current through the flow of the eight weeks. Practicing the meditations along with the class is highly encouraged; some online posting will be required

Who should participate:

Along with maintaining a daily, formal mindfulness meditation practice and a regular body-based practice (yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, etc.), MBSR Teacher applicants for the Heart of the Matter course must have:

  • Completed the PTI (formerly known as the TDI)
  • Taught at least three full teaching cycles of 8-week MBSR
  • Attended at least two 5-7 day silent retreats




Tuition: $750 (USD)
Continuing Education Fee: TBA


Participants must apply online. Please indicate availabilty for the full program of 8 Friday seminars.
Class size is limited, so please apply early.

Application deadline: TBA

Background & Philosophy

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.

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-supervision
  • 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.

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

Technology Requirements

To ensure the best possible experience for all participants, the program relies on video conferencing which has minimum requirements to work properly. That includes having a computer with speakers, microphone, and video capabilities, and a high-speed internet connection.

For the best learning experience:

  1. Review the computer set-up and requirements for the Blackboard Learning Management System 
  2. Run the browser checker for the Blackboard Learning Management System
  3. Review the system requirements for the Zoom online meeting platform
  4. Try out a test meeting
  5. Test your audio and video in the meeting
  6. Watch the video tutorial, "Joining a Meeting with Zoom," below:

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