MBSR Teacher-Led Silent MBSR Retreats
Importance of Retreats: Developing Essential Skills of Inquiry
The following article by Jon Kabat-Zinn explores the foundations of MBSR and the importance of meditation practice and retreat attendance for all MBSR teachers. We strongly recommend that all MBSR teacher trainees read this article, as it may assist you in selecting a suitable retreat. Some Reflections on the Origins of MBSR, Skillful Means, and the Trouble With Maps (pdf).
To be considered for Teacher Certification in MBSR, you must attend two, 5-Day (or longer) silent retreats and two 7-Day (or longer) silent retreats. These retreats should be attended concurrent with your teacher training as illustrated in the Teacher Education pre-requisites.
Retreats do not have to be on this list. However, below you will find some of our recommended retreat centers for the Teacher Training Pathway. If you decide to find a retreat closer to where you live, please make sure it meets the following guidelines:
- 5-7 full days in length
- Held in complete, noble silence
- Must be teacher-led (live, in-person – no recordings/videos of teachers)
- Must be in a group setting (no 1:1 retreats)
These MBSR Teacher-Led Retreats meet the prerequisites of the Oasis Institute™
This intensive silent retreat led by Kate Mitcheom at Copper Beech Institute in West Hartford, CT will be an opportunity to deepen practice and focus on the qualities of the heart. The format will include guided sitting, walking, lying down mindfulness meditations along with gentle yoga, accessible for any level including those new to yoga. There will be opening and closing opportunities for group dialogue, evening talks and brief meetings to discuss and share about the practice.
This silent meditation retreat in Soutelo, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal, will be led by Melissa Blacker and David Rynick, both internationally renowned mindfulness teachers. This retreat provides an opportunity to deepen your personal meditation practice. We will focus on the possibility of waking up to our lives as they are in every moment, through meeting the suffering and joy that naturally arises in our own body, mind and heart with open and compassionate awareness.
The Mindfulness Meditation Retreat is an intensive 7-day, residential, teacher-led, silent meditation retreat which emphasizes the deep understanding and practice of mindfulness meditation. The Retreat, led by Janet Solyntjes and Jim Colosi at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, CO, includes meditation instruction, talks by senior teachers, guided sessions of mindfulness meditation practice, movement exercises, and mindful eating, as well as sessions of contemplation and teachings to deepen the understanding of the practice.
Join Kate Mitcheom at Spirit Fire Retreat Center in Leyden, MA. This retreat, which is appropriate for beginners as well as experienced meditators, will review basics of Mindfulness and sink into developing qualities of peace and equanimity.
This Insight Meditation retreat in Soutelo, Vila Verde, Braga, Portugal, will explore the Four Ways of Establishing Mindfulness. This profound teaching encourages us to place the path of freedom and compassion in the classroom of our lives, nurturing a heart that is receptive, awake and unshakeable. Each day will offer a sustained schedule of sitting and walking meditation practices, meetings with the teachers, talks and instructions, all within an underlying environment of silence and compassion. This retreat will be very suitable for those who would like to deepen their understanding and practice of mindfulness, as well as professionals training to teach mindfulness-based approaches.
Silent retreat practice is a vital way to nourish our personal meditation practice, which is life-enhancing for everyone and particularly important for those who work with mindfulness-based interventions. This retreat at Copper Beech Institute in Madison, CT with Beth Mulligan and Brandon Nappi is an opportunity to renew and deepen your practice of mindfulness meditation and living fully.
Directly explore the power of mindfulness meditation and related practices including yoga, slow walking, mindful eating, and loving-kindness practice in this 5-day retreat that emphasizes the direct experience of mind and heart in a silent and supportive atmosphere. Join instructors Dorthe Djernis and Janet Solyntjes at Sostrup Castle in Denmark for this profound and strengthening opportunity to meet oneself.
This intensive silent retreat with Kate Mitcheom at Spirit Fire Retreat Center in Leyden, MA is for those with previous meditation experience, and will be an opportunity to deepen the practice and focus on the qualities of the heart. The format will include guided sitting, walking, lying down mindfulness meditations along with gentle yoga, accessible for any level including those new to yoga. There will be opening and closing opportunities for group dialogue, evening talks and brief meetings to discuss and share about the practice.
This seven day silent retreat with Kate Mitcheom at Won Dharma Center in Claverack, NY, will afford you the opportunity to sink into stillness and deepen your mindfulness practice. Guided sitting, lying down and walking meditations will be offered along with body work in the form of guided gentle yoga and self directed meditative ballwork practice. The retreat is appropriate for those with some experience in meditation and is appropriate as a first retreat. No prior yoga experience is necessary and adaptations are available for any level of fitness. The practices offered will center on the basics of Mindfulness, Meditation and Compassion. Incorporating the body will invite a melding of mind, body and spirit.
Inquiry into the nature of mind, emotions, and reality is an essential skill for MBSR teachers. This skill is reinforced by a deep and extensive grounding in mindfulness meditation practice, as it is expressed within both traditional as well as more mainstream contexts. Engagement in a personal, daily mindfulness meditation practice, as well as silent, teacher-led retreats will strengthen your understanding of what it means to be a fully prepared and qualified MBSR teacher. Your own personal commitment to learning, growing and healing – and dedication to the well-being of others – will contribute to your integrity and effectiveness as a teacher.
While we recognize and respect the perennial and shared wisdom that is available in all meditation traditions, these specifically suggested retreats, their structures and content, most aligns with the foundational underpinnings of the MBSR program. Deepening experiential understanding of this wisdom through the retreat experience supports a developing MBSR teacher in engaging directly in the transformational potential of MBSR with a more nuanced comprehension of the program.
Completing retreats from other traditions can certainly inspire and augment learning. But for the purposes of the MBSR Teacher Pathway retreat requirements, these retreats are best suited for the fullest comprehension of the MBSR program and practices.