FAQs

Specific Program Questions

Teaching mindfulness is more relevant and essential now, given the global, national, and individual challenges we face today. Discover what Tara and Jack have to say.

When you immerse yourself in this training, you give yourself the most nourishing and powerful gift you could give yourself. Watch Tara and Jack answer this question.

Learn what makes MMTCP unique from Tara and Jack, the teachers who developed MMTCP from over 30 years of experience.

You’ll feel confident and capable of bringing these teachings into the classroom, the boardroom, therapeutic and health-care settings, community centers, and more. Here’s what Jack and Tara share about what you can do with your certification.
Learning takes place in relationship, whether with mentors, teachers, or peers. This program is designed to empower you to find the pace and rhythm that best suits your optimal growth and success. Watch what Tara and Jack have to say about the intimacy of this program and how mentors will support you throughout your journey.

In short, you’ll have the skills, experience, and understanding to help people transform in powerful ways. Learn more by watching these short video messages from Tara and Jack.

MMTCP is a two-year training that prepares you to teach in public and professional settings and requires extensive supervision, mentorship, training, and teaching hours on the part of our faculty and staff. Unlike universities that receive funding in advance, our program funding comes from student tuition. The number of students enrolled impacts the number of faculty and staff required to provide supervision, mentorship, training, and teaching. Therefore, we require payments to begin upon acceptance due to the host of upfront costs, including but not limited to: hiring qualified mentors, producing and organizing all of the online events, and managing the learning portal for the training modules. In addition, payment upon acceptance confirms your commitment and secures your placement in the program. 

General Program Questions

There will be one or two optional online orientation sessions and an online introductory session with guest faculty in January/February 2025 prior to the start of the program. The program opens in February 2025 with mentor group selection and access to the online learning portal. The program officially begins with an opening virtual weekend event, which will be held Saturday, February 22 – Sunday, February 23, 2025. The mentor group calls and weekly curriculum will begin in April 2025.

Each student will have their own working style, so the amount of time spent on the program will vary from person to person. Based on input from previous cohorts of students, we can estimate up to two hours per week plus your monthly mentor and peer group calls.

Each month there will be instructional lessons, a live session with opportunity for Q&A, and optional readings and journal prompts. You will also have a monthly mentorship session and a monthly meeting with your peer group that will be 90 minutes each. In Year 2 of the program, the instructional lessons are reduced to create more time for you to design two (2) introductory-level mindfulness offerings to fulfill the Practicum requirement.

The program is designed to give you the depth and experience needed to become a well-trained meditation teacher while also working within your busy schedule. As with any program of this nature, you will get out of it what you put into it.
We share in your excitement for the start of the program and appreciate your desire to be prepared. Please fulfill any prerequisites you may need before December 31, 2024. In addition, continue with your daily meditation practice and consider connecting with a teacher or Insight meditation community in your area to deepen your practice. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage students to read Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance and Jack Kornfield’s The Wise Heart.
During the program, you will have:
  • Monthly mentorship call with six students and one highly qualified mentor
  • Monthly practice group with peers in the program
  • Monthly module that provides audio and video lessons from Tara and Jack serving as the backbone of the robust program curriculum 
  • Personal journal assignments to do on your own time to help you reflect on the teachings as you go
  • Special broadcasts with Jack and Tara and guest faculty presentations (60–90 minutes each)
  • In addition, the individual years feature:
Year One
  • One opening weekend retreat, which you can attend via livestream from anywhere in the world. Can’t watch it live? It will be available on-demand after the retreat has concluded.
Year Two
  • A self-guided practicum that you will design and complete within the second year. The practicum will include teaching your own Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation course and one additional course of your choosing to friends, family, or members of your community.
  • One closing weekend retreat and program commencement, which you can attend via livestream from anywhere in the world. Can’t watch it live? It will be available on-demand after the retreat has concluded.
Tara and Jack’s vision in creating this program was to seed the world with qualified meditation teachers and leave this legacy for the world. We have received tremendous interest in the program, and we are fortunate to be able to meet that interest for qualified applicants only given the online format of the program. Since the first cohort of the program began in 2017, we have received a total of nearly 7,000 applications. We accepted 1,700 of those applicants to be students in either cohort 1 or cohort 2. The third cohort had 2,400 students, and the current cohort is 1,800 students strong with 70 countries represented.
In February 2024, we will be enrolling for the cohort beginning in 2025 and anticipate anywhere from 1,000–2,000 students will meet the criteria to enroll worldwide. It is exciting to see the diversity of students the online format will allow us to serve. Our new students and graduates are forming a remarkable worldwide professional community and network of teachers.

With that being said, the mentor groups will remain small and intimate. Each mentor group will be made up of six students and one highly qualified mentor, allowing for an individualized and in-depth experience within the program. You will have the benefit of being part of that small professional learning community over the course of the two years and also have access to the broader worldwide network of students and alumni. Truly, it is the best of both worlds.

This course will offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for mental health professionals and counselors. The credits are issued by Spiritual Competency Academy and will be available for purchase each program year at the conclusion of that year.

The digital certificate will be awarded through the Awareness Training Institute, Sounds True, and the Greater Good Science Center. 

The Greater Good Science Center is affiliated with and based at the University of California, Berkeley; however, The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program does not award any University of California credits and does not count toward any degree programs offered by the University of California system.

Students who successfully graduate from the program will have: 
  • Fulfilled all prerequisites
  • Completed all online course modules
  • Participated fully in each aspect of the course offerings
  • Demonstrated capacity for cultural sensitivity
  • Regularly attended mentor and peer group meetings
  • Completed the practicum requirements
  • Passed a final exam
  • Received final approval from their mentor

MMTCP is certified by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) to meet most of their eligibility requirements. It does not meet all of the requirements, but it can be counted toward the requirements. Please reference imta.org to see the full requirements. Those who wish to be certified by IMTA after graduating from MMTCP will need to fulfill additional hours of teaching to receive the certification. The vast majority of requirements for IMTA are met by the MMTCP.

Application and Enrollment

The $50 application fee is nonrefundable

If your application is accepted, you will be automatically enrolled in the program and your credit card will be charged the amount of the first payment of the payment plan you selected minus the application fee. If you are accepted and enrolled in the program and you later wish to cancel for any reason, you must notify mmtcp@soundstrue.com in writing by October 31, 2024, for a full refund of tuition paid to date.

After October 31, 2024, refunds cannot be provided except in rare and extraordinary circumstances or life-threatening emergencies. If you are awarded a scholarship but choose not to accept the scholarship award, you will not be enrolled in the program.

The early access tuition is $7,700 through August 28, 2024. Payment plans include a 12-month plan and a 24-month plan. Please see the Admissions page for more information.

Tuition plans include: program components; access to the online learning portal and communities; coursework; video, audio, and written lessons; admission to all program livestream/on-demand events; monthly group mentorship sessions; three private mentor sessions; and administrative support.

Books from optional reading list; additional private sessions with mentor (can be purchased separately).

In an effort to make the program as accessible as possible, we hope to offer partial scholarships to committed students regardless of their financial circumstances. There is usually a greater need for scholarships than we can meet, so we ask that you consider the needs of others when making your request. To apply for a scholarship:
  • Pay the nonrefundable deposit due at the time of application.
  • Submit your application.
  • Please check the box on your application where indicated to request a scholarship application. Only applicants who have completed the application in full and have been accepted to the program will be considered for a scholarship
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If you have any trouble accessing your account, please let us know at mmtcp@soundstrue.com. We are happy to help.

Yes, you can! The application and admissions process has been modified and updated since the previous enrollment periods. As a result, all applicants will need to complete the application process again. New policies, review and admissions procedures, and admissions requirements are articulated throughout the application, which will require your review and acknowledgment.

Since your application is based on where you are as a meditation practitioner, you will need to submit a new application in 2026 when enrollment opens again, noting that you are applying after being previously accepted to the program. Tuition rates and policies are subject to change between cohorts, so we cannot guarantee that rates will be the same in 2026.

Teaching mindfulness requires self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills. This does not mean that struggles with difficult emotions, addictions, or relationships are considered a “problem.” Life challenges can actually serve our maturing, understanding, and compassion for others. Since people often come to meditation for help with their suffering and struggles, the questions are aimed at gaining a sense of how aware and equipped each candidate will be in responding to the difficulties that arise in their own lives and that they will encounter among their future students.

Mentor Program

The mentorship program is a critical part of your training to become a teacher and will provide you with support and community as you move through the program. It consists of a monthly, 90-minute call with a group of six students and a highly qualified Mentor to collectively discuss program material and practice exercises together. Participants will be with the same Mentor and the same small group of students for the duration of the program.
Each student will be part of a Mentor Group with a highly qualified Mentor. All of our Mentors are well-qualified mindfulness teachers who have been selected by Jack and Tara. The Mentor Groups meet monthly via Zoom and will cover specific content, curriculum, and skill-building exercises. The Mentor’s role is to support you, in groups and individually, and to provide you with caring feedback to help foster your understanding and growth. Mentors act as teachers and support you throughout the program and will be observing your progress and offering feedback along the way. In your Mentor Groups, all students will have to demonstrate core competencies such as skill in giving talks on mindfulness subjects, offering guided meditations, and answering student questions. All participants receive three 1:1 mentoring calls with their assigned Mentor over the course of the program. Additional 1:1 mentoring can be scheduled through your Mentor but is not included in the curriculum/cost of this program.
Before the program begins, all enrolled students will have an opportunity to sign up for a Mentor Group. You will select a group based on the day/time that will work for you on a monthly basis. Participants come from all over the world, so calls will be offered at many times throughout the day in several different time zones.
Before the opening virtual weekend event in March 2025, students will choose a monthly group with a date/time that is most likely to fit their schedule and needs for the following two years. Mentor Group selection will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis once the mentor group enrollment opens approximately one month before the program begins. All of our Mentors are well-qualified mindfulness teachers who have been selected by Jack and Tara. Please rest assured that all of the Mentors are top-notch and experts in their field.

Prerequisites

There are two prerequisites that admitted students will need to complete prior to December 31, 2024
INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLETING THE POWER OF AWARENESS TRAINING

Online Course Option

The Power of Awareness online course is a self-paced course created by Tara and Jack and offered several times per year. Register here for the next session of the course.

INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLETING THE RETREAT REQUIREMENT

Jack and Tara want to ensure that all MMTCP students begin the program with the shared experience of participating in a silent retreat that is grounded in the vipassana (Insight meditation) practices that you will be teaching. This silent form of retreat builds a depth of concentration and mindfulness that can be particularly powerful and transformative. 

In-Person Retreat Option

Organizations and meditation centers that often offer approved retreats around the world can be found via an Internet search, or you can review the list of approved online retreats. Retreats are subject to approval, and you are responsible for making sure your chosen retreat meets the prerequisite requirements. 

 If there are any questions as to whether the retreat you are considering meets the requirements, please send a description of the retreat, dates, number of days, teachers, and a website link to mmtcp@soundstrue.com. We are happy to review the details to ensure they meet the criteria.

Online Retreat Option

If you are unable to participate in an in-person retreat or you prefer to complete your retreat online, you must choose a retreat from the list of MMTCP-approved online retreats.

If you have not completed a qualifying silent retreat and are unsure if you will be able to attend a retreat before December 31, 2024, please continue to submit your application. Highly qualified applicants with special circumstances may be accepted upon contingency and given an extension to complete the retreat requirement. Please continue your application and let us know your circumstances.

Yes. Tara and Jack would like all students, regardless of their background, to participate in The Power of Awareness as it is an excellent example of the type of teaching you will be doing and provides a solid review of essential fundamentals. It is important that we keep the prerequisites consistent for all of our applicants, and we encourage even our most experienced participants in this program to take a beginner’s mindset and look at the teachings through a new lens. If you’re very familiar with the teachings, you are encouraged to approach The Power of Awareness course from a pedagogical perspective and observe the way Jack and Tara are teaching the content. The prerequisites for MMTCP certification are intended to develop experience in the style of meditation that you will be teaching following the program.

Tara and Jack want to ensure that all of their students have experience in the kind of SILENT retreat that is grounded in the vipassana (Insight meditation) practices that you will be teaching. This silent form of retreat builds a depth of concentration and mindfulness that can be particularly powerful and transformative. 
In the type of retreats they are asking you to attend, students first learn to quiet the mind with an anchor like the breath, and then expand their practice with a systematic training in mindful attention that includes breath, body, emotions, thoughts, and awareness. Vipassana retreats also include heart meditations—lovingkindness, forgiveness, compassion—that are very much part of MMTCP training. The silent retreats we approve also include individual and small group guidance, which gives students a chance to be personally led and supported in developing their meditation practice.
Many are looking for online retreats to satisfy the five-day/four-night silent retreat prerequisite for MMTCP. Only online retreats preapproved will be counted as qualifying MMTCP prerequisite retreats. We have been working with retreat centers to arrange and share online retreat options for applicants and students. Not all online retreats will meet the criteria Jack and Tara have outlined; only those that are on the list. If you are interested in attending an online retreat, please read MMTCP Participant Guidelines for a Successful Online Retreat (for students).
If there are any questions as to whether the retreat you are considering (or have attended in the past) meets the requirements, please send a description of the retreat, dates, number of days, teachers, and a website link to mmtcp@soundstrue.com. We are happy to review the details to ensure they meet the criteria.

Many retreats listed on applications do not meet the prerequisite criteria, including Goenka, MBSR, MBCT, MSC, Mindful Schools, corporate mindfulness seminars, or other training formats, including Tibetan Buddhism retreats, Thich Nhat Hanh retreats, Adyashanti retreats, Hatha Yoga retreats, Siddha Yoga retreats, Christian retreats, and Ridhwan School retreats, to name a few. While these retreats are undoubtedly valuable to your growth and practice, Tara and Jack want to be sure that everyone has also experienced a vipassana/Insight silent residential retreat in the style of meditation that you will be learning to teach. That said, please list these other types of retreats in the appropriate section of your application as they will be taken into account to evaluate your readiness for the program.

No. Goenka retreats are taught in the style of vipassana; however, they are a specific style as taught by SN Goenka. 
Jack and Tara feel that Goenka retreats do not train people to work with emotions, awaken the heart, and be trauma sensitive. Given a traumatized world, this excludes or endangers many people, especially BIPOC. They also exclude those not physically able in the demands of the schedule. Additionally, Goenka retreats will not give MMTCP students an experience that correlates with our values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility and the essential inclusion of the feminine archetype.

If you have taken a retreat through a Goenka center, please include it on your application. It shows your meditation experience and adds to the strength of your application in the section for an additional, non-qualifying retreat experience. If your retreat experience has only been through Goenka retreat centers, to meet the MMTCP retreat prerequisite, you will need to participate in a qualifying retreat. Here is a list of qualifying online retreats to assist you.

“Vipassana” means to see clearly. Also called Insight meditation, vipassana is a deep training in mindfulness that originates from the Buddhist teachings of Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka. “Zen” is the name for certain Mahayana Buddhist teachings of Japan, Korea, and China. It also teaches mindfulness and awakening through many methods including koans and dialogues with the Zen Master.

Thanks for asking. We’ve asked Tara and Jack this question, and here is their response:
While we both love and DEEPLY honor Thich Nhat Hanh as well as the retreats run by his community, we want to ensure that MMTCP participants have experienced the kind of SILENT retreat that is grounded in the vipassana (Insight meditation) practices they will be teaching. This silent form of retreat builds a depth of concentration and mindfulness that can be particularly powerful and transformative.
In the type of retreats we are asking you to attend, students first learn to quiet the mind with an anchor like the breath, and then expand their practice with a systematic training in mindful attention that includes breath, body, emotions, thoughts, and awareness. Vipassana retreats also include heart meditations—lovingkindness, forgiveness, compassion—that are very much part of this training. The silent retreats we approve also include individual and small group guidance, which gives students a chance to be personally led and supported in developing their meditation practice.
Thanks for asking. We’ve asked Jack and Tara this question, and here is their response:
We both very much respect and encourage people to do MBSR training. There are several key differences between MBSR and our training. One is pedagogy. While we offer recommended ways to organize introductions to meditation, we are not training people to teach a set protocol. We supply teachings and practices, and then encourage trainees to bring their own style and strengths to shape how and what they teach in different formats and populations. Some may integrate mindfulness and compassion training into their psychotherapy practice, some may incorporate it into multicultural trainings in corporations, some may teach children in classrooms, some may do online courses, and so on. There’s also a difference in content. MBSR initially focused on pain and stress relief and on medical settings, though this has since been expanded.

In our training, while we deal with pain and stress, we also bring a strong focus to working with emotions, trauma, and relationships. Our course explores a range of meditations that awaken the heart—lovingkindness, forgiveness, compassion. We pay much attention to ethical behavior and emphasize the direct relationship between inner awakening and social activism and transformation. Finally, while secular and nonreligious, this program explicitly explores the spiritual dimensions of our being and our full potential for spiritual realization.

Tuition $8,700 $7,700 for this 2-year training program. Payment plans are available.
Enroll by August 28, 2024, to save $1,000

“If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

—DALAI LAMA
Tuition $8,700 $7,700 for this 2-year training program. Payment plans are available.
Enroll by August 28, 2024, to save $1,000
Questions? We are here for you!
Reach out to us at mmtcp@soundstrue.com
Or schedule a call with one of our friendly program specialists.
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