The program officially begins in February 2023 with mentor group selection and access to the online learning portal. The opening virtual weekend event will be held March 4-5, 2023. The Mentor Group calls and weekly curriculum will begin in April 2023. There will be one or two optional online orientation sessions and an online introductory session with guest faculty in January/February 2023 prior to the start of the program.
Each student will have their own working style, so the amount of time spent on the program will vary from person to person. Each week there will be a 30-to-45-minute video lesson as well as associated readings and journal entries. You will also have a monthly mentorship call and a monthly meeting with your Peer Group that will be 90 minutes. 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. Based on input from previous cohorts of students, we can estimate up to two hours per week plus your monthly mentorship and Peer Group calls.
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 the start of the program in February 2023. In addition, continue with your daily 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. Parts of these books will be on the required reading list during the program.
In addition, the individual years feature:
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 and have accepted 1,700 of those applicants to be students in either cohort 1 or cohort 2. The current cohort is 2,400 students strong with 70 countries represented. In February 2022, we will be enrolling for the class beginning in 2023 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 mentorship 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. For a list of professions that accept these CEUs, visit this site. CEUs are issued by R. Cassidy Seminars and will be available for each year of the program at the conclusion of each year. Students who complete both years can earn 50 CEUs for the first year and 30 CEUs for the second year. The CEUs will be available for purchase for all students but will only apply in the USA. If you do purchase them, you can petition any non-USA entity to see if they will be accepted.
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 or count toward any degree programs offered by the University of California system.
The International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) is a very young organization. Tara and Jack are on the board of this newly formed association.
MMTCP is certified by 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 https://imta.site-ym.com/page/accreditation 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.
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 deposit. If you are accepted and enrolled in the program and you later wish to cancel for any reason, you must notify Sounds True in writing by August 31, 2022 for a full refund of tuition paid to date, including your deposit.
After August 31, 2022, refunds cannot be provided except in rare circumstances of medical necessity or emergency. If you are not accepted, your $50 deposit will be refunded in full.
If you are awarded a scholarship but choose not to accept the scholarship award, you will not be enrolled in the program, and your deposit will be refunded in full.
Tuition plans include: program components; access to the online Learning Portal and communities; coursework; video, audio, and written lessons; admission to two livestream/on-demand events; monthly group Mentor sessions; 3 private Mentor sessions; and administrative support.
Books from required or optional reading list (textbooks); additional private sessions with Mentor (can be purchased separately).
The Awareness Training Institute and Sounds True are offering a limited number of partial scholarships based on true financial need and commitment to teaching in your community. Please do not apply for a scholarship unless you have true financial need.
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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.
Yes, you can! However, you will need to submit a new application in 2024 when enrollment opens again, noting that you are applying on deferred acceptance. Tuition rates and policies are subject to change between cohorts, so we cannot guarantee that rates will be the same in the next round. You can only defer acceptance to the next enrollment cycle, after which you will need to reapply as a regular candidate.
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.
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 a part of a mentoring group with a highly qualified Mentor hand-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 guide you throughout the program and will be observing your progress and offering feedback along the way. In your mentoring 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 of this program.
Before the program begins, all enrolled students will be contacted with an opportunity to sign up for a mentorship group. You’ll pick from a list of Mentor Groups. You will enroll in a group with a Mentor you choose. Each group listing will include the Mentor and the days/time of the groups, so you can pick one that will work for you on a monthly basis. Participants will come from all over the world, so calls will be offered at many times throughout the day in several different time zones.
Yes. Mentor 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. If your preferred Mentor’s groups fill up before you can enroll, please rest assured that all of the Mentors are top-notch and experts in their field. Part of the criteria for your participation as a future mindfulness teacher is having the flexibility and maturity to learn and grow within these parameters. Before the opening virtual event in February 2023, students will have the opportunity to view Mentor schedules and choose a monthly time and Mentor that is most likely to fit their schedule and needs for the following two years.
There are two prerequisites that admitted students will need to complete prior to the start of the program in February 2023.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COMPLETING THE POWER OF AWARENESS TRAINING
The Power of Awareness online course is a self-paced, seven-week course created by Tara and Jack offered several times per year. Register here for the next round 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
A list of organizations and meditation centers that often offer approved retreats around the world can be found via an internet search or you can review the approved online retreat list. 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 requirement, please send a description of the retreat, dates, number of days, teachers, and a website link to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 the program begins in February 2023, 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 course from a pedagogical perspective and observe the way Jack and Tara are teaching the content. The prerequisites for this 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 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.
We understand that given the global pandemic, it may be impossible for students who have not already attended a silent residential meditation retreat to do so at this time.
Many are looking for online retreats to satisfy the 6+ 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 requirement, please send a description of the retreat, dates, number of days, teachers, and a website link to email@example.com. We are happy to review the details to ensure they meet the criteria.
Many retreats listed on applications do not meet this prerequisite criterion, 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.
“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.
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“If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”