Level I: Mindfulness Foundations and Development

In this stage of training, you will undertake foundational experiential learning in the form of an investigation of mindfulness at the level of your own practice and it's impact and transformation in your life, as well as retreat experience and some ongoing body-based practice. Conceptual understanding (through the Study Module) is integrated with practice-based explorations (in the Intensive) leading to integration of the personal and the professional which is so central in offering mindfulness.

This program offers an experiential and theoretical grounding in mindfulness for those who are working in the helping professions and are interested in incorporating mindfulness in their work. It will help deepen your experience and understanding of mindfulness theory and practice to support your integration of mindfulness skills into your individual therapy work, and within ACT and DBT approaches. For those wishing to teach MBSR, MBCT or other MBIs, it will provide the groundwork to move into Level II training: teaching, supervision and certification.

Assessment of readiness for entry into Level I training will be made on a case by case basis and take into account your personal and professional development and engagement in practice over time. (If you are relatively new to a sustained personal practice, you may be invited to take more time before enrolling in the Level I Intensive.)

Level I training involves:

Completion of Pre-reading

We will expect you to be familiar with some reading material prior to attending the Intensive.  This reading material will also support your work in the Study Module.  Please find the list of recommended reading here.

 Study Module

This provides an opportunity for you to integrate their personal experience and understanding with theory (relevant contemplative and Western psychology) which informs and supports the delivery of mindfulness interventions. You will be asked to complete 2 essays (totalling up to 7000 words), which demonstrate your understanding of theory, research and practice relevant to mindfulness teaching. Details will be available on acceptance into the program. Pre-reading for the course is listed here. A range of articles and other resources will be provided on enrolment in the Study Module.

Eight day Intensive in MBIs

Completion of all prerequisites and Essay I of the Study Module is necessary to attend the 8 day Intensive.

The eight day Intensive provides an in-depth residential context to explore a range of didactic, experiential and small group work. It will provide opportunities for practice teaching/leading with supervision from the instructors (usual teacher/student ratio 1:12). A strong emphasis in the Intensive is on the development and integration of personal and professional qualities which support authentic mindfulness teaching and learning. It offers a challenging and deepening process of exploration and engagement with self and others, using the ground of practice as our base. Specific areas of focus will include:

  • Refining and deepening personal mindfulness practice (through formal and informal practices, in silence and in dialogue)
  • Integration of theory and practice
  • Exploration of key aspects of the program including rationale of practices, group process, exercises, use of poetry/stories, leading and inquiring into practice
  • Exploring the value of mindfulness in attending to physical and emotional difficulties including depression, anxiety, pain and stress within ourselves and our participants
  • On-going self-inquiry
  • Exploration of readiness to teach

Please note: As part of the Intensive process, you will be expected to be very familiar with each of the mindfulness practices offered in MBSR and MBCT and will be asked to lead them in dyads without scripts.

Click here to find out about Level I Intensive in 2017.

What is next after completion of Level I?

Once you have completed all of the Level I studies, you are immediately eligible to apply for Level II.  This involves an interview in which you and an MTIA trainer will explore your experience at the Intensive, and the MBI TAC to reflect together on your readiness to begin teaching under supervision. 

 In some circumstances, a student will be asked not to proceed into Level II (and therefore not begin teaching mindfulness) if there are issues which impact their ability to teach MBSR/CT.  This might involve a lack of relational skills and capacities, an inability to safely 'hold' a group or an inability to embody the practice of mindfulness sufficiently to teach others with congruence.   Some developmental steps may be discussed to assist with developing the necessary skills and capacities so that they may be able to move into Level II eventually.

Mindfulness Training Institute Australasia (MTIA)