Level I: Mindfulness Foundations and Development

In Level I you will firstly engage in foundational experiential learning, deepening your own practice through attending an MBP, and a  retreat.   Theoretical understanding is supported through the pre-reading and writing tasks in the Study Module.   Then the Level I Intensive is an opportunity for intense immersion in meditation practice, leading practices, inquiry and feedback from teachers and peers -  leading to integration of the personal and the professional which is so central in this work.

For those wishing to teach mindfulness-based programs (e.g. MBSR/CT and others) Level I will provide the groundwork to move into Level II training: teaching MBP courses, supervision and certification.  Others attend the Level I training to support their integration of mindfulness skills into their mindfulness-informed therapy (e.g. ACT, DBT.)

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

It is expected that you will complete theessay of the study module at least two months prior to your attendance at the Intensive.  This work provides an opportunity for you to integrate your personal experience and understanding with theory (relevant contemplative and Western psychology) which informs and supports the delivery of mindfulness interventions.  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.

Seven day Intensive 

Completion of all prerequisites and the Study Module is necessary to attend the seven day Intensive.

The seven 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:

    The rationale for how mindfulness works for a range of mental and physical health conditions including pain, stress, anxiety, depression and trauma 
    Practical exploration of how to work skilfully with the sensations, emotions and thoughts that arise in practice.
    Skills in leading mindfulness practices (body scan, awareness of breath, sounds, thoughts and feeling, open awareness, kindness and compassion, approaching the difficult, movement practice) 
    Inquiry skills (including empathy, reflection, salience and context)
    Relational skills including empathy, warmth, authenticity and potency, curiosity and respect and mutuality
    Embodiment as a teacher including presence, vitality and calmness, acceptance and present moment responsiveness
    Understanding of group process 
    Refining and deepening one’s own meditation practice

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 2018.

Post-intensive mentoring interview

Each student will have an individual mentoring meeting  with a senior teacher to give specific feedback and to help students decide on MBCT or MBSR or other MBP teaching depending on professional background and the population to be served. Teachers without a mental health or relevant clinical background will be directed towards the MBSR practicum

Practice Dyads

Immediately after the intensive, students will form dyads in which to meet each week (in person, by phone or online) to lead each other again in all the MBP practices and to receive feedback from each other to consolidate the feedback given during the Intensive. (The practices to be led are body scan; mindful movement; awareness of breath, body, sounds; open awareness; approaching the difficult; kindness and compassion). A brief log of these dyad meetings to be submitted prior to application for Level II.

MBSR or MBCT Curriculum Practicums – live online webinar

The Practicum is a live online group program to explore the curriculum (either MBSR or MBCT) over 9 weekly meetings. This will involve: 

  (a) Pre-reading of relevant books and articles - list provided to explore relevant theory, research, cognitive science, evidence-bases. 

  (b) Pre-viewing week by week the 8 sessions of the MSBR or MBCT course (provided to you and which are led by an experienced MBP teacher)  

  (c) Attending 9 live weekly webinar sessions to explore:  

  i. the teaching, rationale and theory underpinning the relevant course including course preparation, curriculum elements and sequence with reference to MBI TAC domains including pacing, group process issues, practices, didactic presentations and inquiry 

  ii. delivering MBCT/SR safely and ethically with attention to inclusion/exclusion criteria, participant assessment, participant orientation, outcome monitoring and risk management/referral/clinician back-up

The Practicum is an effective method for increasing knowledge about curriculum, pacing, didactic, inquiry and group process elements of the programs and enhance readiness to teach the first round of MBSR orMBCT classes.  

Once you have completed the Intensive you can enrol for the Practicum.

What is next after completion of Level I?

Once you have completed all of the Level I studies, you are immediately eligible for Level II and 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.

To register your interest or inquire about any aspect of the pathway in Australia contact Mary McIntyre: admissions@mtia.org.au  

To register your interest or inquire about any aspect of the pathway in New Zeland contact Dianne May: dianne@mtia.org.au 

Mindfulness Training Institute - Australia & New Zealand (MTI)