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 the first essay 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. 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 

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:

    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.

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 MTI 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.

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)