A 5-Day Mindfulness Retreat Training

March 27-April 1, 2017 • Chapin Mill Retreat Center, Batavia, NY  
Faculty: Susan Woods, LICSW and Helen Vantine, Ph.D.

Registration & Fees

chapinmillRetreat details and Schedule

This retreat is specifically designed for health professionals already teaching or interested in teaching mindfulness-based interventions (MBI), for educators and for those professionals involved in mindfulness-based research.

This unique course offers two areas of exploration that are essential for understanding and teaching MBIs. Firstly, the heart of this mindfulness retreat lies in deepening and expanding the personal experience of mindfulness meditation. Secondly, the course is designed to develop and strengthen mindfulness-based teaching skills as they relate to the delivery of MBI programs.

The Buddha’s great teaching on mindfulness, the Satipatthana Sutra, informs us that mindfulness is a practice that develops a conscious awareness both internally and externally. A full understanding of mindfulness-based facilitation requires teachers to have well-established meditation practices. This in turn supports and strengthens self-compassion as well as bringing a compassionate empathetic understanding and attunement to our interactions with others.

The retreat meets the requirements for a teacher-led silent retreat training as part of MBSR/MBCT certification through the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, University of California at San Diego and at the Center for Mindfulness Studies, Toronto, Canada.

In order to keep the cost of this retreat training affordable, the teachers are offering their expertise on a donation basis.

The retreat is structured around sustained periods of silence and a familiarity with mindfulness meditation is expected.

  • The mornings will consist of teacher-led guided meditation practices and self-guided sitting and movement meditation periods.
  • Some afternoon and evening sessions will contain specific mindful teaching techniques for enhancing mindful awareness of intra and interpersonal communications. These sessions will highlight mindful inquiry, mindful dialogue and mindfulness practice as a development tool. Participants will have the opportunity to work in dyads and in small groups. There will also be question and answer periods.
  • The retreat will include specific time to interact with others with the intention to provide the opportunity to talk with others who are also committed to mindfulness in their personal and professional lives.
  • Individual meetings with the teachers to discuss your practice and to ask questions will be available.

Outcomes and Objectives

At the completion of this retreat, the participants should be able to:

  • To reinforce mindfulness meditation practices
  • To develop and expand the practice of a heartfelt embodied presence
  • To clarify and strengthen teaching skills
  • To cultivate and reinforce mindful speech, inquiry and mindful listening
  • To nurture a mindful conscious awareness that encompasses loving-kindness and self-compassion


Susan L. Woods, MSW., LICSW is a senior Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction/Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBSR/MBCT) advisor, trainer, mentor and supervisor. She has been training health professionals in mindfulness-based interventions since 2005. Susan designed the MBSR and MBCT professional certification programs for the Mindfullness-Based Professional Training Institute at UC San Diego where she was the Principal Curriculum Consultant and Senior Guiding Teacher. Susan is a certified MBSR/MBCT instructor and has taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. She has presented on the clinical application of mindfulness at numerous conferences and is a published author on the training of health professionals in mindfulness-based skills. Susan has been practicing yoga and meditation since 1981, is a certified yoga instructor, and a graduate of the two-year Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders’ training.

Helen Vantine, Ph.D. is the founder and co-director of the Atlanta Mindfulness Institute. She has a private psychotherapy practice where she practices mindfulness-based psychotherapy. She is credentialed as a certified MBSR teacher through the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. She has been a teaching assistant for the CFM at the Omega Institute. She is also trained as a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teacher through the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute at UC San Diego.

Helen has taught mindfulness and MBSR extensively in corporations, health care settings, universities, and government agencies. In addition, she has taught over 500 individuals in open enrollment MBSR courses and over 250 health care professionals and psychotherapists through a unique course for this community that is based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Helen has been practicing meditation since 1971. For the past 20 years she has studied Buddhism, both in the Zen tradition and the Theravada tradition. She is currently enrolled in the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock.

Register Online


Psychologists: This program is sponsored by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 9.5 hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 9.5 contact hours may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if APA accreditation meets their requirements.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 11.0 contact hours.


It is the policy of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor. All persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required to disclose any real or apparent conflicts of interest. All conflicts of interest will be resolved prior to an educational activity being delivered to learners through one of the following mechanisms: 1) altering the financial relationship with the commercial interest, 2) altering the individual’s control over CFM content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review. All persons are also required to disclose any discussions of off label/unapproved uses of drugs or devices. Persons who refuse or fail to disclose will be disqualified from participating in the CFM activity.

Tentative Schedule

Registration: 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Dinner: 5:30-6:30 pm
First Session: 6:45-8:45 pm

Session Ends: 12:00 noon

Highly Recommended Reading

After Buddhism: rethinking the Dharma for a secular age by Stephen Batchelor

True refuge: finding peace and freedom in your own awakened heart by Tara Brach

Mindfulness in plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Listening to the heart: A contemplative journey to engaged Buddhism by Kittisaro and Thanissara

Loving kindness: The revolutionary art of happiness by Sharon Salzberg

Frequently Asked Questions

I am flying in for the training. What are my options and what do you recommend?
See our LOCATIONS page for details about travel to the retreat centers and preferred airports. The UCSD Center for Mindfulness will set up a Ride Share Bulletin Board in coordinating shuttle rides for those arriving by air at local airports.

What time should I plan to arrive? When do we finish?
We will begin checking people into the retreat at 1 pm on the first day of the training. However, it may be possible for you to arrive before 1pm and have access to your room. We ask that you plan on arriving no later than 5pm so that we can begin with the full group in attendance at dinnertime. We plan to end the retreat by 1:00 pm on the last day so please plan your travel accordingly, using the time guidelines above. Sometimes situations arise in which people have to leave the retreat earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.

Is there wireless service/cellular phone use?
Please do not expect to get consistent, reliable wireless internet service while at the retreat center. It is most advisable to leave your computer at home because of the retreat nature of the training, however we recognize that sometimes computer use is a necessity. Most cellular phones will work in this location. Again, however given the nature of the training there will be limited opportunities to use them, so informing those who may need to contact you of these limitations ahead of time will be helpful.

Is it possible to stay extra nights at the facility or arrive a day or two early?
The retreat center is often booked both right before and right after our training, so arriving early or staying an extra night or two after the retreat is over is not likely to be a possibility. You can of course arrange to stay at lodging near the retreat center if you would like to extend your stay. Contact us directly at mindfulness@ucsd.edu to make such arrangements.

What do I need to bring?
If it is at all possible, please bring a meditation cushion (zafu) and a yoga mat. We will have a few cushions but not enough to go around, so if you have one and can squeeze it into your luggage or bring it as a carry-on please consider doing so. It is always advisable to check the weather forecast prior to traveling, to help guide you in proper clothing choices.

The relatively remote location makes security a minor concern, but we do want people to know that with shared sleeping quarters and very limited availability of keys to lock rooms, we highly recommend leaving valuable items at home to reduce the possibility of anything being lost or stolen. Certainly some of us will have vehicles where such items can be secured if this is necessary.

What should I expect regarding the format of the training?
This training is taught in a retreat format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the training, and we want to reiterate that now so you are not surprised when you get here. The venue very much facilitates this format; we will will meet, eat and be housed in a relatively secluded area. There are no other large groups planned in the center that week so it should be relatively quiet and secluded. The rooms are clean and comfortable, but not by any means luxurious. and as you probably noted on the website, you will have a roommate. In most cases several of you will share a dorm-style bathroom nearby.

What should I read prior to arriving?
Check the “Schedule and Required Reading” page of the specific training you are registered to attend.

What if I require some special accommodations or have dietary restrictions?
While you are asked to note specific food restrictions on your registration application, if there are any additional food or medical concerns we should be aware of please let us know of these in advance so we may assist you.

Registration Fees

March 27-April 1, 2017 • Chapin Mill Retreat Center, Batavia, NY
Registration $350
Room and Board Single Occupancy $975
Room and Board Double Occupancy $775
  1. In order to keep the cost of this retreat training affordable, the teachers are offering their expertise on a donation basis.
  2. Registration fee includes standard room and board charge.
  3. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register OnlineMake a payment or Change your registration

Continuing Education Credit Fees

Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee
Psychologists, Psychotherapists (LCSW, MFT, LPC) $50

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable minimum deposit of $100 USD is due upon registration.

All remaining balances must be paid in full 30 days prior to the start of the training or your registration will be cancelled for non-payment and you will not be permitted to attend.

Cancellation Policy

A refund (minus your $100 non-refundable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing 30 days prior to the training. No refunds will be allowed after that date.

In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is responsible only for a full refund of the registration fee and not for transportation, hotel accommodations or any miscellaneous expenses.