A 5-Day Mindfulness Retreat Training

July 15-20, 2018 • EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA  
Faculty: Susan Woods, LICSW and Helen Vantine, Ph.D.

Registration & Fees

This retreat training is for those already teaching or interested in teaching mindfulness-based programs (MBP) such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Therapy and Mindful Self Compassion.  In addition, it is open to individuals who would like to further develop their mindfulness meditation practice. A familiarity with mindfulness meditation is expected.

An important aspect of teaching MBP is the requirement to have a personal mindfulness practice.  This 5-day retreat training will consist of sustained periods of silence, (vital for deepening a personal practice and fundamental to teaching), afternoon sessions of engaged inquiry into exploring the attitudinal foundations of mindfulness, additional meditation practices to foster and strengthen kindness and compassion, and evening talks.   Throughout the week there will be scheduled group and individual meetings with the teachers.

The Retreat meets the requirements for teacher training and certification at the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, University of California at San Diego, the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society, University for Massachusetts and the Center for Mindfulness Studies, Toronto, Canada.

Retreat details and Schedule

The retreat is structured around sustained periods of silence.  The mornings will consist of silent practice time.  Afternoon sessions will be devoted to periods of inquiry, alternating with group sessions with the teachers to discuss personal practice.

6:30 am: Wake up bell

7:00 – 8:00 am: Silent practice – mindful movement and sitting meditation

8:00 – 9:00 am: Breakfast

9:00 am: – 12:00 pm: Silent practice – alternating between mindful movement and sitting meditation

12:00 – 2:00 pm: Lunch and rest

2:00 – 3:30 pm: Workshop or group meetings with teachers

3:30 – 4:00 pm: Break

4:00 – 6:00 pm: Silent practice

6:00 -7:30 pm: Evening meal and rest

7:30 pm: Silent practice

8:00 – 8:45 pm: Talk

8:45 – 9:00 pm: Silent practice

9:00 pm: Bed – maintaining silence overnight

This schedule Is subject to change at the discretion of the teachers.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives

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

  • To support and strengthen the practice of mindfulness
  • To reflect on and discuss the importance of embodying the attitudinal foundations of mindfulness and how they inform the practice and teaching of MBPs
  • To strengthen mindful speech and mindful listening as they relate to the process of inquiry
  • To cultivate loving-kindness and self-compassion as foundational components of practice and teaching

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


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 Mindfulness-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, UMass 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, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA.  She has been a teaching assistant for the CFM at the Omega Institute.  She is trained as a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy teacher through the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute at UC San Diego.  More recently she is working on certification to teach Mindful Self Compassion through the US San Diego.

Helen has taught mindfulness and MBSR extensively in corporations, health care settings, universities, and government agencies.   In addition, she has taught over 400 individuals in open enrollment MBSR courses and over 300 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 a graduate of the Community Dharma Leaders’ Program at Spirit Rock.

Both Susan and Helen have many years of personal mindfulness meditation practice, of training future MBP instructors and of teaching mindfulness-based interventions.

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 (TBD) hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. (TBD) 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: 2:00 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

July 15- 20, 2018 • EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before May 15, 2018. Early-Bird Rate
On or Before
May 15, 2018
On or After
May 16, 2018
Registration $475 $575
Room and Board Single Occupancy $1,135 $1,135
Room and Board Double Occupancy $885 $885
  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 does not include standard room and board charge.
  3. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register Online

Make 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) $75

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.