MBEB: Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Teacher Training Intensive

April 9-15, 2017 • EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA
Faculty: Margaret Cullen, MA, MFT and Gonzalo Brito Pons, Ph.D.

Registration & Fees

Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance (MBEB)
is an empirically-supported 9-week psycho-educational group intervention that teaches mindfulness meditation and emotion training. Created by Margaret Cullen in 2007, MBEB adds key emotion components to the basic MBSR curriculum creating an intervention that cultivates greater emotional ease and well-being while also training in mindfulness fundamentals. Research outcomes for MBSR have demonstrated positive improvements in physical and psychological symptoms, as well as changes in health attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, MBEB has been specifically shown to reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and increase mindfulness, self-compassion and personal growth in a series of randomized controlled trials with educators in Canada and the US. This 6-day teacher training intensive will provide professionals the opportunity to study and experience the foundational underpinnings, mindfulness meditations and specific exercises that are the framework of the MBEB program. The core themes/practices of the program include:

  • Motivation, Values and Emotional Balance
  • Emotion Theory
  • Mindfulness of the Body
  • Mindfulness of Feelings
  • Mindfulness of Thoughts
  • Exploring Forgiveness
  • Working with Anger
  • Cultivating Kindness
  • Working with Fear
  • Awakening Compassion
  • Diets of the Heart, Mind, and Body

Participants will experience the entire 36-hour program, including 5 hours of silent retreat. There will also be 2 days of professional training, including group facilitation skills and practice teaching. For those who wish to become certified to teach MBEB, individualized training will be devised, depending on prior training and experience. This training will be made available, whenever possible, via online individual and group meetings in order to minimize expense and maximize ease and accessibility. MBEB can be taught alone as an alternative to MBSR, in a 36-hour format, a 20-hour format or as a “graduate” program for people who have already taken MBSR and want further training in secular mindfulness with an emphasis on emotional balance.


MindfulnessBasedEmoBalanceWB-CF.inddThis 6-day training intensive is highly interactive. In the first part of the training, the entire MBEB program will be shared. In the second part of the training, there will be opportunities to discuss the rationales, philosophy and pedagogy of the training itself. At this time, individual certification plans will be devised. Inherent in this training is the necessity of a personal mindfulness practice as a platform from which to teach. The delivery of MBEB requires the teacher to teach from a personal integration of what it means to embody a non-judgmental present moment focus with an understanding of how this supports and strengthens such mind states as kindness, compassion and equanimity. This training will provide the opportunity to strengthen these teacher competencies.

This teacher training intensive will integrate didactic and experiential teaching modules. The curriculum includes both large and small group learning, with opportunity for role-play and simulated patient-practitioner encounters. There will be daily meditation practice yoga/mindful movement, and periods of silence. The ethical underpinnings of teaching MBEB will be discussed.
This professional training will be led by Margaret Cullen and Gonzalo Brito Pons, who co-authored “The Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Workbook” and together have decades of experience creating, delivering, studying, and training teachers to teach MBI’s.
Registration will be limited for this training in order to provide an environment that promotes in depth learning in an atmosphere of intimacy and shared experience.


At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding of the foundational principles of the MBEB program
  • Demonstrate the basic MBEB teaching skills
  • Describe the central role of mindfulness meditation practice for general wellness and self-care in the regulation of emotions and behaviors
  • Communicate key concepts in emotion theory and the role that mindfulness plays in emotion regulation
  • Articulate the rationale for a teacher’s ongoing mindfulness meditation practice in teaching MBEB


Margaret Cullen and Gonzalo Brito Pons co-authored “The Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Workbook: An Eight-Week Program for Improved Emotion Regulation and Resilience “.

margaret2Margaret was among the first ten people certified to teach MBSR and has written numerous articles and chapters on mindfulness, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a senior teacher and co-developer of the Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT) at the Stanford School of Medicine and has extensive experience supervising and training instructors to teach MBI’s, as well as creating and delivering MBI’s for numerous research studies. She has taught MBI’s internationally, and to a wide range of populations including cancer patients, physicians, educators, overweight women, HIV positive men, military spouses, lawyers, and a variety of clinical populations.


retrato-gonzalo-argentina1Gonzalo is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked with diverse populations in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina. He now resides in Spain, where he teaches mindfulness and compassion-based training programs and maintains a private practice. Gonzalo was trained at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), becoming the first person certified to teach the Compassion Cultivation Training Program (CCT) and to supervise the training of Spanish-speaking instructors. He also completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) at the University of Derby (UK), under the supervision of Dr. Paul Gilbert. Besides the MBEB Workbook, Gonzalo is also the co-author of the book (in Spanish) “Presencia Plena” (Full Presence) and several other articles on mindfulness, compassion and psychology.

Target Audience

This 6-day teacher training intensive is primarily intended for professionals wishing to teach MBEB. Those attending should be either professionals in a health or educational field, clinicians-in-training, or interested professionals who may not intend to deliver the intervention directly but have other professional interests in the topic (i.e. researchers, administrators, etc.). All participants should have at least a modest regular meditation practice and an established practice is preferred. Training in MBSR is preferred, but not necessary.

Participant Guidelines

It is our experience that successful delivery of MBEB requires facilitators to have a commitment to an ongoing, daily mindfulness meditation practice. To this end we have created recommendations for acceptance to this MBEB training.

Will I be qualified to teach MBEB after taking this training?

Feeling ready to teach MBEB raises a number of important questions.

We see this training as the first step in your development as an MBEB teacher. As a result of participating in this training you will leave with basic MBEB teaching skills. However, this retreat training is not sufficient for certification as an MBEB instructor. For those with extensive prior MBSR experience, certification may simply involve teaching one course of MBEB under supervision.

For others with less experience, other MBI teacher trainings may be combined with ongoing training in MBEB in order to achieve certification. Again, this will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

What can I say when I have attended this training?

After attending the training, you may state: “_____ (your name) has attended and completed the 6-Day MBEB Teacher Training Intensive through the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute.”

What can I do when I have completed this training?

Upon completion of this training, you have several options:

  1. If qualified, you may enroll in the MBEB practicum and receive individual supervision towards certification.
  2. You may progress towards the practicum by pursuing additional MBI teacher training through a variety of sources, including ongoing trainings by Margaret and Gonzalo.
  3. You may simply choose to teach the entire MBEB program without certification.
  4. You may take components of MBEB to add to an existing MBI or to teach as a “graduate” course to your MBSR community.

Application Form

Upon submission of your registration, to be considered for this training, you will be required to submit an online MBEB Teacher Training Intensive Application. The link to the application form will be included in your confirmation email. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.

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 34.0 hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: 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. 34.0 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.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency Statement

This activity is in compliance with California Assembly Bill 1195 which requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. Cultural competency is defined as a set of integrated attitudes, knowledge, and skills that enables health care professionals or organizations to care effectively for patients from diverse cultures, groups, and communities. Linguistic competency is defined as the ability of a physician or surgeon to provide patients who do not speak English or who have limited ability to speak English, direct communication in the patient’s primary language. Cultural and linguistic competency was incorporated into the planning of this activity. Additional resources can be found on the UC San Diego CME website.


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 CME 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 CME activity.


Tentative Schedule

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

Day Seven
Session Ends: 12:00 noon


Required Reading

All books are available on our Amazon Bookshelf.

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Emotions Revealed by Paul Ekman

The Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Workbook: An Eight-Week Program for Improved Emotion Regulation and Resilience by Margaret Cullen and Gonzalo Brito Pons

A Contemplative Dialogue: The Inquiry Process in Mindfulness-Based Interventions (2016) by Susan Woods, Patricia Rockman and Evan Collins

Suggested Reading

Teaching Mindfulness by Donald McCown, Diane Reibel and Marc S. Micozzi

A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives
by Thupten Jinpa

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.

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

April 9-15, 2017 • EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before February 9, 2017. Early-Bird Rate
On or Before

February 9, 2017
On or After
February 10, 2017
Registration $1095 $1195
Room and Board Single Occupancy $1275 $1275
Room and Board Double Occupancy $955 $955
  1. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  2. Upon submission of your registration your application will be reviewed for prerequisites and you will be contacted when it has been formally accepted.
Register OnlineMake a payment or Change your registration


Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable and non-transferable minimum deposit is due upon registration.

Please be aware that the early-bird rate is available for all participants who register and pay their balance in full by the early-bird deadline (see registration information above). All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance on or after the early-bird deadline will have their fees automatically adjusted to the General Session Rate.

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 $300 non-refundable and non-transferable 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.

Required Application Form

Upon submission of your registration, you will be required to fill out an online MBEB Training Application. The link to the application form will be included in your confirmation email.

Your application for this training will not be taken under consideration until the application form has been received. Should your qualifications not be accepted for admittance, a full refund will be granted.