ME-CL2: Mindful Eating-Conscious Living: Deepening your Practice and Skills


March 29-April 2, 2017 • Rustpunt Monastery, Ghent, Belgium
Faculty: Jan Chozen Bays, MD and Char Wilkins, LCSW
Register at Me-Nu website.
(Spoken language English)

Registration & Fees

Jan Chozen Bays in the Great Vow
Monastery Garden

This training is designed for professionals who have completed ME-CL1 or an equivalent mindful eating professional training program, have an ongoing formal meditation practice, and have led one or more     8-week mindful eating programs or equivalent. Equivalency will be determined by the teachers.

While it is true that any aspect of life can be an entry way to becoming more mindful, disordered eating often comes with a complex history that can manifest in reactive behaviors. We will examine the importance of meeting ourselves and our participants with steadiness and kindness, and carefully contemplate the place of compassion in this program.


The heart of this second level training is an invitation for experienced mindful eating teachers to explore more deeply the principles that are the underpinnings of the ME-CL program and to step more fully into embodying this in their teaching. Teaching from this platform highlights the need for attendees to have ongoing formal and informal mindfulness practices. This training will focus on the cultivation of intentional presence, authenticity, integrity and mindfulness-informed boundaries that support both the teacher and participants.

How we facilitate discussion and mindful inquiry of our participants in the ME-CL program, may be different than how we have led discussions based on our training in a particular field or modality. Throughout this training there will be opportunities for participants to explore the intention and rationale of mindful inquiry and practice the skills associated with this pivotal piece of the program.

There will be discussion regarding mindful eating practices in one-on-one counseling, different cultural settings and situations requiring special adaptations. And we will explore the psycho/spiritual aspects of eating which include craving, greed and aversion.

This second training invites a higher level of collegial participation and sharing. There will be time to nurture these qualities and skills through silent mindfulness practice, teaching opportunities, discussion and personal mentoring by the teachers. This training is limited in size so that the content can be tailored to the participants’ needs.

Note: This is a required course for Teacher Qualification and Certification in ME-CL. For more information, go to ME-CL Teacher Certification Program.


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

  • skillfully and with confidence deliver eating awareness practices and mindfulness meditations in the ME-CL curriculum
  • articulate how compassion practice is both implicit and explicit in ME-CL
  • mindfully facilitate a discussion of emotional, physical and psychological craving as it relates to food and eating, and how conditioned patterns of mind influence eating behaviors
  • explain the pivotal importance of mindful inquiry in teaching the curriculum
  • describe the relevance of their own ongoing mindfulness meditation practice and mindful eating practices in the successful delivery of the curriculum
  • acknowledge their teaching strengths and recognize areas that need strengthening in the facilitation of mindful meditations and eating exercises

Target Audience


This intensive, experiential program is intended for professionals wishing to further their teaching skills in mindful eating and supportive mindfulness-related practices in their one-on-one clinical practice and/or into group work in which eating, food and body are aspects or the central focus. Whenever possible this program will be tailored to the needs of the participants and their input will be solicited.

The program is designed for clinicians in mental health or healthcare fields and clinicians-in-training in these fields whose interests lie in teaching from a mindfulness stance that understands eating and food as gateways to self-awareness, understanding and better health.

Participant Guidelines

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

    • Completion of ME-CL1 or an equivalent mindful eating professional training program. (Equivalency will be determined by the teachers. If you did not take the ME-CL1 training you must also include advanced degree information, have been a participant in an MBSR or MBCT 8-week program, and have read Mindful Eating: A Guide to Re-discovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, by Jan Chozen Bays.)
    • Applicants must have taught a minimum of one 8-week mindful eating program drawn from either ME-CL or an equivalent mindful eating professional training program.
    • Attendance at a minimum of one 5-10 day teacher-led silent meditation retreat required. Mindfulness-based professional trainings do not fulfill this requirement. (Parents of young children, care-givers and others with special circumstances can submit an adapted schedule for attendance at silent meditation retreats.)

Program Format

Mindfulness Practice: Based upon the foundational assumption that the only true teaching of mindfulness comes out of regular and systematic personal practice, this training is steeped in mindfulness practice. Early morning and evening practice sessions are a crucial component of the training itself and will include a variety of mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, mindful movement, and mindful walking and body meditations. Selected meals will be taken in silence, some being designated as mindful eating practice sessions. Several evenings will include silence from the conclusion of evening practice until breakfast the next morning, and a half-day guided retreat will be provided.

Group Size: In order to facilitate the individualized and intensive nature of both mindfulness and mindful eating and teaching skills, the training will be limited in size to 25 participants with a minimum of 2 experienced teachers to keep the student-to-teacher ratio low and the learning environment intimate and direct.

Retreat Setting, Accommodations and Self-Care: The choice of a relatively isolated retreat setting is intentional to facilitate mindfulness practice, reduce outside distractions and create a safe and productive holding environment for the unfolding of the work and the group. The training is intended to be a protected forum for facilitating experiential learning, group cohesion and dynamics, and deep abiding attention to self-care and compassion. Single and double accommodations are clean and pleasant, and adequate but minimalistic, to encourage focused attention to the work itself. Meals are prepared and presented with deep intention to be healthful and nourishing by staff that is sensitive to the intention of the setting and the needs of the participants. Breaks will be provided to allow for participants to walk, hike, run or explore the surrounding environment as a means of supporting the sometimes challenging work itself and to facilitate self-care.

Needs Assessment

The utilization of mindful eating in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health and healthcare fields. The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially and the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. To help meet that need, this and other mindfulness trainings are being offered through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, as well as at other sites across the country and around the world.

Register Online


Continuing Education Credits

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 (TBA) hours of credit.

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

Dietitians: Course meets the qualifications for (TBA) hours of continuing education credit for Dietitians as required by the Commission of Dietetic Registration.

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

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

Session Ends: 5:00 pm


Recommended Reading

All books are available on our Amazon Bookshelf.

Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food by Jan Chozen Bays

Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana

The Force of Kindness: Change Your life with Love and Compassion by Sharon Salzberg

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher K. Germer and Sharon Salzberg

Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth


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 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.


Training Dates and Location in U.S.: TBA
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before xxx Early-Bird Rate
On or Before
On or After
General Registration TBD TBD
UC San Diego Faculty / Staff TBD TBD
Room and Board Single Occupancy (limited availability) TBD TBD
Room and Board (dormitory accommodation with visual privacy) TBD TBD
  1. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  2. Upon submission of your registration you will be asked to provide a short essay.
  3. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Registration Opening Soon.

Continuing Education Credit Fees

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

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable minimum deposit of $100 USD 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. All early-bird rate participants who have a remaining balance after that date 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 $100 non-refundable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing on or before a date 30 days prior to the start of the training. No refunds will be allowed after this 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.