Navigating Life’s Challenges: A 5-Day Residential Intensive Inspired by MBSR

December 3-8, 2017• Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Joshua Tree, CA
Faculty: Allan Goldstein and Megan Leuchars
February 11-16, 2018• Riordan Clinic, Wichita, KS
Faculty: Allan Goldstein and Megan Leuchars

Registration & Fees

“If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing…
We may only go in circles…”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Navigating Life's ChallengesNavigating Life’s Challenges is a 5-Day residential adaptation of the empirically-supported 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. In this program you will experience the key components of the 8-Week MBSR program as developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Participating in Navigating Life’s Challenges is an ideal experience for anyone who does not have access to being able to participate in a formal 8-week MBSR program. Holding the heart of the 8-week MBSR program we journey together to mindfully explore ways of navigating and cultivating a new healthier relationship to the challenges and struggles in our lives. Navigating Life’s Challenges is for anyone who would like to learn more effective coping skills that have the potential to lower and change their relationship to stress.

Participating in Navigating Life’s Challenges also fulfills the prerequisite requirement of completing an MBSR program for our 6-day MBSR Teacher Training Intensive or MBSR Teacher Training Practicum.

This highly participatory program will include:

  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices
  • Gentle stretching and mindful movement
  • Inquiry exercises to enhance awareness in everyday life
  • Individually tailored instruction
  • Group dialogue
  • Guided audio files for home practice and workbook


  • Articulate the key aspects of mindfulness as it relates to stress reduction, coping with pain and illness and enhancing well-being
  • Learn about the difference between relaxation and other distraction techniques that may seem similar but are fundamentally and theoretically quite different in contending with difficulty and enhancing quality of life
  • Practice and apply mindfulness techniques in both personal and professional settings as a means of contending more effectively with the demands of both settings
  • Integrate mindfulness into social interaction with patients, colleagues, supervisors, family and friends to facilitate more effective and mindful communication.

Target Audience

This intensive training is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate mindfulness into their work. Participating in the Navigating Life’s Challenges program satisfies a prerequisite for becoming an MBSR program teacher. Meditation experience is not necessary to participate in this 5-day Residential Intensive. All are welcome!


Program activities include meditation, experiential exercises, group discussion, inquiry & reflection, and didactic talks. We train in accessing our own inner wisdom developing a non-judgmental, compassionate, passionate, presence and awareness. Through this embodied practice we navigate with a different relationship to ourselves and the challenges of life. For more information on mindfulness and it’s potential benefits, please visit the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction webpage.

Program Trainers

Allan Goldstein is the Managing Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Certified MBSR Teacher, MBSR Practicum Teacher Trainer, and Mentor. Working in collaboration with Dr. Steven Hickman, Executive Director, he has contributed to the development and evolution of the UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute and Certification programs and the center’s UC San Diego Health System’s group mindfulness programs and teaching staff. He is a member of the working committee of the Mindfulness International Integrity Network. Allan has had a passion for learning, teaching, and providing mentorship for teachers of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs since participating in his first program in 1993. He began his professional training at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in the year 2000. Allan has taught MBSR extensively to groups and individuals in various health care, university, military, business, and community settings, including the virtual world of Second Life. Allan’s strong passion for promoting and facilitating the valuable teachings found within MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Programs has propelled him on a journey that continues to unfold in mystery with his love for this sacred work.

Contact Allan Goldstein Website:

megan-leucharsMegan Leuchars is a Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor, a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Instructor and Director of Outreach at UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. In addition to teaching Mindfulness-based programs, Megan develops and delivers unique customized mindfulness programs for Fortune 500 companies as well as for educational, healthcare, and academic settings. Megan is one of the founders of the UCSD Center’s Work-Life Integration Program and teacher trainer for the UCSD Professional Training Institute’s MBSR Teacher Training Practicum. In all her ventures, Megan’s passion and mission are the same: to empower individuals with an understanding of the important role they play in shaping the lives they want. Megan believes through compassionate awareness individuals are able to utilize the best resource they have: themselves.


“We are often so busy that we don’t get the chance to really drop into mindfulness practice and to explore how it might help in our lives. Two of my favorite MBSR teachers are offering this 5-day intensive program based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) entitled Navigating Life’s Challenges. Allan Goldstein and Megan Leuchars are remarkable teachers, and this is a remarkable opportunity to delve more deeply into mindfulness practice, whether you have taken MBSR already and need a refresher, or you just haven’t found the time to take it in the 8-week form.”

Steven D. Hickman, Psy.D.
Executive Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness


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 27.0 hours of credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: This activity is an approved continuing education program by the American Psychological Association. 27.0 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.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 32.0 contact hours.

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 Center for Mindfulness 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 CE content about the products or services of the commercial interest, and/or 3) validating the activity content through independent peer review.

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

Recommended 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

Frequently Asked Questions

I am flying in for the program 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 in at the retreat center after 1pm on the first day of the program. We plan to end the training 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 training earlier than noon on the last day but we strongly urge you to avoid this if at all possible.

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.

What should I expect regarding the format of the program?
This program is taught in an intensive experiential format, which means there is a great deal of mindfulness practice embedded in the program, and we want to reiterate that now so you are not surprised when you get here.

What should I read prior to arriving?
Check the “Schedule and Required Reading” page of the specific program 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.[/tab]

* Please note: If you are registering for the 9-day MBSR Teacher Training Practicum Intensive, please register here.

Registration Fees

December 3-8, 2017• Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Joshua Tree, CA
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before October 3, 2017 Early-Bird Rate
On or Before
October 3, 2017
On or After
October 4, 2017
General Registration $625 $725
Room & Board Single Occupancy for 5-Day Program at Joshua Tree $1000 $1000
Room & Board Double Occupancy for 5-Day Program at Joshua Tree $750 $750
  1. Registration fee does not include standard room and board charge.
  2. Continuing education credits for participation in this program are available for an additional fee.
Register OnlineMake a payment or Change your registration
February 11-16, 2018• Riordan Clinic, Wichita, KS
$100 “Early-Bird Discount” if you register and pay in full on or before December 11, 2017 Early-Bird Rate
On or Before
December 11, 2017
On or After
December 12, 2017
General Registration $625 $725
  1. Accommodation costs are not included in the fees above.
  2. Recommended Accommodation: Hotel at Old Town 830 East First Wichita, KS 67202 (316) 267.4800 
    Group rate available, please mention you are with the University of California, San Diego.
  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)        $75

Partial Payments

Partial payments are acceptable; however a non-refundable and non-transferable 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 program 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 and non-transferable deposit) will be made for cancellations submitted in writing on or before a date 30 days prior to the start of the program. 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.