Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), now in its 40th year of relieving suffering on a variety of psychological and physical levels, is the most evidence based meditative, mind-body approach to health, well-being and ease in the midst of all that goes on in our lives. We know that MBSR has been taught all over the world, translated in many languages, and offered in medical centers, schools, businesses, prisons, a variety of non-profit organizations, and diverse organizations showing cross cultural benefits. We are expanding the reach of this program into leadership training for MBSR teachers from diverse and undeserved communities and especially at the senior and certified level.
The Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness (UC San Diego MBPTI) has been granted funding to support a cohort of 16-18 people from diverse communities all the way through certification as a beginning of deepening the Diversity Equity and Inclusion journey within the larger MBSR communities. Our intention is to provide scholarships in support of building a larger group of MBSR teachers who are dedicated to serving communities most in need. We believe that by focusing our efforts on training teachers who are dedicated to social justice, we will enable these potentially life-transforming programs to ultimately reach a wider, more diverse, and underserved audience in new and creative ways.
The UC San Diego MBPTI is passionate about this effort. The Managing Director of the Center, Noriko Morita Harth is one of the Certified MBSR teachers and has upheld a long-standing commitment to diversity in mindfulness. Luis Morones, a Certified MBSR teacher offers MBSR in Spanish. Luis is also an MBSR mentor for others teaching in Spanish. Along with Noriko and Luis, two MBSR teachers Nana Panyin Korantema Pierce Williams Ayeboafo and John Taylor will be on the teacher training bench for this cohort. Nana Korantemah Pierce Williams is a highly qualified mindfulness teacher as well as an educator, counselor, and senior priest practitioner, (Nana Okomfo Panyin) in the Akom Tradition, Gha-na, West Africa. John, who is also a highly qualified mindfulness teacher is an active member of the Greater Richmond community where the primary focus of his work has been on racial equity and reconciliation initiatives, as well as facilitated community dialogues.
Beth Mulligan who trained in MBSR with Jon Kabat-Zinn and other senior teachers at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness (where MBSR was first developed) since 2003 will be the lead trainer of this MBSR Teacher Training. Beth is an international Teacher Trainer, and the author of The Dharma of Modern Mindfulness. Beth is a Senior Advisor for MBSR Teacher Certification Program at the UC San Diego MBPTI, and co-project manager for this vital endeavor. She has a long history of working with people of diverse backgrounds which has been a lifelong pursuit. Beth is also involved in the National Institute of Health research on the benefits of MBSR for Parents of children with Autism. This study reaches low income families of many races and is offered in Spanish as well. Trainers of this program will include senior teachers from many diverse ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds.
Who is eligible?
Please consider applying if you meet following criteria:
- having a personal meditation practice of a minimum of 2 years
- having taken an 8-week MBSR as a participant (required)
- If you haven’t taken an 8-week MBSR and are planning to take one, please list dates, location and the name of the teachers of the class you are registered. An 8-week MBSR must be completed by July 31, 2020.
- having an experience of a residential silent retreat of a minimum of 5 nights (6 days)
- If you have taken an 8-week MBSR and have financial barriers to attending a silent retreat, there are resources for that as well. See the application for more information on this.
- having a body movement practice (Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, etc.)
- having experience and skills with working with diverse multicultural populations and communities
- having an interest in teaching an 8-week MBSR to communities most impacted by injustice, economic oppression and structural racism in the U.S.A.
- having a background in clinical work is a plus but not mandatory as is experience in working with groups.
This is a multi-phase process, and there is funding to take you to qualified and/or certified teacher status. Please review the complete MBSR Teacher Qualification and Certification pathway.
If you are accepted, anything you can financially contribute to your teacher training will be greatly appreciated and allow us to extend the funding to more people. If you have access to other funding sources, we’re happy to discuss partnering with them.
If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Noriko Morita Harth and Beth Mulligan will be available to answer them.