Mindfulness Instructor Training

This training is intended for individuals who want to teach mindfulness skills (e.g., mental health clinicians, university staff, nutritionists, clergy, coaches, and volunteers bringing mindfulness-based programs into schools, jails, prisons, & other social justice programs).
This instructor training course is largely experiential, but does include weekly readings to support an understanding of the pedagogy of mindfulness instruction and to support an understanding of the philosophical and spiritual roots of secular mindfulness curriculums. This course will take participants through the processes necessary to teach a mindfulness-based program.  To be a mindfulness-based teacher is more than delivering a protocol; it is, essentially, a mindfulness practice, and to capture the essence of teaching mindfulness-based programs, participants will learn to embody a mindful attitude while teaching in contrast to the more typical approach to lecturing from the intellect.
  • Learn to guide the core mindfulness practices found in the secular mindfulness training, Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams.
  • Learn the essentials of asking questions to investigate meditation experiences.
  • Develop and refine your own practice of embodied mindfulness.
  • Enhance your capacity for applying mindfulness in your personal and professional life.
  • Understand the historical context of contemporary mindfulness approaches.
  • Contribute to bringing mindfulness-skills into the emerging 21st-century culture.
  • Integrate mindfulness exercises into volunteer and professional activities such as education, social justice, counseling, ministry, and business.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have:

  • Completed the U of I Mindfulness Training 8-week class or equivalent
  • A minimum of 1-year of regular mindfulness meditation practice

Exceptions concerning these requirements are at the discretion of Dr. Menard

Application

  • Email the following to Cmenard@illinois.edu
    • Vita/resume
    • A brief essay of no more than 500 words addressing the following questions: How has mindfulness meditation had an impact on your life? What is your current mindfulness practice?  Why do you want to take the instructor course?  Also include when you completed the 8-week U of I Mindfulness Training class, 10-week Finding Peace in a Frantic World class, or equivalent and who taught the class.

Logistics

  • 10-week training meets for 2-hours each week
  • Tuesdays 8:30 – 10:30am, May 25th through July 27th, 2021
  • Cost: $800
  • Location: Online via Zoom
  • Instructor: Christopher Menard, PsyD
  • CEU’s are available upon request

Expectations

  • This is course is a significant investment of time. In addition to weekly classes, participants will need to prepare for each week’s instructor training class by:
    • engaging in daily mindfulness practices from Finding Peace in a Frantic World (FPFW) 
    • completing assigned weekly readings to foster an understanding of the pedagogy of teaching mindfulness and to foster an understanding of the philosophical and spiritual roots of secular mindfulness ( 2 – 3 articles/book chapters are assigned each week)
    • meeting with a classmate weekly online or in-person to practice facilitating FPFW meditations (1 – 1.5 hr/week)
  • Participants are encouraged to attend mindfulness retreats every year to support the building of a strong foundation of practice to support teaching.  Retreat options can be found at these locations: Insight ChicagoIMS, and Spirit Rock.

Email questions to Dr. Christopher Menard at Cmenard@illinois.edu