The Training Program

ANNOUNCING!

Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program is a 2-Year professional online training program for teaching awareness and compassion-based practices with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. (information available now at the above link for this online class that starts in fall 2018)

If this is something you feel drawn to, one of the prerequisites is taking the online “Power of Awareness” course. We are very excited about this program, which includes the teachings and practices that form the core of our work, and will be the basis for the upcoming teacher training. You might also explore the reading list below.

The Power of Awareness course is offered periodically through SoundsTrue.com and we’d be delighted to have you with us! The course will be offered again starting January 2018, with registration open now.


About the MTTI:

What did graduates learn? MTTI’s curriculum included explorations of basic Buddhist teachings and practices; the interface of meditation with western psychology and cutting-edge science; the development of teaching skills and guidance in establishing classes and workshops.  Specific content included:

  • Teachings on suffering, its origins, and how to find deep freedom in our lives
  • Primary domains of mindfulness training (awareness of body, feelings, emotions, and mind states)
  • Meditation and reverence for life (ethical or virtuous living)
  • Engaged spirituality—transforming consciousness and helping heal our earth’s environment, social injustice, violence and other expressions of suffering in our world
  • Exploration of the concept of “self,” and how our understanding and view of self-identity affects our happiness and inner freedom
  • Exploration of the concept of “impermanence,” and how the direct experience of our changing world can free us from attachment and delusion
  • Core Practices – mindfulness, body scans, mindful movement, concentration, inquiry, open awareness, and heart meditations (forgiveness, compassion, loving kindness, joy, and peace)
  • Applications of meditation to physical pain, emotional challenges, relational difficulties, and interpersonal conflict
  • Skill building in giving talks, conducting individual and small group sessions with students and responding to questions; understanding and facility in handling ethical issues in teaching
  • A familiarity with research findings and current literature on the effects of meditation
  • Cultivating community; designing and promoting classes and workshops

How was the program organized? The two-year training was offered in six four-month cycles.  Each cycle investigated particular areas of study and practice, and focused on both deepening understanding of the teachings and practices, and building teaching skills.  There was an assigned reading list, and reading and practice between meetings was expected. The training took place through evening and weekend group gatherings, and individual meetings with teachers. This included:

  • 8 weekend retreats (one every three months)
  • 1 Full group session a month (2-5:30 on a Sunday afternoon)
  • Small peer group meetings once a month
  • 4 individual meetings with teachers over course of program

In addition to direct participation described above, participants were expected to initiate a mindfulness class in the venue of their choosing to share and  demonstrate their growing skill set.

They also committed to attending at least one or more weeklong residential meditation retreats during the duration of the two years.

Who was qualified to participate? The most basic criterion for enrolling in MTTI’s two-year meditation teacher training program was a love for meditation, a regular practice, and a commitment to serving others.  They were eligible to apply if they had:

  • Completed an introductory course in mindfulness or insight meditation
  • Practiced meditation daily for a minimum of two years
  • Attended at least one weeklong mindfulness/insight meditation retreat
  • Received a recommendation from a teacher who knew them and was recognized by the MTTI faculty

What was required to receive certification? Certification was at the sole discretion of the MTTI faculty.  Successful completion of the program was based on attending and participating in the sponsored events and the presentation of a log that tracked students’ practice and teaching experience throughout the program.  A key requirement for program completion was a successful initiation and teaching of a mindfulness offering at a venue approved by the MTTI faculty.

Graduates of the program are now certified as Teachers of Meditation.

The following is a list of books graduates were expected to read, along with other readings too lengthy to list here:

Ajahn Amaro, Small Boat Great Mountain

Analayo, Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization

Hilda Gutierrez Baldoquin, Dharma, Color, and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism

James Baraz, Awakening Joy:  10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness

Bikkhu Bodhi, In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon

Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Fred Eppsteiner, The Path of Compassion

Christina Feldman, Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World

Joseph Goldstein, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism

Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation

Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English

Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius, Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom

Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Jack Kornfield, The Art of Forgiveness, Loving-kindness, and Peace

Jack Kornfield, The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology

Peter Levine, In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

Bikkhu Nanamoli and Bikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses: A Translation of The Majjhima Nikaya

Donald Rothberg, The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World

Sharon Salzberg, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Sharon Salzberg, The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love and Compassion

Nyanaponika Thera, Abhidhamma Studies: Buddhist Explorations of Consciousness and Time

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Spiritual Ecology- The Cry of the Earth

 

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