Mindfulness-Awareness Meditation Instructors Training Course

Flowers, Purple, Lavender, Blossom

The Mindfulness-Awareness Meditation Instructors Training Course (MAMITC) will launch in September 2022 and run until June 2023, culminating with a 5-Day in-person Silent Retreat in July.

This is a hybrid course combining Mindfulness-Awareness meditation, secular Mindfulness with very little reference to religion, ritual, and foreign terms, and applied Mindfulness—where the rubber meets the road.

After practicing Mindfulness for some time, we begin to see the positive influence it’s having on our lives. We don’t want to keep it to ourselves! We want to share it with friends, colleagues, and family. But there is a catch. To impart the instruction properly, we should be an authorized meditation instructor. After all, we are working with people’s minds! It seems like a pretty simple process, but there needs to be knowledge and experience behind the instruction. It’s like an iceberg: the tip is showing, while most of it is out of sight.

This course was developed to give students the background in Mindfulness they will need to be able to give accurate instruction, answer questions appropriately, guide students, encourage them to deepen their all-important personal Mindfulness practice, and give Mindfulness presentations and talks.

Who is it for?                Anyone who is:

  • Open to learning something new.
  • Interested in giving Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Awareness meditation instruction and / or presentations, or would like to receive a thorough education and training in Mindfulness.
  • Interested in learning the content covered in this curriculum.
  • Interested in learning how Mindfulness-Awareness meditation relates to everyday life.

Prerequisites:                All of the following:

  • A meditation practitioner for at least two years.
  • Daily (or almost daily) practitioner.
  • Completed a minimum of 5 days of retreat in the last two years.
  • A letter of support from a meditation instructor / teacher.

The training consists of

  • 42 weekly 1.5 hr. sessions on Zoom
  • 6  1.5-hr. sessions in two weekend intensives (In-Person; also available on Zoom)
  • 10-hr. mentoring: in group and 1-on-1 (Zoom)
  • 10 1-hr Book Study sessions (Zoom)
  • Total for above instruction: 101 hr.
  • Links to relevant articles and videos, sent by email
  • Meditation Retreats: 5 Days In-Person (July), and 2 days on Zoom
  • Total for above retreats: 56 hr.
  • Access to Slack server (communications)
  • Demonstration of meditation instruction / presentation of Mindfulness
  • Meditation instruction and presentation of Mindfulness in the community: 10 hr.
  • Certificates of Completion will be issued, pending satisfactory attendance and completion of test in the last sessions
  • Total time for instruction, retreats, and community service: 167 hr.

Notable:

  • Andrew Safer’s (Mindfulness Teacher’s) experience both as a Mindfulness practitioner (53 years) and authorized meditation instructor (28 years).
  • A Mindfulness-Awareness orientation is unusual for this type of program.
  • Significant retreat time distinguishes this program from others.
  • Participants engage with the instructor, the material, and their peers in real time, as opposed to watching videos. This allows for live Q & A, adapting to evolving situations, and relationship building.
  • Unlike programs that deliver the training intensively over weekends or in short time frames, MAMITC spans 10 months. Our belief is that maintaining a practice and study routine over this time frame facilitates integration of both the practice and the material that is presented.

The Session Topics Follow:

Literature, A Book, Adult Education

MODULE 1: GETTING TO KNOW THE MIND

Session #1: Mindfulness vs. Mindlessness – Breath Awareness
Session #2: Mindfulness-Awareness Meditation / Roots
Session #3: Basic Goodness
Session #4: Six Non-Egocentric Actions I
Session #5: Six Non-Egocentric Actions II
Session #6: Loving-Kindness
Session #7: Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Session #8:   Mindful Listening / Communication & Relationships

MODULE 2: LIVING QUALITIES OF MINDFULNESS & AWARENESS

Session #9: Compassion: The Impulse to Alleviate Suffering
Session #10: Healthy Relationship with Thoughts I
Session #11: Healthy Relationship with Thoughts II
Session #12: Healthy Relationship with Feelings/Emotions I
Session #13: Healthy Relationship with Feelings/Emotions II
Session #14: Fear & Fearlessness I
Session #15: Fear & Fearlessness II    
Session #16: Outbreath / Space
Session #17: Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Body
Session #18: Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Life
Session #19: Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Effort
Session #20: Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Mind
Session #21: Practice Review 

MODULE 3: FROM SELF-CENTEREDNESS TO MINDFULNESS & ANXIETY

Session #22: The Obstacle of Self-Centeredness
Session #23: The Four Noble Truths
Session #24: Ethics of a Meditation Instructor / Teacher
Session #25: Science & Research on Mindfulness
Session #26: Mindfulness & Digital Distraction Minefield 1
Session #27: Mindfulness & Digital Distraction Minefield 11
Session #28: Thinking of Others
Session #29: Health Care Applications of Mindfulness    
Session #30: Trauma-Informed Mindfulness           
Session #31: Mindfulness & Education
Session #32: Mindfulness & Anxiety

MODULE 4: FROM APPLICATIONS TO MEDITATION INSTRUCTOR’S ROLE

Session #33: Applied Mindfulness
Session #34: Developing an Applied Mindfulness Workshop
Session #35: Your Workshop: Getting Feedback
Session #36: Giving Meditation Instruction: Key Elements
Session #37: Working with a Group
Session #38: Mindfulness & Stress 1
Session #39: Mindfulness & Stress 2
Session #40: Mindfulness & Addictions
Session #41: Obstacles & Antidotes; Mechanics of Sitting Practice
Session #42: Meditation Instructor’s Role 

            Book, Read, Woman, Reading Glasses

Book Study & Discussion

By studying, reading, and discussing selected books, your understanding of key Mindfulness principles and teachings will deepen.

The following books are recommended for purchase (* = required)

*Carroll, Michael, Awake at Work (Boston: Shambhala), 2004.

*Chodron, Pema, When Things Fall Apart (Boston: Shambhala), 2016.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon, Wherever You Go, There You Are (New York:   Hyperion), 2005.                                                                          Levine, Stephen, A Gradual Awakening (New York: Anchor Books),    1979.                                                                                            Neff, Kristin, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to       Yourself (New York: William Morrow Paperback Edition), 2012.
*Safer, Andrew, Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Wellness (Wimberly, Texas: 2nd Tier Publishing), 2018.
*Trungpa, Chogyam, Mindfulness in Action (Boston: Shambhala),   2015.

We will be reading and discussing sections from:

  • Awake at Work by Michael Carroll
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
  • Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness by Andrew Safer
  • Mindfulness in Action by Chogyam Trungpa

Mentoring

Participants will have both one-on-one time and group time with a mentor, a flesh-and-blood resource who will guide you and provide feedback.

Beneficial Health Effects

A significant amount of evidence-based research shows beneficial outcomes for Mindfulness Training in a variety of applications, ranging from anxiety and depression to overwhelm and burnout. The case for the beneficial health effects of Mindfulness has become quite compelling, which has, more and more, brought this practice into the mainstream. In many ways, our world is upside-down and seriously mixed-up!…and the relevance of Mindfulness continues to grow. One could argue that the need has never been greater. There is no question that individuals with proper training, who exert and apply themselves compassionately, will be able to do a great deal of good in this world that needs so much help.

Nuts and Bolts

This course is Zoom-based (with the exception of one intensive weekend program), so students can participate from any location where there is Internet access, either by computer, smartphone, or tablet. A melding of individual effort and collective identity supports the momentum of the group going forward. We will agree to confidentiality, which covers any and all personal and sensitive information shared within the group.

Secular / Outbreath

This course has a Mindfulness-Awareness focus in a secular context, with the exception of key principles and teachings from the Buddhist tradition. The outbreath orientation in sitting practice imbues much of the content that is presented.

Andrew Safer Bio

Andrew Safer

Andrew began practicing mindfulness in the Zen tradition in California at age 15 after being introduced to Shunryu Suzuki, Roshi, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, and switched to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition at age 20. He studied with Chogyam Trungpa in Colorado for 14 years, founder of the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America–Naropa University. Andrew participated in a three-month intensive meditation practice and study program in Colorado. He moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1987, where he became an authorized meditation instructor through Shambhala International in 1993. He has given Mindfulness-Awareness meditation instruction to thousands of students since.

Applied Mindfulness

In 2008, Andrew and his wife, Catherine, moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 2010, he began presenting a 6-week Mindfulness workshop series at the Family Life Bureau, Archdiocese of St. John’s, and subsequently developed and implemented Mindfulness workshops for Addictions, Anxiety and Stress, Depression, and Suicide Prevention, as well as for Youth, High School Students and Prison Inmates. He has conducted his Workplace Mindfulness program with university staff, faculty, and students; police; engineers and geoscientists; and healthcare managers.

Ongoing Practice

After presenting his first Mindfulness workshop series, it was obvious that people needed a supportive environment for ongoing meditation practice. In 2011, Andrew started leading weekly meditation and book discussion sessions, which continues to this day. In addition, he leads a 7-day silent Summer Retreat, and 2-day Fall and Winter Retreats each year.

Safer Mindfulness (www.safermindfulness.com) is the company Andrew founded in 2014.

Partners

Safer Mindfulness partners on programs in Mental Health and Addictions and the Workplace with Dr. Janna Rosales, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Canadian Mental Health Association—Newfoundland and Labrador; and Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland and Labrador. Individual psychiatrists, psychologists, and other health care professionals refer clients to Andrew’s programs.

Writing

Andrew has worked as a freelance writer for 27 years, specializing in writing business and technology-related articles for magazines. He has written four books, including two biographies, a violence-prevention curriculum, and Anxiety, Stress & Mindfulness: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Wellness (2nd Tier Publishing, 2018).

Andrew received CHANNAL’s Hope Award for empowering others in 2017. (CHANNAL is the Consumers’ Health Awareness Network Newfoundland and Labrador.)

Outcomes

Outcomes from his programs are posted here: https://safermindfulness.com/outcomes/

Note: Kathy Porter will be conducting some of the mentoring and book study/discussion sessions.

Kathy Porter Bio

Kathy Porter has been studying and practicing Mindfulness- Awareness Meditation for the past 11 years, and has been a meditation instructor for 5 years. She has participated in and helped to organize annual week-long silent retreats, led by Andrew, as well as regular shorter retreats throughout the year.

She has also served as a mentor for Andrew’s Mindfulness and Depression workshop series, as well as for the first-ever local program on Mindfulness and Suicide Prevention. Before her retirement, Kathy worked with the  CBC in Newfoundland and Labrador in various journalistic roles, including reporter, host and producer.

 

Program Cost: $2,855.00

  • $250.00 Deposit +
  • $260.50 / month for 10 months (September – June) (no interest)
  • This amount covers program expenses