Mindfulness Teacher Training

Many of us who have benefited so powerfully from the cultivation of mindfulness in our lives feel a deep calling to share these healing practices with others. The Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness (MAM) values training and education. Evidence is mounting that trained mindfulness teachers produce better outcomes for the people we serve. To this end, MAM offers the following training resources:

200 Hour MTT Erik.jpgThe Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness 200-Hour Mindfulness Teacher Training (MTT) Certification Program is designed to prepare aspiring mindfulness teachers to deliver basic group mindfulness training with diverse populations in a safe and inclusive manner. The curriculum offers support and guidance to individuals who wish to bring mindfulness into their workspaces, communities, or institutions. We consider this to be the minimum level of training that teachers should complete in order to teach general group mindfulness safely and inclusively

This program is designed to meet current standards for basic group mindfulness teaching, including a combination of didactics, self-study/reflection, and practice. MTT students meet one full weekend per month over a period of ten months. A certificate is provided to those who successfully complete all MTT requirements.

Our program follows International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA) “professional level” standards and includes aspects of the MBI:TAC. This training program is not sufficient for teaching Mindfulness Based Interventions/Programs such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindful Self-Compassion, etc.

Teacher Trainers

Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT-200
Sydney Spears, PhD, LCSW, RYT-200
Angie Hardage, LMLP
Erik Hulse

Program Dates & Times

Third full weekend of each month of the training year January – October: Fridays 6-8 pm, Saturdays & Sundays 9 am-noon & 1-4:30 pm

  1. Jan: Mindfulness Studies: Roots, Science & Fundamentals
  2. Feb: Attitudes of Mindfulness & Embodiment
  3. Mar: Compassion & Ethics in Mindfulness Training
  4. April: Teaching Meditation to Groups
  5. May: Teaching Mindful Movement to Groups
  6. June: Trauma Informed Teaching & Safety
  7. July: Languaging & Group Inquiry
  8. Aug: Working with Diverse Populations & Community Building
  9. Sept: Other Mindfulness Practices & Contemporary Applications
  10. Oct: Professional Development & Bringing It All Together


  1. Deepen personal development as a mindfulness practitioner and embodiment of the practices & attitudes in daily life
  2. Develop skills, attitudes, and knowledge to facilitate the safe and inclusive teaching of mindfulness skills to diverse groups, including guiding group practice instruction and inquiry and leading silent, non-residential retreats.
  3. Demonstrate the importance of personal integrity and ethical standards in teaching mindfulness to others
  4. Understand the importance of good practice guidelines for mindfulness teachers and how they impact quality of programs and outcomes for participants


In order to be eligible for MAM’s 200-hour training program, applicants must have a consistent personal mindfulness practice of at least one year and have attended a teacher led silent meditation retreat of any length before starting our program.

**Though completion of our program doesn’t guarantee you will be accepted by the IMTA (through their alternative pathway), applicants who are interested in pursuing that certification may wish to also complete a couple of additional pre-requisites above and beyond what MAM requires:

  • Attend at least 1 mindfulness meditation retreat of a minimum of 5 days with a qualified instructor. More than 1 retreat is highly recommended. Your MAM teacher trainers will let you know which retreats they will be offering or attending during the year of your training if you wish to join them, but this is at your own personal expense. You can also contact us for recommendations.
  • Participate in a Mindfulness Based Program (MBP) such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or equivalent (MBCT, MBRP, MSC).

Required Reading

Tuition Payment Options

$100 of the tuition is non-refundable upon acceptance into program, a full refund will be provided in the case of non-acceptance. No refunds 30 days or less before the start of the program. Click the appropriate link below to register and pay. You will be emailed the application upon registration. 

Early-Bird Fees: Application deadline last day of September before midnight before training year begins.

Standard Fees: Application deadline last day of November before midnight before training year begins.

Two Installment Option

  1. Jan-May $1600 MAM members, $1800 Non-members (Application deadline last day of November before midnight before the training year begins)
  2. June-Oct same as above (Payment deadline May training weekend)

MAM hopes to train and reach members of underrepresented or vulnerable populations in an effort to increase program accessibility and promote equal opportunity. In accordance with our mission, vision and values, a 75% fee reduction ($550 for members, $625 for non-members) is available for up to 3 applicants who hold cultural identities/intersections that are underrepresented in mindfulness training such as:

  • Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders
  • People of Color and/or Visual Minorities
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual people
  • People who reside in an identified high poverty area

Once you have made your payment, the standard application will be emailed to you. In addition to the standard application, a personal essay is required documenting how you meet the above criteria. Priority will be given to applicants who plan to take mindfulness into underrepresented or vulnerable communities – if this is your intention, please include your plans in the essay.

The deadline for submitting your application and scholarship essay is the last day of September (before the training year begins) and applicants will be notified of their status by the last day of November. A full refund will be provided to applicants who are not selected.

Mindfulness-Mentorship.jpgApproved Mentoring

Some of our teachers are are approved mentors through the University of California San Diego Mindfulness Based Professional Training Institute (MBPTI). According to the MBPTI, one-on-one mentorship is seen as a key component of development for new, as well as experienced teachers of Mindfulness-Based programs. The MBPTI defines mentorship as: “A contractual arrangement between a mentor and mentee which focuses on a mentee’s mindfulness-based teaching in secular settings and supports the ongoing development of personal practice. The purpose of this arrangement is to promote competency and best practice skills for teaching mindfulness in secular settings and to encourage the relevance of applying the principles of mindfulness in everyday life”.

UCSD-approved mentors agree to a standard hourly rate of $155 (those who can demonstrate financial hardship may be eligible for reduced rates). Mentees must have completed a training intensive in their program of interest and have a course scheduled with at least 8 participants enrolled in which all participants have agreed to recording and observation. Before contacting us for an initial consult, please carefully review the Training Pathway and Mentorship Document Packet for your particular program:

Other Teacher Training Programs Throughout the US

Mindfulness Teacher Training & Best Practices

  • The Meditation Safety Training Toolbox contains documents, protocols and best practice guidelines from the UMASS Center for Mindfulness, Bangor and Oxford Mindfulness Centers, and other mindfulness researchers.
  • Adverse Experiences Guide – Cheetah House is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources about meditation-related difficulties to meditators-in-distress and providers or teachers of meditation-based modalities.

There is no one regulatory body overseeing the professional context for mindfulness-based teaching. Many mindfulness-based teachers work within the context of their root profession (i.e. a health professional or a school teacher is bound by their professional regulatory body), and this gives some protection for both teacher and course participant. However, it is also important for a mindfulness course participant to have the confidence that their teacher has done the necessary preparation for the specific nature of this work. It is relatively easy for people who do not have the recommended credentials to set up as a teacher; and it becomes confusing for those wanting to access a well-qualified teacher to know how to judge the quality of their potential teacher. – Oxford Mindfulness Centre