Standards for Retreat Leaders

The UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations is considering developing guidelines for leaders of retreats for mindfulness-based teachers. Our own Good Practice Guidelines are outlined below and have been developed in consultation with the UK Network.

Retreat leaders should:

  • meet UK Network Good Practice Guidelines for Training Mindfulness-based Teachers or co-deliver with a colleague who meets this guidance. Please note: There is recognition that there is a cohort of highly-skilled senior leaders of retreats for mindfulness-based teachers who do not meet this criteria, but who have strongly engaged with and contributed to the emerging mindfulness-based field. This group is actively engaging with the training of the next generation of retreat leaders who are drawn from the mindfulness-based programme trainer context.
  • have had thorough training in the theoretical frameworks from both the contemporary and Buddhist context for mindfulness
  • have engaged in mentoring of personal mindfulness practice
  • have engaged in personal mindfulness retreats over an extended period of years
  • have trained as an apprentice alongside an experienced retreat leader
  • have well-developed competencies in:
    • holding and working skillfully and responsively with group process
    • interpersonal and relational skills
    • understanding and supporting others to work with the range of meditative states that develop in retreat contexts
    • constructing and delivering talks on mindfulness practice
    • teaching and communication skills
    • holding ethical principles that support safety in a residential mindfulness practice context
    • working with mental health challenges and vulnerabilities
    • re-contextualising the teaching from contemplative traditions into mainstream language and contexts