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