Professional Training

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Online Training Starts February 2021

Online 18 month professional training programme in teaching MBSR and MBCT will start in February 2021 and run to September 2022

‘The diploma was an excellent investment for me both personally and professionally. The course was largely experiential and therefore provided a supportive environment to develop my own practice and engage in self-reflection. Throughout the course I had great opportunity to observe and practice teaching MBIs which I have since applied to my work teaching third-level students and working with organisations who wish to promote well-being.’
Dr. Sarah-Jane Cullinane, Assistant Professor in HRM and Organisational Behaviour Trinity Business School Trinity College Dublin
‘I enrolled on the Diploma in Mindfulness Based Interventions in January 2016 … and it was a life changing experience which is difficult to describe. Learning the skill of living in the moment, [understanding] the tricks of the mind, the meaning of compassion and empathy, learning to trust in the moment to moment joy of living – Josephine and Helen are extraordinarily skilled in bringing students on a personal journey in a steady, supportive, fun and, where it is necessary to growth, challenging way. The many gifted teachers who also guided us on the journey are as inspiring as they are brilliant. I cannot recommend this course highly enough, it will challenge and delight in equal measure.’
Blathnaid Bergin, Director, The Business of Food.
‘I obtained a Diploma in Teaching Mindfulness-based Interventions from the Mindfulness Centre In 2017. The training had a very strong focus on supported experiential learning in terms of personal practice and applying this to teaching others from a more authentic and embodied approach. Helen and Josephine fostered a warm and caring environment and there was a lightness and humour also to their teaching which helped us all to be our truest selves. Undertaking the course took considerable commitment and, exactly like the practice of mindfulness itself, was challenging at times, but the learning was extremely rich and life changing. I would do it again in a heartbeat!’
Martin Towey MSc, BA mod, Dip MBI, Neurological Physiotherapist, Dublin.

As this programme requires a certain amount of life experience we invite applications from people over 25 years old.

Note on Corona Virus: Given the uncertainty around the Corona Virus and the timing around the lifting of social distancing restrictions,  this training will now be delivered online.  We are all having to learn to adapt in these strange times, and yet we want to respond creatively, so that we can to continue to grow, learn and even thrive.

Schedule of Dates:


  • Block 1: February 27th & 28th
  • Small Group Seminar Pod Meetings: March
  • Block 2: April 17th & 18th
  • Block 3: May 22nd and 23rd
  • Block 4: June 19th & 20th 2021
  • 7-Day Silent Mindfulness Meditation Retreat with Christina Feldman and John Peacock : August 14th – 20th.  (We are still hopeful that this retreat may be residential rather than online.)
  • Block 5: Sept 18th & 19th
  • Block 6: October 16th & 17th
  • Small Group Seminar Pod Meetings: November
  • Block 7: December 5th & 6th


  • Small Group Seminar Pod Meetings: January
  • Block 8: February 12th & 13th
  • Small Group Seminar Pod Meetings: March
  • Block 9: April 2nd & 3rd
  • Block 10: May 21st & 22nd
  • Block 11: June 4th & 5th
  • Option to attend 7-day Silent Teacher-led Residential Retreat at a reduced rate: August 2022 (venue and dates tbc)
  • Block 12: September 18th & 19th

Teaching days will usually begin at 9.30 and consist of 3 blocks of 1.5 hours each + 1 final hour:  9.30-11am, 11.30am-1.00pm, 2.00-3.30pm and 4-5pm.

Programme Goals:

  • To offer teacher training of the highest quality in line with best international practice and good practice guidelines;
  • To cover all that is necessary and important in the preparation of teachers intending to work in this dynamic and exciting field;
  • To support participants in furthering their personal understanding and deepening their practice of mindfulness;
  • To support trainee teachers in developing a deep understanding of the MBSR/MBCT curricula from the inside out;
  • To provide a growing community of support for participants in this pioneering field.

The Programme Includes:

  • The History of Mindfulness – how Western science now understands mindfulness and the brain;
  • Research in contemporary Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity – how the brain can change;
  • Understanding implicit and explicit bias and how mindfulness allows us more choice;
  • Understanding the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of the mind on auto-pilot;
  • Learning the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) curriculum in depth, and an introduction to the MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) curriculum and learning how to deliver them effectively;
  • The use of Mindfulness in Clinical Practice;
  • Adapting Mindfulness to match the needs of group context;
  • Mindfulness and Trauma;
  • Principals of pedagogy and andragogy;
  • Group dynamics.

There are 8 Components in this Training Programme:

  1. 12 online weekend teaching blocks.   We will be meeting approximately every month over the course of the training. Dates are posted below.
  2. A 7-day Residential Silent Meditation Retreat led by Christina Feldman and John Peacock, internationally renowned teachers and co-founders of The Bodhi College (  (We hope that this retreat will go ahead as a residential, but if this is not possible it will go online).
  3. Small seminar ‘pods’ to meet by Zoom in the months when the larger group is not meeting (except for July 2021 and 2022).  These are practice and study groups and are facilitated by faculty members.
  4. Apprenticeship-style teaching model with experienced MBSR/MBCT teacher mentor.
  5. Daily personal mindfulness practice of 45 minutes or more; written and recorded assignments, reading and study.
  6. Trainee teachers are expected to develop a daily body awareness practice such as Hatha Yoga, T’ai Chi, Qi Gung, 5 Rhythms Dance etc. and, if necessary, to attend an appropriate class local to them.
  7. Assessment will be based on the submission of video of the student teaching a full 8-week MBSR or MBCT course, under supervision, using the ‘Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Teacher Assessment Criteria’ (MBI:TAC). This instrument was developed at Bangor, Oxford and Exeter Universities, led by Dr. Rebecca Crane and is now regarded as the gold standard in assessing mindfulness teachers. The Directors and lead faculty of The Mindfulness Centre have been fully trained in its use by Dr. Crane. The recordings will be accompanied by a written reflection on the teaching of the course, recordings of the main practices and a copy of the handbook prepared for your course participants. You need to show readiness to teach in all of the domains of the MBI:TAC to be awarded your Diploma.
  8. Mentoring for your practice where this is deemed helpful, and supervision for your teaching.

The Faculty & Visiting Teachers:

All our teachers are highly experienced practitioners and teachers of mindfulness, both Irish and international, and experts in the fields of teaching mindfulness-based interventions, the research behind them and the Eastern and Western psychologies underpinning them.  Among them will be: Christina Feldman, John Peacock, Niamh Barrett, Fiona O’Donnell, Dominic Cogan,  Alvina Cassidy, Dr Sarah-Jane Cullinane, Niamh Digan, Sarah Silverton, Emma Philbin Bowman, Marian Hughes, Dr Elma Hedderman, Dr Alistair Wilson, Trish Haugh, Dr Terry Hyland, Josephine Lynch & Helen Byrne.

Click Here for biographies of the faculty

Our Philosophy:

This training programme is founded on the premise that learning to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction and/or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy requires a long and sustained engagement. The kind of training we offer suits people who are willing to engage deeply in both a personal and a professional development process, not just over the 18 months of training, but on into the future. This involves a high degree of personal commitment. We offer the same commitment to our own practice, our on-going training, and to our teacher trainees. Achieving the Diploma comes with a personal and professional responsibility to continue deepening one’s understanding and teaching capacity through ongoing mentoring and supervision, continuing education and self-reflection.

Emma Philbin Bowman says: “This training goes beyond being a technical training in teaching the 8 week course. It is also an opportunity to spend 18 months within an intimate community of students deepening their relationship with mindfulness in a richly human process that supports personal development. The training is rooted within the Irish cultural context, and because it is offered outside of academia and over a substantial period of time, has a unique flavour that nourishes students and allows for a genuinely integrated process of learning within authentic community.”

Click Here to download a PDF of the course brochure.

Click Here to download an application form.

For expressions of interest or for more information please contact:


“Helen and Josephine bring all of their heart and wisdom to teaching and training others to teach mindfulness. I have been personally blessed to know them as students and as colleagues.” Melissa Myozen Blacker, Roshi, Guiding Teacher and Abbot, Boundless Way Zen, Worcester, MA 01602 USA. From 1993 until 2012 Melissa was the Associate Director of the University of Massachusetts Centre for Mindfulness and Director of professional training programs at the Center.

“I have worked for several years with both Helen Byrne and Josephine Lynch. While I haven’t experienced their trainings directly, I have had supervisees working with them as well as my personal experience as colleagues. They do top notch work, holding both the didactic aspects and, more importantly, encouraging folks to bring all of themselves to the work. Great to have them both as friends and colleagues” Pam Erdmann, M. Ed., Senior Teacher Trainer and Supervisor at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts and Visiting Teacher to Bangor University’s Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice since 2003.

“Josephine and Helen have engaged in developing their skills for a decade and with teachers who themselves trained with the originators of modern day mindfulness such as Jon Kabat-Zin and Mark Williams. As all good trainers do, they continue to engage in learning and development for their personal and teaching practices. As a result the integrity and skill of what they offer shines through their training. People training with them can feel confident that they will become part of an informed, ethical, professional team working around the world to share mindfulness.” Sarah Silverton M.Ed., now an independent mindfulness teacher and trainer, Sarah was a senior teacher in the CFMRP at Bangor University from 2008 until 2017.

Student testimonials:

“The personal open integrity and generosity as trainers from both Josephine and Helen facilitated a grounded depth in my own personal mindfulness practice and equipped each of us with a solid teaching competency. I looked forward eagerly to each learning opportunity provided in the teacher training course and appreciate the clear understanding and experience of teaching mindfulness received in a warm, safe setting with plenty of laughter involved also! Having completed the teacher training course with Helen and Josephine and presently enjoying teaching MBSR/MBCT I can highly recommend it to anyone intending to pursue professional mindfulness teaching training.” Maria M.Sc. Counselling