Teach Mindfulness with Attention, Values, Wisdom and an Open Heart

Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program

with optional additional Certificate as a Mindfulness in Recovery® Certified Teacher 

Applications will be available soon!

Program Dates – June 2020 – June 2021

Distance Learning with Two 5- Day Residential Retreats

at Mercy Retreat Center, in Auburn, California

Looking for the Personal Development Year Pathway? Find it HERE

With the MLP approach, mindfulness is much more than learning to be present in the moment. It is the ability to be present with clarity and discernment – to be able to experience life (events, people, thoughts, and emotions) consciously and respond with wisdom. Mindfulness includes and facilitates the ability to bring wisdom into the moments of your life, recognizing unhealthy habits and tendencies and cultivating the ability to make healthy choices that are in alignment with your values and the life you define as meaningful. Our mindfulness programs help participants develop clarity, mental and emotional balance and lead a meaningful life that is in alignment with their inner values. 

Secular mindfulness programs in the United States have been exploding in recent years. The increasing popularity has unfortunately produced a variety of teachings that dilute and misunderstand this important philosophy and approach to living. Mindfulness is often reduced to concentration exercises and a simplistic definition of being aware of the present moment. In many, or even most, secular presentations of mindfulness, it is taken out of the rich context of the Three Higher Trainings (ethics, concentration, and wisdom) of Buddhism in which it was originally taught. The Mindful Life Program mission is to maintain the substance of the entire teaching as a program that is accessible to people of all spiritual traditions or no spiritual tradition.

Drawing from years of training, personal practice and application in daily life, MLP provides participants with skills that are practical, accessible, and universal.

    • Practical – methods are effective and can be put into practice right away.
    • Accessible – clearly presented with tangible examples that make sense.
    • Universal – an inclusive program that can benefit anyone regardless of their culture, religion, spiritual path or philosophy. 

The Mindful Life Program (MLP) was co-founded by John Bruna and Mark Molony, bringing their rich and broad experiences and training to this comprehensive mindfulness program that integrates the four key areas of mindfulness:  attention, wisdom, values and an open heart.

If you are new to the Mindful Life Program, we encourage you to read about the instructors for the program here and learn about our courses. We also encourage you to read the reviews of The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life: The Essence of Mindfulness, written by John Bruna;  the reviews offer helpful context to the approach taken by the Mindful Life Program and its course curriculum. The book, which was released in August 2016, has become a companion to the Mindful Life Program courses.

A wonderful way to learn about the program and get to the opportunity to learn directly from co-founder John Bruna is our newly revised Four Keys to Living Mindfully online course.

Four Keys Online CourseBook 1







Mindful Life Program Teacher Certification

The Mindful Life Program Teacher Certification program is a one year training that provides participants with the opportunity to develop and embody their own mindfulness practice and become certified by MLP to teach the MLP Curriculum. There is an additional optional certification in the Mindfulness in Recovery® Program. As a participant in the Teacher Certification, you will be taught and mentored throughout the year directly by co-founders John Bruna and Mark Molony, and Executive Director, Laura Bartels. As a cohort, the group also actively engages in sharing exchanges on a regular basis for peer learning and support. The program includes both of the 5-day residential retreats, as well as distance learning throughout the year. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, teaching candidates will earn certification to teach the full 20-hour MLP Foundations Course as well as facilitate lectures and seminars on mindfulness. Participants are able to use the MLP Curriculum and resources and receive support after completion of the program. The training begins and concludes with a five-day retreat at the beautiful Mercy Retreat Center located on 33 acres in Auburn, California.

Overview of the Mindful Life Program Teacher Certification

*Includes additional option for Certificate as a Mindfulness in Recovery® Certified Teacher

  • 2 five-day residential workshops – to begin and end the year-long training
  • Teacher Training Manual, Companion Journal, and coursework
  • One-year membership in one of our online mindfulness communities
  • Daily practices including mindfulness and meditation practices and self-reflection
  • Reading, written and group assignments
  • Monthly group live online class with instructors
  • Monthly individual supervision phone call with assigned instructor
  • Bi-weekly phone call with peer partner participant
  • Optional monthly web conferences with other participants
  • Two individual weekend retreats
  • Action learning assignments for two teaching practicums of the complete MLP Foundations Course
  • Ability to attend MLP Foundations Courses during the year at no additional cost
  • Additional option to be a Mindfulness in Recovery certified facilitator.

Choosing to Apply

The decision to train as a mindfulness teacher can have a profound effect on your life and the lives of those you will benefit. Choosing which mindfulness program to train with can be just as important. We feel that the Mindful Life Program offers a unique and much needed integrated and holistic approach to mindfulness, and we aim to find teachers ready to bring mindfulness that’s practical, accessible and universal to those they teach. Since the MLP curriculum encourages teaching that incorporates real life experiences for diverse audiences, we seek a diverse community of teachers.

Participating in the Teacher Certification


The methodology and practice used within the Mindful Life Program is based on a robust and coherent body of knowledge. Like any practice, developing competence as a Mindful Life Program Teacher requires a sound conceptual and practical understanding, as well as personal experience of the underlying theoretical body of knowledge.

The essence of the teacher training is gaining a solid working familiarity with and practice of the Mindful Life Program approach to mindfulness and its application for individuals in everyday life. This enables the participants to clearly introduce Mindful Life Program principles and practices when teaching individuals and small groups.

The emphasis in the first Residential Workshop is on experiencing and understanding the Mindful Life Program approach. You will learn the basis for this approach within the history and context of the diversity of mindfulness approaches and you will move towards competence with the concepts and practice of holistic mindfulness.

Following the first five-day Residential Workshop, participants gradually develop a deeper theoretical and practical familiarity with the application of the Mindful Life Program. Participants will be also be supported in developing their own mindfulness practice during the year in ways that will enrich, strengthen and personalize their own teaching of the curriculum in the following ways:

  • Personal daily mindfulness practice and regular self-reflection
  • Monthly assignments through Semester 1 
  • Monthly online classes with teaching and discussion
  • Reading, discussing and reporting on coursework papers, articles, and videos in writing and in discussions

An online teaching and discussion with the group will be scheduled each month commencing July 2020. This online session will be conducted by instructors John Bruna, Mark Molony and Laura Bartels. In the first portion of the year, prior to the teaching practicums, there is a monthly assignment posted on Canvas, our online learning platform. You will be advised of the technology and software required to participate in the online class sessions at the first Residential Workshop.

  • Monthly online individual supervision sessions

A monthly supervision session will be scheduled with each participant. The aim of this session is to individually support you in your MLP learning and teaching. Your supervisor will be allocated to you and a time organized with you at the conclusion of the first Residential Workshop

  • Bi-weekly phone call with peer partner participant

Participants will be paired with different peer partners throughout the year to discuss reflections on their personal practice and progress and course content.

  • Two individual weekend retreats

Participants will schedule two individual 48-hour retreats of their own with guidance from and approval of the instructors. Dates for the retreats are chosen by each participant.

The latter half of the certification program, during Semester 2, participants engage in direct teaching experience. The rationale is that doing islearning. Leading these sessions means that participants need to understand fully the theory and practice of MLP, to be able to explain them clearly, and constructively engage participants in the practical relevance of the MLP. Participants will:

  • Lead individual course sessions, learning to present and facilitate the 8 sessions of the Mindfulness Foundations Course in two consecutive teaching practicums. 

This is done with volunteer participants outside the course (eg, work colleagues, friends, family), seeking to engage them in the practical everyday relevance of some of the MLP practices. An extensive MLP teaching manual and support from course instructors is provided.

  • In a small group, conduct a workshop session on one core aspect of the MLP at the final Residential Workshop.

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Retreat Dates: The two 5-day residential retreats will be held June 9-15, 2020 and in June 2021. The 2020 retreat will begin with dinner on Tuesday, June 9 and end with lunch on Monday, June 15. Attendance at both retreats is required for certification.

Retreat Center and Accommodations: Mercy Retreat Center is located in Auburn, CA on 33 acres offering many outdoor areas for meditation and relaxation, including garden paths, meditation groves, and a labyrinth. Participants will be hosted in single occupancy rooms. Handicap accessible rooms are available upon request. All meals are included and are served in the retreat dining room. Our retreat will offer fresh, healthy vegetarian meals. If special diet needs exist, please let us know. The staff is able to accommodate most special dietary needs.

Application: Applications will be available soon for the 2020-21 program. To get additional information and a brochure, enter your name and email in the form at the top right of the page. The application process includes a written application, an interview of the applicant and references, and participation in an MLP Foundations Course or our Online Four Keys to Mindfulness Course. For those interested in the Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) Certification, a new option for the course prerequisite is our 2 day MIR Training. Applicants are asked to register for and participate in an MLP Foundations Course in person, the Online Four Keys of Mindfulness Course, or an MIR Training before the program begins.

Cost: Cost for the 2020-21 program will be announced soon. Cost includes both week-long residential workshops, the full year of coursework and individual supervision. Participants are responsible for the cost of their own travel expenses.

Payment: The payment schedule for 2020-21 will be announced when the 20-21 cost is announced. A payment plan may be available on an individual basis.

Cancellation policy:


If you have additional questions or would like to talk with the Mindful Life Program staff about our approach to mindfulness or the Teacher Certification Program, please feel free to call or email us. 

Frequently Asked Questions

– At the completion of the program, what will the MLP Teacher Certification prepare me to do?

The MLP Teacher Certification is an endorsement by the instructors that you are qualified to offer the 20 hour Mindful Life Program Foundations Course, as well as present talks and presentations on mindfulness; certification also allows you the opportunity to utilize the Foundations Course curriculum and course materials and be listed as a certified MLP teacher on our website. For those who also become certified as a Mindfulness in Recovery® Teacher, one has the qualification to teach and present the MIR curriculum.

– Who is able to apply to the program?

We encourage a diverse range of applicants from all walks of life who are ready to deepen their mindfulness practice, to model living mindfully, and to teach mindfulness in various types of settings, groups, and organizations. Participants are selected for admission to the program on the basis of their perceived potential to succeed in their own practice and in their ability to teach others.

– What is required to apply to the program?

A completed application with three references, phone interviews of the applicant and his/her references and participation in an MLP Foundations Course in person, the Online Four Keys of Mindfulness Course,  or the MIR Training before the program begins in June.

– When is the application deadline?

Applications are due by March 23, 2020. We continue to accept applications for the waiting list after that date. If that date has passed, we invite you to check with us about remaining space in the program.

– What happens after my application is submitted?

You will first receive a confirmation of receipt of your application by email. Next, a phone interview will be scheduled between you and one of the instructors, and then interviews of references will be completed.

– How do I check on the status of my application?

Please Email us at welcome@mindfullifeprogram.org or call us at 970-633-0163 if you have a question about the status of your application.

– When is the payment due in full?


-Is the fee for the MLP Foundations Course, Four Keys of Living Mindfully Online Course or MIR Training that is required of applicants included in the cost of Teacher Certification?

No. We find that participation in at least one of these courses prior to beginning the year of training is of benefit to the applicant in gaining a first-hand experience of the MLP practices and approach. However, once accepted into the program, participants may take part in one or more MLP Foundations Course as space is available at no additional cost as part of their training from June 2020 through June 2021.

– Is there coursework prior to the first residential retreat?

We ask that accepted applicants read The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life: The Essence of Mindfulness written by John Bruna prior to the start of the program, and recommend reading it even before applying.

If you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to contact us.