The MLY Personal Development curriculum focuses on key areas of learning and practice, progressing from those directly supporting personal practice and expanding to study the historical and current perspectives of mindfulness and examine discerningly the latest research and documented benefits. Personal learning and first-person observational practice form a core practice for all participants. Through our monthly assignments, participants are introduced to readings and video teachings by a wide range of experts along with experiential learning assignments. The methodology and practice used in the training are based on a robust and coherent body of knowledge drawn from contemplative traditions, modern psychology, and neuroscience. Like any practice, developing competence requires a sound conceptual and practical understanding, as well as personal experience of the underlying theoretical body of knowledge.
Much more than taking a class or attending a retreat, the MLY Personal Development Year offers the personalized guidance and mentoring of experienced instructors and the opportunity to learn along with dedicated peers throughout the semester. The first two months with weekly classes provide a focused time to deepen your practice and anchor your experience of the learning community of peers. Our learning communities are intentionally limited in size. In this way, we provide an opportunity for the group and instructors to develop a close bond and create a supportive and safe environment for learning and growth.
We engage participants with many learning methods that, in combination, create a truly transformational personal experience. Through daily meditation and mindfulness practice and personal reflection, weekly and monthly live online classes and practice sessions, mentoring, peer sharing, and journaling, and monthly readings and assignments, the journey creates a wonderful rhythm supporting insights, knowledge, and growth over the course of the year.
The first semester forms the foundation as participants develop a deeper theoretical, practical, and personal familiarity with the application of the four keys of the Mindful Life Program. During the second semester, participants continue to engage in all the learning modalities and use the foundation developed to explore an area of personal focus. The second semester Personal Development online classes and assignments support learning in the chosen area of focus, guided by the instructors while continuing to strengthen their personal mindfulness practice. Participants now define, explore, plan and engage in a learning project that is personally relevant and meaningful. The area of focus is encouraged to highlight themes and/or practices to create a kinder and more sustainable world at any scale. Students are invited to take elements of what they have been taught and learned in the first semester and apply them in their own life or an area of interest, capturing the process of application and the associated impact on them and others. The project is designed to encourage innovation, creativity, and meaning while being personally relevant. The project progresses through distinct learning phases and personal engagement and is shared in a presentation during the final retreat.
In addition to two personal retreats during the year, in the second semester, the instructors lead two online retreats with all year-long participants. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, personal development candidates will earn a certificate in the Mindful Learning Personal Development Year.