This training is designed for professionals who have completed ME-CL1.
The heart of this second level training is an invitation for experienced mindful eating teachers to explore more deeply the principles that are the underpinnings of the ME-CL program and to step more fully into embodying this in their teaching. Teaching from this platform highlights the need for attendees to have ongoing formal and informal mindfulness practices. This training will focus on the cultivation of intentional presence, authenticity, integrity and mindfulness-informed boundaries that support both the teacher and participants.
While it is true that any aspect of life can be an entryway to becoming more mindful, disordered eating often comes with a complex history that can manifest in reactive behaviors. We will examine the importance of meeting ourselves and our participants with steadiness and kindness, and carefully contemplate the place of compassion in this program.
How we facilitate discussion and mindful inquiry of our participants in the ME-CL program, may be different than how we have led discussions based on our training in a particular field or modality. Throughout this training, there will be opportunities for participants to explore the intention and rationale of mindful inquiry and practice the skills associated with this pivotal piece of the program.
There will be discussion regarding mindful eating practices in one-on-one counseling, different cultural settings and situations requiring special adaptations. And we will explore the psycho/spiritual aspects of eating which include craving, greed and aversion.
This second training invites a higher level of collegial participation and sharing. There will be time to nurture these qualities and skills through silent mindfulness practice, teaching opportunities, discussion and personal mentoring by the teachers. This training is limited in size so that the content can be tailored to the participants’ needs.
Note: This is a required course for Teacher Qualification and Certification in ME-CL. For more information, go to ME-CL Teacher Certification Program.
At the completion of this activity, the participants should be able to:
- skillfully and with confidence deliver eating awareness practices and mindfulness meditations in the ME-CL curriculum
- articulate how compassion practice is both implicit and explicit in ME-CL
- mindfully facilitate a discussion of emotional, physical and psychological craving as it relates to food and eating, and how conditioned patterns of mind influence eating behaviors
- explain the pivotal importance of mindful inquiry in teaching the curriculum
- describe the relevance of their own ongoing mindfulness meditation practice and mindful eating practices in the successful delivery of the curriculum
- acknowledge their teaching strengths and recognize areas that need strengthening in the facilitation of mindful meditations and eating exercises
This intensive, experiential program is intended for professionals wishing to further their teaching skills in mindful eating and supportive mindfulness-related practices in their one-on-one clinical practice and/or into group work in which eating, food and body are aspects or the central focus. Whenever possible this program will be tailored to the needs of the participants and their input will be solicited.
The program is designed for clinicians in mental health or healthcare fields and clinicians-in-training in these fields whose interests lie in teaching from a mindfulness stance that understands eating and food as gateways to self-awareness, understanding and better health.
It is our experience that successful delivery of mindful eating skills requires teachers to have a commitment to an ongoing, daily mindfulness meditation practice. To this end, we have created recommendations for acceptance to this training.
- Completion of ME-CL1.
- Applicants must have taught a minimum of one 8-week mindful eating program based on thee ME-CL protocol.
- Attendance at a minimum of one 5-10 day teacher-led silent meditation retreat is required. (PLEASE NOTE: Mindfulness-based professional trainings such as MBSR, MBCT, MSC or ME-CL1 do not fulfill this requirement. (Parents of young children, caregivers and others with special circumstances can submit an adapted schedule for attendance at silent meditation retreats.)
Mindfulness Practice: Based upon the foundational assumption that the only true teaching of mindfulness comes out of regular and systematic personal practice, this training is steeped in mindfulness practice. Early morning and evening practice sessions are a crucial component of the training itself and will include a variety of mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, mindful movement, and mindful walking and body meditations. Selected meals will be taken in silence, some being designated as mindful eating practice sessions. Several evenings will include silence from the conclusion of evening practice until breakfast the next morning, and a half-day guided retreat will be provided.
Group Size: In order to facilitate the individualized and intensive nature of both mindfulness and mindful eating and teaching skills, the training will be limited in size to 20 participants with a minimum of 2 experienced teachers to keep the student-to-teacher ratio low and the learning environment intimate and direct.
Retreat Setting, Accommodations and Self-Care: The choice of a relatively isolated retreat setting is intentional to facilitate mindfulness practice, reduce outside distractions and create a safe and productive holding environment for the unfolding of the work and the group. The training is intended to be a protected forum for facilitating experiential learning, group cohesion and dynamics, and deep abiding attention to self-care and compassion. Single accommodations are clean and pleasant, and adequate but minimalistic, to encourage focused attention to the work itself. Meals are prepared and presented with deep intention to be healthful and nourishing by staff that is sensitive to the intention of the setting and the needs of the participants. Breaks will be provided to allow for participants to walk, hike, run or explore the surrounding environment as a means of supporting the sometimes challenging work itself and to facilitate self-care.
The utilization of mindful eating in a clinical context is a burgeoning area of study and practice in the mental health and healthcare fields. The number of research articles, books and popular press articles on the topic is growing exponentially and the demand for quality professional training in these practices and techniques is growing each year. To help meet that need, ME-CL 1 & 2 are being offered through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, as well as at other sites across the country and around the world.
- Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (2018 revised edition) by Jan Chozen Bays
- Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana
- The Force of Kindness: Change Your life with Love and Compassion by Sharon Salzberg
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher K. Germer and Sharon Salzberg
- Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth
- First Bite by Bee Wilson