Teacher education - Silent retreats - recent reform

Dear friends,

Last week’s reform announcement got me going through the Oasis website to check the different aspects of the renewed teacher education pathway. I’ve noticed that concerning the silent retreats, while Vipassana used to be a reference, is no longer mentioned under the options.
So my question is whether a 10-day Vipassana course is still recognised as a valid silent retreat.

Thank you in advance.




I would also like to know the answer to this question as I am booked for a Vipassana retreat in a couple of weeks.

Hi Chryssa and Liz,

Thanks for your inquiry. It’s helpful to spread the word about developments
to our teacher training requirements.

Going forward, only the retreats listed on our retreat page—or the drop
down menu there—are qualifying retreats for the MBSR Teacher Pathway.


I agree. I have already taken the PTI, so this change does not affect my
training path directly. That being said, this change greatly affects
accessibility of the professional training. The geographic and financial
barriers are much increased with the exclusion of Vipassana retreats. I
understand the need to maintain the integrity of the program, and I am sure
careful thought went into this decision, and the training program is in
process. I urge the continued consideration of diversity and accessibility
as it related to integrity of the program and teaching of MBSR.

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Hello Eowyn,

I am signed up for this retreat led by Jon Kabat Zinn but it is not listed on your website. Can you let me know if this qualifies as a prerequisite to the MBSR Fundamentals? I have already signed up and paid for it thinking a retreat by Jon Kabat Zinn would qualify. Please let me know. Thank you!



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As I’m certified, I have the luxury of not being directly affected by any of these changes. Though, out of concern for my peers, I want to follow up. I noticed that there is a drop down menu with 14 retreat sites (IMS, Spirit Rock, etc.). Retreats at these places will still count, right? Also, in the same Insight tradition, IRC offers retreats for Dana. As many of the teachers at IRC also teach at SR and IMS, would retreats by these same teachers (at IRC) be able to count? As getting certified is is ridiculously expensive, lowering any barrier to the process might be of help.


Hi All,

Thank you for your concern, Alicia, and everyone, for the questions and
wonderings offered in this thread.

Retreats can be an important part of our overall mindfulness practice life,
and as you all know, the Oasis training path requires that trainees
complete four such retreats over the course of training. So, I get that
this is an important topic.

Alicia, happy to answer simply that yes, at this time, retreats at the
listed places count. Also, by and large, as our pathway gets refined, we
grandfather in trainees who started in an earlier version of the training.
So, when teacher trainees have questions about qualifying retreats, those
can be handled on a case-by-case, as needed basis.

It is also worth mentioning that we are looking toward expanding the
offerings of MBSR-centric retreats in the coming years, to meet the needs
of what we see as growing population interested in practicing in the MBSR
emerging tradition.

Kind regards,

Thank you for your response. I know you’re not the one who creates the policies. And, sometimes it might/might not be easy to speak to something that you didn’t create (I’m frequently in that position myself).

As I’ve enjoyed your yoga offerings during long stays in the FR, I have no doubt that you know the power and benefit of retreats. Yet, knowing it can also be tough for people to balance 1) steps toward strengthening their practice with 2) economic necessity … it’s always worth exploring the few places where people can receive a quality retreat experience for Dana (or at least a less expensive price).
Wishing you and everyone on this thread well,

Thanks, Alicia, for voicing the expense aspect. It’s an important

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Hi Ann

I just found about JKZ’s eomega workshop. It is not a silent retreat and therefore will not qualify as one of the mandatory retreats. Pity you’ve committed already… but I’m certain it would be worth every cent… or moment.


I began exploring MBSR teacher certification prior to the recent course/retreat guideline changes. I am now revisiting my plan with dismay as I’m realizing my idea to do some retreats and coursework from overseas will no longer work.

As expressed by others already, I understand the need to maintain integrity. But in tightening the guidelines without offering an equivalent expansion in course availability, Oasis makes it difficult for people who are not in MA/US to pursue training at a reasonable cost. The cost of the approved retreats is very expensive with no option for less expensive accommodations or sliding scale pricing. There are also very few international options for those who are overseas.

If I could add my two cents–perhaps there is a way to balance maintaining integrity of the coursework with accessibility by requiring that only 2 of the 4 retreats be from your list of approved providers; the other 2 could come from what was previously approved (Vipassana retreats that are not specifically listed in the drop down).


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