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Emory students in Dharamsala, India - Research & Service

Teacher Training Program

In 2005, our team launched a research study to evaluate whether compassion training could be employed as a method to address growing rates of depression in college undergraduates. The results of that study demonstrated that the practice of compassion meditation reduced neuroendocrine, inflammatory and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress that have been previously linked to the development of mental and physical disease. These promising results attracted the attention of leaders in education, medicine, and the Atlanta foster care system. Over the last several years, members of our team have initiated a series of research projects evaluating the efficacy of our CBCT intervention for healthy adults, elementary school children, adolescents in foster care and survivors of trauma. Please click here for more information on our ongoing research projects.

To meet the needs of our growing research programs, we launched our first CBCT Teacher Training Program, Level One, in 2011. This program offers a comprehensive introduction to CBCT theory and pedagogy.

Our Teacher Training program is most suited for those who have experience with meditation and their own personal practice, and who wish to deepen their knowledge of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training in order to serve as CBCT instructors for their communities. Long-distance training for those outside of the Atlanta area can be offered on a case-by-case basis. Many, although not all, of our past CBCT Teacher Trainees have been teachers, therapists, doctors, nurses, community organizers, researchers, graduate students, or those who are hoping to make CBCT a bigger part of their lives. Details and prerequisites are described below.

Please contact our CBCT team at cbct@emory.edu for more information.

Our 2013 CBCT Teacher Trainees and Instructors

Announcing the "Seeds of Compassion" Scholarship Fund

Thanks to the very generous support of one of our 2012 CBCT Teacher Training participants, we have established a scholarship fund to support new CBCT teacher trainees. Two to three need-based partial scholarships will be awarded for our 2013 Teacher Training cycle. If you are interested in applying for scholarship support, please request a scholarship application when you submit your completed CBCT Teacher Training application. Award recipients will be notified in the spring.

If you are interested in supporting this training fund, please click here.

Thank you for your gift of generosity!

CBCT Teacher Training Level One Overview

Level One has three required components: a retreat, practicum and teaching-assistantship. In order to apply, interested participants must have:

(1) attended or be enrolled in the CBCT Foundation eight-week course or two-weekend intensive with Geshe Lobsang Negi (see below*);

(2) been practicing meditation regularly for at least one year; and

(3) attended at least one 7-day, teacher-led residential retreat.

*For more information on our upcoming Introductory courses and to register, click here.

Level One Training Components

I. Retreat

August 2-10, 2014
Cost: $1295 (tuition plus facilities fee, including lunches and tea breaks)
All participants are responsible for arranging their own off-site accommodation and transportation

Location: Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc. Atlanta, GA

This 9-day retreat affords participants an opportunity to deepen their compassion meditation practice and to develop skills for communicating the practice to others. The first five days of the program are devoted to intensive practice and reflection. The final four days consist of workshops to develop instructional skills and explore related strategies. Please note that the first five days are open for those who have taken the CBCT foundation course, as described in more detail on the Classes and Events page. The final four days are only for the 2014 CBCT Teacher Trainees, who do not need to apply separately for the retreat portion.

Those who have attended the CBCT Foundation Course who are interested in attending the retreat outside of the Teacher Training program should visit http://www.tibet.emory.edu/cbct/classes.html for more information and to apply.

II. Practicum

Eight-week session beginning in Fall, 2014. (Tentatively scheduled for Mondays, 5:00-10:00pm; Dates/times subject to change).
Cost: $1750

The Practicum provides an opportunity for trainees to experience a CBCT program taught by CBCT instructors. As a participant/observer, trainees attend an eight-week long course at one of our sites and attend a three-hour seminar each week following the CBCT class to discuss pedagogy and practice. Trainees will be expected to develop a course syllabus as part of the practicum and lead their fellow participants in meditation practice. Trainees are also expected to complete assignments and reflections as well as a meditation practice journal in order to help strengthen their practice and teaching skills.

III. Teaching Assistantship

Eight-week assistantship beginning in Spring, 2015. Dates/times vary.
Cost: Supervision fee

Trainees will co-teach an eight-week course with one of our senior CBCT teachers. TAs will be required to keep a teaching journal and submit weekly class notes and reflections. TAs will receive feedback and guidance on teaching strategies and approaches.

Please note: Successful completion of the Retreat and Practicum does not guarantee a Teaching Assistantship. Given that trainees may interact with study participants, students, and adolescents, Teaching Assistantship placements are assigned at the discretion of the Director. Due to the nature of our research programs, and courses, there are a limited number of Teaching Assistantships, and we will may be able to accommodate all qualified applicants.

Application process

Interested applicants must meet all of the requirements listed above. We do understand that some educators and clinicians with years of experience in related fields such as psychology, neuroscience, social work and education may not have the required meditation training. Therefore, in rare instances in which comparable pedagogical or clinical experience is demonstrated, one may be admitted to the program without having attended a 7-day meditation retreat, though a personal meditation practice is important. The trainee, however, must fulfill this requirement before being considered for the Teaching Assistantship. Deepening one's personal meditation practice is essential to one's teaching, and thus one cannot complete the level one training without meeting this requirement. We are happy to recommend meditation teachers and retreat centers.

We are now accepting applications for our 2014 Level One Teacher Training Cohort, which will begin with the retreat in August of 2014. To submit your application, provide a written statement in response to the following questions and send to the Teacher Training coordinator, Timothy Harrison, Assistant Director of CBCT, at timothy.harrison@emory.edu.

Priority deadline for applications is May 1. Final deadline is July 1, 2014.

I. Personal Practice (approximately 750 words or less)

1. Please describe your personal meditation practice for the last two years, including the style of meditation you practice and the typical duration and frequency of each session.

1.a. If you have been practicing regularly for more than two years, please briefly describe your past experience.

2. Who are your teachers? What teachings or books have most informed or influenced your practice?

3. Please list all teacher-led residential retreats that you have attended. Be sure to include the name of the retreat, location/center, dates and teacher(s).

4. What is the significance of your personal practice in your life and work?

II. Professional Training (approximately 500 words or less)

1.  Please describe any educational or clinical training or work experience that may have prepared you to lead a CBCT program.

2.   Include your resume or CV in support of this statement and also to give a full picture of your professional history.

III. Personal Statement (please address the following in 1000 words or less)

1.  Please describe your interest in teaching CBCT specifically. What draws you to this particular program? Why are you interested in studying and teaching compassion meditation in particular?

2.  How to you hope to incorporate this training into your own work?

3.  What current strengths would be of most benefit as you approach the teaching of CBCT?

4.  Which of your current abilities would you expect would need the most attention and effort as you go through the training to teacher CBCT?


CBCT Teacher Training Level Two Overview

All CBCT-related research projects are led by certified CBCT instructors in order to maintain the integrity of the CBCT protocol. Qualified teachers may begin teaching CBCT courses as part of their certification process with the express written permission of the training directors and after having completed all of the Level One training components.

I. Supervision

Trainees interested in pursuing a CBCT Teacher Training Certification are required to enroll in supervision for at least one full eight-week long (or longer) CBCT course. The trainee will arrange to have each of their teaching sessions recorded, and will submit copies of these session tapes to the training directors for review. Each week the trainee will meet with one of the training directors for supervision.

Trainees are generally required to complete the TAship and lead at least one CBCT approved course before requesting supervision.

II. Certification

After successfully completing CBCT Teacher Training Level One and Supervision, the trainee may apply for certification. The certification involves the submission of a teaching portfolio (including video of led CBCT classes and class plans), completion of a written CBCT exam, a teaching statement and three letters of recommendation (from a mentor, colleague and student). The trainee must also demonstrate an ongoing commitment to deepening his or her understanding of CBCT practice, have a regular compassion meditation practice, and also have attended at least two residential retreats during the course of the training program.





Emory-Tibet Science Initiative department of religion CIPA MESAS Emory College Emory University Drepung Loseling Monastery