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Teach someone to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.
We begin with a Chinese fishing proverb because it reflects our end-goal: To give you the theory + practice you’ll need to teach mindfulness and awareness in a way that is consistent with modern science, psychology, educational pedagogy and classical contemplative training. We do not offer techniques for every challenging situation but a process-oriented approach through which you’ll develop a way of being in the world that strengthens and supports how you communicate with youth. You’ll learn age-appropriate activities for children and teens that can be easily integrated into your routine at home, in the classroom, after-school, or in clinical practice. Inner Kids first level of training consists of two residential, weekend retreats between which there will be self-paced online presentations and training modules.
- To offer a conceptual framework for both the theory and practice of mindful awareness based on key universal concepts common to modern science, psychology, philosophy, theology, educational pedagogy and classical contemplative training.
- To offer clear secular language and instruction in eight strategies or life-skills that naturally emerge from the practice and understanding of these key universal concepts.
- To help connect the dots between your conceptual understanding of secular mindfulness, your experiential understanding of the practice of mindfulness and your daily life.
- To offer age-appropriate lessons teaching key universal concepts and strategies/life-skills to youth that can be easily integrated into your routine at home, in the classroom, after-school or in clinical practice.
- To support you in the establishment and development of a daily introspective/contemplative practice.
- To co-create a community of support, encouragement and mentoring for all – faculty and participants together.
- Two weekend residential retreats with instruction from a core faculty with extensive experience in both meditation and practicing meditation with children, teens and their families.
- Periodic webcasts and office-hours with core and guest faculty.
- Self-paced online study at your convenience, from any time zone.
- Small group interaction online.
- The development of a community of like-minded individuals committed to bringing secular mindfulness to children, teens and their families around the world.
- Meditation instruction and online practice opportunities will be offered to support the establishment and development of your mediation practice.
Faculty and Advisors
- Faculty: This course will be taught by Susan Kaiser Greenland together with a core faculty of Daniela Labra, Ryan Redman, Daniel Rechtshaffen and Tandy Parks. Audio and video teachings from well-known experts in child development, education, meditation and psychotherapy will be integrated into your online training including materials from Trudy Goodman, Diana Winston, Suzi Tortora, Julian Bull, Monica Chinlund, Joe Provisor, Paula Dashiell, Gay MacDonald, Ali Hedayat, and Randye Semple.
- Advisors: Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Surya Das, B. Alan Wallace, Gay MacDonald, Trudy Goodman and Diana Winston have graciously agreed to serve as advisors in the development of the Inner Kids training programs.
- Upon successful completion of the program you will receive a Diploma certifying that you completed Inner Kids Level 1 training.
- Those who earn a Diploma will be eligible to join LA based peer support groups, online peer support groups and residential retreats for Level 1 graduates that will be offered during the 2014-15 school year and thereafter.
- You will receive Inner Kids curriculum materials that include grade appropriate lessons, along with a conceptual framework for those lessons, plus teaching tips.
- You will be assigned reading from these outside textbooks:
- We will provide each participant with a copy of The Mindful Child (Free Press, 2010) written by Susan Kaiser Greenland;
- You will be responsible for purchasing the following texts:
- You will be assigned adult mindfulness practices to work with on your own and be asked to commit to continuing your ongoing personal growth and contemplative practice.
- We’ll point you toward supporting material in the form of books, online materials and local mindfulness courses taught by faculty members or their associates.
- Open to parents and professionals with meaningful contemplative experience who work with children, youth and/or families. (For instance - but not limited - to educators, health care professionals, therapists, yoga teachers and camp counselors) Or, with permission of instructor.
- You will be expected to maintain a daily meditation practice throughout the training.
Dates and Duration
- First residential retreat from the evening of Friday, November 22, 2013 through mid-day Sunday, November 24, 2013.
- Second residential retreat from the evening of Friday April 11, 2014 through mid-day Sunday April 13, 2014.
- Online self-paced presentations between the first and second residential retreat.
- The residential retreats will be held at La Casa De Maria near Santa Barbara, California
- Program Fee: $2500. Does not include travel, room, and board.
- Benefactors Fee: $3000. Does not include travel, room, and board.
- Scholarship Fee: $2000. Does not include travel, room, and board.
- Non-refundable application fee of $50.
- Non-refundable deposit of $500 due upon notification of acceptance.
- 100% of the funds that benefactors offer over and above the program fee will be used to subsidize scholarships.
Retreat Room and Board
- $625 double occupancy.
- Single occupancy might become available for a slightly higher fee.
- Triple or dormitory occupancy might become available for a slightly lower fee.
- We will attempt to accommodate requests for single, triple or dormitory housing after we close registration.
"I met Susan Kaiser and the InnerKids program in 2009, when we had the fortune to have Susan for a weekend workshop in Guadalajara, México. Susan has been in Mexico two more times over these years, offering lectures and workshops in differents cities over the country. I think that she has developed a simple, clear and bright form to teach mindfulness to kids and youth. She is a clever and warm woman; she teaches from the heart. My own practice and understanding about mindfulness have been improved over these years thanks to Susan. I have been working, for almost four years, with kids, youth and parents with a program based in the proposal of Inner Kids , with wonderful responses. I encourage teachers, parents and every ones that are interested in developing mindfulness in kids and youth to take this training." Miryam Mendoza, Guadalajara, México.
"Conocí a Susan Kaiser y el programa InnerKids en 2009, cuando tuvimos la fortuna de contar con Susan para un taller de fin de semana en Guadalajara, México. Susan ha estado en México dos veces más durante estos años, ofreciendo charlas y talleres en diferentes ciudades en el país. Creo que ella ha desarrollado una forma simple, clara y brillante para enseñar atención plena a los niños y jóvenes. Ella es una mujer inteligente y cálida, ella enseña desde el corazón. Mi propia práctica y comprensión acerca de atención plena se ha mejorado en estos años gracias a Susan. He estado trabajando, durante casi cuatro años, con niños, jóvenes y padres con un programa basado en la propuesta de Inner Kids, con respuestas maravillosas. Animo a los profesores, los padres y todos los los que estén interesados en el desarrollo de atención plena en los niños y jóvenes a tomar este entrenamiento." Miryam Mendoza, Guadalajara, México
"The Inner kids program activities and language make mindfulness training easy to grasp and Susan’s calm, kind and open way of teaching it embody the qualities one aspires to develop through the program. Before the training I had no idea about how to convey the traditional contemplative training in a secular age appropriate way. Susan has done a marvelous job creating this mindfulness program that can easily be introduced in school contexts." - Yanel González- Monterrey, México.
"Con gran agradecimiento puedo decir que la experiencia de Susan transmitida hacia mi a través de sus talleres y cursos, ha sido de gran, gran beneficio. Son talleres muy profundos, sin embargo divertidos y fáciles de ir asimilando, mientras mas practicas y los haces tuyos, mas es la transformación personal y el impacto hacia los que te rodean. Estas técnicas, manera de vivir y ver al mundo han impactado a mis hijos y los ha hecho mejores amigos,mejores deportistas, mejores estudiantes, simplemente mejores seres humanos... Más felices." Isabel González. Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.
"Full of gratitude I can say that the experience Susan transmited to me through her workshops and courses has been of great, great benefit. The workshops are deep, yet fun and easy to apply. The more you practice and make them yours, the more the personal transformation and the impact to others around you. These techniques and ways to Interact and view the world we live in have deeply touched my children and have made them better friends, better athletes, better students, simply better human beings: They're happier." Isabel González. Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
"Inner Kids level 1 training went beyond my expectations for learning, community building and joy. Susan and Tandy created an open nurturing environment that allowed all group members to feel safe and at ease and this facilitated risk taking and increased learning throughout the training. What I have learned has had a profound impact on me, both personally and professionally, and I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in increasing their mindfulness skill set with children and families." Lana Benedek, MD, Los Angeles, CA
"This InnerKids training provided a nourishing mix of professional and personal growth. I especially appreciated Susan’s emphasis on the conceptual framework underlying each of the activities, as well as the thoughtful and logical structuring of the material - it was accessible on many levels. Susan encouraged us to find our authentic teaching voices and to introduce the activities and concepts to the children with whom we worked. My understanding of the role of mindfulness in my own life expanded as I thought more deeply about my intentions in wanting to bring these practices to young children. Susan brought together a group of caring, reflective learner/practitioners and I am grateful to be part of this community." Ellis Enlow, Co-operative Preschool Director, Los Angeles, CA
"Under the guidance of Susan Kaiser Greenland, I gained more insight into the development of social-emotional intelligence in 8 weeks than I had in over 8 years. Susan has developed a course that is precious to my own life and to my role as an educator for young children. Susan makes an effort to understand and connect with adults first in her teachings, encouraging a feasible practice for the adult to understand and strengthen mindfulness in a simple and interesting manner. The course material is impressively creative and age-appropriate, teaching universal concepts that I have found to be some of the most significant ones to remember when teaching children in their early years. The lessons are also developed for sustainability -- very easily integrated into existing curriculum. Applying the practical, playful techniques learned from the course, I have witnessed children master invaluable life-skills, including their capacities for resilience, self-regulation, and wise decision-making in their daily interactions with themselves, each other and the world. Susan also effectively guides and weaves parents into her program who continue her teachings at home and come to discover whole new abilities in their children that they would have never imagined or discovered before. Susan’s role as a mother, teacher, traveler, and practitioner combined with years of evidence-based research in the field and her willingness to share her brilliant findings are priceless. I am eternally grateful for Susan’s passion and the countless ways this course has deepened my practice and understanding so that I can better enrich the lives of all the children I work with." Lernik Baghoomian, Early Childhood Educator at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
- "The Inner Kids training has been an invaluable source of inspiration for me! Susan not only teaches from the heart, but she offers a thorough and well-rounded approach to understanding the basis of secular mindfulness instruction. The Level 1 training gave me the tools and encouragement I needed to confidently share these practices with the children and families I work with, while enriching my own personal contemplative practice in the process." Kelly Petrie, Oregon, WI
- "It was a true inspiration and honor to be a part of this training program from beginning to end. Susan is an incredible facilitator with a wealth of knowledge, experience and heart. From Tandy, the co-facilitator, to all the guest speakers, I was amazed by the abundance of wisdom and insight. I feel grateful to have met and now know, such a loving, powerful and diverse group of fellow peers and to share this journey of teaching mindfulness with them. The InnerKids manual is a plethora of mindful resources that includes practical, detailed activities and lessons. I started applying these mindful exercises after the first class in my work with troubled youth and found they really responded to them." Laurie Cousins - Los Angeles, CA
- "The community! The instruction! The scrapbooking! Inner Kids training opened my heart, challenged my mind, and provided me with inspiration for years to come." Kate Turnball, Los Angeles, CA
- “This was a wonderful experience. I not only learned a great deal about teaching mindfulness to children, teens and their families but I also deepened my own mindfulness practice. I have already used what was taught during the training to explore mindfulness with teenage mothers. I highly recommend the training.” Frances Barry, Los Angeles, CA
- “The time that I spent in this program was invaluable. As I progressed through the training, I gained deep appreciation for how important and helpful mindful awareness is for children's development. The training provided me with a strong foundation of theory and practice that I plan to implement in my own mindful awareness class at my school." Lonnie Ngo, Los Angeles, CA
- Applications open July 18, 2013 and close September 4, 2013. Space is limited and admissions are rolling.
- All applications must be made online through Adobe's quick, easy and secure online application service. To apply, click on this link.
- If you would like to review a hard copy of the application and complete it by hand first, before completing the application online, you can download a PDF of the application below - just look for the words "download attachments" and click on the link for 2013-14 Level 1 App.