Trainings

Spirit Rock’s Dharma Training Programs offer in-depth study of the teachings and practices of the Buddha and the Insight Meditation lineage. Part of the new Dharma Institute, trainings range from four months to four years, and focus on a wide range of topics, such as the core teachings of Buddhism, professional development and continuing education in the healing arts and leadership, death and dying, Buddhist psychology, and teaching the Dharma.

After you’ve attended many Spirit Rock programs as well as a number of retreats, and the teachings of the Buddha have become integral to your daily life, you may feel ready to deepen your understanding and practice by participating in a training. Some of these programs have prerequisites, while others are open to all practitioners. All of them build saṅgha as you join a cohort of 50-100+ other dedicated practitioners to explore and deepen on the path.

Spirit Rock's Dharma Training Programs are centered around a core sequence of Buddhist Study and Practice programs: the Living Dharma Program (LDP), the Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP), and Liberation, Emptiness, and Awareness Practices (LEAP). To these foundational programs, trainings in Leadership & Professional Development, and Practice in the World expand the scope of your practice off the cushion and into every aspect of your life.

They are designed to speak to the variety of methods, interests, and areas of focus needed and pursued by different practitioners. Please reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions, and we can help you find which training is right for you. A listing of currently open trainings is at the bottom of this page.

Buddhist Study & Practice

Immerse yourself in Dharma practice & insight.

Our cornerstone Buddhist Study and Practice trainings support passionate beginners and lifelong practitioners to bring the power of the Buddha’s teachings into daily life and retreat practice. Rooted in the Early Buddhist tradition and our Insight Meditation lineage, these trainings and study classes will transform your practice and understanding of the Dharma.

Living Dharma Program (LDP)

Length: 8 months
Location: Online
Prerequisites: suggested

This introductory program is for meditators and Buddhist practitioners wishing to engage wholeheartedly in a deep exploration of their Dharma practice through the study of the Noble Eightfold Path. In this practical, experiential, and meditative program, we explore how to live and respond to life with awareness, wisdom, and compassion.

Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP)

Length: 2 years
Location: On-Land
Prerequisites: yes

The Dedicated Practitioners Program is an innovative program for committed practitioners of Insight Meditation to study the teachings of the Early Buddhist tradition over a two-year period, including five in-person retreats for study, practice, and connecting in Saṅgha. Our intention is to create a diverse and vibrant community of dedicated practitioners who support one another in waking up and in bringing wisdom and compassion into the world.

Liberation through Emptiness and Awareness Practices (LEAP)

Length: 1 year
Location: On-Land
Prerequisites: yes

LEAP (formerly Advanced Practitioners Program) is intended for senior students of the Dhamma who want to explore the liberation teachings of the Buddha through practice, study, inquiry, and interactive exercises. It is a year-long program consisting of three retreats and is intended for those who have completed programs like Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program (DPP), Community Dharma Leader Program (CDL), Heavenly Messengers (HM), or an equivalent.

Leadership & Professional Development

Earn Continuing Education Credits while you practice

Mindfulness and lovingkindness support well-being in every aspect of our lives, including work, relationships, community, and the broader culture. Spirit Rock offers training in specific professional and personal topics, all centered around how the Dharma can inform, deepen, and apply to other fields of inquiry and engagement in the world. These courses build on a foundation of self-care and meditation to bring the skills and wisdom of the Dharma to our lives at work. Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for care professionals, Yoga teachers, and others are available for some of these training programs.

Mindful Leadership Program (MLT)

Length: 5 months
Location: Online
Prerequisites: no

This certificate training program is open to and designed for leaders in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. It will cultivate mindful and compassionate leadership skills, with a mindset of service for leaders. Through lectures, group discussion, guided meditations, readings, reflections, experiential exercises, and personal meditation practice, we will cultivate skills and behaviors that can be applied directly to our personal and professional lives. By developing and incorporating these intentional practices, we will strengthen professional relationships and workplace environments, expanding impact beyond our own learning for the broader benefit of our work and organization(s).

Buddhist Psychology Training (BPT)

Length: 4 months
Location: Online
Prerequisites: yes

This four-month training for therapists, educators and those in allied fields provides an immersion in Buddhist psychology and the meditation practices that illuminate our minds, foster goodness, and transform habits that compound suffering. The training examines the convergences and tensions between clinical research and Buddhist psychology and describes ways to integrate mindfulness into treatment. We consider possible contraindications of mindfulness and how to tailor interventions to individuals.

Dharma Yoga Mindfulness Training (DYMT)

Length: 1 year
Location: On-land
Prerequisites: yes

For Yoga teachers and mindfulness practitioners, this intensive Yoga Teacher Training program is an integration of Buddhist wisdom teachings and meditation practice with deepening skills in yoga āsana, prāṇāyāma, and philosophy. The program centers on practices that are accessible, trauma-informed, and inclusive. Students hone their skill in supporting their own personal practice and cultivate their authentic voice to share Yoga in a way that supports and expresses mindfulness, compassion, and Dharma wisdom.

Community Dharma Leaders (CDL)

Length: 2 years
Location: Hybrid: Online & on-Land
Prerequisites: yes

CDL develops the next generation of Dharma leaders with the capacity, resilience, and skillful means to carry the Dharma forward. Grounded in Theravāda Buddhist tradition, graduates of CDL embody, articulate, share, and cultivate the Dharma within diverse, multi-generational, multiethnic, and multicultural communities, so that it is accessible for all who seek refuge.

Practice in the World

Engage with every part of your life and our world

Cultivating a balanced and grounded heart and mind is supportive of insight, a healthy life, and engagement with community and culture. In these programs, we cultivate emotional regulation and deepen in embodiment and joy throughout our lives, building the resilience needed to meet our challenging times. In an era of climate crisis and intersecting oppressions around race, gender, class, and religion, the Dharma offers a middle way toward a more peaceful and sustainable future. Weaving together individual and collective approaches to healing and liberation, our practice truly becomes “for the benefit of all beings.”

A Year to Live (YTL)

Length: 1 year
Location: Online
Prerequisites: no

This year-long program, based on the book A Year to Live by Stephen Levine, is designed for people of all ages, regardless of life stage. In community, we will focus on waking up and living life more fully through the exploration of death as spiritual practice. Ultimately, this is a year-long practice in forgiveness, gratitude and letting go. Through guided meditations, inquiry and small group discussions, we will be guided, with the support of community, through a process of living this year as if it were our last. All are warmly welcome!

Upcoming Training Programs

Training Online Dharma Institute

February - June, 2024 7 Saturday Sessions

Mindful Leadership Training

This certificate training program is open to and designed for leaders and aspiring leaders in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. We will cultivate mindful and compassionate leadership skills and practices to embody our care for ourselves and others, with a mindset of service to community and the world. Through lectures, group discussion, guided meditations, readings, reflections, experiential exercises, and personal meditation practice, we will cultivate skills and behaviors that can be applied directly to our personal and professional lives.

Nikki Mirghafori

Nikki Mirghafori

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser

Training On-Land Dharma Institute

March - June, 2024 4 Sessions

Awake in the Wild Nature Meditation Program: Nature-Based Mindfulness Practices to Enhance Joy, Wisdom, and Well-Being

12 CE Credits. On this silent 4 month nature meditation training in the beauty of Spirit Rock, we explore through silent daylong retreats, awareness and sensory meditations that support insight, interconnection, joy and peace.

We will learn from nature’s teachings on impermanence, and the inter-dependence of life. We will also explore how nature evokes not only profound insight but also brings forth the capacity for love, resilience and inspired action in these ecologically challenging times.

Be prepared for unexpected delight, mystery and illumination.

Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman

Training On-Land Dharma Institute

May 2024 - June 2025 3 Retreats (two residential, one non-residential hybrid)

Dharma Yoga Mindfulness Training

175 CE Units by Yoga Alliance. This yearlong Dharma and Yoga certificate program integrates Buddhist wisdom teachings and meditation practice with āsana, prāṇāyāma, and somatic movement. In the teaching of Yoga and embodied meditation, Dharma and Yoga are interwoven as one path to awakening. The training includes silent retreat, community connection, and structured support for deepening your personal practice. Our approach is centered on accessible and trauma-informed practices that nourish belonging and provide systematic grounding in the essential practices of these two great traditions.

Anne Cushman

Anne Cushman

Leslie Booker

Leslie Booker

Rolf Gates

Rolf Gates

Djuna Devereaux

Djuna Devereaux

Learn to your heart's content

Stream our curated collection of guided meditations and Dharma talks, read articles by our diverse teachers, take self-paced courses, and more.