Next Step for Survivors Empowered MBSR Teacher Training

To proceed on the pathway to becoming an MBSR Teacher,  you will need to complete the prerequisites. You’re a good way through the first one; the MBSR class that you are currently enrolled in. This page has a short application form, which very is important to fill out as soon as you possibly can, to do the next step, which is a week long silent retreat, March 20- 25th..

Next Step for Survivors Empowered MBSR Teacher Training

March 20th - 25th 2021

6:00 am - 9:00 pm

Led by Hugh O’Neill , John Taylor , Korantemah Pierce Williams and Zayda Vallejo

47055 Wonderland Drive
Banning, California 92220
United States
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Now that you have a better sense of the MBSR program, you may continue training to teach. Hopefully you have a better sense  if you feel ready to move forward, by attending the March 20-25th 5 day silent Mindfulness Retreat led by the wonderful teacher, Mindfulness leader and author, Sharon Salzberg and her colleagues . As  MBSR teachers, we need to be far along enough our own trauma healing journey, and have a consistent personal practice, to be able to hold the gun violence trauma of others in a way that is not retraumatizing  or overwhelming for the teacher and their students.  Please know that if this is not where you are now, you’ll be supported to participate in the future.

By now,you’ve attended not just most of the MBSR class but also the daylong retreat. The 5 day retreat will be five consecutive days similar to this, but with more hours of practice and talks woven through out. It will mean clearing your schedule as completely as you can, and making arrangements with your work and family to be off line, and silent (except when you have to communicate with them unavoidably for practical issues of day to day life, and  for emergencies).


For Beth Mulligan, email or call 760-799-7847

For Hugh O'Neill, email or call 951-750-9020

You will recieve information about the retreat details from Shelly and Sharon and Insight Meditation Society.

If you choose to and  are available to attend the retreat, and most importantly feel ready to move forward, based on where you are on your own trauma healing journey, please fill out the short form.

If you’ve missed more than 2  of the 8  MBSR classes and/or the retreat, per UCSD’s policies and standards we cannot accept you into teacher training pathway at this time. Our hope is that you will be able to join us at another time that might be better for you.

Just to remind you, the pathway forward, after you’ve completed the prerequisites, will consist of a 6 day Teacher Training Intensive, (Date TBD). After the 6 day training there will be a 10 week teacher training practicum, at which point you’ll  be ready to start offering MBSR classes with the support of  18 hours of mentorship. After you have completed those hours, with your mentor’s reccomendation, you’ll receive “Qualified Teacher Status”. We don’t want to overwhelm you with information you don’t need right now, but we’ll be here to support you through certification.

You can always visit for details.



Hugh O’Neill

Hugh O’Neill

Hugh O’Neill is co-owner of, and a certified MBSR Teacher and International teacher trainer and retreat leader.  Hugh has studied and practiced meditation and yoga for more than 20 years. His many years of creative and management experience in the media industry, including significant time working in international news and documentary production, combined with his intensive training in Mindfulness Meditation programs enable him to skillfully relate the concepts and practices of mindfulness with sensitivity and compassion to a wide range of populations.  His experience working in the news business in Ireland and Northern Ireland has given him personal experience with Gun Violence; combined with his training in Trauma Informed Mindfulness makes him a key part of our work with offering MBSR to Survivors Empowered.. Hugh has taught more than 100 MBSR courses and dozens of other mindfulness programs at universities, medical centers, corporations and government agencies including the US Navy.  He is the lead instructor on a multi year- multi site NIH study on MBSR for Parents of developmentally delayed children. Hugh has also been a presenter at the International Scientific Conference on Mindfulness, is a regular event speaker, and is the lead mindfulness teacher in a number of clinical research projects. Hugh has trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with the originator of the MBSR program, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn Ph.D. He has studied and lived in residence at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center under the guidance of Zen Master Charles Tenshin Fletcher, Roshi, and is Certified as an MBSR teacher through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness.

John Taylor

John Taylor

John Taylor is a Certified Teacher of MBSR as defined by the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute. He has practiced Reiki, and other hands on healing modalities for over 30 years. John is currently a faculty member of the Innerwork Center in Richmond, Virginia where he teaches Mindful Based Stress Reduction, facilitates Silent Retreats and leads other mindfulness programs. In UCSD’s Mindfulness-Based Proffessional Training Insitites’ commitment and our offering of a Teacher Training for a cohort to BIPOC Teacher trainees; he brings a wealth of experience to guide the training. His trauma sensitivity makes him the perfect team member for our MBSR Program for Survivors Empowered  , 

John is an active member of the Greater Richmond community where a large focus of his work has been on racial equity, reconciliation initiatives, and facilitated community dialogues. He currently he serves as a director of Side by Side, an organization that provides supportive communities for Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth as well as training, education and awareness programs for adults. John lives in North Chesterfield, VA with his partner, their three children (and three dogs).

Korantemah Pierce Williams

Korantemah Pierce Williams

Nana Korantemah is a certified MBSR Teacher through the UCSD Mindfulness Based Professional Training Institute. For more than 20 years, she has been an educator, counselor, and senior priest practitioner (Nana Okomfo Panyin) in the Akom Tradition, Ghana, West Africa. Korantemah is a  diversity and equity trainer for multiple organizations, in her life long passion to bring healing to the racial oppression in our country. As such she is a key part of UCSD’s Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute’s BIPOC MBSR teacher training. Her experience with trauma informed Mindfulness also makes her the perfect teacher for UCSD’s work with Survivors Empowered. We are so fortunate to have  her on the team

By embracing mindfulness meditation, Nana Korantemah serves as a bridge between traditional practice and modern existence. She remains humbled by the healing powers of compassion, forgiveness, and love.

Zayda Vallejo

Zayda Vallejo

Zayda Vallejo is an adjunct faculty member at Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC). She is a mindfulness instructor, trainer , and part of the team that developed the Mindfulness Training for Primary Care Group Leadership Manual. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University School of Public Health. For the past 18 years Zayda has served as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) instructor, teacher, and supervisor of professionals who aspire to teach MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (CFM). She is now a senior teacher and trainer at the UCSD Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, invloved in our “Diverse communities” teacher training, to devlop a group of BIPOC MBSR Teachers . After years of workng closely with Jon Kabat-Zinn and other developers of MBSR at the birthplace of this program, UCSD MBPTI is honored and fortunate to have her on our team. Originally from Colombia, her presence  also supports our commitment to diversity . Zayda is a Trauma informed Mindfulness teachre which makes her a key part of our MBSR program for Survivors Empowered.

Register for the Retreat

Bookings are closed for this event.