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Meditation Teacher Training 


with Dr. Deborah Norris


The Meditation Teacher Training program is a 160-hour immersion program that informs the participant through both didactic and experiential practices. Discussion covers the role of mindfulness in health care, education and other community building roles, drawing on both ancient wisdom and modern evidence-basis. Experiential practice cultivates a deeper self-practice, and builds the foundation for teaching group and one-on-one sessions.

This program is Co-Sponsored by the
National Association of Social Workers/NASW, and offers up to 24 hours of CE's to therapists and social workers. CEU's are also offered through Yoga Alliance.


The Mindfulness Center's Meditation Teacher Training features a unique rolling admission, allowing you to start at any time. Hours are comprised of 120 Required Course hours and 20 Elective Course hours and 20 hours of Community Service.

Upcoming 2017-2018 Meditation Teacher Training Dates:

Fridays: 6:30-9:30pm and Saturdays: 12-5pm

August 18-19 
Advanced Meditation Seminar (M200)
September 15-16 Advanced Meditation Seminar (M200)
October 13-14 Mind-Body for Cancer (M362)
November 17-18 Advanced Meditation Seminar (M200)
December 1-2  Advanced Meditation Seminar (M200)
January 12-13, 2018     Mind-Body Therapies: Clinical Applications (M290)
February 2-3 Advanced Meditation Seminar (M200)
March 9-10  Advanced Meditation Seminar (M200)
April 6-7  Mind-Body for Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia (M364)

View Our Workshop Schedule



Completion of the certification program requires a total of 160 hours of training.

120 hours of required courses.
20 hours elective courses (minimum 1 from Group A and 1 from Group B)
20 hours of approved community service
Concurrent requisites:      50 hours of personal practice either in groups or alone


Required courses are offered monthly in 3, 5 or 8-hour segments, and hours are cumulative. You can take courses as they fit your schedule, and no need to worry about missing a class. Our administrator will help you in maintaining a record of completion of requirements.


Pay in full in advance: $2,200. Contact for payment plan options and to register by phone at 301-986-1090

Courses are offered individually, and may be taken independent of the Meditation Teacher Training program.

Pay by the course: The cost varies, depending upon the electives that you choose.

Costs of retreats are additional and are not included in the cost of Meditation Teacher tuition. Hours earned during retreats may count towards completion of certification requirements. 

Scholarships available for MB362 Mind-Body for Cancer, for individuals with a diagnosis of cancer and accompanying caretakers may attend for free.

To apply for financial assistance with other courses, please contact Roxanne Lerner to inquire: 301-986-1090

Payment plans and a limited number of partial scholarships are also available.


Who should attend?

  • Physicians and Physician Assistants
  • Nurses and Nurse Practitioners
  • Social Workers (CE's available)
  • Psychiatrists, Psychologists
  • School teachers and administrators
  • Pastoral Counselors
  • Veteran Healthcare Providers
  • Yoga Therapists (CEU's available)
  • Massage Therapists and other Body Workers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Complementary & Integrative Medicine Professionals
  • Other Allied Health Professionals
  • Individuals wishing to deepen their practice of meditation


“Hi Dr. Norris,

I wanted to reach out because I am finishing section 3. I am starting my one on one sessions this week! Yahoo:) The reason I wanted to reach out was because I truly enjoyed your video and mentioning dog therapy and the heart connection with veterans. I have an 11 year old Therapy Dog and I take her into the nursing home to visit with the patients, including the individuals who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is amazing tot watch the connection between the person and the Marely. Staff and myself are always amazed at how the patients, with Alzheimer's, begin to be flooded with memories of when they once had a dog. I truly believe in the heart connection with animals. I personally have seen this amazing connection. As I have the same connection with my three dogs and I must say it is a love I have for them and they have for me and my husband. Thank You for this amazing class and sharing the importance of opening hearts and the connection with animals. I am very happy that I am getting my certification from your program. ”

“I am profoundly thankful that I took the opportunity to study meditation under Dr. Debbie Norris at The Mindfulness Center. I have meditated off and on for over 40 years. Five years ago I certified as a yoga instructor, and began teaching my yoga students how to meditate. Shortly after studying meditation in the Meditation Teacher Training program my own yoga students reported reaching deeper levels during our meditation sessions. Even my students who had been meditating for a few years noticed a profound change in their meditation quality. The skills I learned were particularly helpful for my work with novice meditation students. One of my students was referred to me because he had trouble sleeping. Within two weekly training sessions he was sleeping normally again. All of my students have benefited from what I learned through the Meditation Teacher Training at The Mindfulness Center.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Meditation Teacher Training at The Mindfulness Center. The format of the program enabled me to fit more meditation into my lifestyle. I enjoyed the opportunity to lead meditation when I was ready and get feedback from others. I also got a lot out of the community service component planning the DC Meditates event on the National Mall. Through the program, I expanded my knowledge on meditation and mindfulness, strengthened my practice, and met some great people! ”

“The mindfulness meditation training has been a life changing practice. It has truly helped widen my awareness. It’s been over a year that I spoke with Aurora…and I am so thankful she shared that this training was’ life changing’. It has been.


What type of meditation do you teach, and why is this the most beneficial type of meditation?

Research is showing that different types of meditation practices have different effects. For example, mantra meditation which focuses on the repetition of words facilitates growth in the parts of the brain that regulate language. Meditation that focuses on self-awareness facilitates growth in parts of the brain affecting self-control and self-regulation. Research by Dr. Norris and others is showing that meditation that focuses on cultivating self-awareness and self-regulation have the most profound beneficial effects on our mental and physical health. Meditation focused on self-awareness through the breath and other interoceptive stimuli activate parts of the brain that promote coordination of healing mechanisms of the body, and thus have been found to have the most profound healing benefits (Lazar, 2014). Self-compassion practices were found equally effective in activating regions of the brain that regulate mood, emotion, and physical well-being.

In addition to affecting structural changes in the brain, mindfulness practices have been shown to activate biochemical changes in the brain and throughout the body, associated with well-being, including increased circulating levels of serotonin and endorphins, and decreased stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. Dr. Norris teaches students to cultivate a personal practice that is most rewarding to themselves. By tuning in to the capacity for self-regulation, students are able to self-modulate the focus of their practice, and find optimal well-being in this self-care practice. 

Can I just come for the purpose of deepening my own personal practice, and not for the certification? And if so, which program should I take?

Yes. You can take the Advanced Meditation Seminar for either 3 hours on Friday night, 5 hours on Saturday, or come for both days and enjoy the weekend immersion simply for the pleasure of the experience.  

Do you offer CE’s or CEU’s for any professions?

Yes. The National Association of Social Workers offers CE's for Social Workers, Psychologists, Clinical Counselors and other counseling professionals. Yoga teachers may receive CEU’s with Yoga Alliance. Independent study credit hours may be arranged through the American University.

I want to take your Meditation Teacher Training. How do I keep track of completion of my requirements?

Our Program Director will help you to keep track and guide you as you progress through the program. You will also receive a course checklist for your personal use.

If I have pre-registered for the MTT, and paid for the course, will there be any other expenses for me to receive my teacher certification?

The course registration fee covers all of the required and elective courses, up to 140 hours of coursework, and supervision for 20 hours of community service teaching meditation. Students may attend retreats and participate in workshops with special guest presenters for an additional cost. In some instances, these retreats and workshops may be counted towards the hours for completion of the certification. Students who have completed the training and received the Meditation Teacher Training certificate may continue to attend the Advanced Meditation Seminar and receive a 20% discount off of the program cost. 

Is the training done in groups or individually?

The Meditation Teacher Training is done in groups. During the training, there may be break-out sessions of smaller groups or triads, for more intensive practice. The Advanced Meditation Seminar (200), the Meditation Practice Leader (250) and the Group Meditation Practicum (260) all meet at the same time, but have different requirements during the training. Private meditation sessions are available with Dr. Norris, but are not a part of the teacher training. There is an additional cost for private sessions.

If a student cannot make a session can they make it up in next session?

Yes. The Advanced Meditation Seminar, the Meditation Practice Leader and the Group Meditation Practicum are recurring. You may take the training whenever it fits your schedule, with no need to worry about missing. While classes are typically offered once a month, you may attend whenever you are able - if you miss a month or more, you just pick up where you left off when you are next able to attend. The classes are typically offered on Friday night and the following Saturday afternoon, in 8-hour sessions.

What are the required courses like?

The main portion of the training is the 120 hours of required courses. These courses are referred to as the Advanced Meditation Seminar, the Meditation Practice Leader, and the Group Meditation Practicum. These courses all meet at the same class, however the students' responsibilities in the class change with experience. After 40 hours of attending (5 sessions), the student begins to practice leading the meditations for the group. After 4 more sessions, the student leads the interactive guidance, responding to other student's experiences in the class, and facilitating a deepening of others' practices. The other requirements (Mind-Body Therapies: Clinical Applications) and electives can be taken at any time throughout the training. 

When are the elective classes offered? 

Elective classes are offered throughout the year on a recurring basis. Students enrolled in the Meditation Teacher Training program will be notified by email and can check the website for upcoming electives. Classes include specialty areas such as dealing with trauma, pain, cancer or addiction, and specialty populations, such as children, veterans, or the elderly. Electives also include specialized training in mind-body practices, such as yoga nidra meditation, pranayama, etc.

How long do I have to complete the requirements to obtain a teacher certificate?

Learning to teach meditation to others is a transformative process in and of itself. Permit yourself the time that it takes to undergo this transformation, so that you may enjoy the process. It is possible to complete the training within eighteen months, and it is recommended that you complete the training within no more than two years. If more time is needed for extenuating circumstances, please discuss this with the Program Director.

Is there a certificate of completion or other credential obtained for the classes taken?

Yes. The Mindfulness Center provides a Certificate of Completion of the Meditation Teacher Training. Teaching meditation is not presently a licensed or otherwise regulated program.