Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms

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Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms - LIVE ONLINE PROGRAM

With Saki Santorelli, EdD, MA

24 April - 7 June 2021

Registrations until the 18th of April 2021






Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms


DIALOGUE AND INQUIRY isthe communal, heart-throbbingly beautiful conversation that is the heart and soul of MBSR and, by extension, all authentic mindfulness-based programs (MBPs). Grounded in relationship and oriented toward the love of truth, this intimate, ongoing interchange with program participants is deeply human, self-revealing, and ennobling.


Identified as central to the development of mindfulness-based teachers, these conversations are often reported to be a major source of teacher apprehension and uneasiness. This is not surprising. These spontaneous interchanges compel us to step away from the shelter and security of course curriculum and structure and willingly risk: risk being present, entering unfamiliar territory, trusting in not knowing, meeting each person freshly. A gesture of humility, bravery, and love, standing in such open space is not easy. And yet, this is just what’s required when we are called to escort others on their journey.


As a way of taking our seats, working with fear, and inhabiting these conversations more whole-hearted, our time together will be oriented around the experiential practice of dialogue and inquiry. As a community of apprentices our learning will unfold through:


  • Inquiring into the nature of dialogue and inquiry in MBPs,
  • Inhabiting the inner source from which dialogue and inquiry springs and flows forth,
  • Guiding in small and large groups,
  • Reflecting on video recordings from Saki’s MBSR classes,
  • Weaving dialogue with one person into the communal conversation and consciousness,
  • Offering and receiving peer and instructor feedback,
  • Practicing between sessions with course participants


The invitation is to practice together and join in honest conversationabout what we find difficult, delightful (and everything in between) in our direct experience with dialogue and inquiry. The intention is to support one another as colleagues, students, and evolving guides. The essential aspiration is to serve others by becoming more embodied, heartfelt, and relationally-wise.


Course Outline:


Session 1: Fusion: Silence, Listening, and Speech

Dialogue and inquiry rely upon three qualities of human experience: silence, listening, and speech. As a way of attuning ourselves to the dynamics of this three-fold reality, we’ll begin this course with day of practice. The first half of the day will be devoted to silent practice. During the second half, we’ll fuse silence, listening, and speech into the practice of dialogue and inquiry.  


Weekly Sessions


Session 2: True Wealth: The Treasure in Your Chest

  • The action of the heart in dialogue and inquiry
  • The source and purpose of dialogue and inquiry
  • The real work of the MBSR guide


Session 3: Calling Forth: Invoking the “Holding Environment” of MBSR

  • Supporting and sustaining the birth of learning in the MBSR participant
  • Dialogue, inquiry and the holding environment of mindfulness meditation
  • Midwifing the MBSR participant’s recognition of their innate“holding environment”


Session 4: Awe: Not Knowing and Wondering Openly with Another

  • Listening, asking questions, and listening some more
  • Inhabiting the space beyond familiar questions and habitual answers
  • Opening rather than closing the learning space


Session 5: Risk: Entering the Immediacy of the Moment

  • The improvisational nature of dialogue and inquiry
  • Inhabiting the immediacy of existencewithin ourselves and others
  • Exploring with another the sense and signs of their humanity


Session 6: Communion: Stepping Out of Predictable Roles and Boundaries

  • Who is the teacher? Who is the student? And who says so?
  • Shifting from teaching to guiding, from guiding to midwifing
  • Joining and traveling together as companions




  • MBSR and MBCT Certified Teachers
  • MBSR Qualified Teachers
  • MBSR and MBCT Teacher Trainees
  • Other MBP program Teachers or Trainees
  • People with experience integrating mindfulness into large social institutions such as medicine, business, law, and government.



  • Highly motivated to be a learner
  • Consistent, daily mindfulness practice
  • Willingness to respect the dignity and nobility of the “other” when receiving and offering feedback.



The course will be taught in English, without consecutive translation.



Saki Amsterdam2

Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, MA is an educator, meditation teacher, writer, gardener and pioneer in integrating meditation and mindfulness into medicine, health care, and the broader society. In 2017, he retired as professor of medicine, executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and director of the internationally acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic – the clinic of origin of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) - at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


His entire forty-year career in medicine and healthcare has been oriented around the integration of mindfulness into public health fueled by an abiding trust in the innate brilliance and nobility of human beings. He has plumbed the nature of the healing relationship by working with thousands of medical patients, educating and mentoring generations of medical students, healthcare professionals, educators, and researchers of mindfulness and MBSR. Through his vision and leadership, the Center for Mindfulness transmitted the ethos, practice, teaching, and science of mindfulness to individuals and organizations around the world.


Saki has been a student in the universal Sufi lineage of Hazrat Inayat Khan for nearly fifty years. In 1980, his teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, suggested he also become a student in the Buddhist insight meditation tradition. He did so. A year later, he met Jon Kabat-Zinn. Blessed with such good fortune, he became Jon’s student. As their decades-long relationship unfolded, they became colleagues, friends, and dharma-brothers transmitting the taste of mindfulness, the fragrance of the Sufi’s, and the vision of a grounded, lively contemplative science and education to people around the planet.

Saki teaches, writes, presents workshops, seminars, and leads retreats internationally. He is the author of Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine now translated into fourteen languages and founder/director of the website and online community, Guest House Awareness.





Dates and times: Online with one full-day session and five weekly sessions. Participation is required for all six sessions and for between session practice assignments.


* If you can't attend one session or part of a session due to time difference or any other reason you are can still register in the course as all sessions will be recorded including video so that you can review and make up portions of a missed class. This will be available for one week.


- 24 April, Saturday -

10.00am - 1.00pm

3.00pm - 6.00pm


- 3,10,17, 24 May & 7 June-

6.00pm - 9.00pm


*Time Zone: GMT + 1 ( you can check the time difference using the following link:




- You will need to have a quiet space where you will not be interrupted, and which has enough room for you to be able to stand and stretch or lie down for some of the practices 


- Participation will be via your computer (Windows Mac or Linux) with interactive audio, video and chat. This online course requires high speed Internet access and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate equipment and Internet connection 


- Technical requirements:

  1. High-speed internet connection

  1. Video cam (built-in or external)

  1. Audio microphone (built-in or external)


- It is the participant’s responsibility to complete the required technical tests on their computer and to test the Internet connection they will be using throughout the course. For those participants who plan to participate from the workplace, please note that it might be necessary to involve your IT department or consultant to determine how to meet the following technical requirements.


Required preparation:

Please complete all the following steps to ensure you can successfully join the online course .

  • Download Zoom (video conference program) by clicking here or by clicking on

  • Click here for a PDF on how to install Zoom

  • Ensure you have operational headphones/earphones – required to limit feedback

  • Test your headphones/earphones with the computer you will be using

  • Test your camera and microphone by clicking here or by clicking on




Normal Rate: 442€ (includes 23% VAT)


Reduced Rate for People with Financial Difficulties: 360€ (Includes 23% VAT)




The limit date for registration is the 18th April of 2021. After this date we won’t accept any further registrations.


The number of places is limited, so we advise your registration as soon as possible.


To register in the course: 


  • Make the payment of the value of the retreat:  442 euros (normal rate) or 360 euros (Financial Difficulties) (for participants registering through companies)
  • Payment can be completed using the box below:




Standing In Open Space: Dialogue and Inquiry in MBSR and Other MBP Classrooms




  •  After completing the payment please dend an email to with the name and date of the event you want to register with the proof of payment from your bank or paypal.
  • After the reception of your email we will send you a reply confirming your place in the program and with information relating to the program including the ZOOM link to enter the virtual retreat class will be send closer to the program. If you don't receive our reply please contact us.


* Note for payments completed via paypal and credit card  a transaction fee of 3% for portuguese participants and 4% of international and european participants will be charged directly to paypal and the Credit Card payment system.



      • If your retreat is canceled until the 15th of February  2021 you will receive a full reimbursement of the retreat minus an administration fee of 50 euros plus fee for the international bank transference. After this date we won’t make any reimbursements.
      • If the event is canceled due to an unexpected reason, Ser Integral: Centro Português de Mindfulness, will provide a reimbursement of 100% of the value paid for the program.

- The course will take place with a minimum and maximum number of participants (limited places available). In the eventuality of the program not having the minimum registrations established Se Integral: Portuguese Center for Mindfulness will have to cancel the event.

- The program is subject to minor changes according to the needs met during the course.|


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