Course Structure and Time Commitment
The course generally requires 2-4 hours per week. You do not need to be on your computer at a specific time for this course. New material is made available each week. You have the whole week to complete that material at times that are convenient for you. Learn More about learning online at Mindful Schools.
Weekly activities include:
- Videos/Readings: Weekly lessons from your Trainer
- Insights from your Guiding Teacher
- Practice: Guided audios that range between 10 minutes and 30 minutes
- Writing: Reflection questions based on each week’s practice
After the course ends, you’ll receive ongoing access to the most up-to-date version of the course materials.
This course is facilitated by a Guiding Teacher who directs the learning process by answering questions, providing feedback, and synthesizing emerging themes. All of our Guiding Teachers have more than 15 years of dedicated mindfulness practice and broad teaching experience. Your Guiding Teacher is available to answer questions throughout the course.
Gene Lushtak began meditation practice in 1997 and completed numerous long retreats before moving to Thailand in 2004 to practice intensively. Upon returning to the United States, Gene sought to bring the mindfulness teachings into everyday life. He taught mindfulness in grade schools as part of InnerKids in Los Angeles and has been leading a sitting group in San Francisco for more than ten years. Gene also sees clients as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma.
Sara Schedler was introduced to mindfulness as an undergraduate at Brown University and has been a dedicated practitioner for almost 20 years. She completed numerous periods of intensive silent meditation retreat, ranging from one to three months. Sara taught mindfulness at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center for two years and has taught teen mindfulness retreats since 2003. She spent years sharing the Mindful Schools curriculum in public schools with children in grades K-6. She holds a Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation from UCLA and continues to work at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. Prior to dedicating herself full-time to mindfulness, Sara worked in the environmental field on issues of climate change and clean energy.
Cheryl Slean has practiced mindfulness for more than 20 years and is a graduate of UCLA’s Certificate Program in Mindfulness Facilitation. She has taught extensively since 2007, leading numerous sitting groups, class series and retreats at venues nationwide including Against the Stream, Seattle Insight, Santa Monica Hospital, Swedish Hospital, the Hammer Museum, Google, Michael’s House Drug & Alcohol Treatment Center, Refuge Recovery and Insight Community of the Desert, among others. She has collaborated with the healthcare community, participating in research and education on mindfulness and chronic pain, stress relief and substance addiction. Cheryl is also a filmmaker and theater artist and is interested in the intersection of the arts, mindfulness and sustainability.
In taking Difficult Emotions, we ask that participants commit to an on-going, daily mindfulness practice. In addition, participants must complete one of the following trainings:
- Mindfulness Fundamentals (preferred)
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (in person or online)
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (in person or online)
- Another (6-week or longer) online or in-person secular mindfulness course from an acknowledged provider (e.g. UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, etc.)
Exceptions to this are made for long-time meditation practitioners who have sat at least one, 3-day silent retreat, in the last four years.
Trainings, modalities and activities that do not meet the prerequisite include Yoga, Reiki, Transcendental Meditation (or any other meditation practice solely focused on mantra recitation) and reading mindfulness books. Even if you have a long practice history, Mindfulness Fundamentals or another secular mindfulness course is highly recommended as part of your overall training program. It will ensure that you are “synced up” with the terms, language and methods used in our trainings and in other secular mindfulness trainings.
Financial assistance is available for all of our courses. You can learn more about financial assistance here.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Please contact our outside provider, ‘Courses 4 Teachers‘ who partners with the University of Pacific to provide up to 3 CEUs for this course. For questions, to get more information, or apply for credit, please visit our provider’s website.
What do course graduates say about the course?
- 97% recommend the course.
“The Difficult Emotions course provided a space where I could safely experience and investigate anger, anxiety and shame. It allowed me to see through some of the smoke and mirrors of these difficult emotions so that I could better deal with them. Most of all, I came away knowing that I can withstand the onslaught of difficult emotions through mindfulness.”