2015 Yearlong Meditation Teacher Training Program

The application fee is waived for applications received by December 1, 2014.  Application form may be downloaded at the bottom of this page.  



This year-long program, developed and led by Senior Teacher and Founder Ethan Nichtern, is a rigorous cycle of discipline and study of the methods and principles of Secular Buddhism and its contemplative practices.  Participants will learn individual and group meditation techniques, as well as Buddhist philosophical, psychological, and ethical foundations.   The program includes six weekend immersion retreats, one-on-one direction from Ethan Nichtern, peer study groups and support, and admission to IDP Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday classes and weekend retreats.  (Note:  Immersion students attending classes as part of the year-long training will be requested to help with room setup and cleanup.)



IDP's year-long training has been a way for me to significantly deepen my practice without withdrawing from my day-to-day life. The training provided me with support for my home practice, challenging exchange in my study and the experience of love within a sangha of incredible folks walking the path together."  - 2011 Immersion Trainee, Meredith Arena, coordinator, IDP Seattle



Listen to a Q&A Session on the Immersion Training at this link!

Objectives of IDP's Year-long Immersion

1) To enhance participants' personal understanding and practice of Buddhist principles and meditative disciplines.  The immersion encourages students to make a commitment to their path, deepen their connection with the Buddhist teachings, and establish meditation practice as a life-long engagement.

2) To provide participants with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to apply contemplative and Buddhist principles to their livelihood, especially in professions such as teaching, mentoring, or the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of others. Immersion students will develop confidence and knowledge to frame the teachings in a secular manner that supports a wide range of contemporary fields.

3) To provide an opportunity for participants to begin teaching meditation.  Note: The Interdependence Project does not empower participants to become Dharma teachers in a Buddhist lineage.  Qualified graduates may be selected to develop their skills as a secular Buddhist teacher at IDP.  Those considering applying for this program are encouraged to approach the training with humility and the sincere desire to deepen their path as a student, recognizing that being a great student is the very essence of becoming a good teacher.

Information for Applicants

Tuition: The total cost of the program $1500, exclusive of reading materials and year-end teacher's gift.  Tuition is payable upon acceptance into the program, and payment in full must be received before the first training weekend. We encourage students with financial need to consider applying to a Work Study Position, or fundraising via Indigogo or The Offering Bowl.  Tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable.  However, you may become an Extension Student and complete the
training in a later training session for a $500 fee. Please email kim@theidproject.org with questions. 

There are three discounted Work-Study Positions available, which will be awarded based upon both financial need and IDP involvement.  Work-Study requires 1-2 hours per week. You must apply by December 1st to be eligible for consideration for one of these positions. 

Application & Practice Requirements 
- Membership in The Interdependence Project, at any monthly payment level
- A regular meditation practice of at least two years, preferably longer
- Two brief letters of recommendation:
  - From a Buddhist sangha (does not have to be IDP) community member, teacher, or leader, other than Ethan Nichtern
  - A personal letter of reference from a personal mentor or teacher.
- Payment of a $40 non-refundable application fee, if submitted after December 1, 2014
Completion and submission of application and supporting documents no later than January 15, 2015.

The following practice requirements must be fulfilled by or before June 30, 2015
- 40 hours or more of Secular Buddhist Studies classes attended at IDP or via study-at-home
- Four Weekend Retreats attended at IDP or elsewhere
- One or more week-long residential meditation retreat in a recognized practice lineage

Alternative credit will be considered for the practice requirements.  Please email kim@theidproject.org with inquiries. 

Program Requirements

  • Mandatory attendance at six weekend retreats beginning February 2015 and proceeding through December 2015 as follows: February 20-22; April 10-12; June 12-14; August 7-9;
    October 9-11; December 4-6.
  • Each weekend schedule is Friday 7-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-4pm.
  • Two one-on-one sessions with Ethan.
  • Significant reading, homework, and weekly practice requirements.
  • A final essay comparing the teaching styles of two Buddhist/mindfulness teachers from a pedagogical and experiential standpoint.
Six hours of leadership service at IDP (e.g. teaching assistant, retreat coordinator, special event coordinator, meditation facilitator).
  • Participants are encouraged to regularly attend IDP classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings, the fee for which is included in tuition.

Testimonials from Graduates of the Year-long Immersion Training

"As a yoga teacher, I have been in quite a few training programs.  IDP's year-long immersion has been an incredible experience in personal growth in that I am constantly challenged to step outside my comfort zone and not 'cling to the shore.' Integrating Buddhist studies with daily meditation practice has been an invaluable part of my life.  The most important part of this whole process is that you are on this journey with loving, supportive, and super fun friends. " - Kim Stetz, Yoga Teacher and Holistic Health Coach

"Even if you have no desire to teach, I cannot say enough about how amazing this program is. It has profoundly changed my relationship to my practice." - Nomi Kleinman, Assistant Professor, Textile/Surface Design at Fashion Institute of Technology

"This program has enabled me to devise, structure, and present a dharma talk more effectively than I was able to in the past. The emphasis on peer feedback and mutual support is invaluable. There isn't anything else quite like the IDP year-long instructor training program anywhere in the world and I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of it." - Lawrence GreccoZen Buddhist monk, Life Coach, and IDP teacher

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