2017 Meditation Teacher Training Yearlong Program

The 2017 program has begun and applications are no longer accepted.  Please check this page again in summer 2017 for info on the 2018 program.


Teacher Training IDP

The Interdependence Project’s Yearlong Meditation Teacher Training is an immersion in the practices and principles of multi-lineage, secular Buddhism. This one-of-a-kind training includes six weekend retreats, one-on-one direction from its teachers, peer study groups and support, and bi-monthly online, interactive, video meetings.

Developed and led by IDP founder and teacher Ethan Nichtern, it will include Soto Zen Priest Francisco Genkoji Lugoviña, IDP teacher and Executive Director, Kimberly Brown, and others of the IDP Faculty.   This training integrates the philosophical, psychological, and ethical principles of the Buddhist traditions with contemporary Buddhist teachings and therapeutic practices.   Participants not only learn specific techniques for effectively leading individual and group meditation, they are also guided on a path of study to clarify the function of contemplative practice in the development of wisdom and compassion.  Designed to prepare experienced meditators to offer meditation instruction to their clients, patients, family, and the general public, this training is open to therapists, educators, life coaches, leaders, managers, social workers, yoga teachers, and experienced Buddhist students inspired by their own practice to encourage others to work with their hearts and minds.

This unique program offers:

  • a multi-lineage perspective on Secular Buddhism through texts from many lineages and contemporary teachers
  • experiential learning and practice of individual and group meditation techniques in a supportive environment
  • individual supervision by a Buddhist teacher, to assist with your personal practice as well as your training skills
  • practical and grounded methods for teaching meditation and explaining basic Buddhist principles in a secular way
  • a supportive and friendly community (sangha)
  • confidence and knowledge to teach the practices in a secular manner that supports a wide range of contemporary fields

Each weekend schedule is Friday 7-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-4pm, and participants are expected to attend each weekend to qualify for completion of the program. Between weekends, participants commit to a daily meditation practice, the completion of regular homework assignments and readings, weekly and daily check-ins with peer groups, and two scheduled one-on-one meetings with teachers during the course of the program.  Two online tutorials led by IDP teachers are also offered between each training weekend.

Training Schedule
Weekend 1:    February 17-19
Weekend 2:    April 21-23
Weekend 3:    June 9-11
Weekend 4:    August 11-13
Weekend 5:    October 13-15
Weekend 6:    December 8-10

Program Admission Requirements
This training is primarily designed for those with meditation experience who are interested in offering meditation instruction within their profession.  Committed Buddhist students who would like to participate in this training to deepen their understanding and knowledge may also be admitted.

1.  Completed application form.  Download at this link.

2.  A regular meditation practice of at least two years,preferably longer

3. Two brief letters of recommendation

  • From a member, teacher, or leader of a Buddhist community (members of yoga or other spiritual traditions will be considered)
  • From a personal mentor or teacher

If the following practice requirements are not fulfilled at the time of application, acceptance to the program is conditional upon their fulfillment by June 30, 2017:

4.   Attendance of at least 40 classes or 60 hours of secular Buddhist studies courses at IDP in NYC or via Home Study or the equivalent number of courses taken within recognized lineages, and completion of at least four weekend retreats attended at IDP or elsewhere

5.   Completion of at least one week-long, residential meditation retreat within a recognized lineage

6.  Participation in a diversity workshop.  The date for the 2017 IDP workshop is TBD.  Cost for this program is not included in tuition, workshop is offered at a reduced rate for Teacher Trainees. 

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

Information for Applicants
Cost: Tuition is offered on a sliding scale and is exclusive of reading materials and a year-end teachers’ gift.  Please select the highest rate you can reasonably afford. This allows us to better meet the growing number of requests for financial aid and PoC scholarships.

Full Tuition:              $2500 

Supporting Tuition:  $2200 

Base Tuition:           $2000

Payment and Refund Policies

  • A $300 non-transferable, non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot in the program upon acceptance.
  • Cancellations more than four weeks before the training start date receive a full tuition refund, less the $300 non-refundable deposit. Cancellations between two and four weeks before training start receive a 50% tuition refund, less the $300 non-refundable deposit.
  • Tuition is due in full two weeks prior to the training start date unless a payment plan is arranged in writing. 
  • Payment plans can be arranged for the Full or Supporting Tuition rates only. The Base tuition rate must be paid in full two weeks prior to the training start date. 
  • After two weeks prior to the start of training, or after training begins, no refunds are available.

Work-Study and Scholarships
Work-Study positions are awarded based upon both financial need and community involvement.  These positions require participants to provide assistance with setup and support on Training Weekends in exchange for reduced tuition.  Due to the  limited number of positions available, you must apply by December 1, 2016 to be considered for a Work-Study position.

To further our commitment to creating a diverse community, we offer scholarships for this program to persons of color. If you identify as a person of color and would like more information, please contact kim@theidproject.org.

Ethan Nichtern is IDP's Founder and heads its yearlong Meditation Teacher Training Program. He's also a Shastri in the Shambhala tradition and the senior teacher in residence for the New York Shambhala community.  Ethan is the author of the recently published The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and the acclaimed dharma book, One City: A Declaration of Interdependence.



PacoFrancisco Genkoji Lugoviña is an ordained Buddhist priest in the Soto Zen lineage and is a member of the Zen Peacemaker Circles and Peacemaker International.  He is founder of the Hudson River Peacemaker Center/House of One People in Yonkers, New York.  He is an entrepeneur who has been active in community and political affairs in New York City for many years.  He was chairman of the National Hispanic Housing Coalition, and has worked as a community organizer and civil rights activist.





Kimberly Brown is IDP's Executive Director and a graduate of the 2011 Meditation Teacher Training.  She leads mindfulness and compassion classes, workshops, and retreats for groups and individuals.  Kim studies American and Tibetan Buddhism and practices lovingkindness meditation.  Her teaching methods integrate depth psychology, compassion training, and traditional Buddhist techniques as a means to help everyone reconnect to their inherent clarity and openness. Discover more about Kim and her teaching at her website.



Testimonials from Graduates of the Yearlong Meditation Teacher 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, Holistic Health Coach, and owner of Savasana Station

"I cannot say enough about how amazing this program is. It has profoundly changed my relationship to my practice." - Nomi Kleinman, Professor, Textile/Surface Design at Fashion Institute of Technology

"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 Grecco,  Zen Buddhist monk and Life Coach


















Price: $2,500.00

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