Graduate Training

Karuna Graduate Training Overview

Click here to learn about Karuna Graduate Training 2021-2022

The Karuna Graduate Training is a year-long certificate program which offers tools from Karuna Training that participants can integrate into their life and work with others. This includes Compassionate Exchange, Facilitation of Experiential Exercises, Body, Speech and Mind Group Facilitation, Mindfulness Awareness Training, Speaking from the Heart Group Facilitation and Concentrated Self-Care and Self-Compassion. The prerequisite is the 2-year  Karuna Basic Training.

The program consists of two in person seminars, three online seminars (weekend and ongoing), a 75 hour practicum (25 hours of direct service) and continuity groups. The in person seminars are currently planned as retreats at Ghost Ranch; one as a 4-day residential retreat and the other as a 7 day Deepening Week retreat.  The online seminars will include both weekends and ongoing classes.

The program cost is $3750 or $3250 if paid in full in advance, a $500 discount, or participants can arrange to make payments over time.  We are committed to making this financially workable for those who have a strong desire to do the program. Some tuition assistance is available.  We require a minimum of 13 participants for this program.   Please note that the food and lodging costs for the residential retreats will be paid separately.  The costs are estimated at $100- $200 a night for food and lodging including discount, standard and patron rates.

Karuna Graduate Training: Questions and Answers

I am more interested in the personal transformation aspect of Karuna. I don’t want to apply these things to my livelihood. How would this program benefit me?    

In this program we maintain the personal process component of the basic training, but go deeper. Forms such as process groups are engaged again, and all programs are designed for further self -transformation and person inquiry deeper into the topics and forms that we’ve already been introduced to.  There is an emphasis on how to live Karuna in everyday life – and we are given assignments that are designed to bring the work into the world and deeply into one’s life; for example in the BSM weekend we are asked prior to the weekend to find an important place, organization or place of work in our lives where we can apply the BSM logic to an inquiry, and during the weekend we explore BSM group in multiple applications beyond a relationship.

What will we be authorized to do at the end of this training? Give Karuna Meditation instruction?  Lead Body Speech and Mind Groups?  Speaking from the Heart Groups?  

We will be able to offer first instructions and to speak coherently about the benefits of mindfulness-awareness meditation, BSM group, and to facilitate speaking from the heart groups, and to be more conscious of one’s self care. The idea is to apply these forms in our lives, and we get very creative in how that could work. Each weekend does a deep dive in where we are with our personal understanding of these forms.

I’m already a trained meditation instructor or Shambhala guide.  How will this training be different?  

This training doesn’t authorize meditation instructors, there is no lineage here to do so. The training is designed to personally take a deep look into one’s own relationship to mindfulness-awareness; what we know and what we do with meditation. How meditation could be beneficial to others and how we can encourage the development of stability, clarity and strength of mind in oneself and others.

I want to apply these skills to livelihood.  May I say I’m trained in contemplative psychology and charge for these services?  

This training doesn’t authorize people or match training to certification to practice. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t work with others professionally. The program is designed to uncover numerous opportunities in life that allow us to live our compassionate exchange with the world more skillfully, and how that can integrate into livelihood is part of that.

How will we be supported after the basic program?

After the basic training there are post graduate trainings available designed to be refreshers for affordable prices, sometimes retreats and sometimes weekends. We encourage the on-going meeting of continuity groups if they have jelled — why not keep on meeting? Karuna faculty can be invited to these gatherings from time to time for modest teaching gifts. Individual supervision is always an option with faculty. We make ourselves available to our Karuna family.

How will we be supported after the graduate program?  

After the graduate training sometimes networks of people contemplatively trained arise to provide on-going support to one another and the same is true for the graduate training as it is for the basic training – the post graduate groups, continuity groups and supervision.

I’m already a therapist. How will this graduate training benefit me?   

The graduate training is an opportunity to stretch yourself – that is the purpose of the practicum and all the training is geared toward living Karuna in the world, living what you learned in the basic training, really living it and bringing it down into your life in all your relations and livelihood situations. If you are a therapist then the practicum should be some direction you want to dare to pursue – something you are not doing now; private practice, or groups, or supervision or some way of extending you training into a new direction. The faculty is more available during this practicum.

What is contained in the 75 hour practicum?  How will we manage this over the 10 months?  Can I work with groups?  

Starting at the very first weekend the practicum is initiated and carries through as a theme and enhancement to the learning across the entire graduate training. The heart of the training is the 75-hour practicum which includes 20 – 25 hours of direct work with others in a practicum of your design and choice. As many as 50 hours is included for preparing for, evaluating and writing and recording a journal of your practicum along the way, and meeting in regional groups and in supervision with a faculty. The idea of the practicum is to stretch you personally, make it very personal and challenging in a way that you never did before.  This may take some time to design. No practicums begin without a written plan and an approval from faculty supervisors. The point of the practicum is to live your compassion and apply it very directly in an area of your life that will challenge you deeply in personal growth.

What will we be doing in the Maitri Retreats?  Will there be instruction on how to work with the energies that are arising? 

We will be intensifying one or possibly two families over the week – families of our choice that we choose to intensify, and we stay with it. All the while we are studying contemplative process work in groups, taking turns being leaders. This acts as a transmission of the wisdom of the family when we stay with the energies, no matter what we are feeling. It is the fruition of the Maitri work in Karuna and at the same time we are deepening our understanding of working contemplatively with others in the potency of the present moment.

What structure will be provided to us between the graduate seminars?  I’d like to have more teacher support.  

There will be continuity groups like before and also 3 hours of private supervision. We could offer on-going monthly on-line check ins as well, since that has been popular with this NorCal group.

Why is the graduate program priced as it is?  

The price was determined by our increased expenses with rental fees and to provide some level of faculty and staff salaries. As you know Karuna is a nonprofit. We strongly want to make the program workable with payment plans and tuition assistance for any of you who want to do it.

Are the food and lodging fees a separate expense as they were for the basic training?     

Yes this is a straight cost to Walker Creek and there will be the same options available.

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