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Mindful : December 2018
ACCESSIBILITY One of the oft-cited criticisms of the profes- sionalization of the field is elitism. Mindfulness, by its very nature, is available to everyone. Yet the programs that train teachers of mindful- ness are expensive enough to be out of reach for many people. As an example, the eight-week course in fundamentals of mindfulness-based stress reduction at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass costs $2,100—and that’s just tuition, not living expenses or travel. The CFM’s practice teaching program costs an additional $2,750. Group and individual teaching supervision adds an additional $2,300 to the bill. Add to that the cost of four silent retreats, also required for teacher certification, and the $1,275 cost of get- ting certified, and the tab is well over $10,000 in tuition alone to become a teacher. Scholarships and financial aid help defray some of those costs. But many experts say the field will have to do more to address concern about financial barriers. CULTURAL SENSITIVITY The rise of mindfulness as a teaching profession has its roots in the first world and in privi- leged cultural settings. But the issues that face practitioners in developing parts of the world and in marginalized communities are often very different. Creating standards and requirements that are appropriate for very different countries, cultures, and communities will pose a major challenge. “Obviously, one size doesn’t fit all,” says Phillips. “ We have to address that, and find 68 mindful December 2018 meditation