MBCL Online Teacher Training_3

Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living
International Online MBCL Teacher-Training Programme
in English

Orientation: Friday 17th October 2025 - 19.00-21.00 CET

Module 1: Saturday 18th - Monday 20th October 2025
Module 2: Friday 24th - Sunday 26th October 2025
each day from 9.00 - 13.00 and 14.30 - 17.30 CET


Frits Koster

Meditation Teacher, Author and Senior Mindfulness Trainer
Co-Founder of MBCL


Jana Willms

Psychologist, Physiotherapist and Senior Mindfulness Trainer
Co-author of the German MBCL Workbook

Learning Objectives of the Online MBCL TT Programme

  • To experience the main exercises of MBCL in more depth beyond the foundation course level.
  • To thoroughly review the content of the 8 sessions of an MBCL course.
  • To have a basic understanding of the scientific foundation of compassion training and the theoretical background in western and Buddhist psychology.
  • To review and develop the basic attitudes necessary for working with compassion-focused methods.
  • To have an understanding for which clients compassion training can be helpful.
  • To deepen the practice of mindfulness and clarify its relationship to compassion training.
  • Deepening the understanding of the structure and content of MBCL.
  • Learning how to teach the curriculum and how to guide MBCL exercises.
  • Introduction to leading inquiry following exercises.
  • Developing skills of how to present the background theory on compassion training.
  • Deepening one’s personal experience of compassion exercises.

Content of the Online MBCL TT Programme

  • The validation of pain and suffering.
  • How our brain has evolved to help us survive and how compassion is a necessity (not a luxury), for our well-being and survival.
  • Insight into the three basic emotion regulation and motivation systems
  • How mental images and patterns can bring emotion-regulation systems out of balance and how compassionate imagery can restore the balance.
  • The psychological expressions of fight, flight & freeze: self-hatred, self-isolation and over-identification and their antidotes: self-kindness, common humanity & mindfulness.
  • “Tend & befriend” as a fourth reaction to stress in addition to fight, flight & freeze.
  • Compassionately relating to resistance, desire and inner patterns; self-conscious emotions shame and self-blame; the inner critic and inner helper.
  • Developing the compassion mode with its attributes of care for wellbeing and relief of suffering, sensitivity to needs, sympathy, empathy, tolerance of distress and non-judgmental awareness.
  • The balanced cultivation of the four heart qualities: compassion, loving kindness, joy and equanimity.
  • Compassion in action and practical ethics.
  • The structure of MBCL’s 8 sessions will be presented in detail from the teaching perspective.
  • The content and structure of compassion-focused exercises will be reviewed and practiced.
  • Participants will have more practice guiding MBCL exercises as well as leading compassionate inquiry sessions.
  • Background knowledge and meta-perspectives for MBCL trainers, including:
    • Evolutionary perspectives
    • High and low routes toward compassion
    • The plasticity of the brain
    • The physiology of the breath
    • Individual and gender differences
    • Different attachment styles
    • MBCL and psychological problems, indications/contraindications
    • MBCL in private practice settings
    • Content and attitude in communication
    • The differences and common ground between psychotherapy and MBCL training.

Prerequisites for participation in the Online MBCL TT Programme

The MBCL TT Programme is currently taking place in various countries in Europe and offered as a post graduate education for professionals already familiar with mindfulness practice and mindfulness-based work. All applicants are required to have participated in only one of the following experiential offerings:

  • A MBCL Foundation Course (on location or online, minimum 3 days)
    See for different options.
  • An 8-week MBCL training (on location or online) as a participant with a qualified MBCL teacher.
    Courses in various countries and languages can be found here:
  • A residential MBCL Retreat
    Retreats in various countries and languages can be found here:


  • Participants must have adequate communication skills in English.
  • Participants must be familiar with using the online ZOOM video platform and willing to engage in mindful inquiry into their experiences through online sharing in larger and smaller groups. This includes interpersonal work in two´s or three´s in breakout rooms.
  • Participants are responsible for ensuring a good internet connection and a suitable PC, laptop or other device with adequate video and sound systems. Use of a smart phone is not recommended.
  • Participants should be willing to spend a minimum of 11 hours of their own time to do preparatory work in-between sessions, individually and in small groups. They should also allow for reading time and individual practice time.
  • Required reading:
    Participants are required to purchase and read the following book in advance: A pracital guide to Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living - Living with heart by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster, with Victoria Norton (Routledge, 2018), a self-help guide and workbook to be used by participants of a standard MBCL course.
  • Optional reading:
    Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living - A New Training Programme to Deepen Mindfulness with Heartfulness by Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster (Routledge, 2015), textbook for professionals which includes a middle part with practical guidance, taking the reader through the course experientially.
    Both books come with downloadable audios and worksheets.

MBCL Teaching Qualification

Two Paths...


the participant must be qualified as a mindfulness teacher (MBSR or MBCT or equvalent, e.g. Breathworks) form a recognized training institute. On successful completion of the MBCL TT Programme, and following a minimum of 3 hours of supervision during teaching MBCL to groups, one can obtain A-registration as an MBCL teacher and offer the formal MBCL-programme as an advanced course to participants who completed a basic mindfulness course (MBSR/MBCT/Breathworks).


the participant may be qualified in a (mental) health or other helping profession without MBSR/MBCT teacher qualification. They should have followed basic training and gained experience in mindfulness-based interventions (e.g. ACT, DBT, MBCT) and/or wish to do the MBCL training to deepen their own praactice and their therapeutic or conseling skills with mindfulness-based and compassion-focused interventions.

For this group the minimum requirements are, that one has followe an eight-week MBSR/MBCT course and has at least one year regular practice in mindfulness meditation. Those beloning to this group can obtain B-registration as a professional, who has been trained in guiding exercises and working with material from the MBCL programme and applies this in their own work setting within the ethical guidelines of their profession, individually or in groups.

Please note: One can only register as a formal MBCL-teacher and offer the full MBCL-programme under its name, when one is also a formal MBSR or MBCT teacher.


Friday, October 17, 2025----

19.00 - 21.00 CET: Orientation
Module 1: October 18 - 20th 2025----
9.00 - 13.00 and 14.30 - 17.30 CET
Module 2: October 24th - 26th 2025----
9.00 - 13.00 and 14.30 - 17.30 CET

Course Fee:

995,- Euro (payable at the time of registration)

How to register:

Please download the registration documents and fill out the registration form.

You will receive a confirmation by E-Mail when your application form has been received.
Please return the form to the IMA:

By email:

Time investment

There will be 44 hours of online teaching (six full days and an orientation session) and a minimum of 11 hours of self-arranged study, of which 5 online meetings of 1.5 hours for practice in small groups, 1.5 hours for preparation of didactic themes, and on two occasions 1 hour of mindful sharing in subgroups with the tutor, focusing on one’s individual process during the course.
In addition, participants are expected to commit themselves to individual practice time and reading time depending on their individual learning needs. The tutors will also be available for individual email contact as required.

Acknowledgement of Participation in the Online MBCL TT Programme

All participants who have completed at least 40 formal, teacher-led training hours will receive a document that confirms their participation in the MBCL Online TT Programme. If participants miss teaching hours due to unforeseen circumstances, they must seek advice with the tutor and agree on adequate compensation.

Certification as a MBCL teacher

Those who

1. fulfil the requirements for certification as outlined in the section “MBCL Teaching Qualification”,
2. have taught a certification course within three years of completing the online TT programme,
3. completed a minimum of 3 supervision hours for the certification course with an approved MBCL supervisor, and
4. received the supervisor’s recommendation for certification,

will be listed on and on the website of the IMA.

Additional information

There will be a maximum number of 18 participants. The online programme can take place with a minimum of 9 participants.

ZOOM will be used as an internet application. It will offer interpersonal options, such as breakout rooms, chat and pin-up. This requires a suitable internet connection and a well-functioning device. Technical instruction in the use of ZOOM will not be offered. However ZOOM provides excellent online tutorials.


Frits Koster

Frits Koster is a meditation teacher and a qualified MBSR, MBCT and IMP teacher. He was a Buddhist monk between 1982-1988 and during this period he studied Buddhist psychology at various monasteries in South East Asia. He has written several books on this subject, some of which have been translated into English. He is affiliated as a trainer at various mindfulness teacher training institutes across Europe. With Erik van den Brink he developed the Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL). Together they wrote several books on MBCL, these books are translated into various languages. With his wife Jetty Heynekamp he teaches meditation retreats internationally; together with Victoria Norton they edited ‘Mindful Communication’ (Routledge, 2023). With Zohair Elabd he is currently teaching a mindfulness-based training programme focussed called Deepening Mindfulness & Mindful Communication, with Joyce Cordus he has developed a Mindfulness-Based Training in Forgiveness (MBTF).
See: and/or

Jana Willms
Jana Willms

is a psychologist, certified MBSR, MBCT and MBCL senior teacher based in Hamburg, Germany. Together with the founders of MBCL, Frits Koster and Erik van den Brink, she teaches MBCL at the Institute for Mindfulness Based Approaches (IMA), where she also offers Mindfulness-Based Supervision for MBCL and MBSR teachers. She has been practicing Vipassana and Metta meditation since 2000 and teaches mindfulness since 2008. She is a co-author of the German book Mitgefühl üben. Das große MBCL Praxisbuch (Practicing Compassion: The MBCL Handbook), published in 2020. She has lived in the USA and speaks English fluently. Before earning a degree in psychology, she trained and worked as a physiotherapist. See: