Each year, residents will have several opportunities to experience mindfulness and meditation in a variety of ways. Residents are required to complete any combination of 6 mindfulness experiences through out residency. There are several options from which you might choose:

  • Mindfulness seminars. Various UW Mindfulness teachers will be offering a series of 60-90 minute seminars on various mindfulness topics through out the academic year.
  • Retreats. You will get updates in the monthly bulletins about retreat options. For instance, as part of our Environmental Health CME, UW Integrative Health offered a “Day of Mindfulness” for providers attending the conference in April, 2008. Similarly, the UW Mindfulness Program and Integrative Health will host a retreat with James Finley PhD in October 2008 on the topic of “Contemplative Path of the Healer.” Finally, there are also multiple UW Mindfulness Based Integrative Health retreats for health and healing at the Christine Center in central Wisconsin. The Benedictine Women’s Center, on the north side of Lake Mendota, also offers a number of retreats. Other types of retreats that you find on your own can also qualify. One-half retreat day counts toward 1 mindfulness experience, so one retreat may cover all six. Be sure to plan ahead early for these retreat opportunities.
  • Time with mindfulness instructors. Several mindfulness instructors are willing to meet with residents one-on-one for a session about various aspects of their own mindfulness practice or experiences. These can be done during and Integrative Health Rotation or at your convenience. They count as a mindfulness experience.
  • Create your own experiences. The intent of this curriculum is to give you some basic exposure to mindfulness and its relevance to clinical practice while allowing for a good amount of flexibility and opportunity for you to adapt the experiences to your personal needs and preferences. As you explore, if you find other events you feel could count toward the mindfulness requirement, let the course directors know and arrangements can be made.

Retreats each count as more than one mindfulness experience, based on length. Seminars count as one, and meetings with instructors each count as one. You can mix and match as you like.


“We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.”

-Alan Watts