FAQs about the Awake in the Wild Teacher Training

In general the time requirements increase as the training progresses and you move closer to holding your own Awake in the Wild retreat for your practicum.

You can divide up the year into three segments, each one bookended by the week-long intensive trainings. These retreats are where you will receive the bulk of your training from Mark and where Mark will be preparing you for the next phase of the training. Though we do record sections of the training by audio and video for you to review afterward, missing even one will severely hamper your learning process. You are expected to attend every one.

After the retreats, there will be one-hour online group meetings with Mark each month to discuss teaching topics and for the group to ask questions. You’ll be encouraged to meet with your fellow student-teachers–both through the trainings’ member-only website and directly–to discuss homework assignments and issues that come up in your own teaching: a support group that will hopefully last much longer than the training. As for those homework assignments, below is a general timeline of the homework assignments to help you better gauge the workload.

Book Readings

Retreat 1 – Intensive Training Week – September 2021

Between Retreats – September 2021 – December 2021
Online Meetings Once a Month (1 hour)
Book Reading
Group Meetings (Number and Amount in Hands of Your Group)

Retreat 2 – Intensive Training Week – December 2021

Between Retreats – December 2021 – April 2022
Online Meetings Once a Month (1 hour)
Book Reading
Short Meditation Video
Group Meetings (Number and Amount in Hands of Your Group)

Retreat 3 – Intensive Training Week – April 2022

Between Retreats – April 2022 – July 2022
Online Meetings Once a Month (1 hour)
Practicum and Teaching Video (of you doing your practicum – roughly 10 minutes of teaching a meditation topic followed by a 5 minute Q&A)
Two Essays

Retreat 4 – Intensive Training Week and Graduation – July 2022

The total tuition cost is $5,950. This does not include travel, books, supplies or the lodging and food costs of the four training retreats, which will be roughly $300-600 each.

A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place in the course. Then $2, 475 will be due on June 15, 2021 and a second payment of $2,475 will be due July 15, 2021.

The retreat payment costs are due within two weeks of the conclusion of each retreat.

Payment plans are available.

A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your place in the course. Then, $750 will be due a month after your deposit. Starting the month after your $750 payment, a monthly payment of $600 will be due every month for the next 7 months. As a sign of your commitment to the training, instead of sending a check every month, you would send in your installment payments as postdated checks when you send in your deposit. The checks will be deposited as they become payable. You may also pay by credit card or PayPal, but you will be charged a 3.2% or 4% respectively processing fee for each installment payment.

If this payment plan would not work within your budget, you do have another option. For those with financial need, Mark asks that you submit a paragraph or two describing your financial situation. Along with this statement you should also submit a payment plan proposal of your own that will work within your budget. Mark will review your statement and proposal with your application to evaluate whether it is acceptable.

Photo by Chad Madden

You will be camping during the majority of the retreats, either in tents or simple cabins. Below is a list of recommended items, particularly for the first retreat.

On your head:
wool hat
baseball cap, sun hat, or visor

On the top:
2 polypropylene shirts
3 t-shirts
fleece or down jacket
warm sweater for the cold nights

On the bottom:
2 nylon long pants
warm pants or thermal layer for evenings / mornings

On your feet:
2 pair wool socks
2 pair socks
hiking boots
shoes for wearing in camp

For camping:
floor tarp for tent
sleeping bag
sleeping pad / thermarest
camping pillow – can be found at camp stores

For meditation:
Zafu or thermarest back jack  (that your thermarest fits into – that’s what I use and its very comfortable)

Important Miscellaneous Items
small day pack for carrying lunch, water, etc. during day hikes
personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, etc.)
bio-degradable soap
flashlight – headlamp is ideal
cup, silverware, bowl & plate
small towel
sun block
water bottle
journal / pens
bug spray / repellent
spare batteries for headlamp

personal snacks – bars / trail mix etc.
personal teas
any special dietary foods you may need​

The costs for the retreat are to cover the rental of the location, food, supplies and any provided lodging. Since the retreats will be at different locations and we are uncertain how many people will be in the training, plus some locations allow for different types of accommodations (for example, single room, double room, or camping), the retreat costs are estimated to begin with, roughly in the $300-600 range.

Photo by Charles Black

After you have completed the training, you will be invited to affiliate with Awake in the Wild, much like you would do with any professional or medical association. Affiliation will allow you to network with other graduates of the training and include 4 online group meetings with Mark to help you continue expanding your practice and ask questions that may have come up in your teachings. You will also be offered the opportunity to enroll in online and in-person alumni retreats. The cost of affiliation is currently $100.

The apprenticeship with Mark Coleman lasts from 1-2 years, depending on how often you would be able to assist with Mark’s retreats, and is by invitation upon completion of the Awake in the Wild Teacher Training. It is an unpaid apprenticeship, but you would gain a wealth of knowledge as you assist Mark.

Depending on the retreat locations, there would be the travel and potentially some lodging costs associated with the retreats you would be apprenticing on. There would be no other fees involved.

To Apply