2023 Original Love Mindfulness Facilitator Training Program

March – November, 2023

This Live, Online, Cohort-based program features peer support, mentorship, opportunities for deepened practice and experiential learning. Anyone who feels a commitment to sharing the peace, love and well-being that meditation can open up, whether with clients, students, friends, family, colleagues or other communities, are invited to apply for what we expect to be a life-transforming program.

166 Hours, 9 Months

Welcome message

from Henry

This year we launch our first-ever Original Love Facilitator Training. Is it too soon? I’ve been pondering this question over the past half year or so, and every time, I’ve come back to the clear conclusion: the sooner more people embody the principles of balanced awareness, of open-heartedness and kind responsiveness that meditation practice can guide us back to, the better.

We all see the world is on fire. Our planet’s ecology is hanging on by a thread, war and wanton violence are raging, oppression and suffering are as widespread as ever. We desperately need systemic change on many levels, to ease this clear and present misery. Meanwhile the three poisons of greed, ill-will and misunderstanding are driving unhappiness individually, collectively and institutionally.

We need a massive, collective, global change of heart. What can deliver it? Yes, social, political, economic reform is needed. But we also need to change ourselves. We need to understand and tame the three poisons working within each of us.  The Dalai Lama has said that if every eight year-old were taught to meditate we could end violence in one generation.

I can’t speak with the merest fraction of his authority, of course, but I do see how much beneficial change can come from our modest, humble practice of being still and quiet each day, of coming to terms with our unruly hearts and minds, of settling into ease, effortlessness and flow, of catching glimpses of a wider truth of our lives, which reveals that they are inseparably part of one great unnameable whole – all this can change us. It can change how we feel, how we relate to ourselves, and how we behave with others. It can change our priorities, it can change what we feel our lives are for, giving us a whole new sense of purpose, and a whole new way of approaching our decades upright on the earth.

All of this may be a drop of water thrown into the raging forest fires on our home planet. But like the little bird that kept flying to the lake then back to the flaming trees– trying to tame the wild-fire with whatever she could bring, even if it was a single drop of water– we too are adding to the good, if we do what we can, rather than doing nothing.

Hence, with excitement and humility, this year we offer our first Original Love Mindfulness Facilitator Training program.

Anyone who feels a commitment to sharing the peace, love and well-being that meditation can open up, whether with clients, students, friends, family, colleagues or other communities, is invited to apply for what I expect to be a life-transforming program. (We will consider all applications, but will prioritize people with at least three to five years of regular practice, as well as meditators who participated in last year’s Original Love One-Year program.)

By taking the course, a practitioner will acquire the skills and competencies needed to facilitate meditation practice for individuals and small groups, following the Original Love methods of mindfulness. These methods aim to help a meditator experience greater ease, well-being and self-compassion, as well as compassion for others and for this world, through regular practice. More than that, this program will also be an unparalleled way to deepen significantly in our own practice.

We believe that the process of facilitation can be simply an extension of our practice. In meditation we learn to meet the arising moment with openness and an attitude of allowing, and then naturally extend that wider awareness into our interactions with others. In the same way, we can learn to create a context for allowing, inquiry and compassion, and encourage the conditions for others to open up to the rich support that can be found right in the midst of present moment experience.

Through learning key facilitation competencies, we fill our own cup with ease, peace, and lovingness, we allow it to overflow, and we learn how to channel that overflow into a meaningful offering to others.

With gratitude and love,


Guest Teachers in the

Mindfulness Facilitator Training Program

Rick Hanson

Joan Halifax

Valerie Forstman

Michael Taft

How to Apply

This year-long journey will bring together a unique and dynamic cohort, committed to learning, exploring practice, and stewarding the peace, ease, and compassion that are the essence of Original Love… we are eager to meet you!

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis through March 3. (Now extended through March 12)

Please submit your application, and we will be in touch with you within 3 business days about next steps for registration.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sarah (sarah@originallove.org) or Jeremy (jeremy@originallove.org). If you’d like to discuss the training program over a zoom or phone call, you can book a 15 min chat here.

Every talk Henry gave deepened my understanding. The last talk in the course broke open deep insights about why I have been meditating (to understand why there has been so much pain in my life from childhood on) and how with understanding comes compassion and the ability and desire to end suffering for others


The Original Love program is accepting and accommodating to meeting you where you are. To let go without judgement of yourself. This actually makes it easier to commit to deepening one’s practice without the pressure of being perfect. Henry has the hard-earned knowledge and passion that truly resonates. He has been where we are now and is very supportive. I love how funny he can be too…


Henry’s capacity to meet students at all levels of experience and communicate teachings in the most profound and understandable way sets him apart. His compassion, backed with fearless willingness to support in every way he knows how is truly unique and amazing. He is one of the few that knows how to engage both the experienced seeker and the beginner – at the same time!


Program Components

THE ENTIRE Original Love 1-Year Program (5 live courses and daylong retreats)

CLASSES WITH HENRY on mindfulness facilitator skills and competencies

SMALL GROUP Mentorship sessions with our experienced assistant teachers

PEER PRACTICE GROUPS For practicing your meditation guidance skills and getting peer support

5-DAY ONLINE RETREAT with Mountain Cloud Zen Center

How It Works

This 166 hour program is divided into five modules, made up of live, online sessions. Each module contains three pillars of activity:

1) Participate in an Original Love Course & Daylong Retreat to deepen your personal practice through the most recent teachings (see here for course topics) 

2) Through supervision and training workshops, integrate your personal practice & course learning with the core Original Love facilitation competencies

3) In Mentorship Workshops and Peer Practice workshops, develop your own facilitation practice and practice your skills among peers and mentors.


Each Module:

Theory and Practice

Take a live Original Love Course 

  • 4 Sunday OL Course Sessions
  • 1 Sunday Daylong Workshop

Developing Facilitation Competencies

  • 1 Class with Henry on Mindfulness Facilitation Skills and Competencies  
  • 3 Small-Group Mentorship Sessions
  • 4 Peer Practice Groups

You can find a full calendar of the program here. If you have any questions about the schedule or time commitments involved, please feel free to reach out directly to Sarah (sarah@originallove.org).

  • $3300 if you’d like to pay for the program in one installment.
  • $3600 if you’d like to pay in 12 monthly installments of $300. 

We have scholarships at different levels available for those who need one. Please contact Jeremy with a brief message explaining your situation, and we’ll respond promptly.

We welcome your interest in the Original Love 2023 Mindfulness Facilitator Training Program. If you have any questions about the program, or just want to discuss your thoughts about joining the program, don’t hesitate to contact Jeremy or contact Sarah, the managers of the Training Program, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions by email or set up a zoom call with you.

Course curriculum

Introductory Module: Mindfulness, Self Love and Awakening
This course provides the foundation for the Facilitation Training. Through talks, guided meditations, and other experiential learning activities, you’ll explore mindfulness through the Original Love lens. Over the course of 8 self-paced, pre-recorded sessions, Henry will take you through Mindfulness as a key tool for opening up to more love and self-love; when we grow our awareness of the here and now, we learn to love, tend to, and cherish our experience, whatever it may be, and at the same time be more equanimous about it.

In addition to learning historical origins for mindfulness, you’ll explore four key techniques for mindfulness meditation including:

  • breath and body awareness,
  • parsing out the inner and outer sense channels of present moment experience,
  • finding a quality of restfulness in meditation
  • learning to grow from and through the “five hindrances” – five common challenges that come up in meditation


Module 1: Working with Breath

Deepen your meditation practice by exploring your experience of the breath, become mindful of and absorbed in breath, and catch glimpses of awakening to breath without a breather. We will explore how breath can not only calm, soothe and center us, but also connect us with a wider all-inclusive awareness. By coming at our experience of breath from the four perspectives of Original Love, we learn how to turn to breath in the course of daily life in ways appropriate to where we’re at.

Learn to guide meditations and address questions on specific meditation techniques including  mindfulness of breath, breath absorption, and breathing without a breather.

Understand and articulate how key theories relate to mindfulness practice such as the Neuroscience of Mindfulness (e.g. Ironic Processing, Default Mode) and the Nervous System & Breath (e.g. Polyvagal Theory).

Apply the Original Love Framework to develop your facilitation competencies:


  • Creating supportive practice space (e.g. pace, tone, attitudes, ritual)
  • Apply personal mindfulness practices to live facilitation (self-awareness, self-regulation, perspective taking)
  • Knowing your story and uncovering your inner resources
Module 2: Exploring Inner Sense Experience

Deepen your personal meditation

  • How can heartaches and heartbreaks  be turned into nourishment for our practice and life, opening us to new, loving perspectives. 

  • How to come to terms with all aspects of ourselves, including ones we “don’t like,” we can find the healing power of radical allowing. As we explore this territory of the heart by moving through all four of the Original Love perspectives, we shift away from self-defensive reactivity to open-hearted compassionate engagement, open to trust, and practice patience and expansive awareness in holding our human experience.

Learn to guide meditations and address questions on specific meditation techniques including:

  • Labeling the inner sense experiences
  • Patience with difficult emotions
  • Adopting an attitude of allowing
  • Working with the 5 hindrances of desire, aversion, sloth, restlessness, and doubt

Understand and articulate how key theories relate to mindfulness practice such as:

  • The 4 Foundations of Mindfulness
  • Buddhist origins of mindfulness, emotions, mind-states, and sense-gates 

Apply the Original Love Framework to develop your facilitation competencies:

  • Holding space with equanimity

  • Working with Individuals (eg. meeting people where they are, empowering self-inquiry) 

  • Finding your authentic voice

Module 3: Exploring Outer Sense Experience

Deepen your personal meditation by becoming mindful of the full range of sense-experiences going on in any moment, we start to rest into being held by all experience, then into becoming absorbed in it, and finally dissolving into a selfless space in which all things are present. We become mindful of the full range of outward sense-experience, discover the rest that comes with being held by all experience, and even at times into dissolving into selfless space in which all things are present. 

Understand and articulate how key theories relate to mindfulness practice such as 

Learn to guide meditations and address questions on specific meditation techniques including outward sense awareness, soundscape absorption, and dissolving the boundary between self and other. 

Apply the Original Love Framework to develop your facilitation competencies:


  • Group Facilitation
  • Diversity Awareness
  • Inclusive communication practices
Module 4: Finding Presence

Deepen your personal meditation by opening to a sense of presence that is always here, and resting in it. Become aware of sense-experience here and now, the intrinsic support it offers, and relief from the burden of effort in meditation. Learn to recognize the sense of time and effort at work in us, release our hold on them, and naturally open into a timeless, effortless presence.

Understand and articulate how key theories relate to mindfulness practice such as flow theory, psychological and psychophysiological trauma and trauma sensitivity. 

Learn to guide meditations and address questions on specific meditation techniques including effortless timeless presence and awareness, grounding, and working with trauma. 

Apply the Original Love Framework to develop your facilitation competencies:


  • Practices for Self-Regulation 
  • Managing Distress
  • Setting, modeling, and upholding expectations 
Module 5: Open Awareness

Deepen your personal meditation by diving deep into the wisdom of Zen, in which the whole Original Love curriculum is encapsulated. We will explore some koans, and see how they point us directly to our experience right now, and can encourage and enliven our practice and our lives. We’ll also begin to harness the powerful ease they offer, and taste some of the glimpses of boundless openness they can convey.

Understand and articulate how key theories relate to mindfulness practice such as levels of awareness, flow theory, jhana practice, and koan practice. 

Learn to guide meditations and address questions on specific meditation techniques such as meditating toward wholeness, allness, oneness, and utilizing questions in meditation. 

Apply the Original Love Framework to develop your facilitation competencies:


  • Community Building
  • Using questions & feedback 
  • Experiential Learning 


Henry Shukman is an authorized Zen Master in the Sanbo Zen lineage, and spiritual director of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

His struggles as a youth, a spontaneous awakening experience at 19, followed by years of rigorous Zen training and his own deep healing process, all paved the way for Henry to develop Original Love, a well-rounded approach to spirituality and meditation.

Henry is the author of One Blade of Grass: Finding the Old Road of the Heart, A Zen Memoir.

Sarah Giffin is a core Original Love team member committed to creating joyful and engaging learning experiences. Sarah was an onsite resident and manager at Mountain Cloud Zen Center from 2017-2020, and is a passionate student of Zen and meditation. She has served the non-profit sector for over a decade as a group facilitator, trainer, and experiential learning designer, leading personal, professional, and youth development programs on a wide range of topics including wellness, community building, diversity and inclusion, creative arts and critical pedagogy. 

Jeremy Riesenfeld is the Original Love Program Manager. Please contact Jeremy at any time if you need something, or have any questions. After 25 years of meditation practice in several Asian traditions, as well as 15 years as an acupuncturist, Jeremy is a big fan of both awakening and healing, and loves to support others in their process.