Are you an experienced practitioner who wishes to share meditation skills with others?

Do you seek to develop your own voice and authentic leadership?

Do you welcome transformational experiences in your own life in order to help guide others on the path?

Sage Institute’s 200-Hour Meditation Leader Training

is a comprehensive meditation teacher training program for experienced practitioners to learn how to effectively and authentically teach others the transformative practice of meditation. Through live Zoom classes, biweekly self-paced modules, one-on-one coaching with experienced teachers, and small peer groups, students gain the skills, confidence, and wisdom to teach others.

Sage Institute offers one of the only meditation teacher training programs backed by a 2500-year old lineage, through its lead teacher Sean Tetsudo Murphy, a formal Zen Sensei (White Plum Asanga) with over 30 years of formal training. Although we introduce our students to the prevailing meditative forms in the West such as Zen and Vipassana, our 200-hour program has developed its own inclusive, secular approach to teaching contemplative practice, suitable for trainees of any tradition.

Online Program

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis and will begin the program when we have enough trainees in the new cohort.

Our program is designed to accommodate students near and far. Currently, our 9-month program will be completed entirely online, through closely guided online learning and video- and teleconferencing with Sage Institute mentors and teachers. After an opening retreat-style week, modules are released every 2 weeks. In addition, trainees meet every 2 weeks for a live class, 1-3 times a month with peer groups, and once a month with their mentor. We encourage ongoing connection within our meditation leader community sangha.

MLTP Flyer

Who is Sage Institute’s Meditation Leader Training Program for?

This certification program is ideal for experienced practitioners working in the fields of psychology, yoga, health, and wellbeing, as well as spiritual guides or ministers from from any tradition, and other experienced meditation practitioners who would like to share basic practice techniques with their students, clients, and community.

Applicants must have 3 years of formal meditation experience with acknowledged teachers from recognized contemplative tradition (including Buddhist, Yogic, Sufi, Christian, Interfaith, etc). Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Our program is intended to be a transformational experience, for if the trainee is not truly and deeply on the path of transformation, how can they guide others?

However, this training is not intended to replace traditional spiritual practice modalities, or to produce spiritual leaders, but as in yoga training models, is intended to simply empower serious practitioners to share fundamental meditation and mindfulness skills with others.

For Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teachers (RYTs), this training program qualifies for continuing education credits.

Sean Murphy photo

Practice and Study with Sean Tetsudo Murphy, Sensei

Sean W. Murphy, lead teacher and executive director of Sage Institute, is a fully sanctioned Zen teacher (Sensei) in the American White Plum Zen Lineage. He has had over 30 years of formal Zen training, beginning under the direction of Taizan Maezumi Roshi of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and later with John Daido Loori Roshi of Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York. He now studies with Gerry Shishin Wick Roshi of the Great Mountain Zen Center in Colorado, from whom he received Dharma Transmission in 2019. Sean teaches widely on subjects of meditation, mindfulness, Zen practice, and writing.  Sean is the author of the American Zen chronicle One Bird, One Stone: 108 Contemporary Zen Stories (excerpt here), as well as three novels, and was a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts fellow in Creative Writing.
 He is is an MFA graduate in writing from The Naropa Institute, the Buddhist inspired university founded by Poet Allen Ginsberg and Tibetan Lama Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

To learn more, read Sean’s articles for Tricycle magazine, listen to some of Sean’s dharma talks on our YouTube channel, or visit

As part of the 200-Hr Meditation Leader Training Program, trainees receive direct coaching and support during quarterly one-on-one mentorship meetings with Sean.

Sean meditating

Program Curriculum

 Our program is built around a comprehensive curriculum in meditation and mindfulness-related practices, including:

Meditation Techniques  — Mindfulness, Vipassana (Insight), Zen, MBSR
Basic Mindfulness Practices
Mindfulness of Mind Practices
Group and Interpersonal Interaction — both within the class and for leading meditation groups
Psychological and Physiological Aspects of Meditation Practice
Creativity and Artistic Expression
Working with Difficult Emotions & Trauma-Sensitivity
Teacher Boundaries and Ethics
Inclusivity and Social Change
How to Create Meditation Groups and Classes
Skills and Techniques for Meditation Instruction
Service Work

200 Hour Requirements Breakdown:
20 hrs = Initial Intensive Week
10 hrs = Formal Insight meditation practice (teacher guided)
10 hrs = Formal Zen meditation practice (teacher guided)
100 hrs = Biweekly online lessons and biweekly Zoom classes
10 hrs = Additional lesson assignments
20 hrs = Peer group and mentor calls (1-2 hrs/month)
10 hrs = Service to community or organization
10 hrs = Personal practice meetings w/ teachers/mentors
10 hrs​ = Research project/presentation
200 hrs = Total

Personal practice and book assignments are not included in this breakdown. Hours are approximate. Actual time spent will vary by individual.

“In the beginning, when I came into this program, I was doing it for myself and for my profession. What I recognized very quickly was the importance of my own practice in order to bring what I was learning into my work with others. In deepening my own practice with these teachings, I’ve now been able to offer what I’ve been learning in a much more effective way and from a place of experience. I’ve gotten so, so much from this program around how our practice becomes our experience, which then becomes our offering. I can really see how this program could be used in so many ways in so many different professions… I don’t know that I can think of a profession that couldn’t benefit from the meditation and mindfulness training that Sage offers!”
Bonnie Burton, Sage Institute graduate

“I came to this training because, in the first place, I wanted to create a course at my university. I’m a professor in gender and women’s studies. A lot of the tools that we offer students are very useful (such as the writing center, the different kinds of tutoring, whatever the students need to be successful).  But a lot of the time the challenges that students may have today are in our society and in our communities. Learning tools that help us facilitate meditation and mindfulness could be useful to decrease stress and anxiety, to be able to face challenging situations from a calmer place, and also to support their academic success, which is part of my profession.”
— Anahi Russo Garrido, PhD., Sage Institute graduate

“I was surprised by the depth of the practice that I experienced this in this program, as well as the variety of different modalities that were incorporated — a lot of different experiences in order to access deeper aspects of ourselves. The program had a comfortable ease and flow; it was very organic.”
— Karen Lasker, Sage Institute graduate

“The 200-hour program at Sage Institute was perfect. The combination of being exposed and experienced in a variety of meditative practices, combined with research, class work, supervision, and tutelage was superb. It permanently enriched my life.”
— Jim Cardone, Sage Institute graduate

“The Sage training definitely had a positive impact on my personal practice since it gave me a solid base of evidence-based meditation techniques. Also, it gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in different meditation modalities. Due to the way the course is designed, I definitely gained more self-confidence to lead others. We learned not only to lead meditation sessions but also to play the role of a student in different scenarios. The “hands-on” element of the course’s program was very productive for my personal practice and leading others as well.”
— Andres Ariza, Sage Institute graduate

“The Sage Institute Meditation Leader Training Program touched every aspect of my life. I have no doubt that it will continue to shape interactions I have with myself and others.”
— Tiffany Ferguson, Sage Institute graduate

Learn more about our graduates here.  Upon certification, we offer graduates a free listing on our Graduates page.

Tuition, Payment, and Terms

Supporter Level Tuition: $3950
This tuition level is recommended for those who can afford extra generosity to help provide scholarship opportunities to others who are in need.

Standard Level Tuition: $3250
This is our “basic” tuition level. Payment plans are available.

Subsidized Level Tuition: $2550
This tuition level is recommended for those with limited financial means, scholarships and work-study agreements. Payment plans are available. Please make a note in the application if you would like to apply for this tuition level. 


200-Hour Meditation Leader Training Program 2019 Opening Week Retreat, Taos, NM

  • A $30 application fee is due at the time of application.
  • Paid-in-full registration bonus: If you are approved and pay your full tuition in one payment, you’ll receive $100 off the tuition rate.
  • Once approved, a deposit of $500 is due. The remainder is due at the start of the program (unless a payment plan is made).
  • If you cancel one month before the program begins, you will receive your full deposit back. If you cancel after this date, you will not receive your $500 deposit back.
  • Please contact us to set up a payment plan (no extra charge) or apply for subsidized tuition. We offer scholarships based on financial need and to applicants from under-served and/or historically oppressed communities.
  • To make a payment online, click the “Make a Payment” button below. You can enter the amount you wish to pay on the next screen. Online payments are subject to online processing fees (please check the box to include this charge).
  • Or, mail a check or money order to Sage Institute, PO Box 1433, Taos NM 87557.
  • Tuition rates exclude the cost of monthly books, which may be purchased new/used or rented from the library, and any outside meditation retreats you participate in. All other required materials will be provided.
  • Additional financial terms apply for specific situations (eg. a trainee drops out halfway through the program). We will send the financial  agreement before starting the program, or you can request to see this in advance by emailing us.