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Sat, Aug 24  |  Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center

Cultivating the Holding Environment: Setting up the Posture of Mindfulness Practice

With Bill Morgan, PsyD, Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS​


Time & Location

Aug 24, 5:00 PM – Aug 31, 11:00 AM

Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center

Forest Road 91B, Taos, NM

About the Event

With Bill Morgan, PsyD, Susan Morgan, MSN, RN, CS, and Ron Siegel, PsyD


Sponsored by the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy (


We are pleased to offer the 10th annual mindfulness retreat for mental health professionals and caregivers at Vallecitos.


Many in our field have been studying mindfulness and its clinical applications for years but have not found time for more intensive meditation practice. Others appreciate the opportunity to refresh their meditation practice with like-minded colleagues. By deliberately stepping out of everyday life and into a retreat environment, the subtle habit patterns of heart and mind are more easily accessed, and mindfulness can begin to deepen.


Many struggle to establish a regular practice or practice in ways that cause unnecessary pain and struggle; others feel their practice has stagnated. Meditation practice has to both “make sense and feel good” in order to take root and flourish.


This week we will study and practice setting up the posture of the practice, learning how to create and sustain an environment conducive to making progress in mindfulness meditation. We will offer a variety of instructions and guided meditations designed to create a personally meaningful and enriching environment in which mindfulness practice may flourish.


This yearly course provides a container in which to explore mindfulness practices with colleagues. The teaching is practical and experience-near, focusing on the establishing and developing of a mindfulness practice that is relevant to our lives and our work with others, particularly in the delivery of accurate empathy and therapeutic presence. There will be daily mindfulness meditation instruction, three to four hours of meditation each day, study modules most afternoons in combination with dyadic or small group discussion, and individual meetings with teachers. The rest of the time we will observe silence, including during meals, to facilitate a deeper contemplative experience.


This is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in an exquisite natural environment and work closely with leaders in the growing field of clinical mindfulness meditation and compassion. Every effort will be made by the teachers and staff to give each participant a delightful, educational retreat experience so that you can return home with renewed enthusiasm for clinical work and for cultivating mindfulness and compassion in daily life.




  • Sliding scale structure.

  • The price for this retreat ranges from $680-$1,030

  • Cost includes CE fee (does not include dana – see below)


Scholarship assistance is available for this retreat:


Please click here for information on Hemera scholarships through Vallecitos.


Read below for information on scholarship assistance through Bill and Susan.


We are offering one full scholarship, or two half-scholarships, for each of our three residential retreats this year.


**Please note that Vallecitos offers Hemera scholarships for mental health professionals; if you are interested in this retreat, and need assistance, please apply for one of these scholarships first .


If you are applying to us directly for assistance, please send us, both Bill & Susan, and the following information:



Postal Address:


Name of Retreat & Dates:

Help us to understand your need for a scholarship at this time?


The DEADLINE for applying is two months prior to the start of each retreat.


The Tradition of Dana:  

Mindfulness and related teachings have traditionally been sustained by the 2,600-year-old tradition of dana, which literally means “generosity.” We follow this tradition by inviting participants to offer donations to the retreat leaders, who receive only reimbursement for travel expenses.





7:30-9:30 PM Course opening and overview



9-12  Mindfulness instruction, practice, discussion
2-5 Didactic presentation and clinical discussion
6:30-8:30 Clinical talk and mindfulness practice



Silent Retreat Day: Mindfulness instruction and practice



Breakfast and depart




  REGISTER on the Vallecitos Website  




Bill and Susan Morgan are able to offer 20 hours of continuing education credits through the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy


At the end of this retreat, participants will be able to:


  1. Explain the importance of setting up the posture of one’s mindfulness meditation practice.              

  2. Identify the essential elements of the holding environment.                                                                         

  3. Demonstrate how to set up mindfulness practice in all four postures (sitting, standing, lying down, and walking).

  4. Utilize compassion practices to enhance empathic attunement.

  5. Utilize meditation techniques for working with unwholesome mind states.

  6. Utilize mindfulness and concentration practices in the service of deepening therapeutic presence.



The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for the program and its content. This course offers 20 hours of credit.


Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6048. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This program is approved for 20 clock hours. It is also applicable for MaMHCA/MMCEP hours for re-licensure, in accordance with 262 CMR.


Social Workers: 

This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval # 886513225-2689) for 20 continuing education contact hours.



This program carries 20 Contact Hours and meets the specifications of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Nursing (244 CMR). Nurses of other states are welcome to contact their state boards for individual consideration.




The teachers are board members of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, a non-profit organization in Boston, which offers seminars, courses, retreats and a certificate program for mental health professionals. They are contributing authors to Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, a best-selling text in its second edition.


Bill Morgan, PsyD is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Cambridge and Quincy MA. He is a founding board member of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and has participated in eight years of intensive retreats in the Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan schools of Buddhism during his forty years of meditation practice. He has led mindfulness retreats for mental health professionals for the past 20 years.


Bill is both a personal and group meditation mentor for mental health professionals. His book, The Meditator’s Dilemma: An Innovative Approach to Overcoming Obstacles and Revitalizing Your Practice, was published by Shambhala in 2016.


Susan Morgan, CNS is a psychotherapist in Cambridge, MA. A longtime Vipassana student, Susan recently completed a 4-year silent mindfulness meditation retreat along with her partner, Bill. She has co-led retreats for psychotherapists with Bill for the past 16 years.


She is a meditation teacher for the IMP Certificate Program, teaches monthly intimate online meditation practice groups for psychotherapists, and consults with therapists interested in the interface of psychotherapy and meditation. Her teaching style is grounded in the practical. Lovingkindness (Metta) and mindfulness of the body are integral to her teaching.


Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, where he has taught for over 30 years. He is a longtime student of mindfulness meditation and teaches internationally about mindfulness and psychotherapy and mind/body treatment while maintaining a private clinical practice in Lincoln, Massachusetts.


Dr. Siegel is author of The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems; coauthor of Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain, coeditor of Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, and co-author of a new guide for clinicians, Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy.


    REGISTER on the Vallecitos Website  


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