The Initiative is an interdisciplinary collaboration across the University of Miami to engage novel implementation and cutting-edge brain research on contemplative training. The UMindfulness Initiative is co-directed by Dr. Amishi Jha and Scott Rogers.


Mindfulness based stress reduction





This Next Spring we will be offering 2 new Mindulness Based Stress Reduction groups!

In this 8-week program, participants will learn about mindfulness and practices to increase self-awareness, self-regulation, and compassion, as well as tools to cope more effectively with both short- and long-term stressors. Each week’s 2.5-hour session includes mindfulness discussion along with guided mindfulness practice and group discussion. No prior experience or knowledge of mindfulness is required. Graduates of the course report improved focus, resiliency, and the capacity to recover more quickly from challenging events. 

Sunday Morning MBSR with Gus Castellanos
January 14 -  March 4, 2018
Sundays 10 am - 12:30 pm

Gus Castellanos, M.D. is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) & Mindfulness Based Attention Training (MBAT) facilitator. He is a mindfulness coach and a mindfulness meditation practitioner. He received his training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. He is also a contributor and trainer for the MBAT program created by the Laboratory of Dr. Amishi Jha at the University of Miami. He currently teaches at a variety of facilities and venues throughout South Florida, including the Sari Asher Center for Integrative Cancer Care, University of Miami Medical School's UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, FIU College of Medicine's NeighborhoodHELP, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Employee Fund, Mindful Kids Miami, and The University of Miami Neuroscience Laboratory of Dr. Amishi Jha.

Tuesday Afternoon MBSR with Lucas G. Irwin
January 23 -  March 13, 2018
Sundays 10 am - 12:30 pm

Lucas G. Irwin is the President of Rebel Mindfulness and a Qualified MBSR instructor ( the University of Massachusetts, Center for Mindfulness).  Lucas is also an ex-NCAA athlete, founder of Steelhouse Fitness, a published author, and a poet.  Initially drawn to mindfulness in an effort to be a better father and husband, Lucas has found a true passion and love for helping others explore the potential benefits of bringing mindfulness into their own lives.  

UM Student Member of the Wellness Center: $250
Member of the Wellness Center: $350
General Public: $400

To register please click here

 Logo of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education Center

For the First time in Miami, we will be offering Stanford's Compassion Cultivation Training developed at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

This 8-week program designed to develop the qualities of compassion, empathy, and kindness for oneself and for others. CCT integrates traditional contemplative practices with contemporary psychology and scientific research on compassion. The CCT protocol was developed at Stanford University by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers. Cultivating compassion goes beyond feeling more empathy and concern for others. It develops the strength to be with suffering, the courage to take compassionate action, and the resilience to prevent compassion fatigue. Compassion cultivation can also support one’s own health, happiness, and well-­­being, increasing self-­­compassion and self-­­care, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhancing connection with others.

Wednesday Afternoon CCT with Maria Paula Jimenez
January 17 -  March 7, 2018
Wednesday 12:00 am - 12:30 pm

Maria Paula Jimenez is the Assistant Director of Training and Programs for the UMindfulness Initiative at the University of Miami. She is a certified teacher for the Compassion Cultivation Training Program at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and assistant teacher for the Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance Program at UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Prior to arriving at the University of Miami, she offered mindfulness and compassion training in Colombia, Chile, Mexico & Spain and she had a private practice which integrated psychotherapy with a contemplative approach. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Los Andes University with a minor in Business Administration. In addition, she studied Corporate Social Responsibility at Sergio Arboleda University and Integrative Therapies at the School of Medicine at El Rosario University.

UM Student Member of the Wellness Center: $250
Member of the Wellness Center: $350
General Public: $400

To register please click here

MBSR & CCT Registration Process:

Registration is required for all of these courses as we have limited available spaces. Registrants must be 18 years of age or older to register.

A limited number of scholarships are available; if you are interested in applying click here. 

Wellness Center Address:

Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center
1241 Theo Dickinson Dr.
Coral Gables, FL  33146 
University of Miami


Conference Refund Policy: Refunds will be made ONLY if written notice of cancellation is received prior to the event. After this date, NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED. Refunds will be processed after completion of the conference.

Privacy Policy: No information provided while registering for the conference will be sold or made available to companies or organizations not affiliated with the University of Miami or the UMindfulness.


Contact Information: Manuela Arrebola (