January 2020

01JanAll DayMindful Non-Profit Leadership TrainingDates: January 2020 – May 2020(All Day: Wednesday) Community Meditation Center Teacher(s): Marc Lesser, MBA & Nikki Mirghafori, Ph.D. No prerequisiteOpen

Event Details


Dates: January 2020 – May 2020.
Sliding Scale: $2000 – $850. Code MN1T20.

This five-month training program will be geared toward those in leadership positions working in social and environmental justice, education, health care, and other non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will cultivate the mindful leadership skills of focus, clarity, emotional regulation, compassion, self-awareness, and well-being for non-profit leaders in the social change sector.

Through mindfulness curriculum, meditation instruction, group discussions, and practice opportunities, participants will cultivate skills and behaviors that can be applied directly to their personal and professional lives. By developing and incorporating these intentional practices, participants will strengthen professional relationships and workplace environments, expanding impact beyond their own learning for the broader benefit of their work and organization.

• A certificate and training program for Directors, Executive Directors, Board Members, C-level leaders, or equivalent, of non-profit organizations, within the San Francisco Bay Area.
• Commitment: two 2-day commuter retreats, three 1-day retreats.
• Cohort community & peer support is a foundational component of the program to support ongoing mindfulness skill development and integration.
• Participation is limited to 40 participants.
• Accommodations are not available at Spirit Rock for the commuter and day retreats. Although Spirit Rock staff have not personally viewed or vetted them, as a courtesy to our out-of-town guests, we suggest you check out these nearby accommodations
• All sessions in the training program will be held at Spirit Rock.
• Participation in the program will be confirmed once program requirements are verified.

• Registration is only open to those who work:
-at a non-profit organization; non-profit ID will be required at registration;
-as a Director, Board Member (with approval of the Board), a C-Level position, or equivalent level within the organization;
-in the San Francisco Bay Area; this includes the East Bay, San Francisco, South Bay, Sonoma, and Marin;
• Maximum of 2 participants per organization.
• Participation in the program will be confirmed once program requirements are verified. Be sure you meet the requirements! Contact trainings@spiritrock.org if you have any questions regarding these requirements.


– January 24-25, 2020; 10:00am – 4:30pm
– February 22, 2020; 10:00am – 4:30pm
– March 14, 2020; 10:00am – 4:30pm
– April 18, 2020; 10:00am – 4:30pm
– May 29 – May 30, 2020; 10:00am – 4:30pm

Marc Lesser, MBA, is a speaker, facilitator, workshop leader, and executive coach. He is the author of 4 books, including Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen, and CEO of ZBA Associates, an executive development and leadership consulting company.

Marc helped develop the world-renowned Search Inside Yourself (SIY) program within Google – a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training for leaders which teaches the art of integrating mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and business savvy for creating great corporate cultures and a better world. He founded and was CEO of 3 companies, and has an MBA degree from New York University. Marc was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years, and director of Tassajara, Zen Mountain Center, the first Zen monastery in the western world.

Nikki Mirghafori, Ph.D., is an Artificial Intelligence scientist and a Buddhist teacher. She is a Stanford-certified Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) instructor and UCLA-certified mindfulness MAPS facilitator. She serves on the Teachers Council and Board of Directors at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, as well as the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA.

For almost three decades, Nikki has also been a researcher and inventor in AI, holding multiple patents and co-author of 40+ scientific research articles. She has directed international research programs as the Principal Investigator, mentored post-docs and Ph.D. students, taught graduate courses at UC Berkeley, and been a scientific advisor to Silicon Valley technology startups.

In addition to the Eastern first-person perspective contemplative research, Nikki has studied the Western contemplative perspective through philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience.

If you are interested in registering for this training program, please contact us at Trainings@spiritrock.org

• The intention of the foundation that supports this training is to impact non-profit leaders in social change sectors for the benefit of their work and organization
• Limited partial scholarship support is available; maximum 1 recipient per non-profit organization

To request a partial scholarship, please contact trainings@spiritrock.org, including the following information:
• Name
• Name of organization
• Organization non-profit Tax ID
• Position in organization
• Location of organization
• Intention for utilizing this training to impact your organization and social change

Scholarship applicants will be notified of approval on a rolling basis.

CANCELLATION FEES (for Professional Training Programs:)
• 50% of fees: >4 weeks from programs start
• No refund: <4 weeks from program start

Please email the Trainings Program Coordinator

General Information

Online registration for our programs is available until 12 noon of the last business day prior to the day of the event (e.g. online registration for a Monday program ends at 12 noon on the prior Friday).

Visit our Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing to find or offer a ride.


On-land Programs and COVID Safety Protocols. Learn More