Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is Mindful Awareness?
    Mindful Awareness is the moment-by-moment process of actively and openly observing one's physical, mental and emotional experiences. Mindful Awareness has scientific support as a means to reduce stress, improve attention, boost the immune system, reduce emotional reactivity, and promote a general sense of health and well-being. Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs) are tools and exercises such as meditation, yoga and tai-chi that develop greater mind-body awareness and promote mindfulness in daily life.
  2. Is MARC currently conducting internal research?
    MARC is currently not conducting any internal research, but we do assist/participate in research being done in other organizations and departments. (For example, we often provide mindfulness education to study participants in various areas of healthcare research.) We are housed under the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology; please visit their website, where you can read more about research that "investigates the interactions between the brain and the body, the role of psychological well-being for health and recovery from illness, and the translation of such knowledge into effective behavioral strategies that prevent disease, promote healing and enhance well-being across the life span."
  3. What discounts does MARC offer? 
    • Senior discount - 65 years or older. ID required
    • UCLA Staff/Faculty discount - full-time or half-time employee. ID required.
    • UCLA Student discount - enrolled in a degree program, full-time or half-time at UCLA (excludes UCLA extension). ID required.

    To receive your discount, be sure to select the discount for which you are eligible during the online registration for any of our MAPs classes. Note that some events do not have discounts, but the vast majority of our programming does.

  4. How can I find out more about financial aid, work exchange, and volunteering?
    We cannot offer scholarships on their own at this time; any reduction in costs beyond our normal discounts will come in the form of work exchange/volunteering. MARC is always in need of volunteers to help with our classes and workshops; we are grateful for the generosity of your time! There are limited spaces available for volunteers in every class, daylong event, and workshop. If spaces are full for a particular event/class, you can also volunteer by posting one of our flyers at 3-5 places (doctor's offices, yoga studios, etc.) in your neighborhood or around LA. (Just make sure to tell us where the flyers were posted, and to get permission from the location.) We also have various work-exchange opportunities (special projects, office assistance, etc.) which one can do in exchange for attending a class or event. View the Work Exchange policy for additional information. We cannot offer scholarships on their own at this time; any reduction in costs beyond our normal discounts will come in the form of work exchange/volunteering. For any questions not addressed in this policy, please email [email protected].
  5. What is your refund policy?
    Please read the MARC Registration & Refund Policy
  6. I am not in the Los Angeles area. Where can I find mindfulness programs/communities where I live?
    MARC will continue to expand our online offerings.
  7. I would like to to have MARC speak at my work, organization or school?
    Our Associate Director, Dr. Marvin G. Belzer, and our Director of Education, Diana Winston, give many community talks. We also have a network of trusted teachers and professionals who speak on behalf of MARC. If you are interested in introducing mindfulness into your professional, educational or community organization please send an email with details of your events/needs to [email protected]. Please include relevant details such as potential dates, budget, audience, etc.


  1. Is there an age limit for attending a class?
    Our MAPs classes are adult classes open to ages 16 and older.
  2. How do I set-up for the online classes? 
    To sign into the online classes, you will need a UCLA Logon ID. If you do not already have a UCLA Logon ID, you will need to create one at You will be able to use this ID for a variety of UCLA online services, in addition to gaining access to MAPs course on CCLE, class materials and more.
  3. I have some experience with meditation, what class should I take/start with?
    Mindfulness is different than other meditations so we recommend that you start with MAPs I for Daily Living. You will learn mindfulness meditation practices including sitting, walking meditations, and how to work with difficult thoughts and emotions. These practices develop greater mind-body awareness and reduce stress. You will learn how to incorporate mindful awareness in to your daily life.

    Our second level classes deepen an already existing practice and involve longer meditations. If you have taken a MAPs I for Daily Living class with us, you are welcome to join the advanced level classes.

    If are an experienced meditation practitioner or have your own mindful practice, an advanced level class may be suitable for you even if you have not taken MAPs I. Please email [email protected] to explain your equivalent experience and be approved to skip a MAPs I prerequisite.

  4. How do I find out about classes? Schedule? Cost?
    General class information can be found here, and the current schedule of classes can be found here. Our class schedule page us updated every two months or so, and classes run for six consecutive weeks. If you want to be informed when class registration opens, please join our mailing list for up-to-date information on our classes and other events.

  5. Where are classes held?
    Our Mindful Awareness Practice (MAPs) classes are held all across Los Angeles county in addition to the UCLA campus. For a list of where our current classes are being offered, visit our current class schedule page. For more UCLA campus parking and directions, click here.

  6. What kind of credits do you offer with your classes and workshops?
    The Semel Institute at UCLA is an accredited provider for Continuing Education Credits (BBS) for LCSWs and MFCCs/MFTs, (CME) for Physicians and Psychologists (provider # PCE 378), and Registered Nursing (RN). The MAPs I course meets the qualifications for 20 hours of continuing education credit as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Registered Nurse (RN)

    The cost for the CEUs is $50 (in addition to the MAPs class fee) and covers up to 18 units for MAPs I attendance, as well as 2 additional units for the optional "7th class." The 7th class is titled "Clinical Applications of Mindful Awareness" (2hrs) and is offered each summer. Please email [email protected] if you would like to be informed when this 7th class is scheduled.

    CME: This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education. This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Institute for Medical Quality and the California Medical Association's CME Accreditation Standards (IMQ/CMA) through The Semel Institute at UCLA. The Semel Institute is accredited by IMQ/ CMA to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Semel Institute takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity. The Semel Institute designates this live activity for a maximum of 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(tm). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    LCSWs and MFCCs/MFTs: The Semel Institute at UCLA is an accredited provider for continuing education credits for LCSWs and MFCCs/MFTs (provider number PCE 378). This course meets the qualifications for up to 20 hour of continuing education credit for LCSWs and MFCCs/MFTs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

    Registered Nurse (RN): The Semel Institute at UCLA is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (provider number CEP 381). Registered nurses attending this course may report up to 20 hours.

  7. Are MAPs for Educator program CEUs available for clinical psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs?
    At this time, we do not offer Educator program CEUs. We hope to have this available in the future. If you have interest in CEUs for future MAPs for Educator programs, please let us know, [email protected]. We currently offer CEUs in our MAPs classes and in many of our other workshops.

Residential Weekend/Multi-Day Retreat 

  1. What is a regular day like at a residential retreat?
    The days will start early with a meditation before breakfast. After the meal we will gather for meditation instructions followed by a silent morning of sitting and walking meditation, alternating. After lunch you will have free time to rest or hike. More instruction and sitting and walking practice will follow, as well as an opportunity to meet with a teacher in a group. The evening will be a lecture on mindfulness and some more practice until bed.
  2. I'm not sure I can handle the silence. Not talking for a weekend?
    You will be surprised by how the supportive environment with other students and ongoing teacher guidance will enable you to sit for much longer periods. Most people discover that the silence turns out to be one of the best parts of the weekend. Imagine a time truly for yourself, without having to perform, look a certain way, or interact with others. It's a true respite from society's norms. In silence we can go deeper into self-understanding and touch into our inner peace and joy. There will be some group discussions where you can talk, as well as some guided interactive exercises. Of course if you need something, you are welcome to check in with a teacher or manager. We are confident that anyone can complete a weekend retreat. It may be challenging, but it is doable and deeply rewarding.
  3. Are there breaks during the retreat?
    Of course there will be opportunity to rest and take a break, and you can always do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
  4. I've taken MAPs classes, but I don't know if I'm ready to sit a weekend retreat.
    A weekend retreat is a wonderful way to deepen your existing meditation practice. You will be given a lot of support, guidance, and instruction to guide you through the weekend. Having taught many of these retreats, our teachers know that a longer retreat is a powerful experience that anyone can do with the right support.