Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs) Classes Overview

Mindful Awareness Practices are the signature evidence-based educational programs of the Mindful Awareness Research Center. These six-week class series are open to the public and to all UCLA staff, faculty, and students. The classes lay the foundation for students to understand basic principles of mindfulness, develop a personal meditation practice, and to apply the principles in their daily life on an ongoing basis.

Each class is a combination of lecture, practice, and group feedback and discussion. MAPs is taught in a context of a supportive community environment with classes no larger than 30-40 students. Students report that the group support was one of the most helpful and inspiring aspects of the class. Our MAPs instructors have years of personal experience practicing mindfulness and teaching it nationally and internationally. MAPs is helpful for people of all backgrounds and religions. These classes are suitable for ages 16 and over.


MAPs I Overview

MAPs classes meets weekly for two hours per week for six weeks. Students are encouraged to complete some daily meditation practice starting at five minutes a day and working up to 20 minutes daily by the end of the course. 

There is a free app "UCLA Mindful" with guided meditations.

Students will learn Mindful concepts that include:

  • Overview of Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness of the Body
  • Obstacles to Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness to help with Physical Pain 
  • Working with Difficult Emotions
  • Cultivating Positive Emotions 
  • Working with Difficult Thoughts
  • Mindful Interactions

Students will also learn a variety of mindfulness practices so that the student can discover which practice is useful to them. Practices taught include:

  • Sitting meditation
  • Eating meditation
  • Daily life meditations 
  • Relational mindfulness 
  • Walking meditation
  • Standing meditation
  • Movement meditation
  • Practices to develop positive emotions 


For those who wish to continue and advance their practice, MARC has a series of MAPs II classes that are taught on a rotating basis throughout the year. 

MAPs IIA: Next Steps: Improve your Meditation
MAPs IIB: Finding Happiness: Cultivating Positive Mental States
MAPs IIC: Working with Difficult Emotions
MAPs IID: Turning Obstacles into Allies
MAPs IIE: Relational Mindfulness
MAPs IIF: Cultivating Self-Compassion
MAPs IIG: Mindfulness Intensive
MAPs IIH: Opening to Joy

Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs I) 
Course Objectives:

1. To expose participants to a basic mindful awareness practices and allow for a first-hand experience with them. These basic self-care techniques can teach practitioners to reduce stress, regulate attention and emotions, reduce reactivity, and cultivate healthier dyadic relationships. The foundation of using mindfulness in a client-based system is one's own personal practice. MAPs addresses this need.

2. To provide an overview of principles needed to establish mindfulness practice at home and in daily life and problem-solve difficulties in maintaining regular practice. Once participants learn the principles of mindfulness, they will then find ways to incorporate into their lives techniques and practices, which help reduce stress and create a greater sense of well-being. This is crucial for care-providers so that they are equipped to deal with the stresses of their client base.

3. To provide practical tools for incorporating mindful awareness into one’s professional activities. Since mindfulness is shown to be so effective in reducing stress and increasing emotional regulation, the simple tools taught in MAPs classes can easily be implemented with clients in both health care and psychotherapeutic contexts. When the participant finishes their MAPs program, they will have the basics for continuing with their own practice and sharing their knowledge and experience on a basic level with clients and patients.

4. To introduce the science of mindfulness: research on its health benefits; research on its impact for learning and self-regulation; research on its impact in education. Each participant will receive knowledge of the science of mindfulness and in particular, how it can be helpful in both clinical and health settings. Many research studies compare and contrast mindfulness based programs, such as the use of traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) v. Mindfulness Based-CBT. MB-CBT is shown to be more effective. As the participant learns the science behind this, they can make choices of how to incorporate such knowledge into their client dealings.

5. The class meets once a week for 2 hours each week for 6 weeks (6 classes).

MAPs for Continuing Education Credit (CE)**

MAPS are an excellent introduction to mindfulness for clinicians, who are welcome to take it for credit. The cost for the CEs is $50.

Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course offers 10 CE credit.

California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists 10 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.

Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 12 contact hours.

**As of September 30, 2023, we will no longer be offering CEs. 


 "I couldn't thank you more for the opportunity. I feel at peace after months of feeling lost and angry with the world."

"MAPs has a good balance of instruction, practice, and discussion. I deeply treasure the knowledge of the benefits of meditation, and most importantly, a new attitude of kindness towards myself."