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The awakening process described by the Buddha has been undertaken by countless beings for the last 2600 years. This path begins with recognition of the truth of suffering and its causes. By understanding the cause, we discover a way to free ourselves. The way to freedom is the Noble Eightfold Path. Through the practices of ethics, meditation and wisdom, we have a reliable refuge for the development of generosity, loving kindness and compassion and eventual full awakening.


In our first weekend, the Eightfold Path will be introduced through talks, discussion and practice. Anne Cox will explore how to find better posture in your body through movement using simple poses to help prepare the body for meditation as well as mindful movement to help warm up the tissues & focus the mind. During sitting meditation, discomfort can be felt in the body caused by both physical & emotional tension. This immersion will give you the tools to help your students find more comfort in their bodies so they choose to come back to sitting more often & for longer periods of time. 


Jeri Tourand and Anne Cox will lead multiple mindfulness and meditation practices cultivating deep self-awareness and a state of well-being. Beginning a regular practice of mindfulness and meditation has been shown to improve health, emotional regulation, focus and performance in all areas of life. Students will learn the fundamentals and explore various tools and techniques to help them to alleviate suffering, develop a practice to balance the mind and emotion and awaken to the joy and vitality of the present moment.

Daemond Mano and Jeri Tourand will share some contemporary lessons rooted in Zen Buddhism taught to them by Zen Master Nissim Amon. The lessons and exercises will explore the causes of suffering, offer tools and techniques to begin to release attachment and clear karma and finally open the space of inner pace and true happiness. Homework will be given to further deepen the understanding of these teachings.

In the second weekend, Leslie will draw the map of the early Buddhist teachings in more detail, explaining how the practices from the first weekend fit into the eightfold path and the four foundations of mindfulness and how these teachings work together to support us as we engage in the study, contemplation and meditations that have the power to lead us to awakening over many years of dedicated practice.

In both weekends, there will be support for students to develop their ability to share the teachings with others who are interested in learning about meditation. The development of this path is a life-long process. Each step taken on the path is of value. This immersion is intended to serve each student in their own exploration of the practice of meditation and provide a foundational understanding of Buddhist teachings.



  • How to Begin a Mindfulness Meditation Practice

  • What supports are helpful for continuing and developing the practice

  • Foundational buddhist teachings on the Eightfold Path:

    • Wisdom teachings: Wise Understanding and Wise Thinking

    • Ethical teachings: Wise Speech, Wise Action and Wise Livelihood

    • Meditation teachings: Wise Effort, Wise Mindfulness and Wise Concentration 

  • Foundational understanding of:

    • Karma - how our choices influence the happiness we and those around us experience

    • Nibbana - freedom from suffering, what does it mean? 

    • The Seven Factors of Awakening - seven qualities of the heart and mind that support awakening and how to develop them

    • The Five Hindrances - five qualities of the heart and mind that hinder awakening, how to work with them

    • The Five Precepts - five ethical trainings that support awakening

    • Taking Refuge - the buddha, the dharma and the sangha. What does this mean and how does it support our practice?

    • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness - introduction to the Satipatthana Sutta,  an important practice guide in this tradition

    • The Brahmaviharas - Four practices for developing emotional wisdom:

    • Loving-kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity

  • Tools to teach others about the inner dialogue inside each of us.

  • A process to discover the cause of our suffering and strategies for changing it.

  • How to use meditation and breathwork to cultivate change in our relationships.

  • Why people are drawn to meditation and a spiritual practice.

  • Identifying where you are on the spiritual cycle and ways to help others recognize where they are.
    An overview of the History of Buddhism 

  • Retreat Practice - our second weekend will be in Noble Silence and will support your understanding of the importance of seclusion and the creation of a safe container for the  deepening of our practice

  • Most common places a person holds tension that would impede seated meditation practice neck, upper back, low back, hips & feet

  • How to read body language to understand where the body is holding tensions & stresses. look at the spine, extreme curves or lack of curves, tilt of the head, tilt of the pelvis, 

  • Simple poses to do for hips, shoulders, neck & spine to help prepare the body for meditation 

  • Use of props to help find more comfort in the body & encourage grounding 

  • Mindful movement to help warm up the tissues & focus the mind 


Learning is experiential as well as conceptual. In this training, participants will be supported in developing their personal exploration of the study and practice of Buddhist meditation.  Students will acquire a foundational understanding of mindfulness meditation and be able to guide students to initiate a basic mindfulness meditation practice.

The format will include a balance of lecture, practice, and informal conversation and mentorship.

To help deepen the practice the following will be offered:

  • A YogaMCC Teacher Training Manual

  • Recommended readings and a reading assignment

  • Homework including a 28 day dedicated personal practice

  • Personal Practice Journal

  • Group process web calls with teachers


Required text:

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, Walking the Buddha’s Path by Bhante Gunaratana


Recommended texts:

Contemplations of the Seven Factors of Awakening by Ajahn Thiradhammo

Unhindered: A Mindful Path through the Five Hindrances by Gil Fronsdal


A Certificate of Completion for the 50 Hr Buddhism and the 8 Fold Path Module

This course will count toward your 200 Hr or 300 Hr YogaMCC Meditation Teacher Training.


Dr. Leslie Ellestad

Leslie Ellestad has been practicing meditation since 1998. She has practiced and studied in the Tibetan Dzogchen tradition from 2000-2009. She then returned to the practice and study of the Theravadin/Insight meditation tradition and completed the Spirit Rock Dedicated Practitioner program in 2016. She has attended many intensive retreat trainings in both traditions and has a dedication to the daily practice and study of the Buddhist tradition. She is grateful for the trainings she has received from all of her teachers and shares the teachings with the wish that others benefit. In her work as a family physician, Leslie has witnessed the benefits of meditation training for the supportive management of physical and mental health.  A recent interest is the intersection of mindfulness and somatic/emotional therapies for the treatment of trauma. Curiosity, persistence and an openness to expanding her understanding are some of the strongest qualities she brings to her meditation practice and teaching. Over many years, she has developed deep faith in the benefits of a long term meditation practice and this inspires her teaching. 

Daemond Mano - Meditation Teacher Training Director, YogaMCC Owner

Daemond grew up in Calgary, but he is a traveler by trade, having visited over 30 countries in his life. One of his favorite things to do is understand how other people live on this earth. Like most of us, he has often wondered why we are here. Daemond has sat with Monks in the Temples of South East Asia and has spent time with Aboriginals in Australia learning about Dreamtime. He has journeyed with Shamans in Central America and created concoctions with witch doctors in Africa. He has read and researched much in the vein of spirituality and science and connections between the two, a field called Epigenetics. Daemond is also very passionate about building community and safe containers for seekers to grow into their highest vision of themselves. For him this all starts with a foundation of friendship. Daemond's primary practices are Meditation and Breathwork. He is certified to teach Clarity Breathwork, Numa Breathwork, and has studied breathwork at the Omega Institute in New York. He is also certified to teach Active Meditations from Osho Humaniversity in Holland, Systemic & Family Constellations, and was given permission to teach the life's work of Zen Master Nissim Amon, a modality called Trilotherapy, which includes Zen Buddhist meditation. He also enjoys integrating sound into his offerings and is certified by Jonathan Goldman in sound healing. He's very passionate about sharing all these tools with the humans around him that feel called to explore the depths of who we are.

Anne Cox

Anne is the manager of YogaMCC. She began her yoga journey in 1997 to manage back pain and chronic headaches. Starting with restorative yoga classes, she found that the simplest poses could be the most profound. Anne certified herself as a yoga teacher in 2004 with the Southern Okanagan Yoga Association and RYT 500 hour with Yoga Alliance. Her specialty is yoga therapy, working with physical and emotional stress caused by illness, injury, and the pressures of everyday life.

Jeri Tourand

Jeri Tourand, B Ed., is an Unlimited Love Coach, specializing in self-love, forgiveness and relationship coaching. She is a mother of three beautiful daughters, a published author, inspired speaker, Zen Trilotherapy practitioner/ trainer, founder and facilitator of “Living from Heart Center”; Awakening to unconditional love and authentic self expression! Jeri’s mission is to assist people in awakening to deep truth and remembrance of the Divine Love that they are, inspiring them to live life to the fullest, and courageously express their highest potential and truest nature. She has gained massive clarity over the years and moved through huge obstacles to become who she is today; assisting to awaken others with the truths that have transformed her. Since her breakdown/breakthrough in 2009, Jeri has learned how to follow her heart and speak, think and act through love in order to overcome obstacles and self-sabotage. Having studied with many masters, including Zen Master Nissim Amon in Trilotherapy (a blend of Western psychology and Zen Buddhist philosophy), Jeri coaches people to work through their fears, open their hearts, and bring clarity and awareness to their lives. Through life changing teachings and awakening experiences, Jeri’s clients often have a true spiritual awakening and gain the tools they need to live a happy, meaningful and incredibly fulfilling life.

Jeri facilitates group coaching, healing circles, enlightening workshops and retreats including Zen retreats and Unconditional Love retreats to help people awaken and lead us to the tipping point of a more united world that is healed, connected and driven by Love.


Friday, November 11 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Saturday, November 12 - 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday, November 13 - 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Friday, December 9 - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Saturday, December 10 - 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Sunday, December 11 - 9:30 am to 5:30 pm


50 Hour Module: $800

PAYMENT PLAN: Pay a $300 deposit, then pay the remainder before or on the first day of class. Email for payment plan.


Register for the entire 300 Hour YogaMCC Meditation Teacher Training for the best value.

CLICK HERE for more information on the YogaMCC Meditation Teacher Training.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds (minus a $300 Administration Fee) are available up to 14 days before the starting date. Send your written cancellation notification to No refunds on or after the course begins. Deposits are non-refundable.