Who can teach Koru Mindfulness?

The Center for Koru Mindfulness offers a certification program for those who wish to teach the Koru Mindfulness curriculum. Anyone who wishes to teach Koru Mindfulness and meets the pre-requisites may apply to the program. Current members of The Center are particularly encouraged to apply. We are asking that after July 1, 2015 our materials, logo, and program name be used only by those enrolled in or graduated from our certification program. Please contact us at info@korumindfulness.org if you have any questions about this. We are especially eager to help our current members make this transition.

Is there a list of teachers and locations?

Yes! You can see a list of our teachers (both certified and in training) and their locations in our teacher directory.

What is Koru Mindfulness?

Koru is a mindfulness curriculum designed specifically to target the developmental needs and interests of young adults. Koru was developed at the student counseling center at Duke University where it has become a very popular program. Koru has been empirically tested in a randomized, controlled trial and found to have significant benefits on sleep, perceived stress, mindfulness, and self-compassion.

The full Koru Mindfulness curriculum has three components: Koru Basic, the introductory course; Koru 2.0, the advanced class; and Koru Retreat, a half-day mindfulness retreat. Koru Basic consists of four, 75-minute classes and is described in detail in the book, Mindfulness for the Next Generation: Helping Emerging Adults Manage Stress and Lead Healthier Lives (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Why is the program called “Koru”?

“Koru” is the New Zealand Māori word for the spiral shape of the unfurling fern frond. The word literally means “looped” or “spiraled”, but the shape symbolizes harmony or balanced growth, representing layered growth around around a stable center. We love the beautiful shape of the koru found in nature and feel it reflects perfectly the kind of growth that young adults experience as they begin to develop a mindfulness practice for themselves.

We are sensitive to concerns of cultural appropriation that can arise when using cultural practices or language from a culture different from one’s own. To address this we have sought advice from friends and colleagues in New Zealand, including individuals who identify as Māori. We have also reviewed the Waitangi Tribunal Report, a document that explores Maori cultural claims. Within this beautiful document, there is discussion about using taonga, Māori cultural representations and te reo Māori, the Māori language. The guidelines in the report indicate that concerns only arise if taonga is used in a derogatory manner. We have been advised that our use of the word “koru” is acceptable and falls clearly into the non-derogatory category.

Culture appropriation is particularly of concern when cultural representations are used without attributing and honoring the culture from which they come. For this reason, we always reference and honor the Māori roots of the word “koru” when we write or speak about our program.

How is Koru Mindfulness different from other mindfulness training programs?

Koru was designed specifically for young adults and differs from mindfulness programs developed for more general populations of adults in several ways.

  • Teaches mindfulness meditation as well as stress-management skills
  • A brief model to accommodate the busy schedules of young adults. Taught in four, weekly, 75-minute classes.
  • Highly structured with daily homework of a mindfulness log and 10 minutes mindfulness practice
  • Personal coaching paired with cutting-edge technology
  • Taught in small, diverse groups
  • Active teaching to address skepticism and build motivation
  • Stories and metaphors relevant to the lives of young adults

Emerging adults and young adults: What’s the difference?

Emerging adulthood is the name of the developmental stage that young adults are in. It lasts from about age 18 through age 29. So essentially, emerging adults are the same as young adults, just like adolescents are the same as teenagers. Young adulthood is an exciting time of life but it also involves lots of change and lots of stress. Mindfulness is a great tool for optimizing this period of growth.

Have more questions?

Feel free to send us a note!