SIY Engage

Our Advanced Program

Deepen your Practice, Engage with the World.

Explore how Engage will impact your life.

At the Engage mindful leadership program, you’ll develop the knowledge, tools, and leadership capacities to bring the benefits of mindfulness based emotional intelligence (EI) to your workplace or community. You’ll learn from SIYLI’s experience bringing mindfulness and EI to organizations like Google and SAP, and then craft your own plan to take action.

Experience deep personal development, shift the dynamics of your team, and help your organization to thrive. Engage.

Announcing our 2017 programs!

We’re happy to share that Engage will be offered twice in 2017! Please see below for the locations and session dates.

San Francisco, CA, USA

Session 1: June 21 – 25
Session 2: September 27 – October 1

APPLY NOW to San Francisco

Sydney, Australia

(in partnership with the Wake Up Project)
Session 1: July 19 – 23
Session 2: November 1 – 5


“If you get the opportunity to attend a program like this grab it with both hands…it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.” – Deiric

“What my gut tells me is that if all leaders took this program we’d be in pretty good shape.” – Ellie

“To attend this program is a life changing experience.” – Amandine

“I now have a lot more tools and a lot clearer path to bring this work into my own business.” – Matt

What is Engage?

For leaders looking to bring the benefits of mindfulness and emotional intelligence to workplaces and organizations, Engage is a five-month intensive program in mindful leadership. Engage consists of two in-person sessions lasting five days each, one session at the beginning of the program, and the second session four months later.

Your experience includes:

  • Learning: Deepen your understanding of emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and neuroscience. Learn directly from the world’s leading experts in these fields. Integrate learnings into your personal and professional life.
  • Action: Learn practical tools to bring to your workplace or organization that decrease stress, increase resilience, improve collaboration and well-being. Explore how to lead with more wisdom, skill and compassion. Learn how to share these tools and practices with others.
  • Personal Growth: Embark on a learning journey that takes you deeper in your own practice. Reflect on how you embody mindfulness and emotional intelligence practices and the influence you have on others through your presence. Receive peer coaching focused on growth and transformation.
  • Community: Join a global community of like-minded and warm-hearted individuals from all walks of life. Support one another to learn, transform, and change the world.

Why come to Engage?

Who should attend?

  • Individuals seeking to create the thriving workplace they’ve always known was possible. Champions, influencers, change-agents. Anyone with a personal desire to be more effective at work and in life.
  • Past attendees have included:
    • Individuals representing 18 countries
    • From wide ranging industries including: agriculture, banking, communications, consulting, education, entertainment, engineering, financial services, healthcare, learning & development, legal, non-profit, real estate, retail, and technology
    • With occupations including: manager, HR professional, entrepreneur, community leader, architect, CEO, COO, teacher, nurse, journalist, engineer, director, merchandiser, principal, doctor, researcher, coach, therapist, and social worker.

What will I learn and what impact can I expect personally?

  • Experience firsthand the benefits of mindfulness based emotional intelligence, and learn how to share MBEI with your friends, team, and organization.
  • Understand the frameworks and science that support mindfulness and compassion in organizations, including emotional intelligence, neuroscience, leadership, and systems thinking.
  • Learn specific tools and applications developed to make it easy to introduce mindfulness and begin shifting the dynamics of your interactions at work.
  • Deepen your own mindfulness practice, with support and accountability from peers.
  • Learn firsthand from world class faculty (see below for a more details)
  • Gain confidence in your role as a “mindful champion” through assignments to introduce practical mindfulness-based tools into your world.
  • SIY Engage focuses on deep personal growth. Participants especially value the combination of knowledge & tools, how the experience catalyzes personal growth, and the wisdom, heart and support that emerges through building community.

What will I be able to do after engage, and what impact can I expect by sharing these practices?

  • Mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices help individuals increase well-being, decrease stress and become more resilient. Through mindful communication practices, individuals can improve how they relate and collaborate with one another, the result being more enjoyable and effective teamwork. Individuals are then able to navigate challenges more effectively while staying centered and calm. By sharing this knowledge and these practices within an organization you will be building a wiser and more compassionate culture.
  • Share and lead a wide variety of mindfulness-based practices, and explain the science behind them, including:
    • Lead Wisdom Circles, a mindfulness-based group practice that helps sustain and integrate contemplative practices, supports problem-solving by leveraging the wisdom of the group, and builds a more compassionate team and workplace culture.
    • Introduce a Mindful Meeting process that will help people to be fully present, build trust, and work more effectively together.
    • Navigate Difficult Conversations successfully with a framework designed to help you understand the unstated dialogue, emotions, and desires.
    • And many more tools that help individuals to experience greater wellbeing, resilience, and self-awareness.
  • Take all that Engage provides you and integrate it into your own style and offerings.

Engage Teachers

Participants are incredibly fortunately to be taught by SIYLI’s top leaders and teachers, who have taught our programs for eight years and have a had a direct hand in creating Engage.

Marc Lesser
Marc Lesser
Co-founder, CEO SIYLI, Engage teacher
Lori Schwanbeck
Lori Schwanbeck
SIYLI Engage teacher, Licensed psychotherapist
Peter Bonanno
Peter Bonanno
SIYLI Engage teacher, Director of SIYLI Program Development

Engage Guest Faculty

Engage participants will learn from World Class guest faculty who are Globally Recognized Leaders in their fields of expertise. What’s more, our faculty are also seasoned mindfulness practitioners, with a wealth of practical experience. They will help you develop your personal mindfulness practice and offer effective mindfulness-based practices to use throughout your day.

Dan Goleman
Dan Goleman
World renowned author, psychologist, and science journalist
Dan Siegel
Dan Siegel
Best-selling author, pioneering scientist and Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute
Wendy Palmer
Wendy Palmer
Leadership coach utilizing principles of Aikido and embodiment
Richie Davidson
Richie Davidson
World-renown neuroscientist
Chade-Meng Tan
Chade-Meng Tan
Google’s world-famous “Jolly Good Fellow”, author of Search Inside Yourself
Yingzhao Liu
Yingzhao Liu
Director, User Experience Design at LinkedIn, and a zen temple resident
Norman Fisher
Norman Fisher
Author of Training in Compassing and Zen teacher
Rick Hanson
Rick Hanson
Author of Hardwiring Happiness
Joan Halifax
Joan Halifax
Meditation teacher, anthropologist, author and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care
James Doty
James Doty
Founder & Director, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford
Peter Bostelmann
Peter Bostelmann
Director, SAP Global Mindfulness Practice
Phoenix Soleil
Phoenix Soleil
Leads trainings in communication, racial justice, personal development, theater improvisation, and play
Cliff Saron
Cliff Saron
Neuroscientist and leading scholar of the tangible effects of meditation
Kelly Werner
Kelly Werner
Psychologist, Meditation Instructor, Neuroscientist, Game Creator
Mario Galarreta
Mario Galarreta
Neuroscientist, Filmmaker, Storyteller, Learning & Development Specialist at Google
Bill Duane
Bill Duane
Superintendent of Well Being and Sustainable Performance Learning at Google, Well-Being Expert, Meditation Teacher, Engineering Executive

Program Details

What Happens Before Engage:

  • 5 weeks prior to Session 1 you will receive our Prework assignment, consisting of reading articles, watching videos, completing a self-assessment, recommended daily practices and weekly journaling prompts. Please budget approximately 5 hours per week (for a total of 25 hours) to complete this work prior to arriving at Session 1.
  • To make the most of the program, come to Session 1 prepared with a couple of ideas of how you would like to apply what you’ll learn to your life, and with whom you would like to share and introduce these MBEI practices.

What Happens During Engage Sessions:

  • There are 2 five-day in-person sessions.
  • Receive content and tools from experts in the fields of emotional intelligence, neuroscience, and mindfulness.
  • Intensive focus on developing, strengthening and deepening your personal self-awareness practices.
  • Peer coaching and support.
  • The daily schedule is approximately 8.30am to 5.30pm, with a few optional evening activities. Breakfast and lunch are provided, as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
  • For an example syllabus of the entire Engage experience, please click here.
  • For an example agenda of the in-person sessions, please click here.

What Happens Between Sessions:

  • Budget 3-5 hours weekly to complete various homework assignments, including reading articles/sections of books and watching videos.
  • Participation in virtual meetings with your pod and a 12-part webinar series with Engage Guest Faculty members every two weeks.
  • Personal practice – daily mindfulness practice (at least 10 minutes, but may be longer depending upon your existing practice).
  • Sharing mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices with your friends and colleagues to practice using MBEI applications, tools, and resources we provide you, which include:
    • Leading Mindful Meetings, to support greater self-awareness and compassion
    • Hosting Wisdom Circles
    • One-hour presentation about MBEI practices and benefits
    • And many more
  • Explore how MBEI applies to your inner life through bi-weekly prompts, journaling, and self-assessments.

What Happens Upon Completion of the Program:

  • Join the thriving community of Engage Alumni, sharing resources and experiences, supporting one another to create a more vibrant world.

What Does Engage Cost and What’s Included:

  • The program price covers tuition, materials and access to all online resources and community. For in-person sessions, it covers daily breakfast, lunch and snacks. It does not include dinners, transportation or lodging.
  • The program price varies by location due to currency differences and local costs for expenses such as venue and catering.
    • For the San Francisco program:
      • Early Bird registration price is $5,900 USD.  This price is available to the first forty participants who apply, are accepted AND pay the registration fee, after which the price reverts to our Regular registration.
      • Regular registration is $6,700 USD.
      • Late registration is $7,200 USD. This price goes into effect starting on May 22nd, 2017.
    • The price for the Sydney program will be posted soon.
APPLY NOW to San Francisco

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Admissions is open! To apply to the San Francisco program, please go to: and submit your application. Admissions for the Sydney program will open soon, please check back again soon.
We encourage applicants to have attended our SIY 2-day program, have a minimum of 2 years of a regular mindfulness meditation practice, and a strong commitment to bringing mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices into the world. In addition, we are looking for a diverse audience, participants from different areas and backgrounds such as business, social entrepreneurs, non-profits, hospitals, education, government, etc. Participants will have to commit to a daily mindfulness practice, and design and undertake a special project/initiative. You should be willing to engage your organization or an audience you are passionate about in between sessions as part of this initiative.
Marc Lesser, Lori Schwanbeck, and Peter Bonanno are the principal teachers. Marc and Lori will co-teach the San Francisco and Sydney programs.
  • 2 five-day in-person sessions.
  • 5 months of regular online community contact within a small group, completing weekly assignments, readings, and exercises.
  • Undertaking an initiative or project to bring mindfulness-based emotional intelligence into your world.
  • Content and tools from experts in the fields of emotional intelligence, neuroscience, and mindfulness.
  • Intensive focus on developing, strengthening and deepening your personal self-awareness practices.
  • Peer coaching and support.
For the San Francisco program, the cost of the 5-month Engage program varies depending upon when you register.  The Early Bird registration is $5,900 USD and is available to the first forty individuals who apply, are accepted AND pay the registration fee.  After that, the price changes to our Regular registration which is $6,700 USD. Finally, for individuals who register after May 22nd, 2017, the price will be our Late registration which is $7,200 USD. The cost covers tuition, materials and access to all online resources and community. For in-person sessions, it also covers daily breakfast, lunch and snacks. It does not include dinners, transportation or lodging. To see what the price is for the Sydney program, please click on the corresponding “APPLY NOW”. This will take you to that program’s information and application webpage, which will provide all the details specific to that program (price, venue, etc.)
For the San Francisco program, we provide Early Bird discounted pricing for the first forty individuals who apply, are accepted AND pay the registration fee.
No. We no longer offer an SIY Teacher Certification program. Engage is a personal development program aimed at having each participant deepen their practice and develop their own initiative/project to bring mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices to their worlds. Participants will not be certified to teach the Search Inside Yourself Program. They will learn a series of tools to bring to their organizations and affect change.
Upon finishing the program, you will receive a Letter of Completion. To receive this letter you are required to attend both in-person sessions and actively participate over the interim period.

You will be able to introduce mindfulness-based emotional intelligence practices to anyone through a presentation and a series of tools such as mindful meetings, mindful lunches, mindful feedback conversation, etc. Integrate all that you have learned into your work in any way that you find brings value to your environment. Carry out your own initiative/project that you designed and tested throughout the program.

Yes, we encourage you to apply. International students have comprised one third of past SIYLI programs hosted in San Francisco. We also are now offering Engage internationally in Sydney and Toronto.
Unfortunately at this time we’re unable to provide deferments. If you’re accepted into this year’s program, but are unable to attend, then we strongly encourage you to reapply for the program next year.
Unfortunately we don’t allow participants to split their participation across multiple years or programs in the same year but different location. The program is designed to be a contiguous experience for 5 months. Jumping back into a session a year later, with completely different participants, creates too much discontinuity for the individual and is disruptive to next year’s class and pods.

At this time we’re unable to offer scholarships. Depending on the number of registrants, we may be able to offer partial scholarships later in the spring. If so, this will be announced in April. Any scholarships offered would only be available to those who demonstrate a clear need for financial assistance in order to attend the Engage program, and applicants may be asked to provide proof of income. Preference will be given to those who have a clear plan of how they will use this teaching in the world. Please note that we cannot offer both the early bird discount and a partial scholarship; they are mutually exclusive.  Therefore, to receive the early bird discount, you must be one of the first forty people to apply, get accepted and pay for your space in the program.

If you need to cancel after you’ve been accepted and made payment for the Engage program, your request must be sent in writing to The cancellation policy is as follows:

  • * If you cancel your participation in the program on or before April 26, 2017, you will be refunded your payment(s) less a $1,500 cancellation fee.
  • * If you cancel your participation in the program after April 26, 2017, there will be no refund issued.
We’d love to hear from you, email us at