Margaret Cullen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher and was one of the first ten instructors to be Certified by the Center for Mindfulness. For 20 years she has been pioneering mindfulness-based programs in health care, education, business and academic settings. In 1995 she helped launch the first MBSR program at Kaiser in Oakland, and later collaborated on a revised manual for the entire northern California region. She introduced MBSR to the Cancer Support Community (CSC) in both Santa Monica and Walnut Creek, California where it still thrives, 20 years later. Margaret continues to facilitate support groups, teach mindfulness programs and offer workshops on forgiveness at CSC in Walnut Creek.
She worked on the development and the teaching of “Cultivating Emotional Balance”, a research project at UCSF, teaching emotion skills and meditation to educators in collaboration with Paul Ekman and Alan Wallace. Also at UCSF, she collaborated with Elissa Eppel on “CALLM”, a research study combining meditation with nutrition education for overweight women. In 2007, she created a program for educators called “Stress Management and Relaxation Training” (SMART) which is also named “Mindfulness-Based Emotional Balance” (MBEB).
Margaret delivered the SMART program to educators in Vancouver, BC, Boulder Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Berkeley California and trained instructors in each of these locations. In 2009, she was invited by Jinpa Thubten to collaborate on a secular compassion training, “Stanford Compassion Cultivation” through the Center for Compassion (CCARE), Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, where she is also a senior teacher.