Certification Pathways – Zen Leadership
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We offer certification pathways for practitioner-leaders, coaches and instructors of Zen Leadership. These pathways start with certification in Zen Leadership. Those interested in further coaching and teaching applications can continue in specialized training to become Zen Leadership coaches and IZL-certified instructors. In linking together a number of our program offerings, these pathways can serve as useful guides in your training, leadership, and growing your work in the world.

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Desire to make a positive difference, a challenge one is facing


  1. Zen Leader (ZL) 1, ZL2, ZL3
  2. Physical Training program or practice (e.g., Zen Somatics, yoga, martial arts)
Certificate in zen leadership


  • Leadership application (action learning)
  • Approximate contact hours > 120
  • Time in practice > 1.5 years*

ICF certified coach or equivalent, ZL certification 


  1. ZL1, ZL2, ZL3 (covered in ZL certificate)
  2. Physical Training program: Sesshin or Keishin (online intensive Zen training)
  3. FEBI Certification


  • Coaching practice
  • Ongoing practice in Zen
  • Regular attendance at annual Master Class
  • Approximate contact hours >180
  • Time in practice >2yrs*

Experience in teaching, leadership or leadership development, ZL certification


  1. ZL1, ZL2, ZL3 (covered in ZL certificate)
  2. Physical Training program: >2 Sesshin or Keishin
  3. ZL Instructor training, FEBI Certification, Zen Instructor training (Level 1)


  • Teaching application, practice
  • Ongoing Zen practice
  • Regular attendance at annual Master Class
  • Approximate contact hours > 250
  • Time in practice > 4 years*

*can be completed within 6 months with prior Zen experience and ongoing practice

Who should consider these pathways?

Anyone who comes to a IZL program is welcome to start applying what they’ve learned to their work the moment they leave. But Zen Leadership is more than the work of one program. These certification pathways are for people interested in building an actualized proficiency in Zen Leadership and/or further wanting to share that with others through coaching or teaching. These pathways set the standard for what we would look for in the coaches and teachers we bring into future IZL programs.

what’s involved?

Practitioner-leader certification generally involves three face-to-face programs with time for practice and leadership application in between, including work on a specific project. It also includes physical training in Zen or related areas (e.g., Somatics, yoga). Coaching and teaching certifications involve further specialized training, development of a Zen practice, FEBI certification, attendance at sesshin/keishin, and ability to guide a Zen sitting group (i.e, Zen Level I instruction).

What if I need a program that’s not on the schedule or I can’t make the dates being offered?

Let us know if you’re interested in getting certified as a coach or instructor, and we’ll work with you on a program of study to help you achieve your goal. We may let you take courses in a different order or waive the requirement for a course given your prior experience.

how does it work?

For each program you attend, you’ll receive a Certificate of Completion, making it easier for you to keep track of when you’ve come through each one. Let us know of your interest in getting certified and, once you’ve met the basic (or negotiated alternate) requirements, we’ll send you an application you can submit with your relevant program and applied experience, along with a nominal fee for its review.

If I get certified as a coach or instructor, am I guaranteed to get work with IZL?

Every growth scenario we look at tells us we will need more coaches and teachers of Zen Leadership in the future, but we cannot guarantee when those scenarios will ripen or that you will have work with us. We can guarantee that you will be in the pool we draw from in staffing future programs.

Can I get Continuing Education Credits for IZL programs?

Yes. Our HEAL programs qualify for Continuing Medical Education credits and our Zen Leader programs qualify for Coach Continuing Education Credits through ICF. Let us know if these or other CEU types would be of use to you professionally.