16 Guidelines for a Happy Life

Use mindfulness and other skills to transform your life and relationships


16 Guidelines for a Happy Life (16G) are workshops and tools based on a set of values that aim to encourage positive qualities in your life. They help you to change how you think, how you act, how you relate to others and how you find meaning.

The Guidelines use mindfulness and group exercises based on compassion and ethics and are designed to enhance your mental wellbeing, strengthen emotional resilience, and build positive relationships and communities, bringing happiness to you and those around you.

In a relaxed, enjoyable and supportive environment you will learn practical daily exercises that will help you nurture your positive qualities, transform your everyday relationships, and reverberate in the world around you.

Beginners to the practices of mindfulness, meditation and emotional intelligence are welcome, and the course is particularly beneficial for individuals who want to take the techniques from 16 Guidelines and implement them in their home relationships, educational environment, community or workplace. 16 Guidelines can give you transferrable skills to create a cascade of impact, beyond just self-improvement.

Mindfulness meditation MBSR course, workshops and app

Course at a glance

  • Short workshops (approx. 12 hours)
  • Draws from Buddhist philosophy and scientific research on ethics and psychology
  • 3 levels; Level 1 suitable for beginners
  • Study materials (16G cards) included
  • App and self-study options

For an alternative, try The a.r.t. of Fulfilment course

More than just mindfulness training...
16 Guidelines is divided into four course themes: 

how you think - 16 guidelines mindfulness course

How we think

Recognising the power of the mind is the most important theme that underlies the 16 Guidelines. We can train and transform our minds to shift our habits and explore new ways of living by cultivating humility, patience, contentment and delight.

how you act - 16 guidelines meditation course

How we act

How you choose to act can define and colour your quality of life and experiences. Paying attention to the four actions of kindness, honesty, generosity and right speech will lay a solid foundation for contributing to the happiness of others and ourselves.

relationships & emotional intelligence - 16 guidelines course

How we relate to others

We interact with people everyday, from members of our family to the person in the supermarket. By applying respect, forgiveness, gratitude and loyalty we can strengthen our relationships with those around us.

relationships & emotional intelligence - 16 guidelines course

How we find meaning

Our search for meaning will depend on our ability and willingness to explore new and unfamiliar territory. Abandoning the narrow view of ourselves and developing qualities like aspiration, principles, service and courage can help us create a happy life.


Considering mindfulness courses or meditation workshops?

Why 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life offers a more holistic approach

Mindfulness can teach you how to pause, reflect and live in the present moment, which is a valuable tool. Meditation can help to bring a sense of calm and reduce stress, which is also important. However, these are only two tools in the toolbox that we use in the 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life. When it comes to becoming a fully-rounded, compassionate and thoughtful individual, we believe in using all the tools available.

Drawing on proven techniques from modern psychology, ethics, cognitive behavioural approaches, and centuries-old Eastern philosophy, 16 Guidelines is a holistic approach to self-improvement that doesn't have to stop with the self. Our course can equip you with techniques that you can share with others, whether you need to improve personal relationships at home, reduce stress in the workplace, or roll out a 'mindfulness-plus' programme in your classroom, care facility or organisation. Check out some of our success stories for inspiration.

Who is the course for?

16 Guidelines is useful for people of all ages and backgrounds.

It is particularly ideal for:

  • Teachers and carers or those in support roles

  • Coaches and psychologists

  • Those who work in business environments

  • Anyone seeking practical tools to bring about positive change in their life

What you will gain

Benefits of the course include:

  • Increased emotional resilience

  • Better relationships, at work and at home

  • A greater capacity for insight and personal reflection

  • A greater sense of wellbeing, confidence and purpose

What you will do

On our workshops you will take part in partner and group work as you practice mindfulness exercises and individual meditations, reframing and pre-framing your thinking.

You will also get to be creative making simple artwork based on your life experiences, supported by music, audio-visual material and the role models representing each Guideline.

You will take home the 16 Guidelines cards to use at your own pace.

Course programme structure

There are 3 course levels to the programme. The workshop price varies comparatively according to country. View upcoming 16 Guidelines course dates below.

Level 1

You will be introduced to each Guideline and gain practical tools to start changing your understanding of yourself, your relationships and the world. 

Building on the Basics (BoB) 

BoB is a series of free follow-on study sessions you can do with your fellow participants after Level 1 to help apply 16G into everyday life. 

Level 2

You continue exploring the Guidelines from different perspectives, understanding that there is a shadow side that can limit our possibilities of happiness, and how to work with that. 

Level 3

Through your continued commitment to living the Guidelines and your wish to share them with others you can train to become a facilitator, and join our International Accredited Faculty. The Level 3 workshop is one step to becoming accredited. Download the 16G full Training Pathway here

For more information about the 16 Guidelines visit www.16guidelines.org


Other Study Options

16 Guidelines for a Happy Life App

Take the Guidelines with you on the go with our app, available for free to download on Android and Apple devices. Choose a Guideline each day or receive a random pick, then try a daily challenge to re-enforce the Guideline, or be inspired by one of the daily reflections. 


Building Inner Strength: An online 30 day journey into 16 Guidelines

Alternatively you can embrace the Guidelines at your own pace at home, with guided meditations, journals and do-it-yourself exercises. You will receive a series of emails over 5 weeks with everything you need. 

Interested in hosting a 16 Guidelines workshop?

You can host your own 16 Guidelines workshop at your venue. Download our Hosting Pack for guidance on hosting and materials you need.

Then complete our online form to add your workshop to our website.


Course Facilitators

The 16 Guidelines was launched over 10 years ago with the workshops programme starting in 2008 thanks to our incredible and highly skilled International Accredited Facilitators. Our roster of course facilitators includes wellbeing coaches, Buddhist philosophy practitioners, personal development trainers, experienced yoga teachers and wellness therapists from around the world.

Upcoming 16 Guidelines Courses

Here are a few of our upcoming courses. To see all courses, visit our Course Calendar.


Stay informed of the latest course dates, and receive tips and news from The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom:


Success Stories

Take a look at how past 16 Guidelines course participants have integrated the skills and techniques of 16G into their lives and communities.