Mindfulness Northwest was founded by Executive Director Tim Burnett in 2011 as a way to offer the benefits of mindfulness meditation and practices to the greater Pacific Northwest and is now offering courses and staff trainings at sites from Seattle to Bellingham (see our Clients list). Tim has been teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) since 2010, and practicing meditation since 1986. He is certified to teach MBSR by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; certified to teach Mindful Self-Compassion by the Center for Mindful Self Compassion; and certified to teach Compassion Cultivation Training by the Center for the Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.
Tim brings a background in traditional Dharma practice to his mindfulness work. He ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2000 and over the course of a 20 year apprenticeship with the well known Zen teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Tim received permission to teach Zen independently in 2011 and is the Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham. Tim also has a varied professional background including work as an educator, carpenter, software developer and scientist. Mindfulness takes the essence of a core Buddhist practice and makes it accessible and non-religious: a powerful coming together of modern psychological and medical understanding with ancient wisdom practices. Tim is happy to have a strong background in both sides of this new (and old) way of healing and growth. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and other mindfulness based therapies take their inspiration from the Buddhist Satipatthana Sutta which Tim has studied many times.
Community Programs Coordinator, Teresa Johnson has dedicated much of her adult life to supporting youth and families, professionally and as a community volunteer facilitating parent education classes for 15 years and working with youth of all ages from classrooms to summer camp. Teresa holds a BA in Secondary Education, and completed the Mindful Schools and Making Friends with Yourself trainings to teach mindfulness and mindful self-compassion to youth grades K-12 . In 2018 she simultaneously completed the Mindfulness Teacher Training and MBSR Teacher Training programs through Mindfulness Northwest. Facilitating and witnessing inner growth brings her great joy, and she’s excited about the many new opportunities to do this in her roles with Mindfulness Northwest.
Outreach and Events Coordinator Catherine Duffy earned her Master of Arts in Policy Studies from the University of Washington and has worked and volunteered in a variety of leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. When a family member was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2012, Catherine began studying and practicing mindfulness and is now a certified mindfulness instructor through our Mindfulness Northwest Teacher Training Program (MTTP). As the mother of four grown children – one of whom lives with developmental disabilities – and a grandmother, Catherine continues to learn the value of pausing, taking a breath, and inviting quiet moments to reset and refresh the day. She is currently completing the UCSD Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training program and also extends her love for children and families through her work as a Listening Mothers facilitator for the Community of Mindful Parenting. Catherine's thoughtful awareness offers a supportive environment for participants to find a place of calm in the challenges of everyday life and to practice a kind openness - rather than judgment - toward themselves and others.
Bookkeeper and Technical Guy Ed Wayt was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and moved to Seattle after college to live in a "green" city, to be close to the mountains and sea, and to join the tech industry. After disengaging from the tech industry, he found himself on a winding path that eventually had him ordaining as a monk in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh where he practiced for 3 years. Finding that life too narrow, he moved back to the Pacific Northwest - to Bellingham - where he practices lightly in the Zen tradition of Robert Aitken and explores the living of a vibrant, authentic, communal life in an urban environment. He enjoys investigating the role of will and grace in everyday life, likes to dance and play, tends to be way too serious, and is active with the Bellingham Tenants Union and the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.
Senior Teacher Karen Schwisow, E-RYT 500, has been teaching yoga and meditation to individuals and groups since 2005 and facilitating 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction courses since 2011. She has been building a foundation of mindfulness in her own life since the early 90s. Her discovery of yoga in 2001 felt like finding a short-cut to a quieter mind and calmer heart. Training as a yoga teacher and co-founding Three Trees Yoga & Healing Arts Center in Federal Way, Karen has continued to learn and deepen her understanding of these ancient wisdom traditions and how they are relevant to our lives today. She has completed Therapeutic Yoga training through Subtle Yoga and is Certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. At Three Trees she co-developed Yoga Teacher Training programs with over 150 graduates. Through compassionate listening, authenticity and humor she creates a welcoming container that empowers participants to experience their own innate ability to thrive.
Senior Teacher Richard Johnson, PhD (Harvard 1968), a retired professor of German & Peace Studies, moved in early 2016 from Indiana to teach in Seattle for Mindfulness Northwest. He was trained to teach MBSR by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2010 and took advanced training in 2012. Having taught MBSR now for five years, he has been inspired in every class by the way participants transform their lives through their mindfulness practices. He is a member of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, a group of monastics and lay practitioners dedicated to mindfulness, meditation, and long-term social transformation. He has been practicing meditation since 1975. Teaching is for him a great and abiding joy. He has taught university and community classes for over 50 years, including classes on parenting, rape awareness, batterers’ intervention, mindful relationships, and meditation. He has published widely on German literature/culture and nonviolence.
Teacher Joe Arellano has devoted his 30 plus year career to the realm of Complementary Alternative Medicine. A graduate of ground-breaking programs through UCLA, the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing, and Mindfulness Northwest, he is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Mindfulness teacher. Joe has a private practice in Anacortes.
Teacher Cheryl Beighle recently retired after 31 years of practice as a Pediatrician. She completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in 2002 which lead to her exploration of other effective modalities of healing that are not traditional to Western Medicine. She has studied hypnosis, becoming an approved consultant with the American Society of Clinic Hypnosis, studied energy medicine, chi gong, yoga and, in 2008, started training to teach MBSR at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She finished her training to be a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher in 2018.
She now teaches for Mindfulness Northwest, is the medical director for Integrative Services at Providence Regional Cancer Partnership and does consultative Integrative Medicine at the Everett Clinic.