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Roots of Compassion 5-day Retreat 2018 (Skagit County, North of Seattle)

  • 26 Aug 2018
  • 5:00 PM
  • 31 Aug 2018
  • 2:00 PM
  • Samish Island, Skagit County, WA
  • 12


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • For alumni of our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP).

* Pay in full now or start a fee-free 4-month Payment Plan *

The Roots of Compassion: a 5-day Mindfulness & Compassion Practice Retreat
90 minutes north of Seattle

Sunday August 26 - Friday August 31

Join us for a 5-day mindfulness and compassion retreat in the style of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at a beautiful retreat site on Samish Island in the Samish River delta of Skagit County in Washington state (roughly 90 minutes north of Seattle). The retreat will be a deep exploration of the roots of mindfulness and compassion practices, both experientially and through a series of talks on Buddhist teachings and connected ideas from philosophy, poetry, and the sciences.

2018 Roots of Compassion Theme: The Four Divine Abodes (Brahma Viharas) of Buddhism. A traditional Buddhist list which is one of the few to feature compassion and puts it in a context with 3 other critical mental factors to be developed.

Course details
This residential retreat will be held mostly in silence and will include a series of gently guided mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, walking meditation, gentle yoga, and the body scan, as well as compassion cultivation and loving kindness meditations.

This retreat will be highly relevant to students of mindfulness and compassion interested in deepening their practice and to teachers of mindfulness and compassion who would like to strengthen their background understanding of the Buddhist roots of contemporary programs like MBSR and MSC.

(Note: should you prefer a 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) skills training workshop - a condensed version of the eight-session, empirically-supported MSC training developed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff - please see our Mindful Self-Compassion 5-day Training.)

Simple accommodations (single occupancy in most cases) and all meals will be included.

Details on what to bring will be sent upon registration.

Round trip transportation from SeaTac Airport (Seattle) to the retreat site is available with our shuttle service (register separately).


August 26 - 31:
Starts Sunday August 26th with 4 - 5 PM check-in.
Closes Friday August 31st by 2 PM.

Before practicing for nearly a full week we recommend that you have experience with mindfulness or related contemplative practices. The retreat is designed firstly for graduates of the intensive 8-week classes in Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and should also be fine for those who have tasted mindfulness or meditation in teacher-led classes, retreats, or meditation centers. Contact us if you have questions about whether this retreat will be appropriate for you.

Teacher Training and Development
This retreat meets requirements for training as a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher which requires a 5-day silent retreat before beginning Teacher Training (see the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website for details). This course also meets the prerequisites for those in the the Center for Mindfulness' Oasis training pathway which requires both 5-day and 7-day retreats. See the CFM website for more information.


  • Rev. Tim Burnett, Teacher: Guiding Instructor and Executive Director at Mindfulness Northwest
  • Oori Silberstein, Assistant Teacher: Mindfulness Northwest Instructor and Trained MSC Teacher

$590 - $790 sliding scale fee (paying on the higher end makes the lower end possible, our usual built-in "scholarship" system). Plus an additional surcharge ($50 - $100) for some housing options (see below). 
Food, lodging, and teachings are included in this all-inclusive registration fee.

Note that there will also be an opportunity on-site and during registration to practice generosity ("dana" in Buddhist ethics) by making a contribute to our Scholarship Fund so that others without means can attend.

Payment plans are available during registration (4 equal monthly payments; no financing fee).

Financial Assistance: Scholarship assistance may be available for those unable to pay at the low end of the sliding fee scale. Please APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP.

REGISTER ONLINE or register by phone at 360-830-6439 ext 0.

Samish Island Campground, 11565 Scott Road, Bow, Washington. Instructions and details will be provided when you register. Samish Island Campground is about 90 minutes north of Seattle and 40 minutes south of Bellingham.

This beautiful campground maintained by the Community of Christ at the east end of Samish Island (accessible by road) offers stunning views, deep quiet, and simple accommodations.

It is not really an island - you can drive there.

And it's not exactly a campground - there are simple rustic cabins and motel-like "e-cabins" available (see "Accommodations", below, for more details). RV and tent camping is also available.

Directions and Transportation
Directions and more information about Samish Island Campground are available here.

Round trip transportation from SeaTac Airport (Seattle) to the retreat site is available with our shuttle service (register separately).

Note that there is no public transportation all the way to Samish Island.

And see also our carpool site for setting up ride shares.

Samish Island "Campground" does not require camping. There are two types of cabins: rustic cabins, which are simple plywood cabins built in the 1950's - they have heat, beds, and share campground bathroom buildings; and e-cabins, which are modern motel-level buildings where two units share a bathroom.

The 40 rustic cabins are quieter and simpler but one must walk across the lawn to the bathrooms.

The 16 e-cabins are lighter, more modern, and share a bathroom. There can be more noise in e-cabins due to the sharing of the bathroom and we ask e-cabin residents to be very careful of the noise from doors and bathroom fixtures so as not to disturb their neighbor.

A surcharge is required for lodging in the more modern e-cabins. A $50 surcharge is required for double occupancy in an e-cabin (with a single roommate), and a $100 surcharge is required for single occupancy.

Consider helping us make e-cabins available to more people, and save $50, by requesting double occupancy. We will do our best to match you with a compatible roommate and to honor requests for roommates if you are coming to retreat with a friend.

During the registration process, you may request one of these options: rustic, e-cabin with double occupancy, e-cabin with single occupancy, or RV or camping.

NOTE: e-cabins are sold out. You may choose to join our e-cabin waiting list during registration. If we're unable to provide you with an e-cabin, we will instead offer you a single occupancy rustic cabin (and refund your e-cabin fees) or cancel your registration and offer a full refund of your fees - whichever you prefer.

 Rustic Cabins Exterior:  Rustic Cabin Interior:
 Samish rustic cabin  
 E-Cabin Exterior:  E-Cabin Interior:


The hearty meals served at Samish Island Campground get rave reviews. All meals are included in the registration price (dinner on Sunday August 26th through lunch on Friday August 31st). We can accommodate nearly any dietary request - just let us know in the Comments field during registration.

Expectations of Participants
By signing up for this retreat you are agreeing to:

1) Follow the Schedule - participate in the practice schedule as fully as possible. We allow alternate schedules and variations in the schedule due to health needs. This is a structured week of practice with a schedule of practices we will do together starting first thing in the morning. That structure is a powerful support for deepening our mindfulness practice.

2) Do jobs and chores - do some chores around the camp. You will have the option of choosing an ongoing job or helping with cleaning and organizing at the end of the week. The Samish Island Campground is staffed by a small volunteer staff and costs are held low by asking the visiting group to leave the camp as clean as they found it.

Other Retreats and Trainings

Rainforest Retreat (7-day silent retreat)
May 26 - Jun 2. A 7-day mindfulness retreat in Costa Rica.

Mindful Self-Compassion 5-day Training (5-day skills training workshop)
Aug 5 - 10. A condensed version of the eight-session, empirically-supported Mindful Self-Compassion training developed by Christopher Germer and Kristin Neff. 
Held just south of Seattle.

Compassion for Couples Retreat (weekend retreat)
Sept 28 - 30. Utilizing the skills of mindfulness and compassion, this program teaches how to build a strong and healthy foundation for relationships, and provides skills to help navigate the difficulties that arise within us and between us.

Roots of Mindfulness Retreat (7-day silent retreat)
Oct 14 - 21. A 7-day mindfulness retreat held north of Seattle.

OR see our full schedule of upcoming classes, workshops and retreats.

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