The Roots of Compassion: a 5-day Mindfulness & Compassion Practice Retreat
90 minutes north of Seattle
Sunday August 25 - Friday August 30
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.
2019 Roots of Compassion Theme: the compassion mind training slogans from the Indo-Tibetan tradition known as "lojong slogans" with an emphasis on the presentation of these ancient teachings in Norman Fischer's book Training in Compassion: Zen Teachings on the Practice of Lojong.
(It is not necessary to read this book but you may find it helpful to have read the introductory chapters. And note that we ask participants not to read during our silent retreats.)
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.
August 25 - 30:
Starts Sunday August 25th with 4 - 5 PM check-in.
Closes Friday August 30th 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 to become Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teachers which requires both 5-day and 7-day retreats. See the CFM website for more information.
$590 - $790 Sliding Scale Tuition. We also have special Scholarship Tuition options available for those unable to pay at the low end of the sliding scale. Food, lodging, and teachings are included in our all-inclusive registration fees. There is an additional surcharge ($50 - $100) for some lodging options (see below).
Note that there will also be an opportunity on-site and during registration to practice generosity ("dana" in Buddhist ethics) by making a contribution to our Scholarship Fund so that others without means can attend.
Payment plans are also available during registration (four equal monthly payments; no financing fee).
REGISTER ONLINE or register by phone at 360-830-6439 ext 0.
Samish Island Campground. 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.
Note that there is no public transportation all the way to Samish Island.
See our carpool service 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.
| Rustic Cabins Exterior:
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| E-Cabin Exterior:
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The hearty meals served at Samish Island Campground get rave reviews. All meals are included in the registration price (dinner on Sunday through lunch on Friday). 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.
Our other Classes, Workshops, and Retreats
See our entire schedule
of classes, workshops, and retreats.
Or to sign up for our MSC 5-day Residential Intensive Training Retreat in October click here.