Roots of Compassion Retreat
August 25 - 30 , 2023

Roots of Compassion Retreat


In person in Bow (Samish Island)

5-day retreat


The sunset view from Samish Island Retreat Center.

Join us for a 5-day guided silent 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.

THEME: Living a Compassionate Life

In this years’ retreat Tim will explore the Buddhist ideal of the “bodhisattva.” Bodhisattvas devote themselves to living a compassionate being in service of all. Tim will base his talks in an exploration of a traditional Tibetan Buddhist teaching poem: Tokmé Zongpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. Tim will be working from Ken McLeod’s translation and commentary entitled Reflections on Silver River. Buddhist-curious students are invited to explore this book before or after the retreat.

 

A digital illustration of the outline of a wide tree with broad branches and deep roots below ground, with a bird in the sky behind it.

LOCATION

The beautiful Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center, maintained by the Community of Christ at the east end of Samish Island, (the “island” is accessible by road) offers stunning views, deep quiet, and simple accommodations. Mindfulness Northwest has been offering retreats at Samish for many years. More details about the venue can be found here.

 

I don’t have adequate words for the wonderful days spent at the Roots of Compassion retreat. I was filled with love and an awareness of beauty. Even through the silence I felt a deep connection with the group members and with my loved ones in my life. It challenged me in important ways and changed me forever.

'22 Roots of Compassion Participant

SCHEDULE Details

The retreat starts with check in from 4 to 5pm on Friday, and closes at 2pm on Wednesday, with breaks after each of the delicious meals provided. We’ll rise early, beginning each day of practice at 6:30am, and go steadily through each day in silence and contemplation, closing at 8:30pm. A more detailed schedule can be viewed here.

 

FOOD & ACCOMMODATIONS

Simple accommodations and tasty, nutritious meals are included in your registration. The wonderful cooks at Samish can always accommodate gluten free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegetarian diets. If your dietary needs require bringing your own food, fridge space is available, as is a microwave.

Most rooms are comfortable single-occupancy rustic cabins sharing the campground bathhouses. There is an option for motel-style rooms with a shared en-suite bath for a surcharge. RV and tent camping are also available (water and electrical hookup provided). More information about accommodations here.

 

A tree full of apples next to a row of colorfully painted cabins at samish island mindfulness retreat center.
 

CAMP CHORES

Note that Samish is very lightly staffed allowing it to be more affordable than most venues. This helps us to hold registration fees at an affordable level. Every participant helps out with camp chores such as washing dishes and cleaning the buildings at the end of the retreat.

 

 

WHO THIS RETREAT IS FOR

  • Students of mindfulness and compassion interested in deepening and maintaining their practice
  • Mindfulness teachers who’d like to strengthen their understanding of the Buddhist roots of contemporary mindfulness
  • Those who have taken a course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion, or Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.
  • Adults age 18 and over
YOUR FIRST LONGER RETREAT?

Before sitting a multi-day retreat we recommend that you have teacher-led experience with mindfulness or related contemplative practices. Please contact us if you have questions about whether this retreat will be appropriate for you.

 

TEACHER TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

This retreat meets prerequisite requirements of a 5-day silent, guided retreat for the following teacher training programs:

 

About Our Residential Silent Retreats

Residential Retreats are multi-day teacher-led silent meditation retreats. After initial introductory greetings and information your instructors will explain how silent retreat practice works to support you in a deep experience of practice. The daily schedule will include gently guided sitting and walking meditation, morning teachings, mindful movement, and the body scan, as well as compassion cultivation and loving-kindness meditations.

We also offer Residential Trainings for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). These 5-day events, offered at retreat centers, mirror the content of our 8-week courses. They're much more interactive than a silent retreat. See our MBSR & MSC sections for more information.

WHO COMES TO RETREATS

All are welcome! We are honored to support each participant in their meditation practice regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, age, physical ability, political affiliation, or religion. Our retreats are suitable for beginning through experienced practitioners.

We are committed to offering support for any accessibility needs you have as we are able. Please contact us with any questions or requests related to accessibility prior to registering for a course.

YOUR FIRST LONGER RETREAT?

Before sitting a multi-day retreat we recommend that you have teacher-led experience with mindfulness or related contemplative practices. Please contact us if you have questions about whether this retreat will be appropriate for you.

IS RETREAT RIGHT FOR YOU?  Meditation retreats are not right for everyone. If you have a history of trauma or acute psychological issues, consider checking with a mental health professional to decide if intensive retreat practice would be supportive. If you have questions or concerns about whether a retreat is right for you, please contact us at office@mindfulnessnorthwest.com.

STRUCTURE AND PARTICIPATION

FOUR DAILY PRACTICE SESSIONS

  • Mindfulness and compassion practices are offered in four blocks daily: early morning, morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • Participants are expected to attend all sessions and follow the printed schedule you will receive on site as fully as possible.
    However, we are flexible and always willing to work with you on what your body and mind can reasonably do. Speak with the retreat teachers if you have concerns about following the complete schedule.
PRACTICING IN SILENCE
  • After the initial orientation and introductions on the first evening, our residential retreats are held in silence.
  • Participants are expected to follow guidelines around silence and participation:
    • not speaking to other participants including close friends or partners you are attending with
    • not using technology of any form
    • not reading books, magazines, flyers, or any reading materials
    • reducing interpersonal contact through the eyes or other body language
  • Necessary communication with the retreat teachers can be done via a notes station or by taking them aside.

The intention of silent retreat is to settle deeply into your own experience and to not interact with others, allowing everyone space to have the retreat they need to have -- including you!

PERSONAL AND INTERPERSONAL SAFETY
  • Participants are expected to be sensitive and responsive to these guidelines and the needs of fellow participants as fully as possible.
  • Please do not take photos or make recordings of other participants or the teachers.
  • Do not use alcohol or mind altering drugs of any kind.
  • Emergency contact information to share with loved ones is generally included on our venue pages. Venue staff and Mindfulness Northwest instructors will make sure you receive incoming messages promptly while your phone is off. If you are expecting an urgent message please let your instructor know.
  • Instructors are available at all times to offer support, including conversation if needed.

OTHER GUIDELINES

ATTEND THE ENTIRE RETREAT

Please arrive at the retreat at the beginning and stay until the end, as:

  • Arriving late will cause stress as you will miss the orientation.
  • Leaving early means you are offloading your clean-up chores on other participants and missing an opportunity for closure.
  • Please stay on campus unless invited to take an off-campus break by the instructors.
RETREAT CENTER CHORES
  • Several of our venues keep costs down, reducing your registration fee, by asking that event participants wash dishes, sweep floors, clean bathrooms, and do other chores around the facility. Final clean up chores before leaving are also done.
  • Participants are asked to do chores as fully as they are able. If you have physical limitations, we will help you find a suitable chore assignment.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Face masks ​​– please check our COVID policy for our current guidelines around masking. While masks may not be required at your training, it's always a good idea to bring some.
  • Extra COVID tests, in case you develop symptoms during the retreat.
  • Warm clothes in layers (sweater, and jacket, etc) as we will be going in and out of doors as we move between buildings.
  • Rain coat AND umbrella. This is the Pacific Northwest.
  • Shoes that are (1) fine walking in damp grass and (2) slip-on if possible. We take shoes on and off frequently. Slippers for the practice room can also be nice to have.
  • Toiletries and overnight things including a towel.
  • Bringing your own bedding (pillows, sheets, blankets or sleeping bag) is required at most of our venues. Please check your registration confirmation email for this information.
  • A flashlight can be helpful but venues are generally reasonably well lit. Sometimes there is walking between buildings in the early morning and evening.
  • A yoga mat if you have a favorite. We are able to bring mats to share.
  • Meditation cushions / supplies – if you have a meditation cushion(s), a bench or other sitting gear, feel free to bring it. We are able to bring a limited supply of cushions. Note that there are plenty of chairs available.
  • An extra blanket or two for the meditation hall – nice for body scans and resting.

LODGING

Lodging assignments will be available on check-in at the course venue. You will have a room to yourself at most of our venues.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING TAKEN BY MINDFULNESS NORTHWEST

Mindfulness Northwest staff may occasionally create audio/video recordings of our instructors for certification and training purposes during these programs. These recordings will include only our instructors in the photo frame (though they may pick up student voices at some points in the recording) and are for internal use only.

We may also request your consent to take photos or videos for promotional purposes. Your image will not be captured or used without your consent.

SCHEDULE

August 25 – 30
Friday, 4pm – Wednesday, 2pm

TEACHERS

Tim Burnett & Catherine Duffy

LOCATION

Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center

COST

Choose what’s right for you on our sliding scale: $595 – $1100

  • All inclusive – Food, lodging, and instruction are included in the registration tuition.
  • Lodging – An additional surcharge applies for some lodging options (available during Registration).
  • Scholarships – Scholarships available until filled. No need to apply; choose the scholarship tuition during registration.
  • Payment Plans – No interest, 4 month payment plan option available during registration.

Registration closes at 11:55pm on Wednesday, August 23.

 

The insights I received during the retreat and now, two weeks later, are centering on choosing more compassionate freedom for myself and how it spills into my life and work. I feel this tremendous blessing could only have surfaced in the deep and loving container co-created by the teachers and my fellow retreatants.  I’m quite certain the benefits will be exponential.
Margaret K.

Bozeman, MT

COVID POLICY

Participants must test negative for COVID within 24 hours of the retreat, and be fully vaccinated against COVID to attend this event. Masking will only be required if the CDC's Community Covid Level for the county is "High" at the time of the event; Masking may be recommended depending on current State and County recommendations. See our full current COVID policy here.

 

TEACHERS

Tim Burnett

Tim Burnett

Executive Director and Guiding Instructor at Mindfulness Northwest, Tim has been leading multi-day retreats in both the mindfulness and Zen Buddhist styles for many years. Ordained as a Soto Zen priest in 2000, he apprenticed with Zen teacher Zoketsu Norman Fischer and is the Guiding Teacher of Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham. For these retreats Tim loves offering a universal (“secular”) mindfulness retreat experience while also plumbing the depth of Buddhist texts and philosophy that form one of the deep roots of this work. You can explore an example of Tim’s teachings at a prior retreat. Tim is a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has been teaching MBSR for over a decade; he’s also a certified Mindful Self-Compassion instructor with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Catherine Duffy

Catherine Duffy

When a family member was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2012, Catherine began studying and practicing mindfulness. 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. Her supportive teaching helps participants find a place of calm amid the challenges of everyday life. Catherine is a certified Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher with Mindfulness Northwest, and a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher with the UCSD Center for Mindfulness.

Register for this program

Choose Your Tuition:

Bringing mindfulness to my workplace
Referring my clients/patients
Becoming a mindfulness teacher
Tools for living with chronic pain or illness
Support for recovery from trauma
Mindfulness for healthcare providers

No, thanks.
Yes, please. I have a few questions.
Yes, please. I have urgent concerns.

Yes
No