Rainforest Retreat & Fundraiser
May 21

Rainforest Retreat & Fundraiser

In person in Costa Rica

7-day retreat

Mindful in the Web of Life – 7 Days in the Costa Rican Rainforest

A fundraiser for our Accessibility Fund

Three photos in a row: a bright green treefrog on a leaf, a black and red butterfly on a leaf, and a bird with a long black tail and a yellow red body and head perched on a branch.

Join us for a week-long guided silent meditation retreat in the Costa Rican rainforest and support our vision of making mindfulness as accessible as possible. Funds raised from your generous donations will be used to support our Accessibility Fund, a central component of our mission at MNW. Help others receive the benefits of mindfulness training in the Pacific Northwest while immersing yourself in another rainforest.

Spending our days mostly in silence, we’ll immerse into mindfulness and compassion practices, enjoy nature, and explore the Buddhist roots of these practices. Daily practices will include sitting and walking meditation, gentle yoga and movement practices, and sensory awareness practices as we open our hearts to the surrounding rainforest. Nature walks into the jungle by local guides will also be a part of the retreat experience.

Lush ferns, vines and moss cover trees as the sun shines through the canopy of the rainforest.


Head teacher Tim Burnett will give daily talks highlighting both the biology of our natural surroundings at La Selva Verde and Buddhist teachings that support a full open awareness of the rich moments we’ll find ourselves in. In addition to his mindfulness and Buddhist training, Tim holds degrees in biology and environmental studies and formerly worked as a field botanist and environmental educator.

Assistant teacher Beth Glosten will lead practices and provide insights into the body mechanics of comfortable and engaged meditation with her background as a Mindfulness and Pilates teacher.

Supporting teacher Raizelah Bayen will provide daily gentle yoga sessions and also will be available for mindful massage (for an additional fee).


The beautiful mahogany wood structures of the Selva Verde lodge, nestled within a lush tropical rainforest.

Location & Accomodations

This retreat will be held mostly in silence at Selva Verde Lodge – a peaceful eco-tourist inn interwoven into a beautiful 500 hectare primary forest reserve in central Costa Rica. We did a retreat here in 2018 and have wanted to return ever since! Raised walkways and lovely rooms are nestled in a rainforest garden adjacent to an old growth rainforest.

Double occupancy rooms are included; single occupancy can be chosen at registration for an additional fee. If you’d like to room with someone else who is registering, please specify this in the comments section of the registration below.

The buffet style Costa Rican cuisine is varied and accommodating of a variety of dietary preferences and needs.


Looking up at the hanging bridge, we see the silhouette of a human, watching the incredibly purplish pink sky with a smattering of clouds at sunset.

THEME: Full Presence in Every Moment

Whether in circumstances that feel extraordinary to us, like spending a week in a tropical rainforest, or in circumstances that feel quite ordinary, we heal and grow when we are fully present. In the practices and teachings of this retreat we will explore ways of feeling, understanding, and experiencing full presence in every moment of our lives.

A wooden building on stilts in the Costa Rican rainforest; part of the facilities at Selva Verde Ecolodge and Retreat Center.

A Retreat that’s also a Fundraiser

This retreat is also a fundraiser for our Accessibility Fund, which supports our efforts to make mindfulness as broadly available as possible. This fund has allowed us to offer hundreds of deeply discounted scholarships for our programs every year, along with sliding scale pricing and pro-bono workshops for non-profits. However like many non-profits we continue to experience the financial effects of the pandemic, and have had to limit our scholarships and the lower end of our sliding scale pricing in the last year to stay afloat.

Our hope with this retreat is to provide a beautiful and memorable retreat experience while strengthening our Accessibility Fund, allowing us to offer more and deeper scholarships to our programs in the coming year.

If you’re reading this, you probably know first-hand how deeply impactful mindfulness can be, especially when practiced together. By joining us for this retreat and supporting our work with a tax-deductible donation (receipt available upon request), you’re making that experience possible for others.

Whatever tuition level you choose, even if you aren’t able to donate, we thank you and look forward to your joining us on this fantastic retreat! 

Five images in a row: a motmot bird with an orange body and long tail perched on a branch; a tanager with black body and red wings perched on a branch; a toucan with a yellow breast and black and yellow beak; a grey heron in the brush from behind; a dormant volcano covered in trees.


May 21st – May 28th, 2023
Sunday, 5pm – Sunday, 11am


Tim Burnett, Beth Glosten & Raizelah Bayen


Selva Verde Lodge


*New* Spring “Sharing the Practice” Tuition level is available: $1925

Base Tuition is $2,250 with Fundraising Tuitions listed below. An additional donation is not required but deeply appreciated.

  • All inclusive – Food, lodging, shuttle bus between the airport and lodge, guided nature walks, and instruction are included in the registration tuition.
  • Lodging – Double accommodations included, additional surcharge applies for single lodging (available during Registration).
  • Mindful Massage – optional, $115 for 75 mins. SOLD OUT
  • Scholarships – Scholarships available until filled. No need to apply; choose the scholarship tuition during registration.
  • Payment Plans – No interest, 6 month payment plan option available during registration. (Payment plans begun after April 15, 2023 will include a non-refundable $1000 lodging fee down payment and 5 monthly payments thereafter.)
  • Donations are tax deductible – Receipt for the donation portion of your tuition available upon request.

Please see below for the cancellation policy for this event.



Help us keep the group healthy. Our policy requires a COVID home test before you leave home to attend an overnight retreat. Please review our current COVID policy before registering.


Unwind and settle more deeply into yourself during the retreat with a Mindful Massage. This style of massage is gentle, yet firm, emphasizing body and breath awareness. By putting your attention on the contact and quality of touch, Mindful Massage encourages and supports your awareness of sensation and emotion. This is an opportunity to deepen your practice of mindfulness.

This optional enhancement to your retreat experience is $115 for 75 minutes, and can be added to your retreat during the registration process.

Raizelah Bayen giving a mindful massage to a person laying face down on a massage table wearing black pants and tank top.

A Letter from Executive Director and Head Instructor, Tim Burnett


I founded Mindfulness Northwest in 2011 with curiosity about whether the valuable mindfulness and meditation techniques I’d been practicing since the 1980’s in Buddhism might be helpful to a broader audience.

To my surprise and delight, the answer has been a resounding YES. Participants in our programs report back regularly that including mindfulness in their daily lives is a real game changer – that it helps them navigate stressful situations, be more available to their loved ones, friends and colleagues, and reconnect with their deeper selves.

Fast forward to now and Mindfulness Northwest with its staff of 10 serves about 4,000 each year in a variety of programs; from workplace trainings and wellness programs, to community classes and retreats. We offer these programs up and down the Puget Sound region in the Pacific Northwest and nationally through Zoom.

Knowing that the financial resources of those interested in mindfulness training can vary greatly, we’ve always offered broad sliding scale tuition, no interest payment plans, and scholarships for our programs. Accessibility is a core value at Mindfulness Northwest, and at least 200 people each year join our programs with deeply discounted scholarships to make mindfulness more accessible. Our Costa Rican adventure is designed to help us make mindfulness even more available in the coming years by directing more funding to our Accessibility Fund.

To increase our impact further, we’ve been offering mindfulness facilitator trainings since 2014. One of our graduates recently reached out to me to say “Thanks to your training, I’ve been able to guide thousands of people into presence and connection.”  It’s an intensive training with significant cost, and can be a transformative experience, so it’s wonderful to offer scholarships for our teacher trainings.

I hope you’ll be able to join us for this mindful rainforest adventure in May. It’s our second trip to the amazing La Selva Verde Lodge and preserve and I can’t wait to be with friends practicing in the rainforest again. The donation you choose during the registration process will fund many more scholarships and subsidized tuitions, making mindfulness even more available.


All best wishes,



We’re offering a shuttle bus to and from the retreat location (Selva Verde Lodge) and Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Costa Rica (note: the airport is actually in the town of Alajuela, just outside of San José).

The retreat bus will pick you up at Juan Santamaría (San Jose) Airport at 5pm on Sunday May 21st. Meet the group at the main exit of the airport. We’ll stop for dinner at a local restaurant en route and arrive at La Selva Verde Lodge on the Sarapiquí River in north-central Costa Rica at about 8pm. You may also travel independently to La Selva Verde Lodge and meet us there.

If you fly in on May 20th we recommend the Hotel Country Inn in Alajuela – a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport. The Inn can help you arrange a taxi back to the airport to meet the shuttle on Saturday.

After we arrive at Selva Verde Lodge on Sunday evening May 21st, we’ll have a brief check in and go to bed. We’ll have optional meditation on Monday morning with an informal breakfast, and get oriented to silent retreat. Silence and the full retreat schedule will begin late morning on Monday and continue into Saturday.

The retreat closes on Sunday morning with morning practice, breakfast, and a debrief. The bus back to the Juan Santamaría (San Jose) Airport will leave at 9am and arrive at the airport at about 11am on Sunday May 28th.


ARRIVAL: Please arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Costa Rica in time for the 5pm shuttle on Sunday May 21st. Flights landing at San Jose up to 3pm should be able to connect with our shuttle easily. Meet the group just outside the main departures exit of the airport.  Or you may travel independently to La Selva Verde lodge arriving by 8pm on Sunday May 21st. 

DEPARTURE: The bus shuttle returns to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) at approximately 11am on Sunday May 28th. Flights for home leaving at 1pm or later should be able to connect.


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

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.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

A special cancellation policy applies to this retreat. This policy supersedes our regular policy:

  • Cancel any time before April 1st: full refund less a $50 administrative fee
  • Cancel April 1st – April 15th: full refund less $250
  • Cancel after April 15th: full refund less $1000*

*Note for payment plans: If less than $1000 has been paid toward the tuition balance, no refund is due and withdrawals will continue until $1000 has been paid, at which time, Mindfulness Northwest will cancel the remaining balance on the payment plan.

  • Registrations are non-transferable, and we do not provide credit for cancelled registrations

Teacher Training Program Pre-Requisites



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


Two green Macaw parrots, looking at the camera as tehy perch together on a leafy branch in the rainforest.
A waterfall cascading down from a lush forested hillside.

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.


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.


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.



  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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.


  • A pair of binoculars for birding if you have them (if you’ve been thinking about investing we recommend full-sized 10×42 binoculars for birding).
  • Warm-weather clothes in layers – the climate is warm and damp but it does cool off in the evening and early morning.
  • Rain coat AND umbrella – we’re walking between buildings. It is likely to rain every afternoon. This is the tropics.
  • Toiletries and overnight things.
  • It’s okay to bring a notebook if you wish to do some writing, but remember this is a silent, contemplative retreat.
  • A flashlight. The lodge is reasonably well lit but we walk between buildings in the early morning and evening and we will be going on a nature night walk.
  • Meditation cushions / supplies – if you have meditation cushion(s), a bench or other sitting gear that’s easy to pack, bring it. The lodge will also provide a mat and cushion for each of us. Chairs are also available.
  • Shoes that are easy to slip on and off are helpful at meditation retreats – we will be taking shoes off in the practice room.


Lodging assignments will be available on check-in at the venue. The Base Tuition includes a double occupancy room with single occupancy available with a supplement.


Audio/video recordings of our instructors may occasionally be created 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.


Interested in further explorations? Selva Verde Lodge is itself an excellent area for birding and ecotourism and is near several other excellent areas. Come early or stay after the retreat at Selva Verde Lodge (please arrange directly with them) and book a birding tour at La Selva Biological Station (15 minutes drive from the lodge). You could also do additional birding tours at the Lodge.

Interested in regular Costa Rican culture and/or Spanish language studies? The town of Heredia is 30 minutes from the airport and also has a stop on the commuter train into San Jose itself (note that the airport is in Alajuela, not San Jose proper). We recommend Hotel Hojarascas in Heredia – a delightful and affordable family run hotel. There are highly recommended Spanish language schools in Heredia as well.

Interested in nature and seeing more of Costa Rica? Travel to one or more of these nearby nature hotspots:

1) The Carribean coastal area of Tortuguero: see coastal bird and amphibian species, a flooded rainforest, sea turtles and many other species in a warm laid-back environment. About 3 hours drive plus a 1 hour boat ride from Selva Verde Lodge.

2) The Arenal Volcano. The Volcano itself is impressive and many forest bird species can be seen. Nearby hot springs at La Fortuna are a delight as well. About 2 hours drive from Selva Verde Lodge.

3) The Monte Verde Cloud forest, one of the most impressive cloud forest regions in the Americas. 3 hour drive on from Arenal Volcano.

Travel independently or arrange with an outfitter. For an outfitter we recommend Aratinga Tours who will help you create an at-your-own pace itinerary. Please tell them you’re part of the Mindfulness Northwest group.


portrait of tim burnett, mindfulness northwest bellingham wa

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. 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.

Beth Glosten @ mindfulness northwest bellingham wa

Beth Glosten, M.D., Mindfulness Instructor: Beth attended the University of Washington School of Medicine and had an academic anesthesiology career, until physical issues prompted her to step back from that hectic life. She studied pilates, and through this system embraced moving mindfully. She was drawn to meditation several years ago and found it meshed naturally with her approach to teaching movement: turn focus inward to listen to, and befriend, one’s self. From this place, growth and healing are possible. Beth has been leading our 5-week Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers for several years, along with our 5 and 7 day retreats.

Headshot of mindful massage instructor, Raizelah Bayen.

Raizelah Bayen, Registered Yoga Teacher and Nationally Approved Massage CE Teacher: Founder and Director of Open Pathways Institute for Integrative Massage, Raizelah has been teaching massage, yoga and wellness workshops for over 20 years. Her teaching style is grounded in Zen Buddhist breath meditation and body awareness practices. As a yoga teacher and bodyworker, Raizelah is most passionate about teaching embodiment as a path to presence. With a broad background in the healing arts, she brings to mindfulness workshops a variety of holistic self-care techniques that support your deepening connection to body, mind and heart.

Register for this program

Registration is closed for this program.