Ready for an overnight meditation retreat? Our weekend retreats are a great place to start if you’ve established a mindfulness practice or taken a mindfulness class and you’re ready to take it to the “next level.” A weekend retreat is a also a wonderful way to renew and refresh a long-standing practice. Our lives as mindfulness practitioners deepen when we’re ready to enter into the sustained practice of retreat.
This residential retreat will be held mostly in silence at the beautiful Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center and will include a series of gently guided mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, walking meditation, gentle yoga, and the body scan.
What past participants say:
“An excellent way to rejuvenate, connect with myself, get clarity, and feel supported by like-minded people. The instructors were wonderful. The accommodations were great, and the food was healthy and delicious.”
“Life-Changing. I was able to accept myself and forgive myself for the first time, and feel compassion for myself.”
“The retreat was a calming, introspective, healing time. I was needing to disconnect with my outside pressures and reconnect with myself, and this was accomplished.”
• Starts Friday with check in from 4 to 5pm, followed by dinner and an orientation.
• Saturday is a full day of practice (7:00am to 8:30pm with breaks for meals).
• Sunday is a short morning practice period, followed by breakfast and camp chores.
• The retreat concludes at 2pm on Sunday after lunch and camp clean up.
You can review a typical schedule.
$290 – $540 (or $73 – $135/month)
- Sliding scale: Choose what’s right for you.
- Payment plan option: 4-months, no-interest.
- Limited scholarships available: No need to apply; just choose a scholarship tuition during registration.
- Lodging - An additional surcharge applies for some lodging options.
Please review our current COVID policy before registering. Overnight retreats involve considerably more interaction and time together. We may require additional steps such as home testing before arrival or masking at retreats.
Registration closes at 11:55pm on Wednesday, June 26th.
This retreat was a deep gift to me personally, and I have been feeling the benefits to my nervous system this week. The deep invitation toward acceptance and the reminder that we are many things, not just one, feels particularly timely and relevant.
Karen has been a teacher of yoga and meditation since 2005. She continues to deepen her understanding of these ancient wisdom traditions and how they are relevant to our lives today. Through compassionate listening, authenticity and humor she empowers you to experience your own innate ability to heal and thrive. She is a Certified MBSR teacher through UMass Medical Center, and Founder of Three Trees Yoga & Healing Arts Center in Federal Way. Karen co-created and serves as Director for the MBSR Teacher Training Program. For over a decade she has delighted in mentoring teachers as they develop their ability to support others in this profound work.
WHO THIS RETREAT IS FOR
- Students of mindfulness interested in deepening and maintaining their practice.
- Those who have taken a course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion, or Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.
- Adults age 18 and over.
NEW TO RETREAT?
This is a silent retreat with supportive guidance from our teachers including significant periods of silence and few distractions or amusements. While a weekend retreat can be a good way to get started with extended practice, some find it helpful to take a more gradual approach through our daylong retreats (offered online and in-person).
If your practice has been primarily at home (guided by apps or recordings, etc.) we do recommend trying longer meditations of 30-40 minutes before signing up for retreat. Take a look at a typical weekend retreat schedule.
• Starts Friday with 4pm – 5pm check in followed by dinner and an orientation, after which we will begin our silence.
• Saturday is a full day of silent practice (7:00am to 8:30pm with breaks for meals).
• Sunday we’ll practice until lunch followed by camp chores.
• The retreat concludes at about 2pm on Sunday after lunch and camp clean up.
You can review a typical schedule.
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, vegan, 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 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.
ABOUT SAMISH ISLAND RETREAT CENTER
This beautiful campground 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.
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.
About Our Multi-Day 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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, jacket, raingear etc) Outdoor walking meditation will be a component of this retreat, rain or shine.
- 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 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.
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