Programs

Mindfulness For You

WHAT: Mindfulness is bringing kind, curious attention to the present moment. Our warm, experienced teachers and welcoming community provide the support you need to develop this skill.

HOW: To kickstart your practice, check out our drop-in sessions. Or try a short workshop on mindful eating, communication, or parenting. An Introduction to Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) provides simple tools and practices to use at work and home.

For a deeper dive, choose MBSR, MSC, a Day of Mindfulness, or a longer retreat. Specialty programs for healthcare professionals and mindfulness teacher training are also available.

Use filters to search by topic or teacher, or simply scroll down to see our wide variety of offerings.  To learn more about each program, please check out out our program information.

WHY: A growing body of research shows mindfulness can ease stress and anxiety, help with chronic pain, provide access to your inner resources, and incline the mind toward joy. Give it a try and see what’s true for you.

Thanks for stopping by. We look forward to practicing with you.

Upcoming Programs

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Upcoming Programs Matching Your Criteria

headshot of instructors, richard and teresa johnson
4th Friday of the month

Alumni Practice Group

ONLINE

1.5-hour drop-in session


learn more & register


More Information About Our Programs

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Learn to befriend yourself, especially when things are tough. This nourishing course combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. Available as an 8-week course or a 5-day residential course. Or our 3-hour Intro to MSC will give you a taste. 

MORE >

I look forward to the online MSC class each week. You have such an amazing way of holding space and guiding us through these practices that I feel like I’m on a mini-retreat during class.

online Mindful Self-Compassion course participant

October 07

Compassion for Couples

ONLINE

6-week course



Mindful Self-Compassion
October 20

Mindful Self-Compassion

ONLINE

8-week course




A Day of Self-Compassion
November 20

A Day of Self-Compassion

ONLINE

Half-day retreat



Intro to Self-Compassion
November 30

Intro to Self-Compassion

ONLINE

2-week workshop



More About Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) was developed by Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy (centerformsc.org) and Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion (www.self-compassion.org).

Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being. It boosts happiness, reduces anxiety and depression, and can even help maintain healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Being both mindful and compassionate leads to greater ease and joy in our daily lives.

MSC can be learned by anyone. It’s the practice of learning to befriend yourself, especially when things are tough.

 

IN MSC YOU WILL LEARN

  • How to stop being so hard on yourself
  • How to handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • How to motivate yourself with encouragement rather than criticism
  • Mindfulness and self-compassion practices for home and everyday life
  • The theory and research behind mindful self-compassion

RECOMMENDED READING

  • Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself
  • Christopher Germer, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

Before registering for MSC, please watch the video under “What Are Our Classes Like” in FAQs from Executive Director Tim Burnett.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

The gold standard! Learn to be more present in your life and more resilient under stress.  A hands-on, research-supported course developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Available as an 8-week course or a 5-day residential course. Or our 3-hour Intro to MBSR will give you a taste. 

MORE >

Not only did I learn mindfulness practices and techniques that I could use for my own benefit, but I was able to share what I learned with my clients during counseling sessions. An added benefit was the camaraderie and community spirit that was experienced amongst fellow mindfulness students, even within a virtual classroom environment.

Sharon Cremin, MSW, LSWAIC

Everett, WA


Intro to Mindfulness
October 28

Intro to Mindfulness

ONLINE

2-week workshop



A Day of Mindfulness
October 30

A Day of Mindfulness

ONLINE

1-day retreat



A Day of Mindfulness
November 20

A Day of Mindfulness

ONLINE

1-day retreat



More About Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Developed in 1979, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an 8-week course on mindfulness practice developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Since then over 25,000 people have taken MBSR. It is considered the gold standard in mindfulness training: there are several other mindfulness-based classes and interventions, but MBSR is the oldest and most studied for improvements in health and well-being.

This interactive course helps you draw on your own inner resources to actively engage in caring for yourself. This can lead to finding greater balance, ease, and peace of mind.

 

RESEARCH EVIDENCE SUGGESTS MBSR IS HELPFUL FOR:

  • immune system function
  • reducing anxiety
  • preventing relapse of depression
  • reducing negative emotions
  • responding to stress
  • managing chronic pain
  • enhancing compassion and altruism
  • professionals: coping with stress, connecting with patients, and reducing burnout-inducing negative emotions and anxiety
  • veterans and other sufferers of PTSD
  • general health and well-being

OUR 8-WEEK MBSR COURSE

In a safe, supportive atmosphere, you’ll work with your classmates and instructor to:

  • Explore mindfulness practices including sitting and walking meditation, mindful movement, body awareness, and others.
  • Learn mindful approaches to manage pain, stress, and difficulty in an effective way.
  • Connect with the wisdom of your own body and learn to relax tension.
  • Develop tools to work with and transform stressful situations and reactions.
  • Discover how to address depression and anxiety more skillfully.
  • Gain more control over your own health and well-being, feeling empowered to live with more joy and equanimity.

 

THE COMMITMENT OF MBSR

MBSR is experiential education. By spending a significant amount of time in class and at home it’s possible to change patterns of reactivity and stress, transforming relationships and attitudes of all kinds.

For this “magic” to work, participants must be committed to putting in the time to practice and study. This includes:

  • Eight classes, each typically two-and-a-half hours long.
  • One day-long retreat (typically six or seven hours long).
  • 30-45 minutes of daily practice at home during the entire course. (Many participants choose to continue after the course ends!)

To receive benefit from MBSR you must be ready to make your best effort to attend all class sessions and do the home practice. There is plenty of support from the instructor, the recorded and written materials, and from your fellow participants, but the decision to commit to MBSR can come from you alone.

Thousands of people from all walks of life have benefited from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program – and you can too! This program is suitable for anyone who is interested in living a less stressful and more rewarding life.

Before registering for MBSR, please watch the video under “What Are Our Classes Like” in FAQs from Executive Director Tim Burnett.

Workshops

Bring mindfulness to all areas of life in our short, effective workshops. Explore mindful communication, eating, parenting, and more in a warm, supportive environment. You’ll learn about the research behind the practices, get hands-on experience, and come away with simple tools to use at work and home. Join us!

MORE >

Kind and thoughtful presenters. Useful practices. Calming and effective.

Eric P.

Bellingham, WA

Provides good intro to focusing and being present. The instructor is very comforting and efficiently uses our time.

Todd S.

King County Employee

October 07

Compassion for Couples

ONLINE

6-week course



Pandemic Fatigue
October 07

Pandemic Fatigue

ONLINE

2-hour workshop



Habit Change
October 19

Habit Change

ONLINE

6-week course



Communication
November 13

Communication

ONLINE

3-hour workshop



Relationships
December 04

Relationships

ONLINE

3-hour workshop



Forgiveness
December 11

Forgiveness

ONLINE

6-hour workshop



More About Workshops

Public workshops rotate through the list of options below. Current programs are listed above.

If you’d like to bring mindfulness to your workplace or community, please contact us.

Mindfulness Northwest Workshops

 

 

Free & Drop-In

Want to jumpstart your practice? Looking for community and teacher support for maintaining a practice? New to Mindfulness Northwest and don’t know where to start? Try one of our Drop-In programs — online!

Join Executive Director and Guiding Teacher Tim Burnett for Midday Mindfulness every Wednesday at noon. The program includes a talk, guided practice, and time to connect.

For graduates of MBSR and MSC, there’s our Alumni Practice Group: 90 minutes of connection and support.

All Drop-Ins are offered free or by donation: simply register and we’ll send you the Zoom link. We look forward to seeing you!

You are making an enormous contribution to the community’s well-being. Your willingness to offer online, drop-in sessions is huge. I think I will make an exception to never using caps and repeat: HUGE.

Gerry

WA

Midday Mindfulness
Every Wednesday

Midday Mindfulness

ONLINE

1-hour drop-in session



Alumni Practice Group
4th Friday of the month

Alumni Practice Group

ONLINE

1.5-hour drop-in session



An Evening of Mindfulness
November 11

An Evening of Mindfulness

1.5-hour drop-in workshop



An Hour of Mindfulness
December 08

An Hour of Mindfulness

ONLINE

1-hour drop-in workshop



For Healthcare Professionals

Since 2011, Mindfulness Northwest has been working with physicians and other medical professionals. We offer a variety of programs for healthcare from 1-3 hour introductions to our 5-week Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals course. All developed especially for busy healthcare workers.

Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals is a short, powerful course on stress reduction and burnout prevention containing the core elements of the renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). 

Want to bring mindfulness to your workplace? Our clients include Kaiser Permanente and UW School of Medicine. Contact us to find out how we can support your healthcare team.

MORE >

I really appreciated that the course found ways to help busy doctors integrate mindfulness into their lives and practice WITHOUT taking more time out of our lives. I was more energetic, happy, and present for my family. And while my work days weren’t any shorter, being mindful helped me feel less resentful of my time at work.

Seattle Healthcare Professional

More About Healthcare Professional Programs

Since 2012, Mindfulness Northwest has been providing training in mindfulness to healthcare professionals and staff. Our signature 5-week class, Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals, has been offered over 25 times to professionals at UW Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, PeaceHealth, The Everett Clinic, Evergreen Medical, Skagit Valley Medical, Washington Physicians Health Program, and others.

Please contact us for more information.

EVIDENCE-BASED TRAINING

A substantial and growing body of peer-reviewed research confirms that when organizations provide mindfulness training to employees, both profit.

Organizations enjoy these benefits:

  • Greater employee engagement
  • Higher morale
  • Improved productivity
  • Reduced stress and burnout
  • Lower turnover

And their employees report:

  • Stronger connections to the organization and other employees
  • Greater job satisfaction
  • Improved focus and creativity
  • Gratitude for the benefits of this training on their non-work lives

The research also identifies these general health and wellness benefits:

  • Increased stress resilience and reduced anxiety
  • Improved immune system function
  • Improved response to chronic pain
  • Reduced symptoms and risk of many chronic diseases (high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, GI distress, skin disorders)
  • And many others

Research citations available on request

Ready to bring mindfulness to your team? Contact us.

MINDFULNESS FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals (MHP) will train organizational leadership and staff in the core elements of MBSR over a shorter time period. As with the full MBSR curriculum, research has shown that this training can have significant benefits for participants’ job satisfaction, their relationships with patients and co-workers, and their focus and creativity at work.

Preliminary data we’ve collected suggests our Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals course (MHP) results in a decrease of symptoms of burnout, an increase in mindfulness, and a decrease in perceived stress.

Format: 5 classes, one extended session, and daily home practice.

 

Retreats

Taking time out from our busy lives can support greater calm, ease, and joy. Join us for a deep dive into practice led by a well-seasoned teacher.

At our Days of Mindfulness, online retreats, or  residential retreats, you’ll be guided through sitting meditation, the body scan, walking meditation (indoors and out!), gentle mindful movement, and contemplative practices like the loving-kindness meditation.

Retreats are ideal for people with some mindfulness or meditation experience. Introductory information about mindfulness will not be provided at these sessions. Rather, we will dive right in to guided practice. If you are totally new to meditation a retreat may be a challenge; however, all are welcome. For some, “jumping in” is a great way to start.

MORE >

The teachers are lovely, gentle, incredibly supportive, and clearly knowledgeable about mindfulness and how it can support us in our lives.

Katarina Gombocz, Bellingham, WA


A Day of Mindfulness
October 30

A Day of Mindfulness

ONLINE

1-day retreat



A Day of Mindfulness
November 20

A Day of Mindfulness

ONLINE

1-day retreat



A Day of Self-Compassion
November 20

A Day of Self-Compassion

ONLINE

Half-day retreat



Days of Mindfulness

A day of silent, continuous, teacher-led practice.

Whether online or in-person, you will be guided in a sequence of meditation and mindfulness practices including: sitting meditation, the body scan, walking meditation (indoors and out!), gentle mindful yoga, and contemplative practices like the loving-kindness meditation.

The retreat is ideal for people with some mindfulness or meditation experience. Introductory information about mindfulness will not be provided at this session. Rather, we will dive right in to guided practice. If you are totally new to meditation this day may be a challenge; however, all are welcome. For some, “jumping in” is a great way to start.

Days of Self-Compassion

A half-day of silent, continuous practice in the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) tradition. Simply follow teacher instructions as we move through mindful eating, gentle movement, a compassionate body scan, and the core MSC practices of Affectionate Breathing, Giving & Receiving Compassion, and Loving-Kindness for Ourselves. No experience with MSC required.

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.

 

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.
PRACTICING IN SILENCE
  • After the initial orientation and introductions on the first evening of the retreat our Residential Retreats are held in silence. Please see Detailed Residential Retreat Guidelines below for more details.
  • Participants are expected to follow guidelines around silence and participation.
INTERPERSONAL SAFETY
  • Mindfulness and compassion training programs involve our personal stories and emotions. Instructors will work with the group to establish clear guidelines for 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 of other participants.
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.
RETREAT SCHEDULE
  • Schedule pages will be passed out upon arrival.
  • Follow the retreat schedule as fully as you can.
  • Honor times of silence noted on the schedule: no reading, writing, or using devices. See below for more on silence practice.
  • Please arrive and depart on time because:
  • 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.

Following the guidelines supports a deep dive into practice for you and the entire community. Thank you.

STAY ON CAMPUS EVEN BETWEEN SESSIONS
  • Please stay on campus unless invited to take an off-campus break by the instructors.
  • Please do not use recreational drugs or intoxicants during any part of the retreat.
  • Participants are asked to focus their energies and attention on the instruction and curriculum in order to get the most benefit from the week of training and in consideration of all participants.
  • Session participation is mandatory unless other arrangements are made in advance with the Instructors.

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. PLEASE NOTE:   Meditation retreats are not right for everyone. Folks with a history of trauma or acute psychological issues should check 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 info@mindfulnessnorthwest.com

DETAILED RESIDENTIAL RETREAT GUIDELINES

Your instructors will go over these guidelines in detail at the orientation meeting on the first evening of your retreat.

SILENT PRACTICE

Silent practice includes:

  • 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
  • no writing, including journaling
  • reducing interpersonal contact through the eyes or other body language

For your safety and comfort:

  • Emergency contact information to share with loved ones is generally include on our venue pages. Venue staff and Mindfulness Northwest instructors will make sure you receive incoming messages promptly while your phone is off.
  • Instructors are available at all times to offer support, including conversation if needed.

The intention 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!

Sample Retreat Schedule

5:45am – wake up bell coffee/snacks available in dining hall
6:30am – mindful movement
7:10am – sitting
7:55am – walk to dining hall
8:00am – silent breakfast & break

9:30am – sitting
10:00am – walking
10:15am – body scan
10:45am – walking
11:00am – formal talk
11:45am – walking
12:15pm – mindful movement
12:25pm – walk to dining hall
12:30pm – silent lunch & break

2:30pm – sitting
3:00pm – walking
3:30pm – sitting
4:00pm – walking
4:30pm – sitting
5:00pm – walking
5:25pm – walk to the dining hall
5:30pm – silent dinner & break

7:00pm – sitting
7:30pm – walking
7:45pm – cultivation practice
8:30pm – dedication / closing poem

Online Silent Retreats

Below are a few suggestions to help you create an optimal retreat experience, realizing each of you has a unique home situation.

  1. As much as possible, create a separate, quiet space away from family and distraction, even pets if they might distract you or other participants.
  2. Plan to “unplug” from your phone, clocks, or any other electronic device unless using it to connect to our virtual retreat room.
  3. Minimize or eliminate as many tasks and activities as you can. Normally we would be in a retreat setting to allow for an immersive experience. Retreating at home offers the benefit of being able to practice mindfulness skills in your regular environment while it offers the potential challenge of home distractions.
  4. We suggest that you prepare your household members ahead, letting them know you’ll be practicing silence during this time.
  5. See an online retreat as an opportunity to integrate mindfulness practice and your daily life instead of as a way to “get away” – it helps to see this as a different kind of thing from an in person retreat at a retreat center.
  6. Resistance and wanting things to be other than they are can be a part of all contemplative practices. Please accept that the day will unfold in the way that it does and much is beyond your control. If things are busier or in some way not to your liking in the environment as you do the series of practices offered, please accept things as they are and know that there is benefit.

WE ASK THAT YOU:

  1. Sign in a little early.
  2. Turn cameras on once the retreat starts.
  3. Maintain silence and focus as possible during practice times: refraining from speaking, reading, writing, or using other devices.

Following the guidelines supports a deep dive into practice for you and the entire community. Thank you.

Residential Courses

Our 8-week courses in the format of a residential retreat. Ideal for those who can’t carve out time for an 8-week class, or are seeking an enlightening getaway. These interactive, hands-on intensives provide an immersion into the curriculum at a nourishing, restorative retreat center. Learn in community with our experienced instructors. Available for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC); see our MBSR & MSC sections for more information.

Mindfulness Teacher Training

If you’re ready to share mindfulness with your community, our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP) is for you. This 9-month intensive cohort-based program will prepare you to design and lead clear and compassionate mindfulness programs. Also excellent for those who wish to incorporate mindfulness into their work.

Designed for experienced professionals, our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher Training (MBSR-TT) program trains you to teach the gold standard. MBSR is the most widely known and thoroughly researched mindfulness course. Our personal, hands-on, cohort-based program supports you every step of the way on the path to certification.

MORE >

I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the MTTP program in 2020. Tim Burnett assembled a wonderful cohort of like-minded students and created a curriculum that was incredibly educational and inspiring. If you have any inclination towards deepening your understanding of mindfulness and being able to teach others, I highly recommend this program.

DB Physician

Seattle WA

January 01

MBSR Teacher Training

2-year training



MORE ABOUT MTTP

BECOME A CERTIFIED MINDFULNESS TEACHER THROUGH MINDFULNESS NORTHWEST

Ready to share your passion for mindfulness? Join us to learn how to teach. Our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP) provides deep training in the skills, personal presence, and background knowledge needed to deliver embodied, thoughtful, and skillful presentations.

A nine-month intensive, MTTP includes retreats, home practice, distance learning, weekend seminars, practice creating and leading a mindfulness program, and strong cohort relationships. Let us support you as you offer the gift of mindfulness to your community.

Already trained as a mindfulness teacher and ready for the next level? Please see our MBSR Teacher Training.

OUR PROGRAM

WHAT

  • Cohort-based: Work closely over the 9-month period with a small, committed group of mindfulness practitioners.
  • Local: All are welcome but our structure works best for those who live and work in the Pacific Northwest. You must be able to travel to Bellingham, WA and the surrounding area 8 times during the program.
  • Collaborative: Time and again, we’ve seen this program lead to lasting relationships with regional colleagues for ongoing support and collaboration.
  • Hands-On: Practice teaching and facilitating skills from the beginning of the program; create and deliver a Practicum Project; finish the certification process through a portfolio review.
  • Practice-Based: Practice daily with the support of the cohort and a qualified meditation teacher. The program begins and ends with sitting retreat together, setting the stage for a deep dive.
  • Comprehensive: Learn about the Buddhist roots of mindfulness, psychology & neuroscience, group facilitation, the history of mindfulness, and much more.
  • Practical: Learn how to develop mindfulness programs that fit your institution or community.
  • Accessible: We have done our best to keep costs reasonable. We aim to create a diverse cohort. All applicants are welcome.

 

WHO

If you have an established home practice and wish to share mindfulness with others, MTTP is for you. We’re especially interested in serving those already in a position to offer mindfulness classes or workshops in their own institution, community, or practice who are seeking support and guidance in how to do so effectively.

Our MTTP is also a powerful foundational training for those moving into, or already teaching, mindfulness-based classes and interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), or Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP).

Examples of excellent reasons to take MTTP:

  • I’m running groups or leading trainings at work already and want to integrate mindfulness into the training.
  • I’m a psychotherapist and I want to add mindfulness to my work with individuals and/or groups.
  • I did the training, or I’m planning to do the training, to facilitate MBCT and I want to feel more solid about mindfulness.
  • I want to offer a weekly meditation practice group in my community.
  • I’m an MBSR teacher already and would love to deepen my understanding and enhance my teaching skills.
  • I’m a spiritual teacher and would like to add the depth and universal language of mindfulness to my work.

 

WHERE

The in-person portions of this program will be held in the Bellingham area (retreats are held at two different centers in Skagit County). All are welcome but you must be able to travel to the Bellingham area 8 times. Much of the learning and interaction also happens through flexible distance-learning in between in-person meetings.

 

WITH

Lead instructor Rev. Tim Burnett combines his decades of teaching experience, years of creating and leading courses in mindfulness, and his knowledge of the Buddhist roots of mindfulness to provide a rich experiential education for trainees.

Tim is certified in three of the major mindfulness-based interventions:

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (certified by the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society at the University of Massachusetts)
  • Compassion Cultivation Training (certified by Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE))
  • Mindful Self-Compassion (certified by The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC)).

Tim is grounded in 30 years of Zen Meditation where he is a Soto Zen Priest and teacher. He received Dharma Transmission from his long-time mentor Zoketsu Norman Fischer in 2011 and was installed as Guiding Teacher of the Red Cedar Zen Community in Bellingham in 2017.

Guest teachers support Tim throughout the training. Visiting instructors to earlier cohorts included:

  • Karen Schwisow, EYRT – How to teach mindful yoga
  • Barbara Lehman, PhD – Psychological research on mindfulness
  • Kelly McGonigal, PhD – The Upside of Stress
  • Brennan Gilbert, PsyD – Understanding mindfulness and projection

 

COST

The per-person cost is $6,900 for the 9-month MTTP program including all retreats, seminars, and ongoing instruction and support. Payment plans are available. Note that the tuition covers room and board at the 4 retreats, but not at the 4 seminar weekends in Bellingham.

For participants who accept the invitation to move towards certification after completing the program, there is an additional $500 fee for Teacher Certification.

The tuition covers:

  • All 4 retreats, all 4 weekends, all distance learning time and all materials provided except for books.
  • Room and board at the four retreats.
  • Access to course websites and materials.
  • Access to instructors between meetings.

The tuition does not cover:

  • Room and board at the Study Weekends in Bellingham (there are many affordable AirBnB options).
  • Comparing to another program? Check if room & board at retreats/trainings is included – often it’s not and can add significant cost.
  • Travel costs as applicable.

 

APPLY

On January 1 of each year, we begin accepting applications for the new year’s 9-month cohort. Applications will be reviewed and prospective applicants will be invited for an interview. Those selected to participate in our MTTP program will then be notified in the Spring and can expect to begin classes in September of that same calendar year.

Pre-requisites and selection criteria include having taken Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (as this is the template and root expression for this style of mindfulness); having a daily practice of mindfulness/meditation; and having attended a silent, teacher-led meditation retreat of at least 5 days in length (some exceptions and / or concurrency may be granted at our discretion).

PREREQUISITES

  • Completion of an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class. Other mindfulness courses cannot be substituted for this requirement.
  • Established daily practice of mindfulness meditation and mindful movement.
  • Attendance of at least one silent, teacher-led meditation retreat of at least 5 days in length (some concurrency may be allowed).

WAYS TO FURTHER STRENGTHEN YOUR APPLICATION

  • Completion of other mindfulness and compassion courses such as Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC).
  • Practice regularly in a teacher-led meditation group with a practice community.
  • Attend more than one retreat.

MTTP: STEP BY STEP OUTLINE

STEP 1: PRE-REQUISITES

  • Participate: take a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class or similar intensive training in mindfulness as a participant.
  • Practice: establish a near-daily mindfulness practice including sitting meditation and body practices to continue through the teacher training process. If possible, do formal meditation regularly with a group and work with a meditation teacher.
  • Retreat: attend at least one silent, teacher-led meditation retreat of at least 5 days in length prior to beginning the MTTP program. Some exceptions (and concurrency) to this requirement may be granted at our discretion.
  • Apply: we will begin accepting applications in January 2018. We require a written application and a letter of recommendation from a mentor, teacher, or colleague helping us understand why this teacher training program is a good fit for you at this time. Once these are received, an interview is scheduled. It’s a selective process as we limit the cohort to 16 people. Upon approval for enrollment, the registration process will be completed with a $500 Enrollment Deposit. See the key dates and training locations schedule.

STEP 2: 9-MONTH SEMINAR IN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF TEACHING MINDFULNESS

  • Opening Retreat (September): a three-day retreat to explore our intentions and begin the journey together.
  • Five 4- to 6-week-long, distance-based Learning Blocks with daily practice assignments, readings, short videos to watch and reflection papers to write, supported by interaction with a supervising teacher.
  • Four Study Weekends in Bellingham, WA. We’ll explore essential topics in teaching mindfulness and practice teaching with peers. We’ll also review papers, videos, and books explored during the preceding Learning Block.
  • An intensive seven-day silent mindfulness retreat (October) featuring teachings on the Mindfulness Sutra (the primary Buddhist root of MBSR).
  • A Weekend Mindfulness Retreat (April): You’ll join a weekend retreat for intermediate mindfulness students, observing (with your new-teacher eyes) how the retreat teachers lead.
  • Practicum Project (Spring) – on your own or with a co-teacher from the MTTP cohort, design and deliver a one-day introductory workshop on mindfulness in your community.
  • Closing Retreat (early June): this three-day retreat is largely a student-led retreat in which we teach each other all of the elements of MBSR in a retreat setting and take stock of our experience together.

STEP 3: CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

Upon satisfactory completion of all Seminar events* and assignments** (including the Practicum Project) you will receive a Certificate of Completion for the Mindfulness Northwest Mindfulness Teacher Training Program. The Certificate of Completion demonstrates your attendance and full participation in the program. Certification is an additional step – please see below.

* Completion of events: excused absences are included here – life and illness do happen. You must attend 85% of in-person events and complete at least 85% of all assignments given. Absences must be arranged ahead with instructors. Mindfulness Northwest reserves the right to withhold the Certificate of Completion due to unexcused absences, inadequate involvement, or disruptive choices.

** Completion of assignments: each learning block will include written responses to readings and videos on online discussion forums, logged near-daily formal practice, participation with a partner, a meeting with Tim, and a whole group distance meeting. You must attend 85% of in-person events and complete at least 85% of all of the assignments given.

STEP 4: TEACHER CERTIFICATION (PORTFOLIO REVIEW) – OPTIONAL

After successful completion of the 9-month Seminar, and by invitation from Mindfulness Northwest, trainees are invited to submit a portfolio for evaluation of Certification. The Certification offered by this program is to become a Certified Mindfulness Teacher. (Additional training is needed for certification in specific curricula such as MBSR – see below.)

  • Portfolio: any time within 12 months of completion of the MTTP program you may submit a portfolio demonstrating your teaching competence, including:
    • Recordings: your own practice guidance recordings of the principal mindfulness practices (body scan, mindful movement, seated meditation, walking meditation)
    • Materials: written materials (manual, hand outs) you created to support a mindfulness class or workshop
    • Video: of yourself teaching coursework after MTTP completes showing the three primary modalities of mindfulness training: didactic instruction, practice leading, and inquiry. Video taken from the practicum during MTTP should not be used here.
  • Review and Discuss: the Portfolio Review process includes up to two hours of video chat or in-person conversation with the instructor to guide, refine, and explore your understanding of teaching. If additional time is needed, it can be requested at the rate of $90/hour.
  • Certification: Trainees will be evaluated for certification according to mindfulness industry standards (the Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria: MBI-TAC). In some cases additional training, adjustment, and re-submission of some parts of the portfolio may be requested before certification is granted. We will make every effort through the Seminar and the Supervision process to prepare trainees for successful Teacher Certification.

MTTP: KEY DATES & LOCATIONS (2021-22)

In-person meetings in bold italics

 

MILESTONE

DATE COMMENTS / LOCATION

Enrollment Deposit Due

Upon acceptance $500
Tuition Balance or Payment Plan Activation Due Date September 1st  
Opening Retreat September 10-13
Friday 4pm – Monday 2pm
Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center

Learning Block #1

  Distance learning

“Roots of Mindfulness” intensive retreat

October 10-17
Sunday 4pm – Sunday 2pm
Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center
Learning Block #2   Distance Learning

Study Weekend A

November 19–21
Friday 7pm – Sunday 1pm
Bellingham, WA
Learning Block #3   Distance Learning

Study Weekend B

January 14-16
Friday 7pm – Sunday 1pm
Bellingham, WA
Learning Block #4   Distance Learning
Study Weekend C February 18-20
Friday 7pm – Sunday 1pm
Bellingham, WA
Learning Block #5   Distance Learning
Practicum Period   Create a Mindfulness Workshop at the Venue of your choice
Spring Weekend Mindfulness Retreat March 25-27
Friday 5pm – Sunday 2pm
Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center
Study Weekend D April 8-10
Friday 7pm – Sunday 1pm
Bellingham, WA
Learning Block #6   Distance Learning
Closing Retreat May 19-22
Thursday 4pm – Sunday 11am
Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center
Graduation Ceremony May 22nd, 10am Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center
Continuing on to Certification Within 12 months of program completion $500 Portfolio Review and Certification Coaching fee

MBSR TEACHER TRAINING & CERTIFICATION

MBSR Teacher Training (MBSR-TT) is an immersive, apprentice-style training in how to teach MBSR with skill and confidence. It features hands-on, in-classroom training with a high faculty-to-student ratio. Personalized feedback and warm support are the hallmarks of this unique certification program.

The first year consists of practicum-based training alongside senior teachers in a small cohort. In later stages, MBSR-TT becomes a mentorship-based self-paced program which can be completed in a second year or at your own pace over a longer period.

In-person practicums are available to students in the Puget Sound, Washington and Atlanta, Georgia regions. Online practicums make this training accessible worldwide.

This advanced training is designed for those who are already comfortable leading meditation, yoga, or related contemplative disciplines. IF you feel like you need more fundamental training in how to teach mindfulness please see our Mindfulness Teacher Training Program (MTTP), above.

To fulfill the prerequisites for application to MBSR-TT, you have:

  • Taken the MBSR course.
  • Completed at least one silent, teacher-led meditation retreat of 5 days or longer.
  • Established a consistent personal meditation practice.

Feel free to contact us before applying if you are unsure whether you meet the above prerequisites.

STRUCTURE OF THE TRAINING

MBSR-TT unfolds over four phases. You work through the first two phases with a small cohort in an intensive, practicum-based setting. The last two phases are more flexible and mentorship-based. Note that this program uses an academic year.

Phase I: Winter & Spring

  • You will be embedded in two MBSR classes organized by Mindfulness Northwest or the Mindfulness Center of Atlanta.
  • In the first class you will be observing the Senior Teacher and participating right along with the students.
  • In the second class you will have progressively more teaching responsibility. Other cohort members may also be in your class.
  • You will collect short video recordings of your teaching to review.
  • Process your experience in a weekly live debrief after every MBSR class.
  • Learn together in weekly Zoom meetings with the entire cohort.

Phase II: Fall

  • Cohort support continues and the flexible nature of the program kicks in.
  • Many trainees are ready to teach solo or co-teach with another trainee and will organize their own class for Phase II.
  • If it’s too soon to teach independently, the support of co-teaching with one of our Senior Teachers may be offered at our discretion.
  • Continue collecting video of your teaching for review.
  • Weekly Zoom meetings with the entire cohort continue.
  • Write reflections on each class session taught and receive personalized feedback from a Senior Teacher.

Phase III: Your own timing

Typically during the second year of the program, but flexible.

  • During Phase III you will organize and teach three (3) MBSR classes. 
  • Receive nine hours of one–on-one video conference mentorship support as you fully take the teacher’s seat.
  • You may co-teach with another trainee or with a teacher outside the program. (Non-Mindfulness Northwest teachers require pre-approval by the Program Director.) At least one of your Phase III courses should be taught solo.

Phase IV: Certification

Typically during the third year of the program, but flexible.

  • Submit a teaching portfolio (including video of teaching and audio recordings) demonstrating that you’re ready to teach MBSR independently.
  • Receive a portfolio review with a Senior Teacher.
  • Additional training and support may be recommended.

TESTIMONIALS

In the opening retreat of the MTTP program we collectively identified qualities of good teaching such as humility, humor, appropriate self-disclosure, flexibility, curiosity, and presence. Tim modeled these and invited them in me.  We worked in so many different contexts including: leading practice, didactic, and inquiry. There was a wonderful infusion throughout of “not knowing,” and I was moved by the very real, candid fluctuations of energy and emotional vulnerability in me, in Tim, and the other trainees.

That the structure of the program wasn’t only an academic workshop, that it included shared retreat together, was so imperative and so beneficial, particularly early on as a part of gelling the group and concluding with retreat again. I was grateful that we were given so much freedom, that this training was not curriculum based. Instead we were given practices and trusted to design and integrate them appropriate to our teaching context. Overall: Excellent! Wow!!!

– Amy C. Darling, LAc.

 

The MBSR-TT program was exactly what I needed, desired and exceeded my expectations. The first phase was particularly exhilarating, learning in a group setting and shadowing a full round of the MBSR course. The weekly zoom calls with our cohort and two senior teachers was such rich ground for engagement and learning.

The quality of the staff was and is the cornerstone of any good program and Karen, Tim, and Richard at Mindfulness Northwest are phenomenal humans, teachers, and guides. I feel as though I have not just gone through a certification program but I have been welcomed into a family where I got to nurture myself and my skills. I cannot recommend this program enough!

– Kari Lyons

 

My first foray into becoming a Mindfulness Teacher started with a six-day Foundation Teacher Training course at another agency. After the course I felt I had just the basics, and was to follow through for certification with an online mentor. I couldn’t see a way forward that worked for me, and then I found Mindfulness Northwest and MTTP.

Together as a group we took a deep dive into the Foundations of Mindfulness, science and research, and fundamentals of being a teacher. We had periodic face-to-face conferences with Tim in-between classes. We practiced using teach-backs in a safe and supportive environment. The support system was so strong with the cohort — it will be a life-long bond. I came away with a deep sense of enrichment and confidence. I now have have started to teach this wonderful heartfelt practice back home in Idaho.

– Carol Reager, RN

 

I live on the opposite side of the country from the MNW offices. The senior teachers at MNW helped connect me to a local certified MBSR teacher in Atlanta, GA who agreed to be my onsite mentor. This satellite arrangement worked out perfectly, and I felt like I got the full experience even though I was 3,000 miles away!

– Erika Bloodworth

 

The Mindfulness Northwest Teacher Training Program provides students with opportunity for inner growth, skill development, and community involvement. Tim Burnett artfully weaves the practice of mindfulness into an instructional program, invites students to reflect on their gifts, and guides them in developing class structure to encourage growth and discovery. Students have the opportunity to connect with mindfulness community leaders in a small class environment encouraging intimate conversation and presence. My experience with the MTTP program has been transformational. We had the exquisite environment to make life-long relationships in our cohort as we each emerged as new teachers. I highly recommend the MNW MTTP program for its flexibility in both individual and cohort development, venues offered for experiential learning, and deep learning of mindfulness.

– Laura Chun Daniel, MPM, PMP, CRM

 

As an MD, I am particularly interested in the intersection of health caregivers and mindfulness. Tim Burnett assembled a wonderful cohort of like-minded students and created a curriculum that was incredibly educational and inspiring. If you have any inclination towards deepening your understanding of mindfulness and being able to teach others, I highly recommend this program.

D.B., Physician, Seattle WA

Frequently Asked Questions

Who takes your classes?

All adults (18+) are welcome! Our supportive, inclusive community celebrates participants from all backgrounds.  Certain retreats are best suited for more experienced practitioners; details about prerequisites are included with each event description.

What are our classes like?

We hope you enjoy this five-minute message from Executive Director Tim Burnett on what our classes look and feel like. We recommend you watch it before enrolling in an 8-week or residential MBSR or MSC.

IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT OUR 8-WEEK COURSES

There are instances where a longer course like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or Mindful Self-Compassion can be less helpful or even harmful.

If you’ve recently experienced serious psychological challenges like schizophrenia or psychosis not responsive to medication, or you are experiencing severe depression with thoughts of suicide, class is probably not helpful at this time. We also suggest caution if you’re recently in recovery, recently lost a close loved one, have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or have recently experienced significant trauma.

If you’re unsure about registering for a course, please contact the Mindfulness Northwest office. We want to be sure there is sufficient support for you and that the timing is right for taking our courses.

Is there a way to make up a missed class?

Yes! We allow participants in MBSR, MSC, and MHP courses to attend another class in the same quarter (when possible). You may email us at office@mindfulnessnorthwest.com to make arrangements. Provide the name of your current class, location, day of the week, and the class you’ll be missing (e.g. MBSR, Online, Tuesday nights, class 6). You’ll be contacted by the Community Program Coordinator within one business day.

Do you offer discounts or scholarships?

We do! Our mission is to make mindfulness accessible. To that end we offer a sliding scale for tuition which includes scholarship rates. No need to apply; simply choose the level that’s the best fit for your budget. MNW alumni receive a discounted rate for some events. We also provide a 4-month interest-free payment plan option, available during registration.

How to Prepare for a Retreat

WHAT TO BRING

  1. COVID masks upon arrival and for daily wear. Any changes to this guideline will be announced at the opening meeting of the event.
  2. Warm clothes in layers (sweater, and jacket, etc) as we will be going in and out of doors as we move between buildings which may be heated to different levels.
  3. Rain coat AND umbrella – we’re walking between buildings, it may well rain. This is the Pacific Northwest.
  4. Shoes that are fine walking in damp grass.
  5. Toiletries and overnight things including a towel.
  6. It’s okay to bring a notebook if you wish to do some writing, but remember this is a silent, contemplative retreat. We request that you not bring reading materials.
  7. A flashlight can be helpful but venues are generally reasonably well lit. Sometimes there is walking between buildings in the early morning and evening.
  8. A yoga mat if you have a favorite. We are able to bring mats to share.
  9. 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 good chairs at the site.
  10. An extra blanket for the meditation hall – nice for body scans and resting.
  11. Shoes that are easy to slip on and off are helpful at meditation retreats – we will be taking shoes off in the practice room. However, it may be damp on the lawns. Slip on boots?

WHAT NOT TO BRING

  1. Non-essential electronics. You can bring your cell phone, but we request that you turn it off after the orientation.
  2. Books and other amusements. Part of our silence practice is to refrain from reading and be as quiet as possible.

LODGING

Lodging assignments will be available on check-in at the retreat venue.

EXPECTATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS

By signing up for an MNW 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 Chores – You will have the option of choosing an ongoing job during the retreat or helping with cleaning and organizing at the end of our time together. Some of our retreat sites are staffed by a small volunteer staff and costs are held low by asking the visiting group to leave the site as clean as they found it.

How to Prepare for an Online Retreat at Home

We realize each of you has a unique home situation. Below are a few suggestions to help you create an optimal retreat experience.

  1. As much as possible, create a separate, quiet space away from family and distraction, even pets if they might distract you or other participants.
  2. Plan to “unplug” from your phone, clocks, or any other electronic device unless using it to connect to our virtual retreat room.
  3. Minimize or eliminate as many tasks and activities as you can. Normally we would be in a retreat setting to allow for an immersive experience. Retreating at home offers the benefit of being able to practice mindfulness skills in your regular environment; it also offers the potential challenge of home distractions.
  4. We suggest that you prepare your household members ahead of time, letting them know you’ll be practicing silence during this time. Your example might even inspire family members to try some silence with you! As the retreat progresses, you may need to check in with them or update expectations.
  5. Please accept that the day will unfold in the way that it does and much is beyond your control. If things are busier or in some way not to your liking in your environment, try to accept things as they are and know that there is benefit. A retreat at home won’t always be able to approximate a retreat at a retreat center. See if you can embrace the situation you find yourself in and simply do your best.

We ask that you:

  1. Sign in a little early – cameras can be off before we begin.
  2. Turn cameras on once the retreat starts.
  3. Maintain silence if at all possible throughout the day: no speaking, reading, writing, or using devices.

All of this helps create a strong and seamless container for our retreat. This benefits the whole group — and you! Thank you for your attention. We look forward to practicing with you.

What to Expect at Our Residential Courses

Residential Courses are multi-day forms of our 8-week classes. We offer Residential Courses for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). You will receive all of the content, practices and experiences of these 8-week classes in 5 full days of training at an overnight training venue. Meals and lodging are included in your registration.

Residential Courses are excellent if you cannot attend our 8-week classes or simply prefer the more intensive format and appreciate the way a Residential Courses gets you away from your daily routine with space to focus.

We also offer silent teacher-led Residential Retreats – please see our Residential Silent Retreats section for more information.

STRUCTURE AND PARTICIPATION

CLASS SESSIONS

3-hour classroom sessions are offered morning and afternoon of most days. Participants are expected to attend all classroom sessions and follow the printed schedule you will receive on site as fully as possible.

PERIODS OF SILENCE

Although our Residential Courses are interactive with talking, there are some periods of silence. Early morning and breakfast are usually held in silence, for example. Participants are expected to follow guidelines around silence and participation.

INTERPERSONAL SAFETY

Mindfulness and compassion training programs involve our personal stories and emotions. Instructors will work with the group to establish clear guidelines for safety. Participants are expected to be sensitive and responsive to these guidelines and the needs of fellow participants as fully as possible.

VENUE CHORES

To keep costs down, several of our venues ask that event participants wash dishes, sweep floors, clean bathrooms, and do other chores around the facility. We also do final clean up chores before leaving. We ask you to do chores as fully as you are able. If you have physical limitations we will help you find a suitable chore assignment.

VENUES

See our Samish Island Campground and Retreat Center page for more information about one of our primary venues.

SCHEDULE

  • A detailed, printed day-to-day schedule will be passed out upon arrival.
  • Emergency contact information to share with loved ones is included in your registration emails and is also available on the website. It is important that you can be off your phone as much as possible. Your loved ones should reach you through the venue rather than calling your cell phone.
REQUESTS OF YOU
  • Arrive and depart on time
  • Follow the course schedule
  • Honor times of silence noted on the schedule: no reading, writing, or using devices during these times of silence.

This all contributes to creating a strong and seamless container which benefits the whole group — including you!

STAY ON CAMPUS EVEN BETWEEN SESSIONS

  • Please stay on campus unless invited to take an off-campus break by the instructors.
  • Please do not use recreational drugs or intoxicants during any part of the training.
  • Participants are asked to focus their energies and attention on the instruction and curriculum in order to get the most benefit from the week of training and in consideration of all participants.
EARLY MORNING PRACTICE

Meditation practice is often offered before breakfast. In some cases this is optional; in other cases these are a required and important part of the program. Your instructors will specify this.

EVENING PROGRAMMING

These are usually optional and supplemental to the learning of the day. Your instructors will clarify the available offerings.

WHAT TO BRING

  1. COVID masks upon arrival and for daily wear. Any changes to this guideline will be announced at the opening meeting of the course.
  2. Warm clothes in layers (sweater, and jacket, etc) as we will be going in and out of doors as we move between buildings which may be heated to different levels.
  3. Rain coat AND umbrella – we’re walking between buildings, it may well rain. This is the Pacific Northwest.
  4. Shoes that are fine walking in damp grass.
  5. Toiletries and overnight things including a towel.
  6. It’s okay to bring a notebook if you wish to do some writing.
  7. A flashlight can be helpful but venues are generally reasonably well lit. Sometimes there is walking between buildings in the early morning and evening.
  8. A yoga mat if you have a favorite. We are able to bring mats to share.
  9. 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 good chairs at the site.
  10. An extra blanket for the meditation hall – nice for body scans and resting.
  11. Shoes that are easy to slip on and off are helpful at residential courses – we will be taking shoes off in the practice room. However, it may be damp on the lawns. Slip on boots?

WHAT’S NOT NEEDED

  1. Minimize electronic gadgets beyond what you need to take notes. We encourage you to consider disconnecting from phone, email, and text contact, but this is not required.

LODGING

Lodging assignments will be available on check-in at the course venue.

DIVERSITY

We are honored to support each participant in their training regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, age, physical ability, political affiliation, or religion.

AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDING

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.