Explore our mindfulness and compassion programs

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Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)

Learn to befriend yourself, especially when things are tough. This nourishing evidence-based course combines the skills of mindfulness and self-compassion, providing a powerful tool for emotional resilience. We offer MSC as an 8-week course online and in person every quarter, and periodically as a 5-day residential course. Or our Introduction to Self-Compassion program will give you a taste. 

Curious about what it’s like taking MSC? Review the info below and consider watching this five-minute message from Executive Director Tim Burnett.

learn more about msc

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

Mindful Self-Compassion
September 27 (Tuesday evenings)

Mindful Self-Compassion


8-week course

Mindful Self-Compassion
October 17 (Monday evenings)

Mindful Self-Compassion


8-week course

Mindful Self-Compassion
October 20 (Thursday evenings)

Mindful Self-Compassion


8-week course

Intro to Self-Compassion
December 6 (Tuesday evening)

Intro to Self-Compassion


1.5-hour free workshop

Mindful Self-Compassion
January 24 (Tuesday evenings)

Mindful Self-Compassion


8-week course

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, and Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion.

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.



  • 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


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

Preparing for Mindful Self-Compassion

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

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.

About Our Residential Trainings

Residential Trainings are multi-day forms of our 8-week classes. We offer Residential Trainings 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 Trainings are excellent if you cannot attend our 8-week classes or simply prefer the more intensive format and appreciate the way a Residential Training gets you away from your daily routine with space to focus.

We also offer silent teacher-led Residential Retreats. These are meditation retreats which consist primarily of silent meditation practice with some spoken guidance and brief talks from the teachers. Please see our Residential Silent Retreats section for more information.



Early morning practice starts our days before breakfast. Then 3-hour classroom sessions are offered morning and afternoon of most days.  Evening sessions with additional resources and opportunities are offered on a few evenings as well. Participants are expected to attend all classroom sessions, but evening sessions are usually optional. You'll receive a printed schedule and guidance from the teachers about navigating these rich days of practice, study, and learning.


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.


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.


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.

  • Arrive for the very beginning and stay to the end of the program.
  • Follow the course schedule.
  • Honor times of silence noted on the schedule: no reading, writing, or using devices during these times of silence.
  • 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.
  • Do not take photos, video, or recordings of other participants or the instructors without their prior permission.


  1. 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.
  2. Warm clothes in layers (sweater, and jacket, etc) as we will be going in and out of doors as we move between buildings.
  3. Rain coat AND umbrella. This is the Pacific Northwest.
  4. 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.
  5. Toiletries and overnight things including a towel.
  6. 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.
  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 chairs available.
  10. An extra blanket or two for the meditation hall – nice for body scans and resting.
  11. A notebook and pens like you would to any class or seminar.


  1. Minimize electronic gadgets beyond what you need to take notes. We encourage you to consider reducing or disconnecting from phone, email, and text contact, but this is not required like it is in our silent residential retreats.


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


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.

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.


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.

Policies & Program Info

Our COVID Policy

UPDATED August 11, 2022

Our COVID-19 policy is designed to protect the safety of our participants and the communities they return to after attending a Mindfulness Northwest in-person event.

Vaccination required:  We expect participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in accordance to CDC guidelines before arriving at any in-person event.

Stay home if you are ill: If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you should not attend. Should COVID-like symptoms begin during the event notify a training leader immediately.

Full social distancing isn’t always practical in the venues we use. We will spread out as reasonable. Look to your instructor for guidance.

Mask wearing: currently RECOMMENDED. Always mask if you have had any recent exposure to Covid, are immunocompromised, or are in close contact with immunocompromised others. If you do choose to mask, make it count: N95 or KN95 masks have been shown to reduce viral spread much more effectively than cloth or surgical masks.

Masking requirement is subject to change. Masking requirements are based on CDC guidelines (current levels) and State and Country recommendations. CDC guidelines are responsive to current Community Covid Levels (High, Medium, or Low). Mask wearing is required when the Community Covid Level for that county becomes High. Currently (June 1st) CDC levels are Medium for the counties we work in and indoor masking is optional per CDC. However the State of Washington Department of Health currently recommends masking when indoors in crowded spaces.

Masking by your teacher: At either optional or recommended masking level we do allow our teachers to be unmasked when speaking so that you can hear them better. When masking is required it is required for everyone, including the teacher.

Testing requirement. For our overnight retreats and trainings, a negative home COVID-19 test results is required. Please self-administer this test the day before arriving at the venue. This requirement is in recognition of the much larger amount of interaction participants have during overnight events, and that current variants are more likely to be contracted and transmitted even by fully vaccinated individuals.


Our Non-Discrimination Policy

We are honored to support each participant in their mindfulness practice. Mindfulness Northwest does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our staff, students, and clients.

Payment Plans & Sliding Scale Pricing

Payment Plans

You may pay your tuition with 4 monthly interest-free payments at Checkout. You will be redirected to, a 3rd party online payment plan service. Your first payment is made now, the remaining 3 are withdrawn on the same day of the month that you registered. Questions? Contact Support.

Sliding Scale Pricing

As part of our non-profit commitment to accessibility, we offer a sliding scale fee for most of our courses, workshops, retreats, and trainings. You may choose the fee that matches your budget; there is no application or screening process.

Our intention is to make our offerings affordable to all while allowing those who are more fortunate in their financial circumstances an opportunity to practice generosity. Generally, the middle "Our Cost" value on the sliding scale is the amount needed to fully cover the costs of your attending an offering.

There are 3 levels on our sliding scale fees in addition to scholarship options.

  • Supporting Tuition: At this level, your registration fees somewhat exceed the costs of your attending the program. This is an offering to help subsidize the reduced fees paid by others who have more challenging financial circumstances.
  • Our Cost Tuition: At this level, your registration fees fully cover the costs of your attending the program.
  • Subsidized Tuition: At this level, your registration fees do not fully cover the costs of your attending the program. If you select this level, your registration will be subsidized by others, either via the general donations people offer or through the additional fees paid by those selecting a Supporting Level fee.


Donations are another way to support the accessibility provided by our sliding scale. Will you help?

Mindfulness Northwest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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.

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 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.

Registration Policies

By signing up for a Mindfulness Northwest event you agree to the following:


Event registrants are automatically signed up for our emails, including a monthly newsletter, upcoming program announcements, and other updates. You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.


Unless otherwise stated, our courses and retreats are designed for adults. If you (or an individual for whom you are registering) are less than 18 years of age, please contact the office before registering.

Registration is not complete until you have paid your registration fee or started your payment plan. You have 24 hours to do this. Please contact us if you need to request special arrangements.

We ask that people who are attending our programs together please register separately.

  • All event registrations include a $30 non-refundable processing fee. Refunds for cancellation always have this fee deducted.

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

  • Refunds and cancellation from our programs:

    • Cancel up to 1 month before the event begins: Receive a full refund less the $30 non-refundable processing fee.
    • Cancel between 1 month and one week before the event begins: Receive a refund of 50% of the registration fee.
    • Cancel under one week before the event begins: No refunds. To receive a refund, you must let us know at least one week before the event begins.

As a participant you agree not to take photos, audio recordings, or video recordings of our classes or other class participants.

Note that Mindfulness Northwest may make audio/video recordings of our instructors for certification and training purposes. These recordings are for internal use only.

What are our classes like?


Our teachers work hard to create a supportive, friendly, and safe classroom community for you and the other participants in our 8-week classes. Mindfulness and compassion training can be many things to many people at different points in their lives: supportive, exploratory, revealing, and at times challenging. The classes include both tools you can use every day and opportunities to take a deep dive into your mind, habits, and conditioning. This process has many benefits but it’s also important to consider if the time is right. Please read on and consider watching the 5-minute video below.

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.

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.


Who takes our 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.

We ask that people who are attending our programs together please register separately.

Is an 8-week class right for you?

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

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 a retreat right for you?


Our single day retreats are 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.


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 a given retreat will be appropriate for you.

Our multi-day retreats are appropriate for:

  • Those who have taken a course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion, or Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.
  • Established students of mindfulness interested in deepening and maintaining their practice.
  • Mindfulness teachers and students who’d like to strengthen their understanding of the Buddhist roots of contemporary mindfulness.
  • Those seeking to fulfill a required teacher-led silent retreat for a teacher training.
  • Adults age 18 and over.