Dear Friends,

It’s that time of year again. Winter holidays decorations are going up. Travel plans are being finalized. Christmas muzak is playing in stores and medical offices. And Executive Directors are writing annual appeal letters!

We’re all sincere as we try to keep our non-profits running and do our good work. And I know I’m sharing some space here with many friends in your inbox. Thanks for taking a minute.

Usually we try to write cheerful letters with success stories, but I want to give voice this year to the suffering in the world too. Lately, the world once again feels more dangerous. Our divisive politics only seem to be more so. New wars and conflicts. Horrible natural disasters that could have been less harmful if different choices had been made. New warnings about climate change from serious, thoughtful scientists.

And yet, there’s also the miracle that I’m alive. And you are too. That we can take a breath. That we’re here. On this (so-far!) inhabitable, beautiful planet together.

It’s an unlikely situation if you think about it – being alive. There are a lot more reasons why it could be otherwise! So many things must happen for each of us to be born and still be here. So many more factors that could have gone another way. And yet it all went the way it did, and here you are reading this; here I am writing this. It’s amazing! Gratitude is never far away if we look up and remember how it is.

And from that gratitude we can act. Like me, I bet what you manage to do doesn’t always feel like enough, but you did it. You helped someone. You were generous. You did what you could for goodness, for peace, for justice. On a small scale perhaps, sure, but what’s this world made of but a lot of small things added together?

What I treasure the most about mindfulness isn’t that it helps me feel calmer – that’s nice sometimes, sure – but that it helps me show up more fully.

Mindfulness practices help me be more aware of what is, and more open to what could be. And, so importantly, mindfulness helps me stay steady in the face of difficulty, of suffering. Without being able to stay steady in the face of trouble we aren’t much help to anyone including ourselves, are we?

Sure, we all need to take breaks. Don’t burn out! But mindfulness helps with showing up. With turning towards. With engaging with our full hearts and minds.

This is why my vision for Mindfulness Northwest is far more than stress reduction: It’s mindfulness as a force for healing, for peace, and for justice. Everything that goes right or goes wrong in this world originates in someone’s mind. So learning how to take care of our minds is the most important thing.

Yes: Minds can be a mess, tweaked as minds are by so many factors, but mindfulness helps us to know our mind, to access our wisdom, to feel compassion, and yes, to feel a bit calmer. But the treasure of mindfulness, the “miracle of mindfulness” as Thích Nhất Hạnh called it, is that it helps us show up.

Can you help Mindfulness Northwest show up for another year and continue this work?

Firstly, you can give directly to the Accessibility Fund. All donations given to our 501c(3) non-profit are tax deductible

Another great way you can help is to enroll in one of our programs and consider the higher Supporting Tuition, that helps fund our sliding scale tuition. Our Winter schedule is available now (searchable online or as a printable PDF).

There are more details below on how our Accessibility Fund helped to make mindfulness more accessible in the Pacific Northwest and beyond this year.
Thank you so very much,

Rev. Tim Burnett,  Executive Director
M i n d f u l n e s s   N o r t h w e s t

p.s. I’ve been deeply troubled by the new round of conflict and violence in the Middle East. With my Buddhist “hat” on I offered a reflective talk on this, and how mindfulness might help, which I think you might appreciate. You can listen to it at Red Cedar Zen Community’s website.
“I’ve been participating in Mindfulness Northwest Retreat Scholarship program for many years. It’s been a blessing. They’ve treated me like family from the beginning. All my family lives in South Carolina, 2,733.3 miles away, and each year I look forward on attending these retreats because I feel like it’s a place that I can call home (my Mindfulness Northwest family).

I’m a disabled combat Gulf War Veteran and this scholarship program has allowed me and other Veterans a chance to be part of a great experience and most of all a chance to meet people from different parts of the world and backgrounds. I can’t wait until the next Retreat. They call me the coffee guy, because I make great coffee.”

— Bobby J.

More about the Mindfulness Northwest Accessibility Fund
In 2023 the Fund helped:
  • 3,346 people to participate in our programs using our sliding scale prices.
  • 150 people participate through deeply discounted scholarships.
  • Over 100 free mindfulness programs attended by over 1,200 people.
  • 4 pro-bono (no cost) workshops for non-profit organizations.
How your gifts helps:
$5 – We are grateful for any amount you give!
$25 – Supports one of our free online community offerings, including the weekly Midday Mindfulness, Alumni Practice Group, and our quarterly Intro to Mindfulness and Teacher Training workshops.
$100 – Sustains our sliding-scale pricing, allowing folks with a wider range of financial resources to benefit from learning mindfulness in community
$250 – Gifts one deeply discounted scholarship to our 8-week evidence-based trainings, MBSR and MSC
$500 – Sponsors one scholarship to a 7-day silent meditation retreat
$750 – Provides three scholarships to a 5-day residential retreat
$1000 – Underwrites six scholarships to one of our immersive and revitalizing weekend retreats

Thank you for partnering with us to share the gift of mindfulness.
“I get so much from the weekly sessions and online resources. I find myself wanting to gift classes to friends and family, but it’s not something you can push on people; they have to be ready. MNW does a great job of offering scholarships and making Mindfulness accessible to all, so I figured the best way to share it would be to contribute directly to you. I appreciate all you and MNW do, and want to help others benefit as well.”

— Erin C., Bremerton WA


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Phone: (360) 830-6439