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Roots of Compassion: A 5-Day Silent Retreat, Bow, United States

with Tim Burnett

August 27, 2017 - September 1, 2017

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The Roots of Compassion: a 5-day Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Practice retreat

Join us for a 5-day mindfulness and compassion retreat in the style of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at a beautiful retreat site in the Skagit Valley, Washington (roughly 90 minutes north of Seattle). The retreat will be a deep exploration of the roots of mindfulness and compassion practices, both experientially and through a series of talks on Buddhist teachings and connected ideas from philosophy, poetry, and the sciences.

2017 Roots of Compassion Theme: Mind Training Slogans for Compassion.
This year we will explore the classic “lojong” (Mind training) slogans of Tibetan Buddhism. These 51 classic slogans bring forward both practical everyday exploration of compassion and philosophical and spiritual pointers towards the depth and wonder of the human heart opening to compassion. Our primary text will be Norman Fischer’s modern translation and commentary on these slogans, Training in Compassion. (Note that it is not necessary to own or to bring this book to the retreat but if may make helpful reading before or after our time together).

Course details:
This residential retreat will be held mostly in silence and will include a series of gently guided mindfulness practices including sitting meditation, walking meditation, gentle yoga, and the body scan, as well as compassion cultivation and loving kindness meditations.

This retreat will be highly relevant both to students of mindfulness and compassion interested in deepening their practice and to teachers of mindfulness and compassion who would like to strengthen their background understanding of the Buddhist roots of contemporary programs like MSC and MBSR.

Simple accommodations (single occupancy in most cases) and all meals will be included.


August 27 – September 1, 2017:
Starts Sunday with 3pm-5pm check-in.
Closes on Friday by 3pm after camp clean-up.

Before practicing for nearly a full week we recommend that you have experience with mindfulness or related contemplative practices. The retreat is designed firstly for graduates of the intensive 8-week classes in Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and should also be fine for those who have tasted mindfulness or meditation in teacher-led classes, retreats, or meditation centers. Contact us if you have questions about whether this retreat will be appropriate for you.

Teacher Training and Development
This retreat meets requirements for training as a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher which requires a 5-day silent retreat before beginning Teacher Training (see the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion website for details).

$690 – $990 regular sliding scale (paying on the higher end makes the lower end possible, our usual built-in “scholarship” system). Plus teacher & scholarship donations. Additional surcharge for some housing (see below).

Two types of scholarship assistance are available:

  • Paying on the low end of the sliding fee scale: please use this option if at all possible.
  • Applying for scholarship assistance: if the low end of the sliding fee scale represents a financial hardship, we have limited additional scholarship funds available. The link to open a scholarship application is at the bottom of the page during the registration process.

Samish Island Campground, 11565 Scott Road, Bow, Washington, about 1 and half hours from Seattle, and 30 minutes from Bellingham.

This beautiful campground maintained by the Community of Christ at the east end of Samish Island (accessible by road) offers stunning views, deep quiet, and simple accommodations.

It is not really an island – you can drive there.
And it’s not exactly a campground – there are simple rustic cabins and motel-like “e-cabins” available. RV and tent camping is also available.


Samish “Campground” does not require camping. There are two types of cabins: rustic cabins, which are simple plywood cabins built in the 1950’s – they have heat, beds, and share campground bathroom buildings; and e-cabins, which are modern motel-level buildings where two units share a bathroom.

The 40 rustic cabins are quieter and simpler but one must walk across the lawn to the bathrooms.

The 16 e-cabins are lighter, more modern, and share a bathroom. There can be more noise in e-cabins due to the sharing of the bathroom and we ask e-cabin residents to be very careful of the noise from doors and bathroom fixtures so as not to disturb their neighbor.

A surcharge is required for housing in the more modern e-cabins. A $50 surcharge is required for double occupancy in an e-cabin (with a single roommate), and a $100 surcharge is required for single occupancy. This surcharge can be waived in cases of need from disability or age, or for military veterans on scholarships.

Consider helping us make e-cabins available to more people, and save $50, by requesting double occupancy. We will do our best to match you with a compatible roommate and to honor requests for roommates if you are coming to retreat with a friend.

You may request: rustic, e-cabin with double occupancy, or e-cabin with single occupancy in the registration process.

More details and photos are available on the registration page.


August 27, 2017
September 1, 2017


Samish Island Campground
11565 Scott Road
Bow, WA 98232 United States


Tim Burnett