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Event Listing

  • – Program Price

Date & Time Details: Friday, May 24 at 1pm – Sunday, May 26 at 12:30pm, 2024

Location: Whidbey Institute

Address: 6449 Old Pietila Rd., Clinton, WA 98236

Contact: [email protected]

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Fierce Compassion Women’s Retreat

With Carolyn McCarthy and Karen Schwisow

May 24 - 26, 2024

Now more than ever…

We need compassion: for ourselves, for each other, for the world. Compassion can be tender, like offering kindness. But it can also be fierce, like holding healthy boundaries, saying no, and standing up for ourselves and others. Developing this essential quality takes time, intention, and practice — especially given that females are often rewarded for doing the opposite.

Join us in cultivating both fierce and tender compassion with a warm community of women*. Be nourished by stepping away from your busy life, and by quiet, contemplation, and beauty.

This retreat is held primarily in silence, and device-free. This environment offers a rare and precious opportunity to turn inward and meet what we find there in fresh ways.


  • Gentle Yoga
  • Sitting Meditation
  • Walking Meditation
  • Stunning Scenery
  • Delicious, Organic Meals
  • Private or Shared Quarters
  • Warm Community & Discussion

*All who identify as women are welcome.


  • Camping: $400 
  • Double Occupancy: $700 
  • Single Occupancy: $900

Two $500 scholarships (Double Occupancy) are available until filled. No need to apply ​​– just select this tuition level when you register.

Includes nutritious meals, lodging, and teachings.

Registration closes on Wednesday, May 8 at 11:55pm


Carolyn McCarthy
Carolyn is a lifelong writer and performer who cultivates attentiveness and joy. With a degree in Latin American Studies and Women’s Studies, she uses mindfulness to support the work of social justice, turning toward the difficult within and without. Zest, warmth, and wit enliven her teaching. Carolyn is a certified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Her core practices: sitting meditation, time outside, solo living room dance parties. Visit her online at
Learn more about Carolyn McCarthy
Karen Schwisow
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.
Learn more about Karen Schwisow

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