Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive, March 31st – April 5, 2024, Bethlehem Centre, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada


We invite you to join us for the last week of March in 2024 for a residential retreat to feed mind, body and soul.   Take this opportunity to take a deep dive into Mindfulness and Self-Compassion practice and learn to care for yourself in a deep and sustainable way.

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC)​ is an evidence-based training program designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion. Based on the groundbreaking research of Dr Kristin Neff (PhD) and the clinical expertise of Christopher Germer (psychologist), MSC teaches core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care and understanding.Rapidly expanding research demonstrates that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional wellbeing, less anxiety, depression and stress, maintenance of healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and satisfying personal relationships. And it’s easier than you think.

The three key components of self-compassion are self-kindness, a sense of common humanity, and balanced, mindful awareness. Kindness opens our hearts to suffering, so we can give ourselves what we need. Common humanity opens us to our essential interrelatedness, so that we know we aren’t alone. Mindfulness opens us to the present moment, so we can accept our experience with greater ease. Together they comprise a state of warm-hearted, connected presence.Self-compassion can be learned by anyone, even those who didn’t receive enough affection in childhood or who feel uncomfortable when they are good to themselves. It’s a courageous attitude that stands up to harm, including the harm that we unwittingly inflict on ourselves through self-criticism, self-isolation, or self-absorption.

Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience, allowing us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with kindness, forgive ourselves when needed, relate wholeheartedly to others, and be more authentically ourselves.

After participating in this workshop, you’ll be able to:
●  Practice self-compassion in daily life
●  Understand the evidence-based benefits of self-compassion
●  Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
●  Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
●  Transform challenging relationships, old and new
●  Manage caregiver fatigue●  Practice the art of savouring and self-appreciation



What To Expect

Program activities include meditation, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and home practices.The goal is for participants to directly experience self-compassion and learn practices that evoke self-compassion in daily life.

To that end we are including open and facilitated creative opportunities to support embodiment of the practices. The goal is to support participants in the creation of a personal set of Mindful Self-Compassion Cards to further take away on their journey and support their daily practice.

MSC is primarily a compassion training program, although mindfulness is the foundation of self-compassion. MSC is also not psychotherapy insofar as the emphasis of MSC is on building emotional resources rather than addressing old wounds. Positive change occurs naturally as we develop the capacity to be with ourselves in a kinder, more compassionate way.

It is said that “love reveals everything unlike itself.” While some difficult emotions may arise when practicing self-compassion, we are committed to providing a safe, supportive environment for this process to unfold, and to making the journey interesting and enjoyable for everyone.


No previous experience with mindfulness or meditation is required to attend MSC. To insure safety, participants are asked to provide background information when they register for the program.

This program fulfills one of the prerequisites for becoming a MSC teacher. For more information on MSC and MSC Teacher Training, please visit ​www.CenterForMSC.org​


Please contact vickipawlowski@gmail.com to put your name on the waitlist for the 2024 Intensive.