A way of paying attention that can bring us greater resilience, ease, and joy.

Upcoming Classes & Retreats


Free practice recordings! Listen HERE.


Day of Self-Compassion
Take time out to nourish yourself in this online retreat day. Practice in your pjs!
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
Saturday, March 16

Spring Weekend Retreat
Brief retreat in a special setting. With my mentor and partner in mindful crime, Karen Schwisow! Open to all.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Samish Camp on Samish Island, Bow

March 22-24

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
The gold standard! Decades of research prove: It helps. Learn about your brain, support your nervous system, practice in community. Good stuff.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Prime in Bellingham, WA
April 2 – May 21

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
See description above. 🙂
Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
April 21 – June 16

Day of Mindfulness
Full day of silent practice indoors & out. Beautiful setting, supportive community.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
(Semiahmoo County Park)
Saturday, May 11

Fierce Compassion: A Women’s Retreat
Join us in cultivating both fierce and tender compassion with a warm community of women.
With the extraordinary Karen Schwisow!
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ IN PERSON
At Whidbey Institute
May 24-26

PLUS, Midday Mindfulness!

Drop-in online hour of guided practice. Warm community and simple, welcoming practices.
FREE but you must register HERE to receive the link.
For Mindfulness Northwest ~ ONLINE
Wednesdays at noon
Usually taught by Tim Burnett, but I often sub.
I will be teaching:
April 3
April 10
April 17

What People Are Saying

Insightful, inspirational, and transformative.
-Spencer, MSC participant

Carolyn, you have a gift for creating a space where discoveries can be made. Thank you for your guidance.
-Becca, Mindful Writing participant

Carolyn provided an abundance of information while keeping the learning incredibly organic and experiential. I appreciate the scientific and practical examination of the practice along side the less tangible, emotional, spiritual elements.
– taylor s., MBSR participant

Carolyn opened up the world of mindfulness to me. She is a wonderful teacher – patient, empathetic, warm, compassionate, and a brilliant communicator with great energy! She went above and beyond to understand the needs of each student.
-Anand, MSC participant

The most impressive thing to me about Carolyn is that she doesn’t try to present herself as being impressive. It wasn’t that she had all the answers and was sharing them with us.  Instead, she had the ability to help us understand that for ourselves.  It was like she was opening a door and giving us the opportunity to walk through it.  She is the real thing—a genuine teacher.
-Tom, MSC participant

Thank you for everything! Your humor, boundary-keeping, and genuine care were treasured.
-Kathleen, MSC participant

I find Carolyn’s feedback as we talk about our experience endlessly helpful, insightful, and genuine.
– Carol G., MSC participant

Carolyn is a really wonderful instructor – she holds space for everyone in the class in a special way, modeling the practice of mindful self-compassion, but as an outward expression.
-Erin B., MSC participant

Lots of great insights and practices that help you to understand mindfulness and how you can use it in your daily life in formal or informal ways.
– Jen H., MBSR participant

Carolyn is great! Well-studied, wise, creative, playful and pragmatic. Anything you glean from the course and your practice improves your life.
– Renee, MSC participant



Headshot by Tiffany Brooks

Carolyn McCarthy




Carolyn teaches in the hopes of moving us, individually and collectively, toward healing, wholeness, and love. Zest, warmth and wit enliven her teaching. Core practices: sitting meditation, time outside, solo living room dance parties.

A student of social justice, Carolyn uses mindfulness to face difficult truths within and without. All are welcome in her offerings. 

  • Certified to teach MSC by UCSD Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.
  • Certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through Mindfulness Northwest.
  • Graduate of Mindfulness Northwest’s 9-month Mindfulness Teacher Training Program.
  • Trainings and retreats with Chris Germer, Joseph Goldstein, Kamala Masters, Michelle Johnson, Tuere Sala, David Treleaven, and many others.
  • Practices with Zen sanghas in Bellingham, WA & Vancouver, BC, and with insight teacher Vance Pryor.


    I live and practice on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish people. Here by way of colonialism, I am grateful for the ongoing leadership that my neighbors, the Lhaq’te’mish (Lummi Nation), provide in caring for the lands and waters we all call home.


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