General Questions

What is mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness is a practice of awareness. When we develop our attention and awareness, mindfulness training helps us to develop a mindfulness practice. It is this mindfulness practice that can shift our experience of stress and help us become more resilient in facing stress.
  • At its essence, mindfulness involves bringing the body and mind into the same place at the same time in a purposeful, open-hearted, and non-judging way. Mindfulness is not a philosophy or a theory that can be learned from a book; it is the practice of bringing compassionate awareness to the immediate circumstances of our lives, moment-by-moment.

How does mindfulness training benefit me?

  • Often our stressors are not so much the situation itself, but the way we react to it. When we know what is happening, moment to moment, in our bodies and minds, we can make better choices about how to respond rather than react to the circumstances in our lives.


CMI’s Mindfulness Training offerings

Are CMI courses based on a religious belief system or are they secular?

  • CMI’s mindfulness training is completely secular and appropriate for people coming from a range of religious and spiritual traditions. While mindfulness practice comes out of a 2,500 year old tradition, no religious or spiritual belief system is required to learn mindfulness.

Where are CMI’s courses offered? Do you offer them at different locations?

  • Currently, CMI offers courses and retreats at the following locations:
    • Samaritan Center of Puget Sound
    • VA hospital: multiple locations
    • Federal Way Community Center
    • The Whidbey Institute
    • One-off retreats/trainings at various locations around Puget Sound

How do I register for an upcoming course?

  • Please learn more and register online for a full course here
  • If you are still undecided, please feel free to attend an upcoming free, no-commitment orientation. Please RSVP here.

How do I continue my mindfulness training with CMI after I have completed a course?

  • CMI continues to develop training opportunities for those who have completed a CMI course. CMI refers to people who have completed a CMI course as “alumni”. Currently the best opportunity for alumni to stay involved is by attending an all-day retreat of any upcoming course which is free for alumni to attend. Alumni retreat spots are limited and are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Alumni please RSVP for the retreat here through CMI’s website if you wish to attend an upcoming retreat.

Can I have CMI come to my office, classroom, gathering for a one-off training or presentation?

  • Yes, CMI works with a range of clients to develop mindfulness presentations, trainings, and classes that fit their specific needs.


One-off Mindfulness Events and Trainings

What type of one-off/custom trainings do you offer?

  • Introduction to mindfulness trainings
  • All-day mindfulness retreats
  • Part-day retreats
  • Ongoing, multi-part mindfulness trainings/talks as part of employee wellness programs
  • Full courses
  • Other custom solutions for mindfulness trainings

How much does a one-off training cost?

  • CMI will provide a quote based on several factors including:
    • # of people
    • Time commitment
    • Potential for social benefit – is the interested party a nonprofit pursuing a mission that aligns with CMI’s values
    • Bulk opportunity – is it a one-off engagement or a multi-part engagement?

Please contact CMI and the team will get back to you regarding your potential training opportunity.

What type of information does CMI need to provide a quote?

  • All of the above from the previous question and the following:
    • Date and time
    • Venue information
    • Any special instructions
    • Goals of engagement

Please contact CMI and the team will get back to you regarding your potential training opportunity.


Attending Courses

I don’t see an upcoming class on the schedule? How do I signup or get information on upcoming courses?

  • Periodically check back on CMI’s website for class schedule updates
  • Contact us and we can add you to CMI’s email newsletter for updates 

What if I have to miss days in the course? Can I make them up somehow? Should I still sign up?

  • Missing one class is not ideal but usually not a major issue. Please let CMI know ahead of time and notes from the missed course will be emailed to you. Missing more than one course is not recommended and CMI usually recommends potential participants register for a different course that better fits their schedule.

For those with accessibility concerns – can I participate in a course if I cannot sit for long periods of time. What if I cannot participate in yoga?

  • Yes, CMI takes the approach of having participants determine their own level of comfort with any yoga postures or meditation postures
  • Please contact us ahead of time if you need to make special arrangements around accessibility and have any other concerns regarding attending a course or event
  • CMI attempts to always create a positive learning environment for any course or event and reduce any obstacles to participation

What is the free orientation? How to I attend?

  • The free orientation is an opportunity to learn more about mindfulness, the MBSR course and the instructor (no commitment required). The free orientation is usually held one week before the start of the first course in an 8-week MBSR course series. Please RSVP for an orientation here.

What should I bring to courses?

  • We recommend comfortable/loose fitting clothing
  • Please turn phones off during courses; we will allow phones if it is your only way to take notes but CMI prefers instruction time to be an opportunity to unplug from devices. Please don’t allow devices to become a distraction for your or the other course participants
  • Classes held at the Samaritan Center will have yoga mats provided onsite; please feel free to bring your own yoga mats if you have them
  • Please feel free to bring snacks/food but please only eat during the breaks
  • Water bottle


Accessing CMI’S Digital Content

CMI takes every opportunity to reduce its environmental impact and run as a paperless business. CMI provides paperless, digital options for course participants to access content:

  • Digital course manual (hard copy course manuals are available on request)
  • Audio MP3 meditation streaming via CMI’s website (CDs are also available on request)



What is CMI’s refund policy?

  • 90% refund after the first course session
  • No refunds after the start of the second course session

How do I register for multiple participants?

  • Please proceed normally through the ordering process and indicate who will be attending via the attendee information field in the intake information fields

How do I register for free orientations?

Do either of the following:

  • Simply register for the course at the link here; CMI assumes those registered will attend the orientation
  • Navigate to the free orientation page here and RSVP for free with no commitment

Is there a waitlist if courses are full?

  • Not usually. CMI usually advises potential participants to try and register for a future course if the current class is full. CMI also tells participants who did not get into a course to add themselves to the CMI newsletter list or check back in on the CMI website for future updates.

Can I gift an MBSR course registration?

  • Yes, please provide CMI with the contact info of the actual course participant or gift recipient and make a note on your purchase that you wish to gift the purchase to someone else.


Scholarships and Discount Codes

How do I qualify for scholarships?

  • No set criteria is used but scholarships are generally offered to those who determine that the course price is an obstacle to course participation and have a justification for price being an issue.

How does CMI give out scholarships?

  • CMI will send scholarship recipients a discount code that is used at the point of online purchase.

If I get a scholarship, do I have to use it right away?

  • No, you can use it up until 24 hrs after the free orientation for the upcoming course. This is usually a week before the actual course start date. If you do not use the scholarship by this time, CMI will transfer the scholarship to another prospective participant, or someone off the scholarship waiting list.

Can I gift a scholarship to someone else?

  • No, CMI prefers to provide scholarships directly to the course participants we are working with.

What is the scholarship waiting list?

  • CMI provides scholarships based on a total capped amount on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the total scholarship amounts are given out for a course we create a scholarship waiting list. We may then open up scholarships closer to the start of the course based on overall registration. We will contact participants on the scholarship waiting list if any additional scholarships are made available

Do you offer payment plans?

  • Yes, CMI makes an effort to accommodate potential course participants and their financial situations whenever possible. Let CMI know about your financial constraints and usually something can be worked out.


Participating in CMI Retreats

How should I prepare for a retreat? What should I bring?

  • Comfortable, loose fitting clothing for doing yoga and movement meditation
  • Warm jacket and (if necessary) rain jacket, along with comfortable outdoor shoes, for doing outdoor walking meditation
  • Please pack your own lunch. We will be eating lunch as one of our practices during the day as a silent mindful meal
  • A water bottle, and (if you like) a thermos of tea or coffee
  • A curious mind and open heart!

How do MBSR Alumni’s register for an upcoming retreat?

  • Please RSVP via the retreat page here

Can I participate in an all-day retreat if I took MBSR somewhere else?

  • No, CMI reserves these retreat spots for alumni


Working with CMI as an Affiliate Mindfulness Teacher

How do I become an Affiliate Teacher with CMI?

  • Please send CMI a message via the Contact Us page with a little bit of information about your background with mindfulness and why you would be interested in being a part of CMI’s Affiliate Teacher program
  • Please be prepared to provide additional info of the following:
    • Business license
    • Proof of insurance (if required)
    • Your business’ method of accepting payment
    • Personal bio/professional photos for promotion on CMI’s website

What are the benefits of becoming an Affiliate Teacher?

  • Joint marketing and promotion
  • Access to our resources/content
  • Mentorship and joint learning

Does CMI offer mindfulness teacher training?

CMI does not offer teacher training at this time. CMI recommends the following resources for more information on teacher training:


Getting Customer Support

How do I talk to someone by phone and get customer support via a phone call?

  • Please send CMI a message via the Contact Us page and provide your phone number with a message indicating your preference for a call back via phone. CMI usually will respond within 48 hours to customer questions.

When should I expect a response back on a customer support inquiry?

  • Generally, CMI strives to respond to all customer support inquiries within 48 hours.