Practicing together at the turn of the New Year will provide an ideal time for reflection and taking refuge in dharma and community. By taking time to pause and look into our hearts, we can better care for ourselves and those around us with loving attention and wise action. Through deep inquiry we can also clarify our direction for the New Year and live from the truest part of ourselves. With the support of a flexible practice schedule, guidance from the teachers and a warm community of participants, let’s awaken to the New Year together.
Opening Day (Wednesday, December 28th)
2-5pm Arrival and Registration
5:15-6pm BBRC Welcome Walk (optional)
6:45-9pm Retreat Orientation; Practice Period
~December 29 & January 1st early schedule~
7:00 a.m. Rise
7:10 a.m. Optional Meditation
7:45 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Practice Instructions and Sitting/Walking
11:30 Mid -Day Instructions and Reflection
12:00 Lunch and Open Time
1:45 p.m. Meditation
2:30 Mindful Movement
3:10 p.m. Sitting/Walking Meditation and Group Meetings
5:15 p.m. Walking or Open Period
7:00 Optional Meditation
7:30 Dharma Talk, Evening Meditation and Walking
Closing Day (Monday, January 2nd)
6:00 a.m. Rise
6:30 a.m. Sitting
7:45 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Morning Practice Period
10:30 – 11:30 Closing Circle
12 p.m. Checkout
The daily rhythm of a retreat usually involves alternating periods of stationary and movement meditation, nature walks, meals and tea, as well as practice meetings, dharma talks and rest periods. The first session usually begins before breakfast. Each morning the teachers offer continuing meditation instructions for the day. The whole retreat is a succession of mindfulness training, breathing practices, deep awareness of the body and environment, meditations on the nature of feelings, and awareness of mind are from the Buddhist Insight Meditation tradition.
Stationary Meditation: Stationary meditation is at the heart of silent retreats. In stationary practice silence and stillness develop, concentration deepens, and awareness expands. The training of the heart brings kindness and compassion for all that arises. We come into presence and learn to find freedom in the midst of life as it truly is.
Movement Meditation: Graceful and wise movement on the earth is also a way to practice meditation. On retreat, periods of movement meditation alternate with periods of stationary meditation. Through walking practice we learn to sustain meditative awareness through movement. In movement meditation, we become aware in the midst of activity. Throughout the retreat we learn to cultivate a mindful awareness in all postures, sitting, walking, and lying down.
Eating Meditation: An awareness of food, and the mindful understanding of the entire process of nourishment and eating is included in the practice at retreats. Retreatants are encouraged to bring the same calm, focused attention to eating as is brought to stationary and movement meditations. Mindful eating is a wonderful context for the arising of insights. Every bite of food we eat contains, rain, sun, earth and the work of many, many beings.
Dharma Talks and guided meditations: Each day, the teachers present a different set of teachings that are central to practicing mindfulness and compassion. These teaching can be applied to our own experience. Sometimes the talks focus on retreat practice, and sometimes they offer teachings for wise living in the world.
Donations/Dana: Please note that the price of the retreat covers accommodation, food, facilities, and other InsightLA expenses. To allow the teachers to continue their dharma work, support from the students is needed. There will be an opportunity to contribute at the end of the retreat to the teachers.
Yogi Jobs: Participation in this retreat will involve a light working meditation to support the community experience. When you arrive you will be assigned a daily task to complete with mindful attention. Please let us know if you have any physical challenges that might impact your ability to perform certain tasks. Please also bring long pants, closed toe shoes, and a shirt that you can change into in the event you are assigned a yogi job in the kitchen.
Accommodations: The center consists of 13 separate buildings and cabins for dining, meditation, and sleeping. The single-story residence cabins are large fully furnished and comfortable cabins with 3-4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for shared use. Cabins include both single and double rooms, a living room, central heating, a full kitchen, and a deck outside in nature. Cabins are simple yet fully set up for a comfortable stay in the mountains during retreat.
The Center: Big Bear Retreat Center offers a tranquil space nestled in the forested mountains. This natural environment offers the opportunity to settle and practice in nature. We offer several miles of secluded hiking trails, quiet forested land submerged in nature, and decks for outdoor practice and relaxation.
Meals: The center provides fresh, healthy vegetarian meals made with seasonal and organic ingredients to support a nourishing time and practice while at the center. Additionally offered are fresh daily juices.
We are deeply grateful to our community members for their understanding, patience, and support through this challenging and life changing chapter of our journey together. We are eager to move into the next phase of our adventure. In keeping with the principles of the dharma that underlies all of our activities, primarily ahimsa (do no harm), we are requiring that all attendees be fully vaccinated in order to attend any in-person event. If you certify that you meet this requirement please select ‘yes’ on the registration page.
We are monitoring the COVID protocols in San Bernardino County where masks are currently not required indoors for vaccinated individuals. If by the start of retreat masks are required by San Bernardino County, we will require masks indoors. Everyone entering BBRC (including staff, teachers, and participants) must provide proof of a negative PCR covid test within 48-72 hours of arrival. We will also have rapid tests available at the center if anyone experiences symptoms during the retreat.