"You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather."

-Pema Chodron

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About

Located a 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles, Big Bear Retreat Center is nestled in the ancient Juniper woodlands (majestic trees that live 3,000+ years) of the San Bernardino Mountains at a 7,000-foot elevation (four mountain seasons) near the town of Big Bear, California.

The tranquil property is immediately adjacent to the National Forest, and offers access to roughly 1,300 acres of conserved lands.

With an emphasis on inclusion and accessibility, the 63-acre property is primarily utilized to host residential silent meditation retreats for people of all faiths and walks of life. Research has shown that meditation retreats promote objective health and mental health benefits, including improvements in attention as well as in general psychological well-being, and ability to cope with stress. As a result, Mindfulness meditation is now integrated into several mainstream evidence-based psychotherapies and has demonstrated beneficial effects on ameliorating anxiety and depression.

The teachings, techniques, and practices of Mindfulness or “Insight” Meditation are at the heart of all the programs offered at Big Bear Retreat Center. Big Bear Retreat Center conveys these teachings, techniques, and practices primarily by providing silent meditation retreats for new and experienced seekers from diverse backgrounds.

The property consists of eleven buildings—including a meditation hall and a well-equipped commercial kitchen. It contains a network of internal private roads and is serviced by municipal utilities. The property is permitted for groups of up to 220 persons, but is most comfortable for groups of 60 or fewer.

Big Bear Retreat Center is currently in the process of experimenting with a variety of retreat formats that will ultimately inform a long-term master-planning process.

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Our Story

For several years, Bill Resnick dreamed of a retreat center in Southern California. Then, in the Summer of 2017, Bill met Valerie Cusson and Robb De Forest through the Spirit Rock ride sharing site. The three bonded deeply in the car on the way up to and back from a 10-day silent retreat taught by Joseph Goldstein and others. Upon returning to Los Angeles, the three got to work on making the dream a reality. Almost exactly a year later, the purchase of Big Bear Retreat Center was consummated.

Bill is a psychiatrist and philanthropist, as well as a mindfulness facilitator, and currently chairs the board of InsightLA. Valerie is a schoolteacher in San Bernardino working with at-risk youth, is a mindfulness facilitator, and is active with Meditation Coalition’s People of Color sangha. Robb has degrees in urban planning and business and has worked on environmental education as well as public/private real estate development.

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A message from Trudy Goodman & Jack Kornfield

Dear friends,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we want to celebrate and support the opening of a Southern California retreat center!

For teachers and colleagues, we encourage you to visit Big Bear to see how you can participate and use this new facility for Retreats in the years ahead. This is a chance for you and all of us to be part of creating a much-needed SoCal center right from the start!

May it flourish and serve many.

Metta and blessings,

Trudy and Jack

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Winter Retreat

Full-Length: 12/26 – 1/1
Abbreviated: 12/29 – 1/1

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