Big Bear Retreat Center is located a 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles, nestled in the ancient Juniper forests of the San Bernardino Mountains at a 7,000-foot elevation (four mountain seasons) near the town of Big Bear Lake in Southern California.
The Center is immersed in nature located amidst about 100 acres of forested land with direct access to several hiking trails connected to our property. With an emphasis on inclusion and accessibility, BBRC provides a refuge for people of all faiths and walks of life.
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.
Big Bear Retreat Center was founded in late 2018 with a vision to see an inclusive and accessible Southern California retreat center provided meditation retreats as well as programming dedicated to underrepresented demographics. Over the years, BBRC has slowly been developing and refining itself. With an official launch year of 2020 and COVID, BBRC has shifted how it offers this space to the public. BBRC continues to be committed to ensuring the space used to foster healing and restoration.
We continue to work with organizations to offer retreats to support various communities including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, first responders and veterans, and mindfulness communities.