Awakening into the New Year
With Dave Smith and Cheryl Slean
December 28, 2023 - January 1, 2024
A Silent Insight Meditation Retreat
Thursday, December 28th – Monday, January 1st
registration closes Monday December 18th at 11:59pm Pacific Time
During this New Years’ Insight Meditation retreat we will cultivate a deeper understanding of ourselves through gentle and sustained awareness of our body, breath, heart, and mind. Each day will include periods of silent sitting and walking meditation, Dharma talks and meetings with the teachers. New Year’s Eve will be held with a special intention-setting ceremony. Together, we’ll develop a greater sense of care for ourselves and for our world through the revolutionary practices of the Dharma.
The practice instructions will be based on the four foundations of mindfulness in combination with exercises in kindness and compassion. This silent retreat will explore the many ways that true spiritual practice is an engagement with life that runs contrary to the confusion in this world. This ancient path of awakening our own deepest wisdom is accessible to all who choose it.
The retreat is suitable for both beginning and more experienced practitioners. We hope you can join us for a meaningful and beautiful beginning to the New Year!
*retreat fees include all teacher fees for this retreat*
Single room with private bath $2,040
Single room with shared bath $1,720
Double room with shared bath $1,160
Triple room with shared bath $960
Financial support: In addition, we have available options for those needing financial support. A limited number of pay-what-you-can (dana-based) options are available. We ask that these be prioritized for those that identify as marginalized communities. Contact us for more information.
Dec 28: 2-4pm Registration and Arrivals
Jan 1: 11am/12pm Retreat Closing and Checkout
The Center consists of several single-story buildings and cabins for dining, meditation and sleeping. Our residence cabins are large furnished and comfortable with 3-4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, living rooms, a full kitchen and decks outside in nature for shared use. Our residential cabins and rooms are simply furnished with a balance of comfort and simplicity. All beds are twin, and all bedding is provided by the center.
The Meditation Hall:
Our beautiful meditation hall is a large room that accommodates most meditation and movement retreats. We have supplies for most participants, but guests are always welcome to bring their own supplies (not required). Guests can typically expect to have access to a zabutan (large cushion), zafu (small cushion), yoga mat, blocks, a meditation chair, a blanket and a selection of other yoga and meditation props with limited supplies. If you’re unsure, please contact us or visit our welcome guide for more details.
The Center provides fresh, healthy meals made with seasonal and organic ingredients to support a nourishing time in retreat. Meals begin with dinner on arrival evening through to breakfast on departure morning. For this retreat, meals will be offered to support meditation retreat practice with a simple medium breakfast, hearty lunch, and light dinner (typically soup and salad). All meals will be vegetarian, and we accommodate most major dietary restrictions. Snacks will be available in the dining hall 24/7, including teas and coffees. The Center has refrigerators in the cabins and dining area for guests to store their own snacks – please bring any foods that might support your time here.
Work Meditation: This retreat will include a daily work meditation service period, or “yogi jobs”, around 30-minutes a day. This is an opportunity to practice in service of community and bring your practice into daily roles at the center. More details and a sign up sheet will be shared at registration.
Rideshare: For this retreat we have set up a self-organized rideshare page that you can visit at anytime before. We will send email reminders closer to the retreat. We encourage ridesharing when possible. https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/cj0x7v
Covid Policies: For this retreat we are requiring a rapid test on arrival day. Masking and vaccines are optional.
Guests are asked, when possible, to bring their own rapid tests or test before travel on arrival day. Tests will be available at center for those that did not bring.
For any questions please contact email@example.com or visit our website bigbearretreatcenter.org
Cancellation Policy: Please visit our website for more on the cancellation policy for this retreat- bigbearretreatcenter.org/cancellation-policy
- > 8 weeks $100
- 4-8 weeks $175
- 2-4 weeks $300
- <2 weeks No Refunds
Teachers & Facilitators
For nearly 30 years, Dave Smith has held a practice rooted in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) tradition. He was empowered to teach through the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, is a certified teacher for Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) which is combines contemporary emotion based scientific research with contemplative practices and psychology drawn from Buddhism and has studied Buddhist psychology at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS). Dave teaches residential meditation retreats, weekly live dharma classes, online courses, and workshops. He has developed educational tools and resources, including mindfulness and emotional skills trainings, in both secular and Buddhist contexts.…
Learn more about Dave Smith
Cheryl Slean has been practicing Insight meditation intensively since 1995 including hundreds of days of silent retreat. She has taught classes and retreats worldwide for 15 years in both spiritual and secular settings such as Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center, Insight Community of the Desert, Seattle Insight, Mindful Schools, Michael’s House, Joshua Tree Retreat Center, Insight LA and many more. Cheryl is also a writer, filmmaker and climate advocate, and works on Sustainability and Storytelling at Netflix.
Learn more about Cheryl Slean