Deep Belonging Retreat Big Bear Retreat Center Christiane Wolf Greg Serpa Jennifer Cho
  • Single Room, Private Bathroom – $2,400.00
  • Single Room, Shared Bathroom – $1,920.00
  • Double Shared Room, Shared Bathroom – $1,320.00
  • Triple Room, Shared Bath – $868.00

Date & Time Details:
2:00p - 4:00p Registration
4:30p Welcome Walk
5:30p Dinner
7:00p Opening Ceremony
*schedule subject to change

Location: Big Bear Retreat Center

Address: 1000 Sugarpine Road, Big Bear, CA, USA

Contact: Big Bear Retreat Center

Covid Policy: please plan to bring your own tests
-Proof of negative rapid test taken same day of arrival
-72 hour re-test during retreat
-Masks and vaccines are optional
(subject to change based on local guidelines)


Email us about program

[ON LAND] Deep Belonging: Connecting with ourselves, each other, and the natural world

With Christiane Wolf, Greg Serpa and Jennifer Cho

April 15 - 21, 2024

**Registration for in-person spots is now CLOSED. Online retreat registration closes Sunday evening April 14 (visit here). Contact for more or to inquire about a last minute spot.**

A Silent Insight Meditation Retreat

***Retreat Update: Several financial support spots are available for this retreat. Please contact us if cost is a barrier in any way!***

A 6-night silent Vipassana Meditation retreat, which meets the retreat requirements for MBSR, MSC, MMTCP and other teacher and facilitator training programs

Monday, April 15th – Sunday, April 21st
Registration closes April 8th at 11:59pm Pacific Time

This retreat is available Hybrid In-Person and Online. Click here to visit the online registration page of this retreat.

Loneliness and alienation permeate these times of political conflict, climate crisis, and social discontent. Connections to our phones and the virtual world often leads to an increased sense of isolation. And whether you are healthcare providers, family caretaker, or just a human being who feels the constant painful ruptures in the fabric of humanity, finding ways to reconnect are a necessity, not a luxury.

On this silent retreat, lead in the Vipassana (or Insight) meditation tradition, we will explore how being still and opening our hearts again in a supportive environment can connect us back to ourselves and to each other. We are doing this nestled in the beauty of the San Bernardino National Forrest with time to practice outside both formally (with sitting and walking meditation) and informally (with hikes and just spending time outside).

As we practice together, we can let ourselves settle into the arms of nature and community, which are strong enough to hold our sorrows and celebrate our joys. The repetitions of daily retreat life and the simple practices of sitting and walking meditations are the time proven containers to allow the mind and heart to remember its interconnectedness and belonging.

Each day will include guided meditations with a Q&A, silent sitting and walking periods, unstructured time for rest and being out in nature, Dharma talks and small group check-in periods with the teachers. The Dharma talks will focus on Buddhist as well as on Western psychology, using the teachers’ strengths and backgrounds in their respective fields.

This will be a hybrid retreat, so part of the group will attend the retreat online, being streamed into the meditation hall at BBRC for all guided meditations, Q&As and Dharma Talks. The streaming is interactive, so online participants can ask questions and be heard by the whole community. One of the teachers, Jennifer Cho, will be attending the retreat online and will be the main contact person for the online Sangha. She will also holding their small group check-ins.


*retreat fees do not include teacher dana-donations: more information below*

Single room with private bath $2,400

Single room with shared bath $1,920

Double room with shared bath $1,320

Triple room with shared bath $868

Financial support: A limited number of financial support options are available. We ask that these be prioritized for those that identify as marginalized communities. Contact us at for more information





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.

Teacher Dana: 

As part of the Buddhist tradition, many teachers (including the teachers of this retreat) offer the teachings freely with no expectations of fees or payment. As a practice of generosity from the heart, participants are invited to offer “dana” (donations-generosity) to the teachers at the end of the retreat. There are no minimums, expectations, or guidelines. It is not required. Teachers do not receive retreat fees, apart from travel reimbursement support. Learn more here about the practice of dana.

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. If you have mobility or health concerns please reach out and we will find alternative accommodations.  More details and a sign up sheet will be shared at registration.

Planning your trip: If you are booking a flight for your trip our recommendation is to search for flights to the Ontario Airport (ONT) whenever possible. If your travel plans require you to land at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) we highly recommend arriving at least one day prior to your arrival at BBRC for retreat. Registration opens on Arrival day from 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Most retreats close by noon or later on departure day so please allow yourself adequate time for travel to the airport. Please visit our Getting to Big Bear page on our website for more detailed travel recommendations.

Ride-share: Ride-sharing / Carpooling is highly encouraged, and is one of the most convenient ways to travel to Big Bear Retreat Center. For this retreat we have set up a self-organized ride-share page that you can visit at anytime before, we will send email reminders closer to the retreat.  Visit the ride-share page

Covid Policies: For this retreat we are requiring a proof of a negative rapid test on arrival day for all yogis, teachers and staff. A re-test will be required on the third day by dinner. 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 provided by the center by request only.

For any questions please contact or visit our website

Cancellation Policy: Please visit our website for more on the cancellation policy for this retreat-

  • > 8 weeks   $100
  • 4-8 weeks   $175
  • 2-4 weeks   $300
  • <2 weeks    No Refunds

Scholarship and Financial Support Cancellation Fee Policy:

  • > 8 weeks   $75
  • 4-8 weeks   $150
  • < 4 weeks   No Refunds

Teachers & Facilitators

Christiane Wolf
Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD first encountered vipassana meditation in her late teens. She is passionate about translating ancient wisdom teachings into accessible and applicable modern-day language. She aims to live from the heart informed by the brain and inspires her students to explore the same. Before transitioning full time to teaching the Dharma and mindfulness Christiane trained as an OB/GYN and received an PhD in psychosomatic medicine from the University of Berlin in Germany. She is a graduate of the Spirit Rock/IMS/Insight Meditation Center teacher training and teaches retreats and classes in the US and in Europe. She is a MBSR teacher trainer for…
Learn more about Christiane Wolf
Greg Serpa
J. Greg Serpa, PhD, is a clinical psychologist for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. He is honored to teach mindfulness to America’s veterans and is the first full-time mindfulness teacher and trainer in the federal system. Greg teaches a national mindfulness certification program for VA clinicians based upon his book, co-authored with Christiane Wolf, The Clinician’s Guide to Teaching Mindfulness. He also serves on a national committee committed to addressing healthcare disparities and the social determinates of health. Greg is a Clinical Professor in the psychology department at UCLA and a visiting clinical scientist at the David Geffen School…
Learn more about Greg Serpa
Jennifer Cho
Jennifer Cho has been a student of meditation for over 20 years.  She sat her first silent meditation retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh, where she felt her heart break open in the presence of embodied practice and teaching, and she has been walking the path ever since.   She has practiced Zen in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh with the Mindfulness Practice Center of Fairfax, Insight (Vipassana) with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC (IMCW), non-dual with teachers from Open Gate Sangha, and Theravada with the Dassanaya Buddhist Community.  She has been a longtime member of the IMCW sangha…
Learn more about Jennifer Cho
Contact Us

Connect with us at Big Bear Retreat Center.