Developing a Deep Intimacy with Our Experience: Meditation Coalition’s 9th Annual Women’s Retreat
With Sydney Reece and Mary Stancavage
May 25 - 29, 2024
A Silent Meditation Retreat
By Meditation Coalition
Saturday, May 25th – Wednesday, May 29th
We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who are significantly female-identified. Attendees only need to identify as women in a way that’s significant to them.
To register and for more details visit Meditation Coalition.
The Path to Equanimity
Equanimity is one of the beautiful qualities of the heart and is an essential part of the path to liberation–and happiness. Often confused with indifference, equanimity, instead, is being fully engaged.
It allows us to be in balance with the world, and the particular pushes and pulls of our lives as women. What gets in the way of being present for each moment? What gets in the way of compassion and acceptance of reality as it is? Equanimity is the invitation to be intimate with our experience regardless of what it is or what we think it should be.
This retreat offers not only the opportunity to spend time with and make space for that which is challenging, but allows us to develop a relationship with our experience that is both compassionate and wise. Give yourself the gift to practice equanimity, grow wisdom and deep compassion, and meet yourself (and your life) right where you are.
There will be periods of sitting and walking meditation, with instructions and daily dharma talks held in a safe container of loving kindness. There will be an opportunity for affinity and break out groups. Retreats offer the opportunity to move deeply into our experience and know the poignancy of the human condition and the capacity of the heart. This form of practice supports our deepest intention to be free. Join us for what promises to be a wonderful experience. This retreat will be held in noble silence
The retreat fees cover the accommodations and three meals a day with additional snacks available in the dining hall which is open 24/7. Coffee is served daily. Each residence cabin has 3-4 rooms, sharing bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room. Every building offers outdoor decks to enjoy the natural environment and trails throughout the land (and adjacent national forest) for nature walks. All the linens, towels, bed sheets, blankets and pillows are provided by BBRC. The cooks and staff work for BBRC are paid however teachers are not compensated for the retreat and offer the teachings freely. They receive dana as an expression of gratitude. There will be an opportunity at the end of the retreat to learn more about the practice of dana (generosity) for both the teachers and the retreat manager. A deposit of $175 is required to reserve your space. Full payment is due at the beginning of May – you will be billed.
Single room with private bath $945
Single room with shared bath $815
Double room with shared bath $730
Triple room with shared bath $645
At this time there are some scholarship funds available. If you need support to attend, please visit this page for more details.
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. 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 email@example.com or visit our website bigbearretreatcenter.org
Cancellation Policy: Please visit Meditation Coalition’s website for their cancellation policy on this retreat.
Teachers & Facilitators
Sydney Reece, M.Ed., is an international educator in social justice advocacy and a meditation teacher specializing in addiction and trauma resilience. She has over 20 years of experience supporting adults, formerly incarcerated individuals, and homeless youth, as well as the health professionals who serve them. Over the last 8 years, she has worked in school districts, nonprofits, meditation centers and universities; building access to mindfulness meditation practices. Sydney educates on understanding internal systems of oppression and self-regulation based in insight meditation practices. She is particularly attuned to the subtleties of diversity dynamics and needs of women and People of Color. While…
Learn more about Sydney Reece
Mary Stancavage has practiced meditation, yoga, and cultivated a spiritual practice for over 35 years and in 2009 was empowered to teach Buddhadharma. Mary is based in the Los Angeles area and teaches classes, retreats and does individual mentoring both locally and internationally. She has taught mindfulness at recovery centers, has co-facilitated Year-to-Live groups since 2008, and has had a weekly dharma class for over a decade. Her Morning Meditation group has met daily at 7am PT since March 2020. Mary is part of the Guiding Teachers Council at Insight Community of the Desert and a founding teacher at Meditation Coalition. Mary completed the…
Learn more about Mary Stancavage