Awakening Mindfulness and Compassion UCLA Mindful Retreat Big Bear Retreat Center Leslie Booker Diana Winston Vadan Ritter
  • Single Room, Private Bathroom – $2,225.00
  • Single Room, Shared Bathroom – $1,925.00
  • Double Shared Room, Shared Bathroom – $1,425.00

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

Awakening Mindfulness and Compassion

With Diana Winston, Leslie Booker and Vadan Ritter (movement teacher)

October 1 - 6, 2024

A Silent Insight Meditation Retreat
In collaboration with UCLA Mindful
UCLA Mindful

Tuesday, October 1st – Sunday, October 6th
Registration closes September 23rd at 11:59pm Pacific Time

This retreat is available Hybrid In-Person and Online. To visit the online program page of this retreat, click here.

UCLA Marc Retreat 2023 Big Bear Retreat Center

Join us for a five-night silent retreat in the beautiful natural setting of the Big Bear Retreat Center, only two hours from Los Angeles. We will spend our days deepening our meditation practice in the service of cultivating wisdom and compassion needed to transfer out to our lives.  As we settle our minds, supported by nature, we can see ourselves and the world with deeper clarity and allow our inner wisdom to emerge. 

The retreat will include sitting and walking meditation with ongoing guidance, lecture and instruction from the teachers. We will also have an opportunity to practice cultivating positive emotions, mindful speaking and listening, mindful eating, as well as experience the depth of stillness that can come through an extended period of practice. Daily movement practice will be led during this retreat. 

This silent retreat is suitable for beginning or experienced students. 

Cost: (includes teachers compensation)

*retreat fees below guarantee a room type, however if space is available guests will automatically be upgraded room types, when possible*
*retreat fees include teachers compensation*

Single room with private bath $2,225

Single room with shared bath $1,925

Double room with shared bath $1,425

Are finances a barrier to attend? We strive to make retreats as accessible as possible to anyone. Contact us if finances are a burden in any way, we have several options to make these retreats financially accessible to you. We ask that these be prioritized for those who self-identify as BIPOC, hold marginalized identities, or in financial need. Contact us at for more information.

Here’s what last year’s participants have to say:

“This retreat availed me the opportunity to quiet my mind and my voice for several days with 40+ other people in this amazing community. It was fabulous beyond words and measure! Being with just myself in my head was illuminating. I am grateful for the experience and the guided work we did – physically and mentally.” – Jodi

I appreciated the way they held space for people in small groups and encouraged authentic sharing within the container of noble silence. I felt that they all skillfully met everyone where they were at, including myself.”  – Joe



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.

Meditation Bear in Sitting Big Bear Retreat 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 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

Diana Winston
Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA Mindful, the author of The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering your Natural Awareness, and the co-author, with Susan Smalley PhD, of Fully Present, the Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness. She has taught mindfulness for health and well-being since 1993 in a variety of settings including the medical and mental health field, and in universities, businesses, non-profits, and schools. At UCLA she has developed the evidence-based Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs) curriculum and the Training in Mindfulness Facilitation (TMF), which trains mindfulness teachers worldwide. She is also a founder of the…
Learn more about Diana Winston
Leslie Booker
Booker brings her heart to the intersection of Dharma, Embodied Wisdom, and Liberation; using this framework to support folks in creating a culture of belonging. She shares her offerings as a university lecturer, public speaker, and Buddhist philosophy and meditation teacher. Booker began training at Spirit Rock through the Mindful Yoga and Meditation training (2012), and supported by her teacher Gina Sharpe, continued her formal Dharma teacher training in the Community Dharma Leaders Training (2017), and the 4 year Retreat Teacher training (2020). Throughout these years, she worked as the Director of Teacher Trainings for Lineage Project where she shared…
Learn more about Leslie Booker
Vadan Ritter (movement teacher)
Vadan teaches Yoga and Qi Gong through the San Francisco Public Health Department, and focuses on the healing power of Mindful Movement. She is also a UCLA trained Mindfulness facilitator and Licensed Acupuncturist. Her background includes over 30 years of teaching Tai Qi, Qi Gong and Yoga and 4 years Instructing Mindfulness and Awakening Joy classes. She also facilitates groups for the Integrative Pain Management Program. In my classes we will explore Mindful Movement as a sacred practice that invites integration and supports the body in finding more ease and comfort during sitting practice.
Learn more about Vadan Ritter (movement teacher)
Contact Us

Connect with us at Big Bear Retreat Center.