• $500.00 Minimum – Accessible Rate
  • $1,500.00 Minimum – Sustainer Rate
  • $2,500.00 Minimum – Generosity Rate

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

Ancestors Welcome Here

With Ream, Kimber Simpkins and Em Morrison

December 3 - 8, 2024

Ancestral Healing Retreat For White Practitioners Committed to Racial Justice

Tuesday, December 3rd – Sunday, December 8th 
Registration closes November 25th at 11:59pm Pacific Time

White people*: We need all the help we can get.  Who can we be today to change the conditions of our world for the better, to right the wrongs of the past in the present, and to find the way to the future, so we can become good ancestors to the world to come? Working at the level of the body, we will welcome our wise and loving ancestors of blood and bone to extend their blessings to us, and to give us their full support and backing in our efforts to end white supremacy, and all its impacts, in our lifetimes.  We are the representatives of our lineages here on Earth at this time, and our bodies know the way.

We all come from people who lived in interdependence with each other and connection with the Earth.  Welcoming and honoring ancestors is an ancient spiritual practice found in many cultures and traditions, including those of European lands. This retreat invites a reconnection to our lineages through meditation, healing and repair, so that we can know ourselves and our inherent belonging more deeply.

In a container of silent and non-silent practice we will explore healing, and the action we can take to end injustice in the world, with the support of our wise and loving ancestors, the Earth and all our relationships.

Practices we will be in together include:  directly engaging with our ancestors of lineage, including those we inherited by birth and those we claim such as spiritual and political lineages, working with unhealed patterns in order to relate more wisely and compassionately to ourselves and our people, inviting connection with the Earth through tending our relationship to land and spirit by offering gratitude, and listening and receiving the Earth’s wisdom.  This ancestral healing work makes it possible for us to more fully embody our commitment to racial justice.

*For self-identified white people. If you identify as white and are committed to racial justice, land and liberation, this retreat is for you.

Testimonial from past participants:

“Being invited into ancestor (re)connection in ways that feel authentic to my European-American heritage has helped me feel more grounded and resourced in all that I do.

I know that feeling the ancestral grief and longing for lost land and traditions that Whiteness disconnected me (and generations) from is essential to my healing and my activism. Being able to feel and speak to that grief has made me a more solid comrade in Land Back movements; it has given me more understanding for other people-assimilated-into-whiteness, which helps me bring people in; and it supports my parenting and teaching to feel the ancestors’ ancient grace, love, and humor always supporting me.”

Sady Sullivan – Nipmuc, Pocumtuc and Wabanaki Land, Conway, MA


“As a part of ancestors work with Ream, I have tapped into a deep sense of belonging that I didn’t think was possible. My commitment to liberation work and what moves to make has become even clearer.”

Dr. Monica Brown – Osage Land, St. Louis, MO


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

Accessible Rate: $500

Sustainer Rate: $1,500

Generosity Rate: $2,500+

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 holding marginalized identities or in financial need. 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, the teachers of this retreat do not receive any of the retreat fees, apart from travel reimbursement. Their time and teachings are freely offered to the community of practitioners. 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. Thank you for your 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

Ream, pronouns:  She/They. Ream is a queer organizer and somatics practitioner of European ancestry currently in Oakland, CA, organizing for economic and racial justice and immigrants’ rights, working for over 25 years in the labor movement and currently as the Strategic Campaigns Director for the United Domestic Workers’ Union.  Ream is a graduate of EBMC’s PITA and WAS programs and is a co-founder of the Social Justice Sangha.  Ream is a practitioner with Generative Somatics, teaching “Somatics for White Racial Justice Organizers” and holds trauma healing groups with activists and movement leaders.
Learn more about Ream
Kimber Simpkins
Kimber (She/her), for over twenty years, has been learning and teaching how to use meditation and movement to improve our relationships with our bodies, our spirits, our communities, and our world. Kimber is a white, cis, queer mom and author who’s taught movement and mindfulness in the San Francisco Bay area for more than twenty years, bringing a body love and social justice perspective to teaching and learning. As a dharma practitioner, Kimber has witnessed first hand how the practice of mindfulness brings more compassion, connection, and joy to relationships and to life. Lately she has been diving deep into…
Learn more about Kimber Simpkins
Em Morrison
Em became interested in mindfulness and meditation in 2011 because she was having the best day of her life (just kidding). She loves nothing more than creating safe, fun, and healthy spaces for teens and adults to flourish. She has taught mindfulness at afterschool programs, summer camps, and on adult, young adult, and teen retreats. She’s a regular member of IMCW’s LGBTQIA+ sangha and previously served on the IMCW Board of Directors and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) group. She’s been a guiding teacher for the Yearlong Mindfulness Teacher Certification Program with Mindful Schools for two years, where she’s…
Learn more about Em Morrison
Contact Us

Connect with us at Big Bear Retreat Center.