Teachers at Big Bear Retreat Center

Learn more about the teachers and facilitators offering upcoming or regular retreats at Big Bear Retreat Center.
Click on the name or photo to read more.
  • Celeste Young Meditation Teacher

    Celeste first started formal meditation practice in 2002. In 2011, she was invited to join the first teacher development cohort at InsightLA under the guidance of founder Trudy Goodman, PhD and has since taught thousands of students mindfulness meditation. She teaches intermediate Buddhist and secular mindfulness classes, daylongs, and residential retreats throughout Los Angeles and globally.

    Upon request, she teaches meditation for non-profit organizations and companies. Additionally, Celeste offers private sessions globally online and on a limited basis in person in Los Angeles for individuals and small groups both as a Dharma teacher and in her role as a life balance practitioner and change and transition strategist.

  • Dave Smith Meditation Teacher

    For nearly 30 years, Dave Smith has held a practice rooted in the Insight Meditation (Vipassana) tradition. Dave teaches residential meditation retreats, weekly live dharma classes, online courses and workshops. He has developed educational tools and resources, including mindfulness & emotional skills trainings, in secular and Buddhist contexts. Dave works with students 1:1 in his dharma mentoring program. In 2016 he founded the Secular Dharma Foundation to foster the advancement of emotional and psychological well-being through the education and integration of mindfulness, psychology and various therapeutic modalities. Dave has brought dharma and meditative interventions into a variety of settings including jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities.

  • Eric McCullum Meditation Teacher

    Eric McCullum first discovered meditation in the early 1990’s. In 2005 he began practicing in the Vipassana tradition with Trudy Goodman and Insight LA. Eric has completed InsightLA’s one-year Mindfulness Facilitator Training Program.  He is currently a member of InsightLA’s Board of Directors, the Teacher’s Council and is a member of the teacher development group. Eric teaches a variety of mindfulness classes including Essentials of Mindfulness, classes on Death and Dying, and the Dedicated Practitioners Program.  He regularly leads groups at both Santa Monica and South Bay locations and has taught classes and events for the University of Southern California, the Beach Cities Health District, the Redondo Beach School District, and corporate mindfulness events.

  • Kittisaro Meditation Teacher

    Kittisaro graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar and went on to Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years, during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK, trained monks, was a prison Chaplain, and taught extensively. He disrobed in 1991 and since then has taught internationally. He co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000 and helped initiate and support a number of HIV/Aids response projects in South Africa. He has studied and practiced Chan and Pure Land for 35 years, informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua, and has completed two year-long silent self-retreats. With Thanissara, he is co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism. Kittisaro is a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher Council.

  • Lisa Ernst Meditation Teacher

    Lisa Ernst is a meditation teacher, artist, and founder of One Dharma Nashville. In her teaching, Lisa emphasizes both transformational insight and everyday awakening as an invitation to embrace all of the path’s possibilities. Lisa has been meditating for over 30 years in the Zen and Vipassana traditions. She received teaching authorization in the Thai Forest/Spirit Rock lineage of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield, and Trudy Goodman. She teaches internationally and leads daylong and residential retreats throughout the U.S. As a practicing visual artist Lisa incorporates Dharma into contemplative photography and writing. She lives in Nashville Tennessee with her husband. To learn more about Lisa and her upcoming offerings, visit her website: www.lisaernstmeditation.com.

  • Rosamaria Segura Meditation Teacher

    Rosamaría is both a teacher and the Director of Insight in Action. She is passionate about sharing mindfulness practices in communities with limited exposure to meditation practices. Rosamaría teaches in both Spanish and English in non-profit organizations, public schools, and people dedicated to socio-economic and environmental justice in Los Angeles, East Hollywood, Long Beach, and refugee shelters in Tijuana, Mexico.

    Her meditation practices are Vipassa and Soto Zen. She is a graduate of the Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and of InsightLA’s Facilitator Training Program with Maureen Shannon-Chapple and Trudy Goodman. Rosamaría continues studying under the guidance of Jokai Blackwell Roshi.

  • Thanissara Meditation Teacher

    Thanissara started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun, where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK. She has facilitated meditation retreats internationally for the last 30 years and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. With Kittisaro, she co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat and helped initiate and support a number of HIV/Aids response projects in South Africa. She has written several books, including two poetry books. Her latest book is Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth. Thanissara is a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher Council.

  • Thomas Davis IV Meditation Teacher

    Thomas Davis IV is a Mindfulness and Life Teacher that has devoted over 25 years of study, practice and service within progressive spiritual communities including: Buddhist, Christian and essential community-based institutions in Northern and Southern California. As a result, there is a natural fluidity that Thomas possesses to find commonality and connection across the spectrum of Diverse People’s that makes up our present-day Society.

    Thomas Davis IV is a native of Oakland, California. He currently resides in Los Angeles and is a Teacher with the InsightLA Meditation Center, InsightinSchools and Guiding Teacher of the InsightLA POC Sangha. Thomas has also served non-profit organizations and entertainment industry clients with his teachings.

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