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Cultivating Wisdom and Compassion: Silent Meditation Retreat (7 Nights)

April 6 @ 4:00 pm - April 13 @ 11:00 am

Free – $300

Join InsightLA’sBeth Sternlieb, with guest teachers JoAnna Hardy and Matthew Brensilver for this very special 7-night retreat at the Big Bear Retreat Center in Big Bear, CA.Time in silent retreat allows us to step out of the complexity of our life, to listen deeply to our body, heart and mind.

By cultivating the powers of wisdom, compassion, awareness, clarity and kindness, we discover our path to inner freedom and a peaceful heart deeper, for the benefit or our relationship to our selves, our community and our wider world.

A retreat provides an opportunity and a caring container deepening our meditation practice. The mindfulness practice on retreats is often accompanied and complemented by training in loving-kindness meditation.

Most of the retreat is held in silence, with periods of sitting and walking meditation There are teaching talks, guided meditations, time for questions and answers and meetings with a teacher. Three healthy vegetarian meals are provided for participants and dietary restrictions are accommodated to whenever possible.

Retreatants are encouraged to practice mindfulness in a continuous way, staying with their own present experience as it unfolds, moment to moment. In this silent and mindful environment, awareness sharpens, the body quiets, the mind clears, and space opens for insight and understanding to develop.

Retreats are led by a team of experienced teachers. The teachers offer instructions, dharma talks and regularly scheduled practice meetings to provide guidance throughout the retreat.

Retreat Schedule:

The daily rhythm of a retreat usually involves alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, nature walks, meals and tea, as well as practice meetings, dharma talks and rest periods. The first sitting usually begins before breakfast. Each morning the teachers offer continuing meditation instructions for the day. The whole retreat is a succession of mindfulness training, breathing practices, deep awareness of the body and environment, meditations on the nature of feelings, and awareness of mind are from the Buddhist Insight Meditation tradition.

Sitting Meditation:Sitting meditation is at the heart of silent retreats. In sitting practice silence and stillness develop, concentration deepens, and awareness expands. The training of the heart brings kindness and compassion for all that arises. We come into presence and learn to find freedom in the midst of life that as it truly is.

Walking Meditation:Walking gracefully and wisely on the earth is also a way to practice meditation. On retreat, periods of walking meditation alternate with periods of sitting meditation. Through walking practice we learn to sustain meditative awareness through movement. In walking meditation, we become aware in the midst of activity. Throughout the retreat we learn to cultivate a mindful awareness in all postures, sitting walking and lying down.

Eating Meditation:An awareness of food, and the mindful understanding of the entire process of nourishment and eating is included in the practice at retreats. Retreatants are encouraged to bring the same calm, focused attention to eating as is brought to sitting and walking. Mindful eating is a wonderful context for the arising of insights. Every bite of food we eat contains, rain, sun, earth and the work of many, many beings.

Dharma Talks and guided meditations: Each day, the teachers present a different set of teachings that are central to practicing mindfulness and compassion. These teaching can be applied to our own experience. Sometimes the talks focus on retreat practice, and sometimes they offer teachings for wise living in the world.


The price of the retreat includes accommodation for 7nights and all meals for the duration of the retreat.We are committed to providing opportunities for all people to participate in our programs. No one is turned away for lack of funds.We offereasy payment plans andreduced or waived fee opportunities. There is special funding allocated to People of Color (POC), Queer people, folks with serious medical conditions, and young adults (age 18-24). Funding is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Financial support is budgeted per class, retreat or event and because of high demand, can run out quickly. For more information, please contact: financialsupport@insightla.org

Please note that the price of the retreat covers accommodation, food, facilities, and other InsightLA expenses. To allow the teachers to continue their dharma work, support from the students is needed. There will be an opportunity to contribute at the end of the retreat to the teachers.


More detailed information about the Big Bear Retreat Center will be sent to registrants as the date approaches.

There are only shared rooms available at this retreat center.


All meals will be vegetarian.

Cancellation Fee Policy:

February 1st – February 19th: $100cancelation fee

February 20th – March 9th: $175cancelation fee

March 10th – March 23rd: $250cancelation fee

March 24thor later: No Refunds or Credit Given

Space is limited, please be sure to sign up soon if you plan on joining us.

InsightLA is a community of people dedicated to maintaining a safe and welcome, open and diverse environment that stands firmly against all racial, gender, economic, or religious bias.



April 6 @ 4:00 pm
April 13 @ 11:00 am
Free – $300
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