Concentration, Jhana, and Breath – Two 10-night Retreats in Southern California
August 10 - August 31
In-depth meditation with sixteen steps of anapanasati samadhi
led by Shaila Catherine
Full Retreat: August 10-31, 2021
Part One: August 10-20, 2021
Part Two: August 21-31, 2021
Location: Big Bear Retreat Center, Southern California
NOTE: Vaccination against COVID-19 is required to attend this retreat.
These two back to back 10-day retreats will provide the opportunity to sit for 3 weeks. Priority will be given to those attending 22 days. Pre-requisites will be stricter for those opting to attend only the second retreat.
The retreat begins with registration from 2:00 – 3:30 pm on either August 10 or August 21. The retreat ends with an optional lunch at noon on August 20 or before lunch on August 31.
This retreat will utilize the breath as the primary meditation object and will encourage the development of meditative skills that lead to deep concentration (samadhi) and insight (vipassana). Daily group instructions will focus on the sixteen steps in the Anapanasati Sutta as a route to jhana and/or liberating insight. Meetings with the teacher in small groups and one-on-one dialogs will tailor the practices to meet the needs and interests of individual students. Some students may choose to emphasize concentration practice throughout the retreat; others may practice both concentration and insight inconjunction with mindfulness of breathing. Teachings on Part One will emphasize the development of concentration; teachings on Part Two will emphasize liberating insight.
This retreat offers a special opportunity to train in concentration, jhana, and insight practices with personal guidance from Shaila Catherine. It is one of the very few retreats each year in which Shaila systematically guides students to establish jhana by working step-by-step with the Anapanasati Sutta.
This silent retreat is structured with alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation, dhamma teachings, and teacher consultations. See our Concentration and Jhana FAQ page for more information about developing concentration and the absorption states of jhana.
Register early! Space is limited. We keep this retreat small to enable in-depth guidance from Shaila (under 40 participants in a normal year, and much smaller (about 25) until the pandemic subsides).
ABOUT THE SITE: Big Bear Retreat Center is located in the serenity of the forest outside Los Angeles, CA at a 7000′ elevation. It is a 90-minute drive from the nearest airport—Ontario Airport in Riverside, CA.
TO REGISTER: Please use the online form at the link below to submit your registration and waiver forms.
This form will take approximately 20 minutes to fill out. Upon completion of the form you will receive an email with details for completing your payment. You have the option of paying the non-refundable deposit of $250 or the full retreat payment either by mailing a check to the registrar or by making a Zelle bank transfer. The address and account information for making this payment will be included in the registration confirmation email.
If we must cancel the retreat for any reason (such as if we are under shelter-in-place orders at the time of the retreat), we will return your deposit and fees, however, the $250 deposit remains non-refundable if you cancel your reservation. Details of our cancellation policy are on the registration form.
Link to registration form: BB2021 Registration Form
Participants must agree to abide by our guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A question in the registration form asks if you agree to comply: Covid-Guidelines
REQUIREMENTS: This retreat is designed for experienced students who are fully vaccinated to protect against COVID-19. Previous retreat experience in the insight meditation tradition is required, with a minimum of at least one week-long silent residential retreat. If you have less than one week-long silent retreat experience, your attendance requires approval from the teacher.
If you wish to request an exception to the vaccination requirement, contact the registrar. We will consider admitting a maximum of 3 unvaccinated participants who agree to strictly isolate for 14 days prior to the retreat, can travel safely to the retreat, and test negative for COVID-19 in the 3 days prior to the retreat.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND MEALS: Accommodations are in 3-4 room cabins with shared baths. Individual cabin rooms are either double or single occupancy. A camping option is not currently offered because separate bathroom facilities are not available for campers. Three meals a day will be offered with omnivore and vegetarian options. If you have mobility limitations, please contact the registrar for details.
Please note that this will be a non-smoking retreat.
COSTS: Registration fees cover accommodations, meals, and basic administrative expenses. There will be an opportunity to offer donations to the teacher at the end of the retreat.
Due to precautions regarding the spread of COVID-19, the double occupancy rate is only available to couples, friends who are arriving together and agree to share the room, or fully vaccinated participants who request to share a room with another fully vaccinated participant. Most participants will need to select the single room option and a rate along the single room sliding scale.
COST for 10-nights:
- Double occupancy: $1900 – $1400 (estimated actual cost is $1650)
- Single occupancy sliding scale: $2800 – $1950 (estimated actual cost is $2300)
COST for 21-nights:
- Double occupancy: $3800 – $2800 (estimated actual cost is $3300)
- Single occupancy sliding scale: $5600 – $3900 (estimated actual cost is $4600)
The estimated actual costs represent the amount that we would have charged to cover costs for accommodations, food, and administrative expenses if we had used a fixed rate instead of a sliding scale—$1650 for double accommodations, and $2300 for single accommodations per each 10-night retreat.
Selecting an amount above the estimated actual cost will support the retreat and enable those who need to select a lower rate to attend the retreat. Selecting an amount below the estimated actual cost self-selects a supported scholarship rate This sliding scale will allow most scholarship needs to be managed by self-selecting an amount lower than the estimated actual cost. Inquire with the registrar if you need additional scholarship support to attend.
WORK STUDY POSITIONS: 5/20/21—Work-study positions have been filled. This option is no longer available. Two or three people may register for a work-study retreat. These service roles have a registration fee of $800 per 10-night retreat, and involve approximately 4 hours of work per day (mostly kitchen work, grocery shopping in advance of the retreat, and managing yogi jobs). Work-study arrival is on August 9 or August 20 to help set up the retreat. Inquire with the registrar for more information about these service roles.
MONASTIC SCHOLARSHIPS: Several monastic scholarships are available for this retreat. These scholarships provide either partial or full scholarships for ordained practitioners. Full scholarships are intended for monastics who do not earn money, and do not have money to spend on fees. To apply for a monastic scholarship, please fill out this registration form. Include a note to the registrar requesting a monastic scholarship. Indicate whether you need a full scholarship, or if you are able to contribute a portion of the fees. Suggest the amount that would be comfortable for you to contribute. Monastics are responsible for their own transportation costs. The scholarship grant covers room and board for the duration of the retreat.
PARTIAL RETREAT OPTIONS: Partial attendance may be possible, but it must begin on August 10. Priority will be given to students who are registering for at least the full 10-nights course. We do not encourage partial attendance, but we offer these options for rare cases when full attendance is not possible. Please understand that applications for partial attendance will be accepted only if we have space available. Applicants will be placed on a wait list which will be reviewed approximately 2 months prior to the retreat. If you wish to apply you must fill out the registration form and send in your deposit.
- 3 nights (Tuesday–Friday) is $1050 – $850 sliding scale for single accommodations; $900 – $600 for double accommodations.
- 4 nights (Tuesday–Saturday) is $1,400 – $1050 sliding scale for single accommodations; $1100 – $725 for double accommodations.
- 5 nights (Tuesday–Sunday) is $1,700 – $1300 sliding scale for single accommodations; $1300 – $900 for double accommodations.
- 6 nights (Tuesday–Monday) is $2,000 – $1500 sliding scale for single accommodations; $1500 – $1100 for double accommodations.
- 7 nights (Tuesday–Tuesday) is the same rate as full 10 night retreat $2800 – $1900 sliding scale for single accommodations; $1900 – $1400 for double accommodations.
DANA: Compensation for the teacher is not included in the registration price. There will be an opportunity to offer donations to the teachers at the end of the retreat.
Co-sponsored by Bodhi Retreats and Insight Meditation South Bay