Cultivating the Inner & Outer Voice; Meditation, Song & Embodied Awareness

  • Listening Into the Wisdom of the Body

    Cultivating the Inner & Outer Voice; Meditation, Song & Embodied Awareness

Apr 25th, 2022

Join Heidi Bourne and Moira Smiley for this very special springtime retreat; a time of refuge, renewal, and the ancient ritual of connecting music with spiritual practice. Enjoy 6 days and 5 nights at Big Bear Retreat Center, a gorgeous center nestled in the ancient Juniper and Pine forests of the Southern California Mountains near the town of Big Bear Lake.

Monday to Saturday
April 25 - April 30, 2022
Big Bear Retreat Center
Big Bear, California

Drawing on the perspectives of Buddhist practices and secular mindfulness, our retreat will focus on listening into the wisdom of the body through the expression of both the inner and outer voice. Infusing mindful awareness into every aspect of the day makes space for the wisdom of the inner voice to come forth and be known. Meeting the inner voice with the outer expression of singing, chanting, and gentle movement beautifully balances the mind, heart and body leading to grounded embodied awareness. 

Our practices will include:
  • Sitting and walking meditation
  • Gentle mindful movement appropriate for all bodies
  • Afternoon singing, evening chanting
  • Small group practice discussions
  • Dharma talks
  • Extended periods of morning and evening silence

Everyone is welcome. This retreat is suitable for both beginning and seasoned practitioners. 

Big Bear Retreat Center is a tranquil space in the forested mountains located about 2.5 hours from Los Angeles. This natural environment offers the opportunity to settle and practice in nature. There are several miles of secluded hiking trails, quiet forested land submerged in nature, and decks for outdoor practice and relaxation. With an emphasis on inclusion and accessibility, the 100-acre property provides a retreat refuge for people of all faiths and walks of life. Everyone is welcome. 

Accommodations: The center consists of 13 separate buildings and cabins for dining, meditation, and sleeping. The single-story residence cabins are large fully furnished and comfortable cabins with 3-4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms for shared use. Cabins include both single and double rooms, a living room, central heating, a full kitchen, and a deck outside in nature. Cabins are simple yet fully set up for a comfortable stay in the mountains during retreat. 

Meals: The Center provides fresh, healthy vegetarian meals made with seasonal and organic ingredients along with fresh daily juices to support a nourishing time and practice.

Yogi Jobs: Participation in this retreat will involve a light working meditation to support the community experience. Please let us know if you have any physical challenges that might impact your ability to perform certain tasks. Please also bring long pants, closed toe shoes, and a shirt that you can change into in the event you are assigned a yogi job in the kitchen.

When & Where:
Monday to Saturday
April 25 - April 30, 2022
Arrive Monday, 2:00 to 4:30pm
Retreat Ends Saturday, 1pm after lunch
Big Bear Retreat Center, Big Bear, California

Click Here for Location & Directions

Fees, All Inclusive:
$1,495 - Double Shared Room, Shared Bathroom
$1,695 - Single Room, Shared Bathroom
$1,895 - Single Room, Private Bathroom

Click Here to Register

Limited financial assistance is available. Please apply here.

In anticipation of this in-person retreat, all participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Please submit a scanned copy or image of your vaccination card or other documentation.


Heidi Bourne is a meditation teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition and is the founder and guiding teacher of Pacific Mindfulness. She has been teaching since 2005 in both public and private settings, offering classes, series courses, nature retreats, and resiliency-focused professional programs. In addition, she teaches regularly at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Heidi is especially interested in the integration of the common sense, accessible and timeless teachings of awareness, ethics, and compassion into the complexity of our everyday lives. She is known for her grounded, down-to-earth humor and presence.

From a young age, Heidi has found great joy in music, especially singing - whether in choirs large and small, with her guitar in coffee houses, around the campfire or the kitchen table, and most recently as she learns to play the banjo. Heidi has a background in nursing, has been a small business owner since 1988, and lives in northern California with her family.

Moira Smiley, singer / composer / teacher travels the world creating new works for voices and accompanying her performances with her banjo, accordion, piano, and percussive movement. Her recordings feature spare, vocally-driven collections of warped traditional songs and original polyphony. Moira and her music have been featured in TED conferences, on BBC Radio and TV, NPR, ABC Australia, NPR’s Tiny Desk and on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and KEXP At Home with Tune-Yards.

Moira has taught extensively in North America, Europe, and England. Her subject is the singing voice and its ability to encompass an astounding range of expressive, linguistic, and stylistic colors. Moira seeks to guide her students in the discovery and development of flexibility within their own voice – both technically and artistically. She also focuses with students on the skill and magic of creating a moving performance. Moira continues to develop new experiences for singers and is excited by the opportunity to share music with singers of all experience levels.
Moira has led vocal workshops and residencies at countless universities, colleges, high schools, conservatories, and musical organizations including the LA Master Chorale, Savannah Acoustic Music Seminar, Vancouver Youth Choir, Yale, and Oxford. Moira’s academic specialty is Early Music, and she has developed parallel experience with various folk traditions – especially early American, Irish, and Balkan vocal styles. By exploring the particularities of traditions, styles, and periods, she’s found something uniquely her own.
As a composer, Moira Smiley is known worldwide for choral arrangements like 'Bring Me Little Water, Silvy' and originals, 'Stand in That River' and 'How Can I Cry'. She’s in demand as a commissioned composer, writing multi-movement pieces like 'Time In Our Voices' and 'In The Desert With You' for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, 'Vonnegut Requiem: Light Perpetual' for Voces Novae, 'Loud My Soul' for Ad Astra Festival and ‘Headwaters' for The Myrna Loy Theater.

Moira marks her first 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat in 2013 as ground zero for a deeper, calmer experience of living.  In the eight years since, Moira has been a regular meditator (though with some big gaps!) and student of dharma. 


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