PART ONE IN A SERIES LOOKING AT THE JOSHUA TREE RETREAT CENTER

PART ONE IN A SERIES LOOKING AT THE JOSHUA TREE RETREAT CENTER

Meditation and yoga retreats are staples—the bread and butter—at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. They normally attract groups of as few as 15 to as many as 250 participants. A number of these groups return annually, some come multiple times throughout the year. Some are held in absolute silence, though not all. In this first of a series of reports, reporter Mike Lipsitz picks up the story from here…
The Retreat Center’s Interim Executive Director, Terry Taylor-Castillo, moved from a position on the non-profit’s board of directors into the driver’s seat not long after last October’s controversial, weekend-long Desert Daze music festival. She concedes that a number of missteps in connection with that festival led to complaints from the surrounding community. Taylor-Castillo also says the Retreat Center isn’t interested in bringing in any more concerts the size of Desert Daze. It attracted an estimated 2,000 plus people each day. Be that as it may, the producers of Desert Daze have a contractual option to return to Joshua Tree for a second year. According to Taylor-Castillo, the Desert Daze producers ultimately may not exercise that option, but at present they are looking to reorganize the event and bring it into compliance with county requirements. Taylor-Castillo pledges that transparency and community involvement will be major elements should Desert Daze return to the Retreat Center this fall.

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