Art to Fuel the Revolution

September 25-27, 2020
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A three-day contemplative art-making immersion
via Zoom

In medieval times, the plague set the stage for the Renaissance. How can we, today, find our inner renaissance? Instead of asking ourselves: What will come next? Let’s pose the question: How will I participate in this revolution? What note do I wish to play in this emerging, improvised symphony? How can I respond creatively and with the full range of my paradoxical emotions at a time when so many are fighting to survive? 

As we draw near to the elections and the time of year where light begins to wane, join the Artmonks and Joel & Michelle Levey to connect with what matters most and make art from that place. As we acknowledge the deep challenges of this time — ongoing grief, rage, and trauma of the Movement for Black Lives, the pandemic and climate crisis — let’s practice embodiment of our authenticity, resilience, and hope.

This uplifting and dynamic response to disrupted times offers you a rejuvenating weekend experience featuring:

• dharma talks by Joel & Michelle
• guided and silent meditation
• guided group creative practices
• solo time to dig into your creative practice (and away from screens)
• daily guided embodiment practice
• a supportive group


The Artmonk Retreat explores the interaction of contemplation, creativity, and community in a 3-day program designed to access deeper levels of personal & creative insight, and carry deeper wisdom back into your life, relationships, community, and world. Whether you are a professional artist or seeking personal development (or both!), this experience is an opportunity to deepen your connection with the source of your creativity.

We will explore embodiment as a mode of transformation, healing, and accessing creative flow.

This program springs from a foundation of silent sitting meditation, punctuated with practices of singing, chanting and movement meditations. Solo creative sessions are supported by guided creative practices to activate & affirm your creative spirit.

Sample Schedule...

Friday & Saturday

7-8:30am PDT / 10-11:30am EDT – Morning Meditation, Singing, Embodiment Practice

10am-12pm PDT / 1-3pm EDT – Opening Ceremony / Dharma Talk by the Leveys & Guided Creative Practice by the Artmonks

12-4pm PDT / 3-7pm EDT – offline Solo Creative Time & meal 

4-6pm PDT / 7-9pm EDT – Artshare & Evening Meditation & Singing


7-8:30am PDT / 10-11:30am EDT – Morning Meditation, Singing, Embodiment Practice

10-11:15am PDT / 1-2:15pm EDT – Dharma talk by the Leveys & a few words from Neva

11:15am-1:30pm PDT / 2:15-4:30pm EDT – offline Solo Creative Time & meal 

1:30-4pm PDT / 4:30-7pm EDT – Artshare & Closing Ceremony

I changed from the inside out. I was lighter. I was brighter. I breathed in life instead of just air.

— Retreatant

The Artmonk Retreat opened my heart and let my spirit sit beside me. Simple as that.

— Retreatant

Who is this for?

Meditators interested in creativity.

Creatives interested in meditation.


(We believe everyone is an artist.)

Artistic feedback and contemplative support is available in one-on-one meetings with the Core Team.

“Nothing short of transformative.”– – Retreatant

“No question: a life-changing experience.” – Retreatant

“An incredibly healing week for me.” – Retreatant

Who offers this?

Retreat Leaders

Your retreat will be led by Artmonks Suiko McCall, Raphael Sacks, Neva Cockrell, and

Joel & Michelle Levey

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Dr. Joel & Michelle Levey, beloved friends and longtime spiritual advisers to the Art Monastery, have been deeply engaged in many dimensions of consciousness research and the inner science traditions for more than 50 years. They have worked and studied closely with many of the greatest contemplative teachers of our times (including the Dalai Lama, the 16th Karmapa, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ram Dass, Robert Thurman, and Joanna Macy).

The Dalai Lama was an adviser to one of their projects and wrote to them:

“You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the Dharma (the inner sciences of human transformation) to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teachings. I am very pleased about the work that you are doing and send you blessings and prayers for your success.”
— The Dalai Lama

Joel & Michelle have been pioneers in bringing mindfulness to the mainstream and have worked with NASA, MIT, Stanford, the Pentagon, Google, and Olympic athletes.

Joel & Michelle’s teachings have inspired many circles of visionary artists and healers through their teachings at IONS, ISSSEEM, Oracle Gatherings, CoSM, Beloved Festival, Burning Man, and as co-creators of the original Artmonk Retreat in 2011.

They have written many books, including Luminous Mind: Meditation and Mind Fitness; Wisdom at Work; Living in Balance; and The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds.

Praise for the Leveys’ teaching and writing

“The presence of Joel and Michelle Levey in our life has inspired our creative spirit and will surely inspire others.”   – Alex and Allyson Grey, visionary painters and creators of CosM

“The work of Joel and Michelle Levey has long been a luminous thread in the fabric of the Great Turning. They embody in many ways this epochal transition to a life-sustaining society.”
— Joanna Macy, Ph.D.,  Author, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy

“Michelle and Joel Levey demonstrate–in a style that is graceful and gentle and personal and inspiring–how balance in our individual minds and lives is both the key to healing the world and the source of our greatest happiness. Their invitation to awakening makes the spiritual journey clear enough to be accessible to everyone while preserving the profound sanctity of its purpose.”
–Sylvia Boorstein, author of: It’s Easier Than You Think;  and Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There    

More testimonials for Joel & Michelle's teaching & writing...

“Joel and Michelle clearly have a great deal of experience teaching a wide range of different settings and this is reflected in the precision and vividness of their instructions. There is strength in the simplicity of their explanation of the value of these mindfulness and mind-fitness disciplines and their clear instructions for how to practice.”
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine EmeritusFounding Director The Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Author of many books on Mindfulness

“Living in Balance is a beautiful book that brings wisdom and love into a world that longs for balance.”
— Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

“This book is an absolute treasure, filled with an abundance of insights and practices that lead the reader into depths of peace.  But with all these riches, I was most affected by the love, compassion, and wisdom of Joel and Michelle present in every page.  Their embrace of the reader is the best testimony that these practices lead to lives of wholeness and harmony.”
 Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership & the New Science and coauthor, A Simpler Way

“Today more than ever modern society makes demands on an individual for which evolution has not prepared us. Living in Balance gives each of us tools that not only allow us to navigate through a complex world but allow us to thrive. By gaining insights into ourselves and learning techniques that fundamentally allow one to rewire their brain, Joel and Michelle have given us a wonderful gift…the gift of transcendence.”
– James R. Doty, M.D., Founder and Director of Stanford’s Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translation Neurosciences and Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University

More about Retreat Leaders...

Joel & Michelle serve as graduate faculty in the Contemplative Education & Transformational Learning program at Mahidol University in Thailand, clinical faculty at University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing where they teach Meditation and Medicine for the Medical School, Clinical Faculty for Bastyr University’s Center for Spirituality, Science, and Medicine, and authors of many books including:  Luminous Mind: Meditation and Mind Fitness; Wisdom at Work; Living in Balance; The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds.  For more about Joel & Michelle, please visit  http://www.wisdomatwork.com/mindfulnesspioneers/

Suiko McCall founded the Art Monastery Project in 2008, an international arts organization dedicated to applying the collaborative and intentional “social sculpture” of monastic life to art-making and creativity. In 2013, she published the book Hosting Transformation: Stories from the Edge of Changemaking. In 2017, she published the workbook Live Your Dream: Start Here, Start Now, available in Arabic, Croatian, Italian, German, and Polish. Her contemplative paintings have been shown from San Francisco and New York City to Amsterdam and Rome. suiko.art

RaphaelSacks HeadshotRaphael Sacks has sung, danced, made theater and taught yoga in New York, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Berlin, Stockholm, Dubai. He is a founding member of Loom Ensemble and a core organizer/administrator for the Art Monastery Project. NYC credits include performances at BAM with Meredith Monk; Lincoln Center with Urban Research Theater; and La MaMa with Loom Ensemble.

NevaHeadshotNeva Cockrell is a dancer, director, and movement instructor. She tours internationally with Pilobolus and directs new dance-theater works in the US, Dubai, and Europe with the company she co-founded, Loom Ensemble. When she isn’t directing or performing, she is teaching her own movement technique, Catalyst Training, which she developed in 2016.

For more about the Retreat Leaders, please visit the Core Team page.

“I hope to do this again as often as I can.” – Retreatant

“Not only do I feel more grounded and peaceful, but I feel so close to my muse. I can feel her gently putting me out of the way so she can show me the path. I’m delighted by her.” – Retreatant


Your home!

You will receive a zoom link with your registration confirmation.


Sliding Scale

$250 PROFESSIONAL RATE  for those living comfortably. The Professional Rate also helps us offer lower prices to those who could not otherwise afford to attend.

$150 FULL RATE for those with a regular income, making ends meet. The Full Rate covers the range of operational costs associated with offering Art Monastery retreats.

$75 SUBSIDIZED RATE for those with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge.

BIPOC financial support is available.

If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color, please choose that option on the registration form. You may then add a donation of any amount (including $0), that feels really good to you.

 It is important to us that no one be turned away for lack of funds. 

As with all Art Monastery programs, if this sliding scale doesn’t work for you, please contact us.


The above rates do not include payment for our teachers.

There will be an opportunity to make donations directly to the teachers and to support the Art Monastery at the end of the program. The Art Monastery is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your donation is 100% tax deductible.

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“I feel totally blessed by this community.” – Retreatant

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