in collaboration with
San Francisco Zen Center

SAVE THE DATE: June 25-27


Led by Art Monastery Abbess Suiko Betsy McCall

Beginners welcome. No experience necessary.

All sessions will be via Zoom.

Register online or call (415) 354-0360



The Art Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center invite you to an immersive online weekend that will offer you new tools to drop into profound states of spaciousness, relaxation and joy. Surprise yourself by encountering the mysterious and powerful life force that courses below the surface of your everyday mind.

Join Abbess Suiko McCall in a heart-led experiential workshop that will explore what happens when we move our awareness from the logical, linear and linguistic left brain where we live most of our modern lives, and attune/commune with the non-conceptual energy field beneath and around our thinking minds.

We will investigate what the more-than-human natural world has to teach us about how to live in balance and we will engage in deeply relaxing meditation practices that encourage us to feel through our bodies directly. We will experiment with various creative practices that seek to bypass our inhibited consciousness and allow our unique blessings to find expression in language, mark-making, and other forms of art.

Whether you already have an art practice or are looking to re-connect with your creativity, this workshop opens the door to marrying the dharma with artmaking and as a result, deepening both practices.

This online retreat will offer
– dharma talks
– guided creative practices
– spacious time to work on your own creative projects
– zazen (meditation)
– movement, singing & chant

Materials list for the January 2021 retreat
(This list is likely to change for the June 2021 retreat.)
  • Meditation cushion
  • Journal or sketchbook
    • a pad of Yupo (74lb) 9×12″ or larger
      • This is a really special “treeless paper” that offers results no other paper can. If you can only find it in the heavyweight 114lb that is perfectly fine also.
    • three colors of alcohol inks
      • I prefer Copic ink refill cartridges, but other brands of alcohol inks are wonderful including Jacquard Piñata, Ranger, Brea Reese, and Blick Studio Marker Refills. 
      • What colors you choose are entirely up to you! I recommend two colors that are near each other in the rainbow (like red & orange or blue & green) and a third color that contrasts with those (like black). Some brands offer 3-packs of lovely color combinations.  
    • an eye dropper (or a drinking straw)
    • a small bottle of 90% isopropyl alcohol
      • Unfortunately 70% isopropyl alcohol won’t cut the mustard. Walgreens, Rite Aid and most likely, you local pharmacy usually stock 90%. Anything 90% or higher will work.
      • Another possibility is “alcohol ink blender”. It’s more expensive but works beautifully. I suspect the same for “clean up solution”.
    • a fine point good quality black pen for drawing fine lines OR
      • a simple dip pen and Sumi ink, India ink, or black acrylic ink, OR
      • a very fine paintbrush and one of the above black inks OR
      • whatever pen / pencil / paintbrush you have!
  • Whatever additional artmaking supplies you’d like to use
      • ALL art forms are welcome!
The above listed are the materials that I use in my painting practice. To purchase everything on the above list from the sources listed below will run around $30-40.
If you were to purchase just one item on the list, get Yupo. The 9×12″ costs around $12. In addition to alcohol-based inks, Yupo takes water-based pigments (watercolor, gouache, natural pigment or acrylic inks) wonderfully.
If you prefer to use materials you already have, you could instead use water-based pigments on whatever paper you have around. You will still reap all the benefits of the practices we’ll be doing!
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at suiko@artmonastery.org.
Where to Acquire the Materials
Once Around, Mill Valley, CA
Offering a 40% discount when you mention this retreat!
Shipping or curbside pick up
They have everything listed above except for the isopropyl alcohol. 
Jerry’s Artarama

Join us for a time of deep replenishment and expansion of the heartmind.

To register, visit the Zen Center website or call 415.863.3136.

January 2021 Schedule
(This is schedule will change for the June 2021 retreat.)

all sessions will take place on Zoom
all times are listed in West Coast Time


4-6pm PST – Opening Ceremony & Orientation

7-8:30am PST – Early Morning Session
               30 minute Zazen, Creative Practice, Chant

8:30-10am – offline for breakfast / rest

10am-12pm PST –  Mid-Morning Session
               Dharma Talk
               Guided Creative Practice

12 – 4pm – offline for meals, rest, solo creative time

4-6pm PST – Late Afternoon Session
                 Zazen & Chant

7-8:30am PST – Early Morning Session
              30 minute Zazen, Creative Practice, Chant

8:30-10am – offline for breakfast / rest

10-12pm PST-  Mid-Morning Session
               Dharma Talk 
               Creative Practice

12 – 3pm – offline for meals, rest, solo creative time

3-5pm PST -Mid-Afternoon Session
                 Closing Ceremony


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.

“A nourishing, quiet, joyful time.”  – 2018 participant

“The exercises unleashed a torrent of creative art & writing energy.”- 2018 participant

“Liberating & relaxing.” – 2018 participant

Retreat Leaders

Your retreat will be led by Art Monastery Abbess Suiko Betsy McCall and soprano Phoebe Rosquist.

Retreat leader bios...

Suiko Betsy McCall’s paintings explore the connection between contemplation and mark-making and have been shown from San Francisco and New York to Amsterdam and Rome. In 2008, she founded the Art Monastery, an international arts organization dedicated to personal awakening and cultural transformation through artmaking, spiritual practice and reciprocity with the earth. Suiko has dedicated herself to hosting transformation through the monumental life-as-art social sculpture of the Art Monastery and her retreats. From 2014 to 2018 she split her time between Art Monastery Vermont and Green Gulch Farm, where she received the bodhisattva precepts from her teacher, Fu. Suiko’s heartfelt aspiration is to open the hearts of others by sharing the joy and exultation in her own. Suiko lives and is Abbess at Art Monastery Vermont, in the aboriginal Abenaki Dawnland of modern Vermont, alongside Kwanitekw, the Long (Connecticut) River.
You can see Suiko’s paintings at suiko.art.


Phoebe Rosquist has been leading contemplative music at meditation retreats for more than ten years. She has appeared as a soloist with the Waverly Consort, Voices of Music, American Bach Soloists, and North Holland Opera. Among her varied collaborations are medieval group Vajra Voices; lieder with celebrated pianist Robert Thies; and early Italian convent repertoire with Bologna-based Cappella Artemisia. Phoebe has also toured the US and Indonesia with Gamelan X (a Balinese music ensemble), and sung folk music with Kitka and VOCO. ​Phoebe completed her Master of Arts degree in Early Music Performance at the University of Southern California. Also a choral conductor, she has served as an assistant director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and currently co-directs the Women’s Antique Vocal Ensemble (WAVE) in Berkeley. Phoebe believes every voice is beautiful and every voice counts.
You can hear recordings of Phoebe’s music at phoebej.com



To Register 

Registration will open in spring 2021.


Retreat Fee

$300 for non-members
$270 for members of San Francisco Zen Center
$210 scholarship

No one will be turned away for lack of funds! When you register online you will have the opportunity to choose your specific financial contribution.