Green Gulch Farm / Green Dragon Zen Temple,  California

July 7-10, 2020


Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California

July 19-23, 2020


San Francisco Zen Center, California

Sunday, July 12; 9:30am to 4:30pm


A collaboration between the Art Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center


Co-led by Art Monastery Abbess Suiko Betsy McCall and Qayyum Johnson


$361 ($306 for San Francisco Zen Center Members)

Beginners welcome. No experience necessary.


Join Artmonks Suiko McCall (painter & Art Monastery founder) & Qayyum Johnson (poet, sculptor, Zen activist) in this immersive 5-day retreat that explores art and Zen. We will explore boundaryless, non-conceptual, body-based love as a source of inspiration in both contemplative and creative practice. Allow yourself to be rejuvenated by a variety of guided art exercises as well as spacious time to work on your own creative projects.

Registration for this retreat has not yet opened. More information coming in early 2020. Below is information regarding last year’s HeartMind at Tassajara.

To be notified when registration for this retreat opens, please subscribe to our Moonletter at artmonastery.org/subscribe.


HeartMind 2019

Photographs of Tassajara by Moon Masters (IG: @wondrousmoonmasters)

Sample Schedule

Arrival Day

4:00pm Zazen (sitting meditation) Instruction in the Zendo
5:00pm Brief Introduction in the Large Retreat Hall
7:00pm Dinner in the Dining Room
8:00pm Orientation Meeting in the Retreat Hall

Three Full Retreat Days

5:50-6:50am Optional Community Zazen (Zendo)
7:40-8:55am Dharma Talk & Discussion (Retreat Hall)
9:00am Breakfast
9:30-10:15am optional Bag Lunch making
11 am-1pm Guided Creative Session (Retreat Hall)
1:00pm Lunch
4:30-6pm Unguided Solo Creative Time (Retreat Hall)
7:00pm Dinner
8:40pm Optional Zazen (Zendo)

Departure Day

7:40-8:55am Class (Retreat Hall)
9:00am Breakfast
9:30-10:15am optional Bag Lunch making
10:30-11:15am Closing Circle (Retreat Hall)
12noon Departures



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 Artmonk Qayyum Johnson.

Retreat leader bios...

Suiko Betsy McCall, garnering degrees from Yale University and San Francisco Art Institute, brings her experience as a visual artist, social sculptor, competitive synchronized swimmer, and co-founder of the Art Monastery Project to inform her retreat-hosting. Investigating the relationships among contemplative practice, studio practice, and other kinds of practice (such as swim practice), her work explores breath, repetition, and pattern. Suiko’s visual artwork; which takes the form of meditative “breath portraits,” large-scale pattern-based drawings, and abstract video; has been exhibited from San Francisco and New York to Amsterdam and Rome. In 2008 Suiko co-founded the Art Monastery, an international arts organization dedicated to applying the collaborative and intentional “social sculpture” of monastic life to art-making and creativity.


Qayyum Johnson was born into an American Sufi family and grew up in intentional communities. A bricolage poet/writer, sculptor, sound & video artist & ordinary person inspired by indigenous, folk & street traditions & mash-ups—revolutionary life that stirs the body and mind to reconnect with elemental truth. He was an organic vegetable farmer and resident Zen student at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center / Green Dragon Zen Temple for more than ten years. Qayyum has studied & practiced myriad spiritual paths, served on an interfaith street chaplaincy board, and corresponds with incarcerated men seeking contemplative comrades.


Qayyum & Suiko live at Art Monastery Vermont, in the aboriginal Abenaki Dawnland of modern Vermont, alongside Kwanitekw, the Long (Connecticut) River.




Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

39171 Tassajara Road
Carmel Valley, CA, 93924



To Register 

  • Visit Tassajara’s Rooms & Rates section and determine your preferred accommodations before making your reservations request online or by phone.
  • Call the Tassajara Reservations office at 1.888.743.9362 (toll free) or 415.475.9362 (local) or fill out this online form.

Retreat Fee

$361 for non-members
$306 for members of San Francisco Zen Center

Please note that the retreat fee does not include accommodations. Retreats begin late afternoon on the indicated start date and end in the morning on the indicated end date. Visit Tassajara’s Rooms & Rates section and determine your preferred accommodations before making your reservations request online.