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

HeartMind: Art & Zen

Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California

August 12-16, 2019

A collaboration between the Art Monastery and San Francisco Zen Center
Co-led by Art Monastery Abbess Betsy McCall and Abiding Abbess of Green Gulch Farm Zen Center Fu Schroeder
$361 ($306 for San Francisco Zen Center Members)

Beginners welcome. No experience necessary.

Explore the central teachings of the Heart Sutra on the meditation cushion and in the art studio.


Join Art Monastery Founder & Art Abbess Betsy McCall and Abbess Fu Schroeder in this immersive 5-day retreat that explores Art and Zen. We will explore the Heart Sutra as a source of inspiration in both contemplative practice 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.

We will explore the Heart Sutra as a source of inspiration both on the cushion and with paintbrush in hand. There will be sitting, walking, and movement meditations, guided creative exercises as well as plentiful time for your own creative explorations.

Sample schedule...

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 Betsy McCall and Green Gulch Farm Zen Center Abiding Abbess Fu Schroeder.

Retreat leader bios...

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. Betsy’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 Betsy 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.

Betsy splits her time between Green Gulch Farm and the Art Monastery Vermont.

Furyu Nancy Schroeder, a resident of Zen Center for over 35 years, became abiding abbess at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in March 2014. Fu has held most of the monastic positions at Zen Center and has been an active supporter of programs for children, people of color, the gay and lesbian community, and the interfaith community. In 2008 she was elected to the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 2010 she was appointed to the Board of the Marin Community Foundation. In addition, she has previously co-led Zen Center’s Contemplative Caregiver Course. She received dharma transmission from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1999.

Fu currently lives at GreenGulch Farm Zen Center, Muir Beach, California.


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.