The Embodied Artist

Three day embodiment and creativity retreats

Aligning with

for all bodies!

June 26-28

We are gathering online together as Artists and Embodiment practitioners, in a space of solidarity with the Movement For Black Lives, to explore the overlap of somatics, artmaking and social justice.


We believe embodiment practice is a key element in developing a healthy, loving attitude towards all bodies, our own, those that are different from ours, and especially black and brown bodies. This begins at home, with our own personal work, but it can’t stay there. This love must turn into action. Our role as artists is to catalyze culture shift towards freedom and justice. Let’s explore together what it means to be embodied in this time, what it means to be an artist in this time, and how to use our unique gifts to nourish a culture that is crying out for change.

Open to all. You do not need to be a “political artist” to join. You do not need to already have a connection to embodiment to join. You are welcome just as you are, and we will explore together! Perhaps especially if you do not consider your artmaking to be political, this is a welcoming space to explore how your work could relate to culture-shift. 

This retreat is led by three white people. We look forward to partnering with BIPOC leadership for our future programs.

Women’s Edition

for women and femme-identifying!


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Join us for this 3-day retreat exploring how we, as women, can cultivate freedom and joy in our bodies, step into our full power, and make art inspired by the wisdom of the feminine.


In patriarchy, our bodies are made hyper visible, objectified, commented on, and mistreated– not only by men, but even by other women. This type of hyper attention on what the body looks like often causes us to dissociate from what it feels like to have a body, what it feels like to enjoy having a body. Women, this embodiment retreat is designed to invite you home to your body, for your own healing, pleasure and empowerment, through movement, singing, and somatic meditation.

Another aspect of the patriarchy is a dismissive attitude toward the wisdom of the feminine. We live in a culture that over-values intellectualism, speed, linear thinking, socialization, and high energy levels. Often, we are taught to deny intuition, cycle-based wisdom, ease, nurturing, and emotions. In this retreat, we will explore what it means to draw on the wisdom of the feminine in our creative process. We believe making art from this place is an essential of helping to shift our culture towards balance.

All sessions can be done from your home and will be streamed live on Zoom.

***Pay-what-you-want for BIPOC folks***


The freedom and creative potential we wish to bring into the world is to be found within our embodied experience. This retreat offers a container with both guidance and space for you to explore your own path into embodiment and creative practice in this time of cultural change.

This 3-day retreat is a blend of: 

  • Catalyst Training (a 2-hour guided embodiment practice)
  • Guided somatic and creative exercises to explore our relationship to love and justice
  • Creative time offline
  • Artshares with feedback
  • Meditation
  • Singing


Each morning starts with Catalyst Training, a dynamic 2-hour embodiment workshop combining free movement, strength training, stretching, and breathwork. Neva, the creator and instructor of Catalyst, personalizes the class to work for each participant (see quotes below), so both beginning movers and professional dancers are most welcome. Returning to meet ourselves in the space of our own bodies is a potent skill for understanding where our biases live, how we are culturally conditioned to think about bodies, and how we can shift our beliefs through embodiment. 

Afternoons begin with a guided creative / somatic exploration to explore our relationship to race and how our art can be part of a vision for cultural change. Perhaps especially if you do not consider your artmaking to be political in some way, this may be a juicy moment to explore how your work could relate to culture-shift. From there we will head offline. This is your undistracted time to dive into whatever project you’re working on. After a morning of embodiment practice, we are primed to do this work from our true center. 

In the evenings we gather back on Zoom with an opportunity to share any work that you’ve made and receive feedback. We’ll close the day with a meditation and a song session. 

We believe the combination of embodiment and artmaking is incredibly potent and necessary in this cultural moment in order to move towards justice.


Friday / Saturday

10am-12pm EDT — Catalyst (on Zoom)

12-12:45pm — Check-in (on Zoom)

2:30-3pm — Creative Starter (on Zoom)

3-6pm EDT — Creative Work (OFFLINE)

6:30-8:30pm EDT — Artshare, Meditation & Singing (on Zoom)


10am-12pm EDT — Catalyst (on Zoom)

12-12:45pm — Check-in (on Zoom)

2-4:30pm EDT — Creative Work (OFFLINE)

4:30-7pm EDT — Artshare, Closing Ceremony, Meditation & Singing (on Zoom)

Testimonials for Catalyst Training

“My experience of Catalyst Training with Neva was a full mind, body, spirit nourishing and full contact experience. Neva’s shared wild vibrant energy is truly contagious.”

—Maria Pilar Pina, Alexandria, Virginia

More testimonials…

“I’ve raved about my Catalyst Trainings since I experienced them at Art Monastery. Catalyst Training is like the dream blend, to me, of the best movement forms ever: intuitive dance, strength training patterns, muscle isolation challenges, and yoga. The way Neva creates the flow of movements shows a deep intelligence of the physical and emotional body. I experienced in myself and observed that Catalyst is incredibly accessible for a wide range of abilities and mobilities. All the while shaped by Neva’s substantial understanding of human anatomy and expertise in all these forms; she offered alternatives and adjustments to people throughout the session.”

—Becky Miller , Burlington, Vermont

Raphael Sacks | Art Monastery Project



(We believe everyone is an artist.)

And people with bodies.


This retreat is designed for artists who are looking for a supportive environment to create, and also want time in the day for meditation and embodiment practice.

Dancers & physical performers will enjoy a full morning of physical training, arriving to the afternoon ready to create. 

Artists working in less physical mediums, will arrive to the afternoon relaxed and refreshed in body and mind.

Artistic feedback and contemplative support is available in one-on-one meetings with the Core Team, and from other participants during evening Art Shares.

Retreat Leaders

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

Neva Cockrell is a professional dancer and interdisciplinary artist who uses art as a tool for social change. She tours internationally with Pilobolus and directs new dance-theater works in the US, Dubai, and Europe with her company Loom Ensemble. She is passionate about teaching and leads many forms of embodiment practices, including her own 2-hour creation, Catalyst Training. She has been practicing meditation for the past 15 years, joined the Art Monastery in 2012, and has been serving as a co-Director since 2015. Through this journey she has found beautiful overlap in her artistic creations and her meditation practice. Her life path is deeply grounded in communal living, body-based activities, art-making, being outside, and contemplative practice.

Suiko Betsy McCall founded the Art Monastery 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. Garnering degrees from Yale University and San Francisco Art Institute, Suiko’s large-scale pattern-based drawings and videos (suiko.art and mirrorproject.art) have been exhibited from San Francisco and New York to Amsterdam and Rome. She practiced Zen Buddhism in residence at Green Gulch Farm / Green Dragon Zen Temple on and off for four years and focuses her spiritual growth on studying from the land, shamanism, and her own intuition.


Raphael 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 co-director of Art Monastery Vermont. NYC credits include performances at BAM with Meredith Monk; Lincoln Center with Urban Research Theater; and La MaMa with Loom Ensemble. Raphael teaches meditation and yoga in Dubai and Vermont. His spiritual path is outdoors.

All three retreat leaders live at Art Monastery Vermont, in the aboriginal Abenaki Dawnland of modern Vermont, alongside Kwanitekw, the Long (Connecticut) River.


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.

If you identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a Person of Color, you may choose the BIPOC Artist Fund option on the form below. This will enter your cost as $0. You may then enter whatever amount you feel great about giving in the donation field.

If you don’t identify as BIPOC and the sliding scale doesn’t work for you, please reach out to us at info@artmonastery.org. As with all Art Monastery programs, it is important to us that no one is turned away for lack of funds.