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Betsy | Art Monastery Project

Early Bird deadline: July 19

Registration deadline: August 16

What

Combining seated meditation in the Zen tradition with the practice of imaginative writing, this workshop invites intimate and creative study of the mind. Engaging playfully with language, we write together from prompts and read aloud, listen, and respond to one another’s words. Our writings and responses are explorations, and our conversations are based in imaginative insight rather than craft or critique.

More...

The emphasis is on reception—receiving ourselves, the prompts, the words that arise in response to the prompts, the words we hear ourselves reading aloud, the words read aloud by others. Whether we identify ourselves as writers or non-writers, we will leave this sense of identity relative to writing aside, setting down any baggage or self-judgment that accompanies it, and any tendencies toward editing, revising, and offering critical feedback. In our practice, we receive, imagine, study, and share our own presently arising body and mind, creating together a communal space where the wonder and surprise of imagination can blossom naturally.

Schedule details:
We’ll arrive Friday afternoon in time to get settled before dinner, followed by a (non-writerly) intro circle & relaxed evening together.
Saturday and Sunday mornings you are welcome to join in the daily practice of meditation and singing before breakfast.

Saturday we will have a morning & afternoon session in the barn/dance studio.
Each session begins with a brief introduction and a 30 minute sitting meditation, followed by series of prompts and rounds of writing, and reading aloud. We will close with a brief sitting.

Sunday there will be a final creative session in the morning, along with a closing circle before lunch.

What to bring:
Please bring paper and pens, even if you are accustomed to composing on a keyboard. Comfortable clothes for sitting & writing in. Any meditation cushions that allow you to sit comfortably.

Also consider a Retreat + Residency Combo (August 30-September 8)

We offer the opportunity to come for the writing workshop, get juiced up with the guidance of Catherine and the Artmonks, then stay on for an additional week of Art Residency. The daily schedule for artist residencies is wide open, leaving your schedule free to pour into full creative mode. When you participate in both the retreat & a residency, you receive a $100 discount. Scroll down for full info on rates.

Who

This retreat is for all creative contemplatives who wish to explore consciousness with language & without. This retreat is appropriate for participants at any level of literary or meditation experience. Meditation guidance will be offered as needed.

Retreat Leaders

Your retreat will be led by published author and Zen priest Catherine Gammon and assisted by poet and Art Monastery Core Team member Qayyum Johnson.

More about Retreat Leaders...

Catherine Gammon is a fiction writer and Soto Zen priest, ordained in 2005 by Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. Her novel Sorrow (Braddock Avenue Books, 2013) was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. Her novel Isabel Out of the Rain was published by Mercury House in 1991, and her shorter fiction has appeared in literary journals for many years. Before beginning residential Zen training at San Francisco Zen Center’s Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm, Catherine served for ten years on the MFA faculty of the University of Pittsburgh.

Qayyum Johnsonis a poet and farmer, published in the New Farmers Almanac and Inverness Almanac. Lay ordained in Suzuki Roshi’s lineage at SFZC, he is committed to the journey of social justice and regenerative culture as a path of awakening to the basic goodness inherent in all beings. Currently he hosts a weekly meditation group at Southern State Correctional Facility and volunteers with hospice patients while contributing to the Art Monastery.

When

August 30, 31 & September 1

  • Arrivals Friday afternoon
  • Saturday all day
  • Sunday morning, departures after lunch

Where

Art Monastery Vermont, 2315 Connecticut River Road, Springfield, VT.

A truly special 7-acre farm on the banks of the Connecticut River, we will live in the 8-bedroom farmhouse on Route 5.

For information on how to arrive, visit our Directions page.

How

To Register

Early Bird deadline: July 19

Registration deadline: August 16

  • fill out the registration form below; and
  • pay online via PayPal or Venmo to donations@artmonastery.org.
    • $150 deposit to secure your place in the retreat (non-refundable)
    • balance due before the retreat begins
  • sign the liability waiver and email to info@artmonastery.org.

For information on what to bring, please visit our packing list page.

For information on how to arrive, visit our Directions page.

Sliding Scale

$275-450

These rates are include three delicious meals per day and housing in a shared bedroom.

More on Rates & Discounts...


$450 PROFESSIONAL RATE

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


$350 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.


$275 SUBSIDIZED RATE 

for those with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge.



These rates include three delicious meals per day and housing in a shared bedroom.

We offer a $25 discount if you choose to sleep in a tent. You may upgrade to a solo room for an additional $50. Solo rooms also have a writing desk or table.

Discounts

Early Bird Discount

Enjoy a $75 discount when you register and pay in full by July 19.

Retreat+Residency Combo Discount

Enjoy $75 discount when you stay for the following week of Silent Art Residency.

Bring a Friend Discount

Enjoy $25 discount for you and a friend when you sign up together.


You may combine the Retreat+Residency, Early Bird, and Bring-A-Friend discounts for a total of $175 off. It is important to us that no one be turned away for lack of funds.  Please contact us for information about worktrade if this cost is prohibitive. 
Betsy | Art Monastery Project