Arts Retreats

At Zen Mountain Monastery

Winter Art Practice Series: Miraculous Expression

with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

January 8 - 22, 2021
Each moment, an invitation into the heart of the world is offered through the doors of the senses that pivots with a practice of connecting to the still point, then moving into creation. If you’re new-welcome to this online art practice collaboration, you can start where you are! We’ll be working on Zoom, each of us from within our home studio, in whatever medium(s) you would like to explore. Hojin will guide us in zazen and with prompts to spark the creative impulse...

Winter Art Practice Series: Miraculous Expression

with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

February 5 - 19, 2021
Each moment, an invitation into the heart of the world is offered through the doors of the senses that pivots with a practice of connecting to the still point, then moving into creation. To study the Buddhas’ way is to study the self and to undo the woven web of knowing that constricts our heart and mind that pressures us to yield to certain results and to then open into rediscovering the continuous opportunity to release our grasp and contact the complete wonder of our life, of our raw materials—becoming not less, but more, of who we truly are. If you’re new-welcome to this online art practice collaboration, you can start where you are! We’ll be working on Zoom, each of us from within our home studio, in whatever medium(s) you would like to explore. Hojin will guide us in zazen and with prompts to spark the creative impulse.

The Artless Arts of Zen

with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

February 11, 2021
There is an aesthetic thread that runs through all the Zen Arts from the gentle art of flower arranging to the warrior arts. Art historian, Shinichi Hisamatsu in his classic work Zen and the Fine Arts was the first to write formally of seven primary characteristics of the Zen Aesthetic: no rule, no complexity, no rank, no mind, no bottom, no hindrance, no stirring. Tonight we’ll take a visual tour of these qualities and their ability to unlock our powers of direct perception. We’ll contemplate the images and see how Zen Masters applied their insight to painting, calligraphy, ceramics, poetry to inspire, awaken and delight those who choose to look. To paraphrase Alan Watts, Zen Art is the “art of artlessness, the art of controlled accident.”

Inspired Words: Poems of the Wise Women of Early Buddhism

with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

February 20, 2021
The Therigatha are a collection of poems by the first Buddhist women ordained at the time of the Buddha. Theri means “women who have grown old in knowledge” and gatha means “verse or song.” These poems are called udanas, inspired utterances which express the joy of realizing freedom from suffering.  Together we will explore one of the Therigatha poems of Ambapali, whose name means "mango protectress"...

Face-to-Face Art Practice Retreat

with Jody Hojin Kimmel, Sensei

March 20, 2021
What are we facing? How do we face our shadows ? When was the last time you gazed into the marvel of your own face or the face of another with no goal other than appreciation, wonder, connection, pure presence? Seeing each other. This retreat emerged through a vibrant year of art practice with people on Zoom and a wonder. Though we have not had the physical closeness with each other, working on the computer has kept us quite socially close. What would it be like seeing how close we can actually look, and concentrate on each other’s faces, on our own face and make direct recordings?...