Gardening monk

Posted on February 19, 2014

I have completed my two-week trial as the final phase of my application to Green Gulch Farm‘s Apprenticeship Program. I don’t know if they know this yet, or not… but I’m participating in that program! What does that mean? It means that from April 9 to October 9, 2014, I’ll be living at Green Gulch Farm, rising just after 4am, sitting zazen for three hours a day, working the fields for 7 or 8 hours more, attending dharma talks, taking classes, and generally exploring my soul and this marvelous planet we inhabit.

My room

This wasn’t the easiest decision. It will be challenging to be away from one extremely adorable mustachioed man for all that time. But as he points out to me, I’ve been talking about this program for years and it still calls me. Deeply.


What is that calls me to do this super intense program? Something about the discipline. The monastic schedule. Being surrounded and supported by a truly contemplative community, by people who are sitting three hours with me every day. Getting dirt under my nails. Growing food. Learning flower arranging from a Zen priest. Getting away from my computer. Getting quiet. Delving into reconnect, maybe more deeply than ever before, with that part of me that knows what is next for me, knows with utter confidence and freedom exactly who I am. That sort of thing. 

Garden Buddha


Contemplative Creativity at Sofia University

Posted on November 21, 2013

I will be sneaking out of my Guest Student Practice Period at Green Gulch Farm, in order to host, along with Nathan Rosquist and Charles Darius, a daylong retreat at Sofia University in Palo Alto. I’m just delighted to be invited to present there. Please come and join!


The Artmonk Experience: What Music Emerges from Silence?

Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014
10 am– 6 p.m.
Sofia University, Palo Alto

Part silent meditation retreat and part transformational art ritual, the intention of this workshop is to recharge your spirit, mind, and body.

This special event will be hosted by Betsy McCall, B.A., with Charles Darius and Nathan Rosquist. Betsy’s large-scale pattern-based drawings and videos have been exhibited from San Francisco and New York to Amsterdam and Rome. She co-founded the Art Monastery Project, an international arts organization dedicated to applying the collaborative and intentional “social sculpture” of monastic life to art-making and creativity
Students: Free
Alumni: $25
General Public: $50
Purchase Tickets:

RSVP deadline: January 31, 2014 (If space is still available tickets will be sold at the door)

Event Contact: Lisa Herman at or Heather Ford at

Event Info:

Map & Directions: