Where do songs come from, where do poems come from, how do images arise? When you look into your own creative life, these are the questions that show up.

In Zen the spiritual life can be a creative path.

Koans are little healing stories. They follow you around the way a good dog would and when you touch them, they change you.

  • Creativity and meditation are about the life you have today.
  • Your predicament is the doorway.
  • Everything known rests on the unknown and appears out of vast space.
  • Beauty appears without reasons.

In this retreat we’ll look at stories, koans, and poems. We’ll consider and perhaps reconsider our own stories. There will be time for writing and drawing and walking. There will be teaching and conversation.

No previous meditation experience is needed.

Pacific Zen Institute’s retreats come out of our impulse to make a Zen retreat that is native to American culture. The idea is that when we take away the obstacles to understanding, things just naturally shine.

John Tarrant has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a poet and author of Bring Me The Rhinoceros and Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life as well as the online Zenosaurus Course in Koans. He founded and directs Pacific Zen Institute.



This event is full, and now has a waitlist. To register for the waitlist, please contact the registrar, Kris Krause, at kkrause75@gmail.com.

Registration: $185 Members, $205 Non-Members. (Become a member here).

Registrar: Kris Krause, kkrause75@gmail.com

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the retreat coordinator, Catherine Jones, at vcatherinejones@yahoo.com

Meals: Registration includes breakfast and snacks for 2 days. Participants will bring their own lunches or can order a box lunch for an additional fee.

Lodging: The registration fee does not include dinners or lodging but the coordinator will be happy to provide a list of nearby hotels and lodging options.

Scale: Participation is limited to 25 participants due to the size of the venue.

Saturday Night: An optional evening meditation period.

What to Bring: Bring a notebook or sketch pad, and wear comfortable clothes for meditation.


Learn more about our Retreats on this page.

By registering for this retreat you agree to our Cancellation Policy.

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