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HomeTassajaraGuest SeasonRetreats Creative Expression: Visual Arts, Poetry, Music

Spontaneous Zen: A Workshop in Meditation and Autobiographical Improvisation

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Nina Wise
Jeremy Levie
with Nina Wise and Jeremy Levie
July 29-August 2 (Monday-Friday)

Everyone welcome.

Take up the transformative work of self-discovery and self-expression.

Suzuki Roshi once said that we practice sitting to be “ready for anything.” In Nina’s improvisation classes, we’ll learn practices that allow the creativity that resides within us to have a voice, both through movement and language. In meditation, we’ll cultivate openness, receptivity and fearlessness, particularly the courage and clarity to express what needs to be expressed. This workshop will provide a safe space to take up this transformative work of self-discovery and self-expression. Using yoga, sounding, movement, and other exercises, we’ll cultivate our capacity to tell our story and bring to life what is often unnoticed or unacknowledged, finding the freedom that comes from expressing ourselves through our bodies and not just words.

An excellent workshop for performers, teachers, leaders, and anyone for whom communication is central to their lives, you can expect to surprise yourself and to become more playful and at ease before an audience. You might even find that the sense of well-being achieved during the workshop not only expands your creative abilities but also enhances your experience of daily life, reminding you that it is your nature to be free—and to express that freedom spontaneously.

Retreat fee: $310 ($264/member)

Related Bio(s):

Nina Wise

Nina Wise is an artist who has invented a compelling form of physical autobiographical theater. She is a teacher of improvisation and also teaches contemplative practice at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Her performance works have garnered seven Bay Area Critics’ Circle Awards, and she has received, among other prestigious honors, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. She wrote the book, A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life.

Jeremy Levie

Yo-on Jeremy Levie has lived and practiced at San Francisco Zen Center since 1995. He was ordained by Eijun Linda Cutts in 2005 and trained as shuso (head monk) with her in 2009. He currently serves as tanto at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, where he lives with his wife and daughter.