This workshop will bring creative writing together with the practice of Zen and other spiritual modalities. Songwriting, poetry, journaling, and storytelling will form themselves from the jewels within our hearts. We will create a safe non-judgmental space where everybody is welcome to explore through the vehicle of meditation and ritual, their inner landscapes.  

When we listen to a musician, poet or teacher, we are inspired by the art of their expression. To cultivate our own voice and expression can transform our world. Creativity calls us to work towards our own awakening, our highest potential. This is a perfect time to fill our creative well from the source-and, through the fire of our passion for life, kindle the creative spark.  We will cultivate creativity through meditations drawn from Buddhist, Taoist, and earth spirituality paths.  These regenerative practices will be woven into our lives through writing, music and our ways of seeing . Poetry, songs, chanting, and meditation will form themselves from the truth within our hearts.  

Ji Hyang Padma


Ji Hyang Padma has done intensive Zen training and teaching in Asia and North America for over 20 years, 15 of these as an ordained nun. She has completed several 90-day intensive retreats in Korea and North America.   JiHyang has served as Director of Spirituality & Education as well as meditation teacher at Wellesley College. She is gifted at finding an entry-point into practice for people who are just beginning their journey.

Ji Hyang is a phD candidate in Psychology at Sofia University with a research focus on Buddhist practices of healing.  Ji Hyang’s first book, Zen Practices for Transformative Times, was released by Quest Books this year.  JiHyang is currently writing a book based on her original research on consciousness & healing.

Social Media link: Natural Wisdom

Website: Natural Wisdom


María José Montijo


María José Montijo’s life changed in 2009 on a beach in her native Puerto Rico, where a friend gave her a used Celtic harp. She began writing hypnotic, haunting songs for harp and voice that incorporate her eclectic musical interests.

María José’s songs grow out of an intuitive process of deep listening and the condition of being fully human in a confusing world. Her lyrics speak of paradoxes: mystery and certainty; doubt and faith; love and solitude; sorrow and connection; exile and feeling at home. Her music is informed by the images and rhythms of the natural world in all its vastness.

Her music is also informed and nurtured by her healing path. María José is a Traditional Chinese Medicine student, biodynamic cranial touch practitioner, and bodyworker that has been immersed in the healing arts for over thirteen years. María José is extremely passionate about the body’s capacity to heal. This inherent intelligence that every body possesses the foundation from where true healing and health can be made manifest.

María José regularly performs throughout the Bay Area, both as a solo artist and with her band. In 2013, she was a featured new artist at Acción Latina’s 32nd Annual Encuentro del Canto Popular at the Brava Theater. In 2014, on the strength of her song “Estrellas” her band played Oakland’s Mayhem Festival, a juried music competition and performance series at the Awaken Cafe. She has headlined at the Red Poppy Art House, been a consistent presence at the Mission Arts Peformance Project (MAPP), and played at venues ranging from the Mission Cultural Center to the Hemlock Tavern to the Art in Nature Festival in the Oakland redwoods.

To read more about María José Montijo's Residency


Workshop Details:
Saturday, April 11th
$25-40 sliding scale in Advance
$30-45 at the door

Capacity: 12 students


In an effort to keep classes financially accessible, we are offering this class on a sliding scale basis. We encourage you to pay what you can.

**No refunds or exchanges are permitted**