Young Urban Zen Retreat at Green Gulch Farm - Fall 2019

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Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

1601 Shoreline Highway

Muir Beach, CA 94965

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Join us for a weekend Young Urban Zen retreat at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, Friday, October 18th through Sunday, October 20th. Green Gulch is a sister temple to City Center and Tassajara and is a remarkable place to practice, hike in the hills, meander through the gardens to the beach and share in vegetarian meals from the farm. This retreat will provide an opportunity for you to deepen your sitting practice with a half-day sitting, engage in Dharma discussion, and deepen your connections to the YUZ community.

The weekend will be hosted by Mei Elliott and Michael McCord. Both facilitators are residents at San Francisco Zen Center, where Mei runs Young Urban Zen and works as the guest student manager. Michael is a priest, zen teacher and the SFZC program director.

Tentative Retreat Schedule

Friday evening:

  • Arrive by 5pm
  • 6pm Dinner
  • 7pm weekend orientation


  • 5am-7am Optional zazen/kinhin
  • 7:20 Breakfast
  • 9am-12pm Half day of meditation
  • 12:15pm Lunch
  • 1:30pm-6pm Afternoon activity and free time
  • 6pm Dinner
  • 7pm Group connection circle


  • 5am-7am Optional zazen/kinhin
  • 7:10am Breakfast
  • 9:15am Zazen
  • 10:00am Public lecture by Abiding Abbess Fu Schoeder
  • 11:15am Farm stand, tea & discussion
  • 12:15pm Lunch
  • 1:30pm Closing circle
  • 2:30pm Departure/Check-out


We will be staying in the Lindesfarne Guest House at Green Gulch – a beautiful building constructed using traditional Japanese wood joinery. For more information about the accommodations, visit the Green Gulch website.


Green Gulch is about a 45 minute drive from City Center, over the Golden Gate bridge and along highway one. A few weeks prior to the retreat, the retreat assistant will send out a rideshare document. Participants are responsible for sourcing their own transportation, however, this document can help people coordinate transportation.


Participants can arrive as early as 4:00pm on Friday. Please make it to Green Gulch no later than 6pm for dinner, located in the small dining room. The first official meeting together will be at the Guest House at 7:00pm.


Our closing meeting will be after lunch on Sunday, around 1:30pm, finishing before 2:30pm. People are welcome to stay in the valley after the retreat ends as long as they vacate the guest house.

What to bring

  • Toiletries

  • Flashlight / headlamp

  • Alarm clock

  • Comfortable, dark colored clothing for the meditation hall (this clothing should cover shoulders and knees); bring layers as the weather is often cold.

  • Shoes for walking/hiking

  • Shoes that easily slip on and off (shoes are to be removed in all temple buildings)

  • Slippers or warm socks for the sleeping areas

  • Meditation scarf, blanket, or shawl

  • Umbrella or rain gear

  • Money (cash) if you would like to purchase produce or bread from the farm stand on Sunday morning

  • Food if you have special dietary concerns, in the case that meals are not adequate for your needs


Meals are vegetarian (including dairy and eggs) and are served buffet style. There is usually a gluten-free and vegan option. They have tea, coffee, milk/milk alternatives, bread, peanut butter, jam and fruit available for snacks.

Please contact the retreat assist, Mike Borozdin ( if you have any food allergies or other dietary needs. The Green Gulch kitchen does their best to accommodate requests, however, as a small monastic community there is limited capacity to accommodate strict dietary needs. Note that the kitchen is not available for private cooking.


There is no cell service at Green Gulch. Most cell users can get a signal at the beach or the ridge, each about a 20 minute walk from the main area. The Guest House does have a limited wireless connection, though participants are encouraged to leave their computers at home to allow for some time off the grid. This is an important opportunity to unplug from city life and have a "digital detox." Please consider setting technology aside for the weekend if you are able.


The cost of the retreat includes two nights of accommodation, all activities, snacks and three meals/day. Please note that once you register there are no refunds. If for any reason you can't attend, contact Mike as soon as possible.

For scholarship inquiries, please contact the retreat assistant - Mike ( . We can offer scholarships up to 50% of the retreat cost, and ask that participants pay as much as they are able.


Dana (pronounced "dah-na") is a Pali word meaning generosity. Generosity practice develops our ability to let go, cultivates kindness, and acknowledges our interconnection. Traditionally, monks go on daily alms rounds with a begging bowl, relying on the generosity of lay people for support in continuing their teaching and spiritual life.

Dating back to the time of the Buddha, there has been an interdependence between those who offer the teachings and those who receive them. As part of a 2,600 year old tradition, the facilitators for this retreat receive no financial compensation for setting up the retreat or teaching at it. At the end of the weekend, should you feel inspired to make a gift, you will have the opportunity to offer dana to the teachers so they may continue to share the Dharma. Any compensation the facilitators receive is based solely on the generosity of students.

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Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

1601 Shoreline Highway

Muir Beach, CA 94965

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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