Mercy Center


Back to Calendar Page


A Silent Retreat in the East-West Meditation Program
Led by Nona Strong


August 4-9, 2019
Sunday 6:00 pm (dinner) to
Friday 12:00 noon (lunch)


Registration now closed

Clarity, Equanimity, Compassion —
All fruits of Zen and Contemplative
practice we live and share

Gather for six days of Silence, Mindfulness, and Community. This retreat will provide the opportunity to enter deeply into a meditation experience of silence, self-discovery, and community.  


Beginners and experienced meditators are welcome!





  •  Private interviews with Nona
  •  Daily spiritual talks by Nona




Nona Strong is a Zen teacher studying under Fr. Gregory Mayers C.Ss.R., who directed the Mercy Center East-West Meditation Program from 2005 to 2019.  Nona began Zen koan studies with Fr. Greg in 1996, and in 2019 received full transmission as an Authentic Zen Master in the Empty Cloud lineage.

Nona was born in Oklahoma, and lived there until attending college in Washington, D.C., during the heady days of the 1960s. She found the spiritual path in Los Angeles, California, in the late 1970s.

After 40 years of wandering in the spiritual desert, she discovered the Christian mystics, particularly Thomas Merton. In 1986, Nona was baptized in the Catholic Church; her search for “The Answers” had shifted into high gear. At the suggestion of the priest who baptized her, she went to the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in the Los Angeles area, and at a contemplative retreat, met Fr. Greg Mayers. They established a formal teacher-student relationship in 1996.

Through Fr. Greg, Zen became the vehicle for Nona's search, a search not just on her own behalf. Buddhists vow to save all beings; Zen meditation embraces every creature on this earth. Christians are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves, which means our actions and our prayers embrace every creature on earth. In these vows, the two paradigms share a path and a purpose.

Embracing the Way of Zen, we concentrate our search for answers into a practice of silent meditation, in community when possible, through which the questions (if not all the answers) become increasingly clear. And through our practice, we put all our care for ourselves and others into a boundless medium that can help us carry that search, that practice, and its fruits into the larger world.

In Zen, everybody benefits, including ourselves.





listen to a Zen teisho by Nona
read and print the retreat orientation
  read and print the retreat schedule
  learn more about the East-West program




Overnight registration includes:

  •  Single bedrooms; dormitory-style bathrooms; kitchenette on each floor
  •  Locally-sourced fresh produce, soups, salad, vegetarian and meat entrees
  •  Guests are welcome to bring foods to supplement our meal service
  •  We cannot provide all-vegan or special dietary menus



Registration for this retreat is now closed.





Please read our cancellation and refund policy.