Mercy Center


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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)


$575 Overnight / $475 Commuter

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



Please read all of the following before making a registration payment:

  •  An account is optional—your credit card data is not stored 
  •  We accept MasterCard and Visa only, USA and Canada
  •  Please select either Overnight or Commuter registration
  •  Mercy Sisters and Associates select RSM-BurlAssoc rate  

When you have entered your contact and billing information and are ready to complete the online transaction:




If there is an error message, or if you do not receive a confirmation email, please do not run the transaction again. Contact We’ll confirm your registration and provide assistance if needed.


Overseas Residents: Please do not register online. Email We will assist you in registering for this retreat.

Or call (650) 340-7474 for further information.





Please read our cancellation and refund policy.