Great Vow Zen Monastery

About This Center

Great Vow Zen Monastery is a residential community of lay and ordained people engaged in around-the-clock Buddhist practice. The practice heritage of the monastery is the White Plum Soto/Rinzai lineage of Taizan Maezumi, Roshi enriched by teachings and practices from the Tibetan and Theravada traditions.

Abbots Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi and Hogen Bays, Roshi are the spiritual directors and senior teachers at the monastery, with assistance from other Zen Community of Oregon teachers, lay and ordained. Great Vow offers residencies, retreats, and workshops that are open and available to everyone. There are many ways you can practice here.

The monastery is located 80 miles northwest of Portland, Oregon on twenty forested acres overlooking the Columbia River flood plain. The monastery includes a spacious meditation hall, guest and resident dormitories, dining hall, and a large organic vegetable garden. Within the forest is Great Vow’s famous Jizo Garden, a memorial garden for people who have died, and the newly dedicated Shrine of Vows, a place where people leave tokens of their deep aspirations.

Visiting the monastery                                  

Are you interested in getting a taste of monastic life or residential practice? Opportunities to stay at Great Vow as a guest are available throughout the year. Guests are expected to follow the monastic schedule for the duration of their stay.

Arrangements for overnight guest stays can be made by emailing the registrar or by calling the monastery at (contact info blocked). Guest stays are not available on Sunday – Tuesday of any week, nor during retreats.

                               

If you are interested in visiting the monastery please call ahead (contact info blocked) or email the (contact info blocked).

The monastery is closed to visitors from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon and also during our monthly silent retreats. Please check the calendar before planning your visit.

Check out our website (contact info blocked)

At the Zen Community of Oregon we teach Zen practice in fresh and diverse ways – trusting that all people have the potential to actualize their innate truth and love.

Venue Highlights

The monastery includes a spacious meditation hall, guest and resident dormitories, dining hall, and a large organic vegetable garden.

Within the forest is Great Vow's famous Jizo Garden, a memorial garden for people who have died, and the newly dedicated Shrine of Vows, a place where people leave tokens of their deep aspirations.

Accommodations

Overnight guests stay in the guest hall (semi-private dormitory), follow the daily monastery schedule, and share meals with the community. A donation is suggested.

Private retreat accommodations are sometimes available for those with significant prior meditation or contemplative experience. Private retreatants can follow their own schedule in solitude.

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

Meals are simple. Breakfast is usually hot grain cereal, nuts or nut butter, dairy and non-dairy milk, fruit, yogurt, and tea. Lunch is the most substantial with a main entree, salad, vegetable side, and condiments. Dinner is soup and bread. Many retreats are served as buffet. Zen-style retreats feature meals that are oriyoki, a Zen form of mindful eating in monasteries that goes back 1,000 years. Imagine Zen tea ceremony, but eating. Newcomers are guided on how to do it and people get the hang of it after a couple days. Meals are vegetarian with vegan options. Gluten-free alternatives can be accommodated. Coffee, caffeinated, and herbal tea are provided.

Directions

Ride sharing can be arranged from the airport with some advanced notice with our registrar. The monastery is located 80 miles northwest of Portland, Oregon on twenty forested acres overlooking the Columbia River flood plain. The drive takes 80-90 minutes.

Directions from the airport:
1. Take I-205 North to I-5 North. I-5 North to exit 36 Longview (south of Seattle, north of Portland).
2. At the exit travel west on to 432 towards Longview City Center.
3. At the sign to “Highway 30 to Oregon”, turn left (south) onto “Oregon Way” .
4. Cross the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Oregon.
5. Turn right (west) onto Highway 30 towards Astoria. Clatskanie is 12 miles from this point.
6. In Clatskanie turn right at the stoplight onto Nehalem Street
7. Go straight to the end, and then follow the road left onto 5th street.
8. Stay on this road (do NOT take the first left fork to the Poplar Farm).
9. You will reach a fork after 2.9 miles; stay left, on Quincy-Mayger Road. Following the street signs saying “Zen Monastery”.
10. The Monastery is 1.8 miles past the fork, at 79640 Quincy-Mayger Road on the right.

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

I am an oncology nurse and a few long time patients have died recently. I need to rejuvenate and return to my breath! Elizabeth
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.