Great Vow Zen Monastery

About This Center

A Refuge for Awakening

Nested in a temperate rainforest, Great Vow Zen Monastery rests on 20 acres of land with meadows, an active vegetable garden, orchards, the Jizo Memorial Garden and Shrine of Vows. It is currently home to 20 monastics, 7 of which are ordained priests. Our Zen Buddhist practice is a synthesis of Soto and Rinzai Zen traditions informed by the practice and study of our teachers, Chozen and Hogen Bays. We follow a daily monastic schedule and at the heart of our training are monthly silent meditation retreats ranging from 6-10 days called sesshin. We also offer a variety of weekend meditation retreats and workshops with the intention to broaden our expression of kindness and wisdom in everyday life. We hope that Great Vow can be a spiritual refuge and a vehicle to carry the life of the Dharma forward for many generations to come. 

Visiting the monastery

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)

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.


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.


  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea

Menu Types

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


The monastery is located 80 miles northwest of Portland, Oregon on twenty forested acres overlooking the Columbia River flood plain.

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Why Retreat?

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

After the past two years of transition on every level, I would absolutely LOVE a retreat! :) Chelsee

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.

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