About the Zen Community of Oregon

Residency at Great Vow Zen Monastery is a precious opportunity to direct your energy to waking up and clarifying the truth of this human life, developing compassion and living in service to others.

An evolved, integrative version of traditional Zen Buddhist monastic practice

With 3 – 4 hours of daily meditation, residents are given the time, guidance and support needed to enter deeply into the path of meditation – unifying, clarifying and opening the heart-mind. Meditation techniques/methods of calm-abiding, insight (koan), shikantaza and loving kindness are all taught and practiced within this community.

The monastic life is designed to encourage a wholehearted engagement with every moment. Residents follow a rigorous daily schedule, including dawn and evening meditation, five to six hours of community work practice, mindful eating, and Zen chanting/liturgy services.

From October to December we have an Autumn Ango, a three-month soft retreat. Meditation increases to 5 hours a day; we study Buddhist scripture together and enjoy daily body practice (yoga, running, qi gong) sessions.

Monthly Sesshin

The deep stillness and single-minded focus of monthly sesshin (week-long silent zazen intensive) provides the energizing core of residency. Workshops and classes ranging from contemplative arts to compassionate communication broaden our expression of wisdom. Practicing in community opens the heart and supports the aspiration for awakening. Intimate study with mature Zen teachers gives invaluable guidance and inspiration.


Those in residential training commit to at least one month of residency, though shorter guest stays are possible. 

The initial cost for residential training is $600 per month. The training fee covers room, meals, monthly sesshin, and most other retreats and workshops. Scholarships are sometimes available; please inquire.

We have a reduced fee of $250 during the Summer Program months. Ordained and monastics are always welcome at no cost. It is recommended that someone visit before applying; there are options for shorter overnight stays to see if residential training is right for you. Residential Training Guidelines and Agreements may be viewed here.

For more information about residential training and to obtain an application, contact the Director of Training.