Great Vow Zen Monastery

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. If you are interested in applying for our residential program please email the Residency Coordinator at

Abbots Jan Chozen Bays, Roshi and Hogen Bays, Roshi are the spiritual directors and senior teachers at the monastery, with assistance from other ZCO 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

Sunday Morning Program

On Sunday mornings the monastery hosts a public Sunday Program beginning at 10AM which includes a short Buddhist chanting service, meditation and a Dharma talk. Meditation instruction is available for those who are interested.

Lunch is served after the talk, around noon, and all are welcome.

Childcare is available for young ones.

Meditation can be done in any comfortable, upright posture. Cushions, benches, and chairs are provided.

Community Life

The communal life at Great Vow offers the joy and synergy of shared intention.
What does an Awakened society look like? Practice communities like Great Vow are experiments into new ways of living together with shared intention and support. Find support for your spiritual practice, learn to harmonize and listen to others, actualize kindness, compassion and vulnerability.

Residential Practice

Come stay with us! We have practice periods throughout the year that vary in flavor and intensity.
Residency at Great Vow provides the opportunity to immerse yourself in full-time monastic practice. The monastic life is filled with opportunities to practice meditation, mindfulness, to study the Buddhist teachings and to actualize the heart of compassion. Please check out our Residency Programs or email
Explore the Options


Each month we hold a weeklong silent meditation retreat.
Every month we participate in a week of silent meditation retreat. Sesshin is the hub which turns the monastery and is our offering to the world. Touch in with what is most true and authentic in you. Swim in your depths and get to know the territory of the heart. Monthly sesshin have unique themes and styles of practice, check out our Calendar to find the sesshin that meets your practice needs at this time.

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 188
Clatskanie, Oregon 97016

Physical address
79640 Quincy-Mayger Road
Clatskanie, Oregon 97016

Guest stays at Great Vow

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 503-728-0654. Guest stays are not available on Sunday – Tuesday of any week, nor during retreats.