Attending an Event at Great Vow
What to Expect
Masks are required for all indoor events. Proof of vaccination is required. For overnight stays and retreats, a negative Covid test is required within 3 days of arriving. More details here.
When you arrive at Great Vow for an event, please check in at the office, located in the center of the building. If you have arrived for an overnight retreat you will complete registration, receive a dorm assignment, and be shown to your dorm. Dinner is served around 6 p.m., and tours are offered after dinner. Registration begins at 5 p.m., and you are welcome to arrive anytime after 4 p.m. on the day of the event.
For overnight events the day begins with meditation. Meditation instruction is offered for anyone new to meditation. Meditation supplies (chairs, benches, and cushions) are provided, and you are welcome to bring your own. See the schedule link on the page of the event you are attending for details about your retreat.
Cell phone and laptop use
During any overnight retreat, but especially during Sesshin and Beginner’s Mind Retreats, we encourage all participants to keep their cell phones and laptops turned off. The phone number for the monastery is 503-728-0654, and is checked daily. Please arrange for those who might need to contact you in case of an emergency to use this number, rather than your cell phone. Not using these devices is an important part of creating a strong container for the retreat.
If you will be attending a sesshin or other intensive meditation retreat, please click here.
What to Bring
- Personal toiletries (we have a small supply of toiletries including ear plugs if you forget anything)
- Flashlight (optional)
- Slip-on shoes or sandals (helpful for shoes-off areas in the zendo and dorm rooms)
- Please also consider bringing your own linens or sleeping bag. This helps the monastery cut down on energy use. We have plenty of linens available if you would rather use ours.
What Not to Bring
- Non-prescription drugs (excluding allergy medications, vitamins and supplements, or related items)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Radios, media players, and so on
- Reading materials or journals (to Beginner’s Mind or Sesshin)