About Great Vow Zen Monastery

Purpose & History

Great Vow is a residential, Zen Buddhist, training monastery inspired and guided by the Bodhisattva Vow to help all beings who suffer, no matter where they are found. The monastery's aspiration is to maintain authentic, whole-hearted practice while keeping the teachings open and accessible to anyone with a sincere desire to practice the Buddha-way.


Our Teachers

Jan Chozen Bays Roshi and Zen Teacher Hogen Bays are the spiritual leaders of ZCO, and the co-abbots of Great Vow Zen Monastery. We also have a number of Zen Priests and Community Zen Leaders that also teach. Read more about our teachers

Visiting the Monastery

Anyone is welcome to visit the monastery. You can visit by attending our Sunday program, stopping by for a tour, or staying for several days on a personal retreat. Because of our active event schedule it's important to contact us before arriving.


Residential Training

The Zen Buddhist monastic training environment, a tradition refined for over a millenium, is designed to support and optimize the cultivation of mindfulness, stillness, kindness and the investigation of the essential question of life and death. Living in community with other practicioners engaged in the same deep work creates synergy and close contact with Zen teachers allows for close guidance on the spiritual path.


About Jizo

Jizo Bodhisattva is an influence at Great Vow Zen Monastery.


Attending an Event

Upon arriving at Great Vow for an event, participants first check-in at the office, located in the center of the building. Here they complete their registration, receive their dorm assignment, and are shown to their quarters. Dinner is served around 6 pm, and tours are offered after dinner. Participants are welcome to arrive anytime after 4pm on the day of the event, with the understanding that registration begins at 5pm.