Residential Program

About Our Residential Program

Residency at Great Vow Zen Monastery is a precious opportunity to devote your energy to full-time Buddhist practice. The practice of Awakening brings healing,transformation, compassion and stability into one’s heart and life. Join us for one of our residency programs.

What is Residency at Great Vow?

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

There is a rigor to the daily monastic schedule which supports a wholehearted engagement with every activity of life. Residents follow the daily schedule including dawn and evening meditation, five to six hours of community work practice, mindful eating, and Zen chanting/liturgy services at the monastery. Throughout the year we focus on different aspects of practice from body practice (yoga, qi gong and running), to creative process and the study of the Buddhist sutras,

All residents participate in Sesshin, our monthly weeklong silent meditation retreat, weekend meditation retreats/workshops, weekly classes and engage in direct study with a teacher.

Winter practice period is marked by a more spacious schedule and opportunities for creative process.

Every Autumn at Great Vow we hold a 60 – 70 day practice intensive.

Spring into life and study the teachings of the natural world with opportunities to work in the garden and on the grounds.

Information & Application for Residency

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

The initial cost for residential training is $500 per month. The training fee covers room, meals, monthly sesshin, and most other retreats and workshops. Scholarships are sometimes available, please inquire.

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

Summer Program

Our most popular period of residency is the Summer Program, a 6-week session of intensive practice in the heart of the Summer. Summer Program is designed to give you a genuine immersion in Zen monastic practice. During the Summer months body practice is included in the weekly monastic schedule, to support embodiment and meditative awareness. The residential fee is reduced to $250 during the Summer Program, though donations are welcomed.