We welcome visits to and from schools, colleges, churches and other groups. There are several options for such visits:
- Short orientations at the Vermont Zen Center, lasting about one hour, with an introduction to Zen practice and brief tour of the Center.
- Several-day residential retreats with guided instruction, meditation, work periods, meals, and other planned activities.
- Several-day residential retreats for groups who wish to use the facilities as a site for their own purposes not related to Zen Buddhism.
- Visits to local schools, colleges, and places of worship for talks, discussions, and presentations by senior members of the Center.
A Zen Center member can visit your group . . .
If you would like to have a senior member of our community visit your school, college, or church group, please contact Dharman Rice to make arrangements. He will let you know what times are available.
Visits usually include a short introduction to Zen Buddhism with time for questions and answers. A brief period of Zen meditation might also be part of the visit.
Donation: While there is no set fee, it is appropriate and appreciated to make a donation as you see fit.
Groups can visit the Zen Center . . .
Small groups—up to 10 individuals—can make an appointment to meet with a senior member at set times. We ask that people wear modest, loose-fitting clothing. Out of respect for the atmosphere of the Center, please do not wear tank tops, shorts, or short skirts. Visit Request Form.
Larger groups—up to 40 individuals—can come to the Center during weekdays for a short orientation to Zen Buddhism. This includes questions and answers, a 15–20-minute period of Zen meditation, and a tour of the buildings and grounds, weather permitting. We ask that people wear modest, loose-fitting clothing. Out of respect for the atmosphere of the Center, please ask members of your group not to wear tank tops, shorts, or short skirts. Please contact Dharman Rice for more information.
Donation: While there is no set fee for such visits, it is appropriate and appreciated to make a donation as you see fit.
Group residential visits to the Zen Center . . .
If your school, college, church or other not-for-profit group would like to visit the Center for a several-day introduction to Zen Buddhism, please contact Dharman Rice to make arrangements. He will let you know what times are available.
Advance Notice: Because retreats require extensive planning, advance notice of several months is requested. As mentioned above, the earlier you let us know you would like to come, the more likely we can accommodate your group.
Cost: $55/day/participant. This includes all meals, which are prepared by experienced cooks in the Zen Center’s kitchen.
Meals are lacto-ovo vegetarian with vegan options. No meat, fish, or poultry is served at the Center or allowed on premises. No alcohol is served or permitted on site.
Opportunities for group stays are extremely limited due to schedule and space constraints. The earlier you contact us, the better.
Multi-day retreats not conducted by the Zen Center . . .
Building Use Policy—Applicable to large group extended visits which are not conducted by the Zen Center.
Retreat Calendar—This will give you an idea of what days are available for extended visits/retreats. Please note that it is extremely unlikely that we can accommodate retreats of more than five-day duration.
Things to Know About Extended Visits
- Quiet time—From 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays; 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; and 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday are times when our members are using the meditation room. Out of respect for house residents we ask that noise be kept to a minimum after 9 p.m.
- Vegetarian food only—We do not serve meat, fish, or poultry at the Center and ask that no one bring such foods into the Center or onto the Center’s grounds.
- Alcohol & drugs—The consumption of any type of alcoholic beverage and the use of recreational drugs is prohibited at the Center.
- Smoking—Smoking is not permitted in any of the buildings or on the grounds.
- Shoes—We do not wear shoes in Zen Center’s buildings, however visitors are welcome to wear house slippers.
- Pets—Pets are not allowed at the Zen Center.
- Fire precautions—Due to the danger of fire, candles can only be used in the meditation areas.
- Strong smells—We ask that visitors not use strong perfumes, shampoos, or cosmetics because their smells can permeate fabrics and linger.
Most rooms are single or double occupancy, although depending on the number of people in a retreat, some rooms may have up to four people. Bathrooms are dormitory style; there are no rooms with private bathrooms.
Because the Zen Center is a place of spiritual practice with a focus of individual silent meditation and introspection, couples do not share rooms.
For group visits/retreats conducted by the Zen Center for the purpose of learning about Zen Buddhism, all rooms are $55/day per person for stays of up to one week, including three vegetarian meals a day.
Payments: Sorry, but we are unable to accept PayPal or credit card payments for retreats. Payment must be made by check, cash or money order.
Requesting a Visit
Please complete the Visit Request Form for small-group visits of approximately an hour. For longer group visits, large group visits, and overnight stays, please contact Ramiro Barrantes, our Guestmaster.