We respectfully ask that everyone who visits or resides at Great Tree participate fully in the practice schedule which begins at 6am. Lights out is at 10:00pm.
Our Kitchen – During retreats, Great Tree provides macrobiotic vegetarian and vegan meals. We grow have a small, organic vegetable garden and rely on local sources and tail-gate markets. If you wish to donate or bring food to share, please check our Wish List. During your stay you may be asked to share in the preparation of meals, facility clean up or garden work periods as work-practice. Here’s your chance to learn more about cooking for others, working together and vegetarian food preparation.
Accommodations are clean and modest. We have adapted a former private residence to serve as retreat center, residential home and zendo. Rooms and bathrooms are shared, dormitory style. We have no private rooms or accommodations for couples. Men and women are housed separately. Student – guests are asked to provide their own bedding & bath linens to reduce impact on our well and water use.
If you would like to arrive early, or extend your stay, please make arrangements when you register or contact us at least 14 days in advance. Keep in mind we have no paid staff and our residents are sometimes away from the temple. We have no private rooms unless, of course, there is low enrollment for an event.
If we fill our sleeping spaces for a retreat, you may opt to commute or tent camp. If we have filled our beds, and the weather is good, you may bring a tent and camp, or commute if you live in the area. There is no fee reduction if you commute or camp. No open fires are allowed, if you camp, and you will be expected to participate in all activities.
We are not able to provide guest lodging on a commercial basis to the public.
We provide accommodations only for retreat students, teachers and by invitation to visitors who are asked to follow the practice schedule during their stay. .
While we do have wi-fi, we ask that you ‘unplug’ and leave iPods and laptops at home, mobile phones turned off during retreats.
Location We are located in a rural, though not remote area in the mountains of North Carolina, about 30 minutes west of Asheville.
The temperature is generally mild, nights cool, except in July and August. Our elevation is about 2500 feet above sea level. Mountain weather can change rapidly, bringing thundershowers year round, snow from late November and as late as April.
Please bring walking shoes. You can expect to dress in layers and it can be rainy, so an umbrella or rain gear is helpful. Our first frost date is Oct 10th.
Spring is very variable, and settles in early May. July-August is hot and humid.
Driveway & Parking
Our driveway is a gravel and near the end, a steep incline. It is one way. Please drive mindfully. It is important during t wet weather, especially in winter months to be aware that roads may become icy and our driveway can be a challenge.
We do have the option of overflow parking next door.
Please call for instructions during bad weather conditions.