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About Great Tree Zen Temple

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Great Tree Zen Women’s Temple opened its doors in September of 2005. We are located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Rev. Teijo Munnich, our founder, began to envision the establishment of a residential center for women in 1983. Since that time the vision has expanded and broadened. The name “Great Tree” implies a tree that reaches in many directions and nourishes all beings.

The primary purpose of Great Tree Temple is to provide opportunities to enter more deeply into the practice of self-reflection in order to learn to live in peace and harmony with all beings. With the awareness that everything cannot be done at once, and that the full realization of this vision may not even happen in our lifetime, it’s important to remember that every step in our development is part of our spiritual practice.


In 2011 we conducted a survey of our site, 6.6 acres facing southwest, to provide an overview for planning future growth, including residential dormitories and improved access and have created a site plan with hopes of expanding our facility in the near future.

Our mission is to create  a community, based on teachings of Dogen Zenji in the Soto Zen tradition, which serves all whose journey brings them to Great Tree. Great Tree Zen Temple offers Sesshins, Dharma teaching, zazen instruction, family meditation & youth programs in the Soto Zen tradition. Long and short-term residencies are available for women only but all other programs are open to both sexes.


Our schedule includes regularly weekly, monthly sesshins and retreats, and annual special events and ceremonies.

We welcome visitors, but please contact Rev. Teijo Munnich to make an appointment.


 We ask that you register for in-person events HERE so we can best accommodate you.

We are a 501(c)3 and are wholly supported by gifts from friends, membership, volunteers and sangha.

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