Residential / Overnight Events at Great Tree
Check in for most events begins at 4pm on the first day. Orientation begins at 5pm followed by a light supper at 6pm. Please arrive timely.
Dana is the practice of generosity, of making gifts without hindrance or attachment to the result of the actions. It has been the practice of countless Buddhist women and men over the more than 2500 years. If at the end of the retreat, you wish to leave dana for the teacher or for Great Tree Temple, please indicate your intention clearly in the memo section of your check or, if donating cash, on the envelopes provided. In the living room you will find membership, volunteer forms and dana bowl/box if you wish to leave offerings. We are grateful for your support.
PAYMENTS: We request that all payments and balances be paid by the payment deadline for the event (please call to make arrangements if this is not possible). Great Tree does not have the capacity to accept payment by credit card on site. On site payments must be made by check or in cash.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Sleeping arrangements dormitory style. Men and women are housed separately. We have no accommodations for couples and no private rooms. Dormitories have single bunk beds, futons, or mattress sets. Please bring your own bed linens, towels, pillows and toiletries. If you are traveling from afar there are linens and towels available.
There are three bathrooms in the main building, one on each floor. When you use the bathroom, please be considerate of others who may be waiting to use the same facility. Our water is sourced from a well and is filtered. Please mark your toiletries and remember to take them home at the end of the retreat.
MEALS: Vegetarian or vegan meals are served. Please inform us on your registration form or online registration if you have allergies or special dietary needs so that adjustments can be made to our menu.
EMERGENCIES: We ask for an emergency contact information and a list of medication on your personal information form. This information is discarded at the end of the event will not be kept on file. You will be asked for this information upon arrival to each event you attend.
CLOTHING: Wear dark or quiet colors and clothing that is comfortable to you for the practice of zazen (sitting). Do not wear shorts or sleeveless shirts. Expect cool nights in the mountains, except in July-August. Please avoid heavily scented perfumes and soaps. We also ask you not wear jewelry or items that would possibly create noise or distract others during meditation. Shoes or sandals are not worn in any part of the Great Tree Buildings (there are exceptions for those with orthopedic difficulties. Bring warm socks or soft slippers for walking inside the house. Bring an umbrella or appropriate outdoor wear for cool, wet weather.
IN THE MEDITATION HALL: Our zendo (meditation hall) is furnished with zafu and zabuton (sitting cushions). However, folding chairs and some benches are available as are support cushions. Please feel free to use whichever is most comfortable for you. Incense is usually burned during zazen. If you have allergies or pulmonary issues that are exacerbated by burning incense please let us know and it will not be used during your stay.
SAFETY: Please bring a flashlight in case you need to be up after lights are out at 10pm. We have no exterior lighting and it can be dark here in the country. There are stairs and steps to navigate throughout the building. If you need special accommodation due to disability, please let us know. Smoking and alcohol are not permitted on the Great Tree campus.
SILENCE : Please refrain from using cellphones, computers or tablets during retreats and sesshins. If you need to make an urgent call please do so discretely and away from other participants and activities. We do not have public access computer. Please maintain quiet and respect for the serious intentions of all those attending. Sesshins are conducted in silence as much as possible.
4 Leggeds: We do have a resident dog. The animals are not allowed in certain areas of the house to leave those areas clear for allergy suffers. If you have allergies to dogs or cats please let us know. You should be aware that we are in a rural area, where pets cannot be permitted to roam. Please contact us about visiting with your friend(s).
PARKING: Please use caution and when you drive up our gravel driveway, both to protect your car and the road. The road is narrow there is no shoulder to pass. Please use the small parking lot near the fork in the road.
Parking is limited at the top and as spaces are reserved for unloading or for those with mobility issues. There is an extremely steep section of the road at the very top near the building. Use your best judgment in determining whether your vehicle will be able to handle the grade. Additional parking is available in our neighbor’s yard (take a left at the fork). If you park there please be careful not to block the neighbor’s access and respectful of the property. There is a trail along the meadow fence from the neighbor’s house to Great Tree.
Great Tree is at the top of the road on the right (679). We also have some parking available at our neighbor’s on the left fork. We will direct you to long term parking after you check-in. If you are uncertain about parking or need help or directions, do not hesitate to call. Arrangement may also be made for shuttle parking from Weaverville for large events.