Great Vow, OR

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Great Vow Zen Monastery, Clatskanie, OR May 24 – 27, 2017

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Exploring Non-Duality Through Creative Process

In this 4-1/2 day retreat we will be exploring the nature of non-duality through the experience of the creative painting process. Discussion topics will be co-led by The Painting Experience facilitators and residents of Great Vow Zen Monastery.  Sponsored by the Zen Community of Oregon, this workshop includes meals, three nights accommodations and an invitation to join the Zen community for (optional) meditation sessions in the mornings prior to our workshop sessions. Everyone is welcome, regardless of meditation or art experience. We’ll all be starting with beginner’s mind.

Special Offer: the Zen Community at Great Vow has offered all workshop participants the opportunity to stay overnight for minimal charge on Saturday, May 27th, after our workshop ends. This invitation includes dinner on Saturday evening, accommodations, breakfast and lunch on Sunday and attendance at the Sunday Program which will include meditation, chanting and a Dharma talk given by Stewart Cubley. The additional overnight and Sunday morning program are optional. Please register early, class size is limited.

Tuition: $650 ~ Your tuition includes all art materials, 3 nights accommodations and all meals, over 20 hours of facilitated painting sessions, group discussion circles in supportive community, video presentations about creativity and the practice of art as process. Discounts are available for members of the Zen Community of Oregon and continuing painters of The Painting Experience.

“After working with Stewart, I recognize him as a spiritual teacher. Without ritual or dogma, he encourages the invisible forces of the universe flowing though each of us to become visible. His teaching points towards the transcendent, using the path of our own vital creativity.”……………………~ Hogen Bays, Abbot of Great Vow Zen Monastery

Discounts & Scholarships

Continuing Participant Discount: If you’ve attended a Painting Experience workshop in the past, you’re a continuing participant. You will automatically receive a $100 discount.

Members of the Zen Community of Oregon receive a $150 discount

Partial tuition scholarships are available. Apply here.

Work Exchange is available. Apply here.

(Discounts cannot be combined).

Cancellation Policy

If you pay in full when you register you will receive a full refund minus a 25% handling fee if you cancel before May 1, 2017. After that date, your payment is nonrefundable and nontransferable.

If you pay a deposit to reserve a space in the workshop, your deposit is nonrefundable and nontransferable. When paying a deposit, you agree to pay the balance of the program cost by May 1, 2017. We’ll send a reminder email with instructions on how to pay your balance online. If your payment is not received on, or before, the due date, your space in the workshop must be forfeited.

Continuing Education Credits

21 CE Credits are provided by the Institute for Art and Living for:

MFT, LCSW, LPCC and LEP by CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists).

RN by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Fee: $25.00

Read more here.

Workshop Schedule

Arrival at Great Vow: anytime after 4:00 pm

Wednesday Evening: Dinner: 5:00 pm

Wednesday Evening: Opening Session: 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Lunch breaks will be 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Optional evening video presentations: 7:30 – 9:00 pm

The Zen community invites you to attend meditation sessions in the mornings prior to the workshop sessions.

Sunday (optional): On Sunday mornings the monastery hosts a public Sunday Program beginning at 10:00 am, with a short service followed by two 25-minute periods of zazen, divided by 10 minutes of walking meditation.

The program ends with a talk by one of the teachers or senior students. The talk on Sunday, May 28, will be given by Stewart Cubley. Meditation instruction is provided for beginners.

Lunch is served after the talk, around noon, and all are welcome.

Accommodations & Meals

The guest dorms are large rooms with dividers or curtains arranged to create roughly ten semi-private spaces. Depending on how full a retreat is, you may have more or less space to yourself. Each guest dorm has a common restroom. Showers are located in two places in the monastery, and there are wheelchair accessible showers.

Meals served at Great Vow are healthy and vegetarian. Food may contain eggs and dairy products. Gluten-free and dairy-free food is provided if requested.

Location & Directions

Great Vow Zen Monastery 79640 Quincy Mayger Rd, Clatskanie, OR 97016



By Bus or Train: Greyhound and Amtrak both have service to the Kelso/Longview station in WA, which is a short drive from the monastery. Columbia County Rider offers shuttle service from this station to the monastery for about $10.



Columbia County Rider: 503-366-0159 (48 hours notice is required)

BOLT Bus – West Coast Service:

Oregon (Albany, Eugene, Portland)

Washington (Bellingham, Seattle)

British Columbia (Vancouver)

California (Barstow, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose).

By Air: Great Vow is about 75 miles NW of the Portland Airport (PDX).

Blue Star Bus offers one way service from the Portland Airport to Great Vow for roughly $100, cash or credit card to the driver. The bus runs every half hour, from 8 am to midnight; advance reservation advised.

Ride Board

Ride Sharing: Visit our Ride Board to request or offer a ride to Great Vow.


Driving Directions

For driving directions, click here. Click on “Directions” and enter your starting address.

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