Policies and FAQs

Vermont Zen Center Walkway

Kannon Bodhisattva

Hearer of the Cries of the World

Our Policies

A solo retreat is a wonderful way to combine quiet time and spiritual inspiration. Retreats invite you to enjoy your natural rhythms in an extraordinary setting. A retreat might include time for writing, meditation, yoga, study, reading, or simply quiet time away from the normal routines of your everyday life.

While the primary purpose of our retreat cabin is to provide a place for silent introspection, we do allow other uses of the cabin provided they are in keeping with the spirit of silence, contemplation, and lovingkindness. And we ask that you are respectful of our mission, which is to provide a peaceful environment for the study and practice of Zen Buddhism.

The general policies of the cabin are the same as those in the Zen Center:

  • No shoes are worn indoors
  • No smoking on the property
  • No meat, fish, poultry or foods such as beef broth, marshmallows, gelatin
  • No alcohol in any form
  • No recreational drugs, including marijuana in any form as well as THC edibles
  • You must be fully vaccinated and boosted

  • 2 Day Stay
  • 7 Day Stay
  • 1 Person


The cabin is only available for solo retreats. That is, it is not an airbnb. If you have been on retreat at the Center, either with a group or by yourself, then you are welcome to apply for use of the cabin. Likewise, if you have been to the Center and we have met you, you are welcome to apply for use of the cabin.

If we haven't met you and you have never been to the Zen Center, then we ask that you either visit us first, or have a Zoom/Skype/Facetime call with us, or provide a reference from a spiritual preceptor. Since the primary purpose of the cabin is to provide a place for spiritual retreats, we assume that most people will be affiliated with a spiritual group or religious organization. If you are not, that certainly doesn't mean you aren't welcome at the cabin. It just means we'd like to meet you first to ensure that your use of the cabin is in keeping with our policies.

The retreat cabin is for one person only. Solo retreats offer benefits that are significantly different from group or couple retreats.

Please do not receive visitors in the cabin. If you wish to meet with someone, you are welcome to do so in the Zen Center or, of course, someplace else.

You are free to use your time in the cabin however you wish. If you would like suggestions for a schedule, please let us know or look here .
  • Vegetarian food only—We do not serve meat, fish, or poultry at the Center and ask that no one bring such foods onto the Center’s grounds, including into the retreat cabin.
  • No alcohol or drugs—The consumption of any type of alcoholic beverage and the use of recreational drugs, including marijuana in any form as well as THC edibles, is prohibited at the Center and in the retreat cabin.
  • No Smoking—Smoking is not permitted in any of the buildings or on the grounds.
  • No Shoes—We do not wear shoes in Zen Center’s buildings, including the retreat cabin. Retreat participants are welcome to wear house slippers.
  • No Pets—Pets are not allowed.
  • Fire precautions—Due to the danger of fire, only electric candles can be used in the retreat cabin. Incense is permitted and provided—please only use the incense we provide.
  • Strong smells—We ask that visitors not use strong perfumes, shampoos, or cosmetics because their smells can permeate fabrics and linger.

We encourage people to stay for at least two days. The maximum length is one week, although longer stays may be possible in the future.

  • Meditation cushions (mat, round, support, bench)
  • Altar with Buddha figure, incense, and offerings
  • Comfortable reading chair with side table and lamp
  • Single bed with bedside table and reading lamp
  • Kitchen with magnetic induction cook top, sink, counter-top oven, microwave, small refrigerator, utensils, tableware, and cookware
  • Dining table and chair
  • Pantry staples (see below)
  • Thermostat-controlled heat and cooling
  • Storage and cleaning closets
  • Bed linens, blankets, pillows, towels
  • Bookshelves with a small selection of books
  • Bathroom with shower (no tub)
  • Hair dryer
  • Privacy shades on all windows

Retreat Cabin pantry Vermont Zen Center Only vegetarian food is allowed in the cabin and on the grounds of the Zen Center. Please do not bring meat, fish, poultry, or foods containing their by-products, such as beef bouillon, gelatin, marshmallows, chicken stock, etc. onto the grounds of the Zen Center or in the cabin.

Alcohol in all forms—including beer—is strictly prohibited.

A variety of teas, rice, lentils, and oatmeal are kept in the cabin for your use. Condiments, olive oil, and vinegar are also in the pantry. Eventually, we hope to offer a retreat assistant who will be able to bring you meals, run errands, and help with the smooth running of your retreat.

There is a small refrigerator and freezer in the kitchen.

  • Toiletries (although if you forget something we can provide it—just ask.)
  • Travel alarm clock and/or cell phone
  • Vitamins and medication
  • Do not bring—Honestly, if you've read this far, we're sure you know! 

Most of the time, yes. But there is a steep downhill slope to the cabin and when it is icy or muddy your car may not make it back up the hill unless you have 4-wheel drive. In those conditions, it is best to park in the Zen Center parking lot which is around 100 yards away—a very short walk.

Whatever you wish, but please remember that the cabin is a place of quiet and solitude. There is no WiFi.

We do not have staff, so there will be no one available to run errands. (In the future we hope to have a retreat assistant to provide this type of help.) A small shopping park is only 2 miles away. It has a pharmacy, grocery store, bank, hardware store, and restaurant.