Since ancient times, monasteries have been places where seekers could delve deeply into the deepest questions of life and death. Built in the 1920s and 30’s, Zen Mountain Monastery was originally a Benedictine monastery and boys’ camp. Now, for over three decades, it has offered practitioners from all walks of life a refuge from a culture of distraction and a way to become immersed in Buddhist teachings and practice. As our founder John Daido Loori described it, the Monastery is “an archive of sanity.”
Our main building houses the Monastery’s meditation hall and dining halls, kitchen, lounge, private rooms for residents, and dormitories for visiting practitioners. Our Sangha House acts as a community center with a performance hall, library, art studio and fitness room, as well as the Monastery Store. The Jizo House provides accessible accommodations for retreatants and serves as the home base for our Tenkozan line of Monasatery-made crafts and products. These and other buildings rest on 220 acres of protected woodlands that are home to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal life. In 1995, the Monastery’s main building was named a national and state historic landmark.
Zen Mountain Monastery is a member of the White Plum Asanga, an affiliation of centers in the lineage of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi. Maezumi Roshi served as our first abbot until empowering Daido Roshi as a lineage holder and abbot himself in 1989. We are indebted to Maezumi Roshi for bringing the teachings of Zen to these shores and to all our ancestors for maintaining the Way across many generations.