About CMZC

Crestone Mountain Zen Center is the monastic training center of Dharma Sangha, the Zen Buddhist practice community founded in 1987 by Zentatsu Baker Roshi, dharma heir of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.

Dharma Sangha has affiliated practice centers in Boulder, Colorado, and the Black Forest, Germany.

The fundamental practice at Crestone Mountain Zen Center is the daily schedule. To simply follow the scheduled periods of Zazen, work, meals, and study is the basis for our practice, individually and together. A variety of Zen programs and weekly dharma talks are offered throughout the year and are open to the public.


Individual Guests and Group Retreats

Individual guests who want to enjoy the beauty, quiet, and isolation of the Crestone mountains can rent cabins throughout the year except during our annual three-month monastic Practice Period (January 9 – April 28), when the Center is closed to the public.

From mid-July through mid-September, group leaders can rent the facilities for group retreats, seminars, workshops and conferences. Retreats in the past have included meditation from different wisdom traditions, yoga, music, dance, bodywork, wilderness expeditions, medicine, and psychotherapy.



At 8,400 feet, the Main House and its vegetable and flower gardens look out over the San Luis Valley, an ancient dry lake bed. From the monastery you can see 50 miles across to the San Juan Mountains in the west and about 80 miles each direction, north and south.

Ten miles below in the valley to the south you can see the Dunefield of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the tallest sand dunes in North America. Beyond that lies Mount Blanca, 14,345 feet high, one of the sacred world mountains of the pre-historic Anasazi and present-day Native Americans in the Southwest.

Behind the campus the land rises steeply into the mountains bordering Rio Grande National Forest land. Along the north border of our campus you can walk up Spanish Creek into a verdant aspen and spruce covered canyon. Many other hiking trails are available in the area, which is dominated by five impressive 14,000-foot mountains: Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle, Kit Carson, Challenger, and Columbia Point.