Frequently Asked Questions

For more information about how to get to CMZC, weather, and general travel information, please click here.

What should I pack for my visit to CMZC?

Please bring comfortable clothes or a sitting-robe for Zazen. You should bring three pairs of slip-on shoes for the Zendo, the Main House, and your room. It can be very dark at night, so it is wise to have a flashlight or headlamp. Finally, we are on the side of a mountain with fine hiking trails and thus hiking or walking shoes are useful. Please also bring work clothes. Work includes cooking, cleaning, maintenance tasks and yard work.

Crestone is a high desert climate. It’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Skies are mostly clear. We are at 8,400 feet and the sun is intense. Please bring a sun hat and sunscreen.

In the winter it can be very cold early in the morning (at zazen time) and at night (-10ºF, -25ºC). It is usually not so cold during the day. There is some snow in the winter and occasionally it can be quite deep. Please bring winter clothes and boots.

Can I bring my dog or cat to CMZC?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate pets at CMZC.

Is there a special diet at CMZC?

The diet at CMZC is strictly vegetarian and includes dairy and eggs. If you are on a non-dairy or non-gluten diet or have other dietary restrictions, please let us know ahead of time and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please discuss severe allergies and dietary conditions directly with our office. Alcohol and drugs are not allowed on campus.

Are all of the residents at CMZC monastics?

Some of the residents at CMZC are monastics, while others are laypeople. Everyone does the same practices and is equally expected to follow the schedule.

What is Oryoki?

Oryoki is the traditional Zen monastic way of eating. The oryoki set consists of three stacked bowls, eating utensils, and napkins that are wrapped in a cloth. Oryoki meals are taken in silence and are a form of mindfulness practice. If you haven’t eaten oryoki before, we will provide an introduction.

During Sesshin, Practice Period, and Practice Weeks we ask that returning practitioners bring their own oryoki sets. If you don’t have one, you can purchase a set from CMZC for $140. The bowls are from Japan and the wrapping cloths, napkins, and some of the utensils are hand-made by our practitioners.