Madre Grande Monastery
A Sacred site for healing, teaching, ceremony, and celebration
Guests may visit the monastery on the days when we are hosting events - see our Calendarfor schedule - or register for a retreat. We ask that you plan your visit for times when the monastery is receiving visitors. If you have registered for an overnight retreat, please plan to arrive on your designated arrival day.
Private Retreats And Day Visits
Although Madre Grande Monastery and its spiritual retreat center are not open to the public, individuals or groups who feel called here may schedule private day or overnight visits. Guests must make prior arrangements before visiting. We allow camping by those on religious exercises and spiritual retreat, and most nights we have beds available in our private home. Please contact us to check for availability.
Plan Your Visit
While you are here, you are invited to practice sitting and walking meditation, to enjoy mindful eating with the community, to listen to talks by our teachers, to share your own spiritual path, to visit our gardens, and to walk along the nature trails.
The guest lodging in the Monk House is "rustic and cozy" with double occupancy rooms, but quite often guests have the room to themselves except during scheduled retreats.. There is a shared bathroom with shower available. Vegetarian meals can be provided with prior arrangement.
Tenting is also available with porta-potty, camp kitchen, and two individual cold water showers. Bring your own camping gear and food and cooking supplies, or arrange for meals at the Monk House..
Tent – $15/night - $50 with meals
Monk House Room – $30/night -$ 65 with meals
Because of our communal practice, guests cannot bring pets to our monastery.
What to bring with you for an enriched experience:
Personal items, hat, sunblock, chapstick
Good walking or hiking shoes
Warm clothing and footwear, particularly in winter months
Spring-- Usually mild with warm sun and cool air. Can be very warm in the day and chilly at night. Rain unlikely but possible.
Summer-- Often hot to extremely hot and dry. Drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activity during mid-day. Make use of the shady trees. A cool ocean breeze often provides relief in the afternoon. Evenings are usually pleasant and mild. Thunderstorms are rare but possible.
Fall-- Usually pleasant days and cool nights. Early fall days can be very hot and dry with strong Santa Ana winds. Late fall can become chilly and wet.
Winter-- Often chilly to cold with periodic rain storms. Some years are dry and mild, but nighttime temperatures can dip below freezing and light snow occasionally falls.
During all seasons winds can be strong and gusty. Fog or heavy dew is fairly common year-round in the evening and mornings. Check weather reports or contact us for current and expected weather conditions. The elevation at the Monk house is 2,200 feet above sea level. The top of Madre Grande (Mother Grundy) Peak is 2,900 feet.
Guest Check In
All guests must sign our guest register before hiking, camping, or using any of the facilities at Madre Grande. Please check in at the Monk House first. After sign-in a monk will be available to orient you further. All guests are here under a license for limited use, which is revocable at any time. This license is posted in the house at the reception area. Guest rooms and meals are available by reservation only. All our meals are vegetarian and mostly organic.
Please Help Support Our Work
We are supported entirely by your generous donations. All donations go toward defraying the costs of running the monastery, and toward the unfoldment of Madre Grande as a center for learning, living, and healing. A donation jar is at the reception area for your contributions. We sincerely thank you.
Respect Your Mother
We honor the land here as holy and sacred, and dedicate all or our work and energy to our healing and teaching purposes. Guests coming to Madre Grande are asked to respect our home, this land, our Great Mother Earth, at all times.
The following guidelines are designed to preserve the delicate natural environment of Madre Grande Valley and to preserve the peace for those who live and visit here.
PARKING -- We strive to maintain a park-like atmosphere in the valley; therefore, parking is allowed only in designated areas. Temporary parking on roads or beside buildings is allowed for loading and unloading purposes only and must be approved first. Parking or driving off roads is strictly prohibited! Hot engines and dry grass start fires.
CAMPING -- Overnight camping is allowed in the camping area only. Camping in other sites requires prior arrangement and permission. Campers must park in the parking lot and walk to their campsite.
NO FIRES! -- Always be conscious of fire safety! This is an extreme fire hazard area. No open fires are allowed without Monk supervision or approval. During the dry season campfires are prohibited completely. Do not let candles or incense burn unattended. Glass bottles can start fires if left exposed to sunlight.
SMOKING -- Smoking is allowed only on roadbeds, the parking lots, or designated areas. Never smoke indoors, on trails, under trees, or in the meadows. Make sure that all cigarettes are put out, and take the butts with you for disposal in a trash can.
HIKING -- Please stay on the trails. This will minimize erosion damage. If you plan on taking a hike, you must notify us before you begin.
WHOLENESS -- We are a center for wholeness. Do not bring alcohol, drugs, or toxic substances onto monastery grounds.
CHILDREN -- Parents or guardians are responsible for their children at all times. Children are not allowed to run or make excessive noise, damage community property (including vegetation), or disrupt community spaces.
PETS -- Guests’ pets are not allowed on monastery grounds.
NATURAL PRESERVE -- We are a nature preserve. Guns and hunting are never allowed. Please be respectful of the plants and creatures that live here. Do not harass the animals or pick the vegetation. Always remember that there are rattlesnakes in the brush. Please do not harm them.
SPEED LIMIT -- Speed limit on all roads is 10 MPH. Children and wildlife are using the roads, so please drive carefully.
RESIDENT AREAS -- All of the residents at Madre Grande are on spiritual retreat, and wish to have their privacy respected. Resident areas are private and may be entered by permission only.
LIBRARY -- The library is open for guest use daily, but it is not a lending library. Do not reshelf books, and do not remove any book from the building.
TRASH -- Please be responsible for your own trash - take it with you when you leave.
WATER CONSCIOUSNESS -- Water is a precious resource at Madre Grande. The water we drink, bathe in, and raise our food with comes from our wells and has not been polluted. Please do not pollute our land with any toxic substances. Do not leave water running unnecessarily. Do not use soap in the lakes or at any of the springs.
SWIMMING -- There is no lifeguard on duty. The lake shore drops off steeply, so do not let children play unattended