Visiting Windhorse

Visiting Windhorse

Sangha members and visitors are welcome to stay at Windhorse with advanced notice.  Many people coming for a retreat, sesshin, workshop, celebration or other event may choose to stay extra days before or after.  Others, both from Asheville and from out of town, come to stay on a regular basis to deepen practice and experience residential life at Windhorse without a full residential commitment.  As always, do contact us with any questions, or to reserve space for your stay.


Getting to Windhorse

By Car

If you are coming by car, try to arrive at a reasonable hour that does not conflict with a scheduled sitting.  Always let us know beforehand what time of day you plan to arrive, so that we can be sure someone is available to orient you.  Please park your car in the designated parking area, which is to the left as you enter the driveway.  Of course, it is fine to drive up closer to the house to unload your car, and move it to the parking area afterwards.

By Plane

If you will be flying to Windhorse, we are glad to arrange rides to and from Asheville Regional Airport at reasonable hours.  There is no need to rent a car just to get to the airport and back.  Regardless of whether you’ll need transportation, please send us your flight information no less than two weeks ahead of your trip.


Room Arrangements

The main house at Windhorse has six guest rooms, most of which are designed for double occupancy (or more, during sesshin).  Our nearly completed residential building is set up for dormitory style lodging. We also have a large yurt, a small cabin and many beautiful spots for tents in nice weather.

If you are coming for an event, chances are many others will be as well.  We make all efforts to make sure everyone is comfortable, but be aware that accommodations are retreat style, and you may be asked to share a room.


While You’re Here

Visitors are expected to fully participate in the Windhorse work and sitting schedule, unless other arrangements have been made with the teachers.  For formal sittings, please familiarize yourself with our zendo guidelines, and ask any questions you may have beforehand.  Before your first formal sitting at Windhorse, you will be given an orientation.

In general, the workday begins at 8:30am with a meeting in the dining room, and ends at 3:30pm.  We have a communal lunch at 12:30, with a rest break after clean up.  Work may include cooking, housekeeping, building maintenance, outdoor work, research, or anything that arises.

We are located a 20 minute drive from downtown Asheville, in a gorgeous setting with bountiful opportunities for outdoor recreation.  Please feel free to explore the surrounding areas outside of the Windhorse schedule.



We provide wholesome, organic, vegetarian meals for our residents and guests.  Breakfast options are made available before our morning meeting.  We gather midday to enjoy community and a freshly prepared lunch.  After the end of the work day, leftovers and other food is available for an evening snack or meal on your own; you are welcome to have anything not labeled with some one’s initials.

Most of the food we serve have vegan and gluten free options in mind.  Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions, and we will do our best to accommodate.


What to Bring

When visiting Windhorse by car, please bring your own sheets (something that will fit a twin sized mattress), pillow, pillow case, towel and toiletries.  A small umbrella and flashlight are also often useful.  We can provide bedding if you are arriving by plane.

You will want to have clothing for zazen (see zendo guidelines), and also for work.  Work at Windhorse can range housekeeping, building maintenance, cooking, computer work, and, when the weather is good, outdoor work.  Please bring clothing and shoes appropriate for these activities.  We don’t wear outdoor shoes inside, so you may want to have a pair of slippers or house shoes on hand.


What to Leave

Windhorse Zen Community’s primary commitment is to the Dharma.  With that in mind, we will never turn a serious practitioner away for financial reasons.  We hope that you will feel the benefit of this community and choose to support us generously within your means.  Our suggested donation is $20-$40 per night to cover the cost of food and lodging.

Please be aware that our teachers do not receive a salary, and none of this fee goes to Sunya-roshi or Lawson-roshi personally.  If you would like to donate directly to support our teachers, please leave a separate, clearly marked donation.  For all types of cash and check donations, there is a jar near the front door with small envelopes. You can also donate online.