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The Monastery is a puzzle area in The Witness.

Monastery Hints

All the puzzles in the Monastery revolve around observation and positioning.

Part 1 (Outside)

The hints here are for unlocking the zen garden outside, which also activates the puzzles inside the temple.

  • Hint 1: Think... Inside the Box?: If the puzzles outside impossible, go inside the temple and check out the bonsai tree.
  • Hint 2: Patience: If you think you triggered something, be patient and wait for it to happen. It won't be instant. Look around you.
  • Hint 3: Broken: If a branch is snapped, it's probably important to pay attention to.
  • Hint 4: Outside Looking In: Something blocking your line of sight? Go outside and look back in for a new perspective.

Part 2 (Inside)

The hints here are for the four tree puzzles surrounding the large tree inside the temple.

  • Hint 1: Path of Tree: Let what's around you guide your path.
  • Hint 2: Not Quite Right: If the branches aren't making the right path, maybe you're using the wrong set. Try a new angle.
  • Hint 3: No Road: If the path trails off, maybe it's just gone somewhere else. Look around you. Could it have fallen?
Spoiler warning! The screenshots below contain solutions for every puzzle in the area.

Monastery Solutions[]

Part 1 (Outside)


To open the monastery doors, look through the holes in the patterned wood panel walls and swipe the lines. Once inside, you'll see four blacked out panels surrounding a large tree in the middle of the room, and at the back, a small bonsai version of that tree on a pedestal.


Face the tree from the left side and draw a line from one corner to the other, as seen above. Be patient here. Eventually, the metal panels against the right-side wall (on the side of the zen garden) will rise up and fold away. (See Monastery Obelisk for more puzzles related to the bonsai tree.)


This gives you the necessary view of the patterned wood panels outside, which you need to complete to activate the panels inside the temple. In order to complete these, you need to stand inside and overlay the gaps on the wooden tree cutout onto the diamond-shaped puzzles outside, outlining a path for yourself.

Monastery 1.jpg

For the first in this sequence, starting on the left, the path is relatively clear. On the middle puzzle, broken pieces of the carved wooden pane inside the temple should provide hints about where walls are that you can't see. For the third and final puzzle in the sequence, a bunch of rubble is blocking you from seeing the correct path, so you'll have to go outside and look at the wooden pane from the other side, then translate that to the puzzle.

Solving these three opens the gate to the zen garden and activates the panels surrounding the tree inside the temple. Head inside.

There's another door in the garden that can only be opened up as a shortcut from inside the bamboo forest, near the bamboo forest's bunker door. The back gate to the Zen Garden doesn't have any diagrams to look through, instead you'll have to look at the jutting rocks just before the door that form a narrow path you can trace to open the door.

MonasteryBackDoor New.jpg

Part 2 (Inside)

Monastery 2.jpg

Solving this first puzzle is simple. You just need to align the branches and leaves so they form a path.

Monastery 3.jpg

The second one is a bit more complicated, but still straightforward. Stand on the other side and this time use the twiggy branches next to the leafy ones used in the first puzzle to create a path through the grid.

Monastery 4.jpg

It's difficult to see the perspective trick that happens with the third puzzle, so here is the solution on its own. For this one, you need to overlay very thin twigs from the adjacent tree branch to chart your actual path instead of the walls.

Monastery 5.jpg

The fourth and final puzzle in the Monastery is tricky. Just like the last puzzle, you have to use the thin branches to chart a path, but this time, the branch is broken. You have to look down at the floor to find the remainder of the branch and try to fit that shape at the end of one of the three possible paths provided by the existing branches. This is the solution that works.


Now head outside to the back and use the simple panel on the side to activate the Monastery laser.