Employment and Volunteering

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Working and Growing

We are first and foremost a spiritual community committed to helping retreaters and staff develop their minds. By joining our team you will

  • Offer your talents and skills to an organization dedicating to serving others
  • Nurture a sense of service within yourself
  • Participate in a mindful and contemplative work culture
  • Stimulate your mind by having access to staff classes and our regular program

“I feel as if I have found a precious little oasis, where I have the opportunity to work, study and practice amidst an enchanting redwood forest. The atmosphere is one of tranquility and serenity, which I find are very good conditions to cultivate a peaceful mind. Serving a Buddhist community feels very rewarding.”

Our Community

Living in community in an isolated place creates long-lasting friendships and a real sense of teamwork. Co-workers feel more like family. Everyone contributes what they can above and beyond what is required. The “family feeling” Lama Yeshe spoke of still lives on and prospers at Vajrapani Institute.

What we are looking for

Ideal candidates will

  • Possess strong communication skills
  • Be content with rugged and rustic conditions
  • Be comfortable with prolonged relative isolation
  • Have a mature personal spiritual practice
  • Possess an attitude of altruism and generosity
  • Be proactive and organized

Being a Buddhist is not a requirement for working here. We welcome practitioners from all traditions.

Living in the Forest

Camping is the main option for work/study volunteers. We have a number of campsites that ensure relative comfort and privacy. Occasionally, a housing option may open up, but this is rare. The weather from May to September is usually quite warm and temperate.

Study the Dharma

Our staff and work/study participants are welcome to attend any of our programs if it doesn’t conflict with their work schedules. Make sure to mention ahead of time what programs you are most interested in so we can try to make arrangements for you to attend. We have an extensive library with many out of print books, as well as a video library of teachings and documentaries. We have senior practitioners on the land and on staff that are available for interviews and discussions.

Volunteer Work-study Program

Would you like to be a part of a Dharma community and offer service? Join our Work Study Program! We are looking for people to be a part of our team here at Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture. In exchange for a 28 hour work week, members of our work study program are provided with camp site/housing, nutritious vegetarian meals, and the ability to attend some of the courses free of charge. We ask for a 3 month minimum commitment. You would be an integral part of making our land ready for visitors and making them feel welcome. Work Study participants contribute to every department including the kitchen, housekeeping, the office and the land department.

Apply for Work/Study

Employment Opportunities

Lead Cook

The Lead Cook is a supportive role to the Kitchen Manager, and steps in as the lead for the kitchen team in the managers absence. The Kitchen Team meets both retreater and staff needs as it relates to meal service and kitchen organization. This position is a precious opportunity to share one’s culinary skills while connecting with a community of dedicated spiritual practitioners. At Vajrapani Institute, we strive to cultivate a contemplative environment. The kitchen department is at the heart of this endeavor. Position open immediately, accepting applications until filled. Download a detailed Job Description

Apply Now

Assistant Community Relations Coordinator

The Assistant Community Relations Coordinators (Asst. CRC) main responsibility is to provide support for the Community Relations Coordinator (CRC). As well as furnish a consistent presence for visitors and retreatants by greeting visitors, answering phone calls, and replying to e-mail on the days when the CRC is away. This role calls for a strong communicator who is service orientated. Position open immediately, accepting applications until filled. Download a detailed Job Description

Apply Now


The Foreman has oversight of our entire land and of our facilities including buildings, utilities, roads, and vehicles. This includes light carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and rural systems maintenance (solar, spring water, road). The Foreman is responsible for overall department organization, and works closely with the Director and Center Manager for the prioritization of both long term projects and short term maintenance needs. Download a detailed Job Description

Position opens May 8th, 2017. Deadline to apply is April 21st, 2017.

Apply Now

Community Relations Coordinator

The Community Relations Coordinator (CRC) is the primary person responsible for VPI’s Main Office. This means that the CRC takes ownership and responsibility for running the Main Office smoothly, efficiently and spaciously. Because the Main Office is the communication hub of the Institute, the CRC plays a key role in retreater and staff relations. Therefore, providing clear communication, being highly organized, and having sharp attention to detail will foster the harmony that is vital to the delivery of VPI’s retreat services in this role. Download a detailed Job Description

Position opens July 22nd, 2017. Deadline to apply July 3rd, 2017.

Apply Now